Turbo-Charging Robosoft with DynamicPAD (Part 4)

4

Posted by Cynic | Posted in DynamicPAD, PAD, Robosoft, Software, Super Simple, Web Sites | Posted on 07-04-2011

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Well, this is the final part in how you can turn Robosoft from an 800 lb gorilla, to an 8,000 tonne fire-breathing, city-eating, raging godzilla razor-beast from hell!

Last time I exported the PhotoResizer.dat file from Robosoft, then added in the output from DynamicPAD Helper here:

Photo Resizer DynamicPAD DAT

I then saved the file, and imported it back into Robosoft.

At that point Robosoft is ready to go. However, there are 2 things left to do:

  1. Install and configure the DynamicPAD PHP script on your server.
  2. Upload the DynamicPAD DAT for your product into your new DynamicPAD server.

Step 1 is pretty simple if you are on a LAMP server. If you are on Windows though, you’ll pull out a fair amount of hair before you get it working. But more on that later (I’ve solved those problems and have a download for you so that you don’t go bald).

To install DynamicPAD, go to the DynamicPAD site here. Download the script, upload it to your server, and follow the direction to configure it properly.

It’s pretty straight forward.

If you have problems, double-check that you have your 404’s working properly. DynamicPAD relies on the fact that none of the requested files actually exist, and all 404’s are redirected to the dp.php script, which processes the URL and returns the correct information, be that a PAD file or your program’s installer file.

If you are on a Windows server in a WIMP configuration (Windows, IIS, MySQL, PHP), then the DynamicPAD file from the DynamicPAD.org site won’t work. Instead, use my fix. It removes information from the DynamicPAD file that isn’t really needed, and fixes some issues where PHP is a bit finicky under Windows.

Download DynamicPAD for Windows Servers

There is a web.config file in there, and you should probably setup the folder as an application in IIS. Make sure to edit that for the proper path.

I’ve made some modifications in DynamicPAD for myself (and to get it working properly), so you should check them. Open the dp.php file and search for “cynic.me”.

Where to edit in dp.php

Notably, I’ve deleted the “Delphi” and “OnlineShops” nodes. You can delete more if you like, or add those back in.

Do not add back in the “Robosoft” or “DynamicPAD” nodes. You can try and find out, but that’s up to you.

You may wish to change the way things are done there if you can manage to get PHP working with some of the other regular expression methods. I wouldn’t bother though as it works the way it is right now.

For both the LAMP and Windows versions, you need to configure the script in the “dp_conf.php.inc” file. It’s straight forward. (Remember to set proper 404 redirection in your web server.)

Once you’re finished there, run the install.php file to install the DynamicPAD server, then delete the install file. I’d recommend backing it up somewhere though or moving it to a secure location that isn’t public.

When you’ve got the server installed, you must then update the site list. In the DynamicPAD for Windows Servers download above, there is a “dp_conf.dat” file that contains mappings for the various download sites and their unique values. (I’ve not customized any of that, by if you are adventurous, then it’s a pretty cool way to further get DynamicPAD looking even sexier~!) In the DynamicPAD web interface, click the update link. That will update your list of sites that you need. The link reads:

Download an updated download sites list from DynamicPAD.org

FINALLY… Back in Robosoft…

On the Products tab, double-click your product to open it up for editing. Expand Product > DynamicPAD > DynamicPAD Settings and double-click on it to open it up.

Final DynamicPAD DAT Export

#1 We need to do a little cleanup, and Robosoft will automatically do that for us. So click the “Edit dynamic data” button, then click “Save”. You might want to make a minor edit of a space somewhere then save. This will fix up any extra or empty entries and prepare the lean-mean DynamicPAD info for export.

#2 Next, click the “Export” button and save your app-##########.dat file. This is the file that you will upload to your DynamicPAD’s “data” directory.

Once you have that uploaded, your DynamicPAD server is ready to go!

