Internet Bandaid   [RSS Feed]

Paypal Documentation is Terrible

without comments

My first experience working with Paypal is horrendous.

Here are issues Paypal needs to address

Terrible Documentation
You know why w3schools is so awesome? It’s because they offer 5-7 page quick start tutorials on anything you want to learn. This is what paypal is sorely lacking. They make no attempt at writing concise and comprehensive tutorials. Instead, they compile incomplete 200 page manuals, scatter documentation across various websites, and omit references to REQUIRED parameters for their APIs.

It took me 3 days to understand the requirements behind a simple paypal checkout call. Then it took me another 2 days to successfully execute the SetExpressCheckout NVP call, the most basic of all calls.

I salute the technical support team at Paypal. They probably spend 80% of their time answering beginner’s questions that should be addressed in a 5-page quick start guide.

Non-descriptive Error Codes
I get an error “Security Header is Not Valid”. What does this mean?

a) Wrong Api_end_point because paypal made recent upgrades to their api
b) Your credentials are incorrect
c) Space aliens think you’re hot and they’re hitting on you
d) None of the above
e) Any or all of the above

If you chose e), you are correct. The error codes almost always tell you nothing. You copy the error code and error message into google, hit search, and you’ll get dozens of possible reasons that generate the error.

In my case, I mistakenly thought that my paypal credentials could be used in sandbox mode. And this reflects my poor understanding of the paypal basics. (And it relates to terrible documentation, which mentioned next to nothing on how to set up sandbox environment).

That’s it for now. I’m sure I’ll have more to complain about at the end of this month, when paypal integration is complete.

Written by John Lai

January 16th, 2009 at 12:23 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

Start Mission - Project management and invoicing

Leave a Reply