ShopSite Knowledgebase

Beginning Sept 11 or 12 2012, PayPal Standard orders not recorded in ShopSite, failed IPN notifications from PayPal


I am using PayPal Standard or PayPal Express and beginning about September 11th or 12th 2012 and I am receiving emails from PayPal that IPNs they are sending to my ShopSite thankyou.cgi or proipn.cgi are failing. Why is this, and what can I do to resolve it?

On these dates PayPal completed a transition of their servers to a new server farm, and changes on their new servers cause the IPN validation request to their servers from ShopSite to not return any results, so that ShopSite cannot validate (and will therefore not accept) the IPN notification. Shortly after this problem was encountered PayPal implemented a temporary fix that is due to expire on October 22, 2012. You have the following options for a permanent fix.
  • If you are running v11 sp2 r4 - you have the latest release which includes the patches so nothing more needs to be done.
  • If you are running v11 sp2 r3 - patches have been released for thankyou.cgi and proipn.cgi and need to be applied for stores hosted on Linux, FreeBSD, or Windows Server operating systems
  • If you are running v11 sp2 r2 or an earlier version of ShopSite, are using PayPal Standard and if you have access to your store's ShopSite Data Directory, you can edit the file named 'paypal.aa' in that directory and change the following line:

  • ACGI: cgi-bin/webscr


    ACGI: /cgi-bin/webscr

    Note the addition of the forward slash '/' before cgi-bin. This second solution will resolve the PayPal Standard issue AND the previous orders 'missing' from ShopSite should eventually appear in your ShopSite because PayPal will periodically retry sending the IPNs until they are accepted.

The only solution for PayPal Express users is to apply the patch for v11 sp2 r3 or upgrade to v11 sp2 r4. However, unlike PayPal Standard, Express users will have the order go through despite the IPN failure email. In cases where payment approval is delayed as for an eCheck, ShopSite will always report the payment as pending since the IPN is not being sent by PayPal.

To upgrade to v11 sp2 r4 or to obtain the patches to v11 sp2 r3 contact your ShopSite reseller

Merchants that are no longer hosted with a ShopSite partner can contact ShopSite by using this form:

NOTE: Our experience has been that PayPal Standard merchants who applied the paypal.aa change (or upgraded to the latest 11 sp2 r4 version) shortly after they initially received these IPN failure emails from PayPal would receive the orders in ShopSite within a day of making those changes, as PayPal periodically retries their IPN calls. However, some merchants have reported that after a period of time or a certain number of IPN failures, PayPal disabled the IPN capability of their account.

To re-enable IPN capabilities in your PayPal account and get the 'missing' PayPal orders into your ShopSite (note that only orders placed in the last 21 days can become ShopSite orders), do the following:

1. Go to the PayPal website and log in to your account.

2. Click "Profile" at the top of the page.

3. Click "My selling tools."

4. Click "Update" beside "Instant payment notifications" in the "Getting paid and managing risk" section.

5. Click the "Choose IPN Settings" button.

6. Enter the notification URL and select "Receive IPN messages (Enabled)".
To find your notification URL go to the Preferences > Hosting Service menu in your ShopSite and copy the 'Shopping Cart secure URL' setting, then add '/thankyou.cgi' at the end and use this as the IPN notification URL in PayPal. If the 'Use SSL security in Shopping Cart' is unchecked in your store, use the regular 'Shopping Cart CGIs URL' with '/thankyou.cgi' on the end instead of the secure URL.

7. Click "Save."

After this, when you hover over the 'History' option in the PayPal menu you should see a new 'IPN History' option. Click this and use their search function to find the IPNs that failed or were disabled (only IPNs from the last 28 days are available via this PayPal function). Then select the unsent/failed/disabled IPNs and resend them. This should cause these PayPal transactions to become orders in your ShopSite.

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Last Updated
6th of November, 2012

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