In your Internet browser address bar, type in “http://www.yourdomain.com/path/to/dynamicpad/pad/app-############/product-name.xml” to test it. Here’s a live example for Photo Resizer:

http://www.supersimple.me/PAD/app-00b31342c6/Photo-Resizer.xml

And an example for a specific web site:

http://www.supersimple.me/pad/app-00b31342c6/site-007310de455/photo-resizer.xml

And one with the language specified (which we didn’t bother with in any previous work, but you’ll see this anyways):

http://www.supersimple.me/pad/app-00b31342c6/site-007310de455/lng-eng/photo-resizer.xml

If those 3 styles of URLs are working for you, then everything is ready to go.

The other style is for the distributable download, and looks like “http://…snip…pad/distr/app…snip…/your-installer.exe”. That’s a tracking link for your installer, and will help you know where your downloads are coming from.

At this point, you can go back into Robosoft and begin your submissions. Everything is already configured, and you can now serve up specific information as you specified in the Excel file, and random content that was generated inside of the DynamicPAD Helper application from all the different content that you had specified in the Excel file.

So, that ends the series on how to setup DynamicPAD. It’s fairly complicated, and certainly not very straight forward, but if you follow the steps that I’ve outlined, it’s actually much easier and quicker than trying to specify specific content inside of the DynamicPAD UI in Robosoft.

I hope that helps out.

Cheers,

Ryan

  • shekhar

    Hello Ryan,

    I’m all good to go to submit now, i have all the 3 files created , the website, the language and product xml files as above suggested in your 4th post. I will be submitting tomorrow as its past midnight now and will let you know the results.

    I first saw this blog post 8 months ago and since then i wanted to try this method, i had no knowledge of c or didnt know what mysql or php was but your blog post made it entirely easy to follow everything but still it took me a lot of time.

    I really appreciate the way you went out of the way to explain the method in blog post.

    But robosoft didnt allow me to modify the product names. While validating the pad, it said that if you change the product names, your IP will be banned. So I’ve kept the product name static. Is it ok to keep produc name static?

    Between my email id got locked, so this is my new email id which ive used to post comment.

    i will let you know the results once i do submission

    • Good luck! I hope things work out well for you! 🙂

      It’s perfectly fine to leave that static. I wouldn’t worry about that. It’s a touchy thing to modify anyways.

  • shekhar

    Hello cynic,
    4 days since submission here are some interesting results.

    Firstly, I had no download available at my blog for the product. This is the reason why I guess I got rejected by some PAD sites. Should we always have the product in our blog or website somewhere?

    I had only 55% success rate submission. What is the best submission percentage should we be able to achieve?

    In spite of that I managed to achieve 91st position the very first day after submission and today after four days I’m at the 79th position and my rankings seem to be getting better each day ( these are first click positions) which i guess would have not been possible with normal robosoft submissions without dynamic PAD.
    Thanks a lot to you, I feel very happy to have implemented this strategy.

    Moreover, do you suggest to do a resubmission after a month, with an updated version of product name and some new descriptions for it? Will it help further boost the rankings.

    • Yes – you absolutely MUST have a download. It can be a demo or trial or full version, but you MUST have a download. ZIP is usually easiest. Not having a download will stop you from submitting to most sites.

      For submission rates, well, it all depends. Some sites never process their submission cue, while others accept it, but require a link back before it’s published, etc. etc. There are so many different “limbo” states that it’s hard to say. You kind of have to sort what “counts” as a successful submission. I only count it when it’s live on a site. That can take a long time to figure out though as some sites take FOREVER to publish.

      I STILL get PAD emails from sites about a product that I published once 8 years ago and discontinued about 4 or 5 years ago.

      For resubmissions, just make sure that you have a new version (or edition). I wouldn’t do it more than once a month unless I had a compelling reason – a very compelling reason, e.g. a serious bug fix or something.

      I’m glad to hear that it’s doing well though! The slow climb will get better after more submissions and as more sites publish your PAD info. They slowly publish, which is good as it spreads out the incoming links over time, and you don’t have a massive bomb like spambots create in forums and blogs, etc. There is an initial huge rush of links, but still more that take some time to publish.

      Good luck!

      Cheers,

      Ryan