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Thread: IDX integration

  1. #11
    charlesh's Avatar
    charlesh is offline Master Glow Jedi
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    Default Rets

    Lynne,

    It looks like RETS is a standard for the MLS services, I found a DTD there on the RETS standard. Basically, it will depend upon what MLS that your client wants to draw upon. The basic web service for the MLS, such as Realtor.com and Zillow.com, etc. is the API you need to know to communicate with each server. Those web services should be compliant with the RETS standard already. All you have to do is pass and receive the data in a format that they want to see.

    As in all development projects, my solution is to find a solution that exists already and then try to use that in my application. The Aircraft building term, "hammer to fit, paint to match" applies nicely to this mode. Sourceforge works good, but I tried out the software that you have linked to above and am not very impressed with it - but, then again, it could be a good place to get started.

    The fact is, RETS appears to be a standard protocol. What you do with it is up to you - display it on demand, cache it in a database, etc. Therefore, your conflicting statements about databases being required and not being required make sense.

    I don't have any experience with RETS to answer your question, but it seems much like passing information to a credit card processor. Look at the MLS documentation for their API, for the site you need to get information from and that should be a good place to start, at least from what I understand about the situation.

    Hope that helps,

  2. #12
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    rlhanson is offline Master Glow Jedi
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    Thanks for the response Charles.

    I have open realty installed on the site and have contact transparent technologies about dev. but they only offer a D-I-Y (do it yourself) with being able to edit many things I am unfamiliar with or Hosting it through them:

    The TransparentRETS add-on requires the following:
    • Unix/Apache (POSIX) based web hosting platform.
    • Fresh install of Open-Realty v2.3.5 or greater.
    • PHP 5 (with the following modules)
      • PHP SimpleXML
      • PHP CURL
      • PHP OpenSSL
    • MySQL 4.1+
    • PHP ZEND Optimizer
    • Ability to create CRON jobs that can use CURL (optional, for automating all processes)
    • Ability to change your Apache Timeout Value
    • Ability to make outbound connections from your server to HTTP, HTTPS, and RETS servers.
    I'll discuss it with my client and see what she wants to do - I can move her hosting if that's what it's going to take - not really game for charging her for something I have no clue how to do - and from what I understand would require a dedicated server anyway.

    So, for now, playing with framed link rapatoni sent when we originally requested the IDX info...


    Thanks for all the input Charles and Matt!
    Thank you,
    Lynne Hanson
    RL Hanson-Online

  3. #13
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    The only thing that a shared server would not support in that list is this:

    Ability to change your Apache Timeout Value

    What do they need it to be set to?
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  4. #14
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    I'll ask them via email now...

    This is all the site says (besides the requirements I mentioned above - and the fact that I have no idea how/what to do with: Ability to create CRON jobs that can use CURL)

    TransparentRETS™ is avaliable for use on Open-Realty® websites that we do not host. This is the ideal solution for anyone already running their own server or who already has a great web hosting account and wants to have the ability to import listngs from their MLS's RETS server into Open-Realty®, without paying monthly fees.
    DIY Package:
    This option is for mid to advanced users who are very comfortable with installing and modifying PHP applications on a website. With this option you are purchasing a perpetual license to use our software. but you are also then completely responsible for all configuration and setup of the software to work with your MLS RETS Server.
    Server Requirments
    First, please bear in mind that importing data from an outside source like a RETS server should be something that you absolutely understand will be a mission-critical process essential for the correct operation of your web site. Therefore, it is unwise to attempt to use the TransaprentRETS addon with giveaway or super-budget web hosting accounts that are not reliable or are overshared. The larger the amount of listings and photos per listing that the TransparentRETS add-on has to manage, the more server resources it will require from a web hosting account.
    Thank you,
    Lynne Hanson
    RL Hanson-Online

  5. #15
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    cron jobs are very straight forward and can be setup in cPanel. They will give you a command to copy and past in the box in cPanel and that's about it. All it does is execute a script at a certain time of day. Good for generating invoices, getting new results from a data feed, etc.
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  6. #16
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    I love this...

    users who are very comfortable with installing and modifying PHP applications on a website.
    ... It gives me the image of being in a tropical paradise on the beach with a laptop, feet kicked up and wearing "I ate the worm" t-shirt, installing the php app. Not just "comfortable", but "very comfortable". Gotta love lexicon.

    Lynne, I agree with Matt, it really doesn't seem that hard. Since they have created everything for you, you simply install their app, give it your db parameters in a config file (i'm assuming) and away you go. Who knows about the timeout thing - I bet the stock Apache timeout setting would work - I would try it first to see.

    We'll back you up.

  7. #17
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    How much time do you think something like this would take to implement?

    I know our shared hosting is very reliable so that doesn't even concern me - just worried about having issues and not having a clue! lol

    If they didn't charge $300 for the license I'd probably offer to do it for her for free just to learn it - I guess I could ask them if they have a refund policy for developers who may not be successful. lol!

    Charles - eating the worm is exactly what I'm worried about! lmao!

    Okay - I'll hit her with the license fee tomorrow and see what I can get figured out.

    Thanks so mch for all the input and support!
    Last edited by rlhanson; 09-22-2008 at 10:53 PM.
    Thank you,
    Lynne Hanson
    RL Hanson-Online

  8. #18
    charlesh's Avatar
    charlesh is offline Master Glow Jedi
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    Lynne,

    I actually think you're onto something here. Thanks for the info - I read up on this solution and I think that this may be your big ticket into dedicated serverdom. Basically, there were more requirements on their site for IDX. Depending upon how many listings your client will do on a daily basis will determine how much horsepower you'll need.

    The only requirement I see in here that you'll need Glowhost to help with is the editing of the php.ini.
    The IDXManager™ add-on requires the following:

    • Unix/Apache (POSIX, LAMP) based web hosting platform. (MS Windows Hosts are not supported)
    • Clean install of Open-Realty v2.1.4 or greater.*
    • PHP5 v5.0 - v5.2.0
    • PHP CURL support enabled
    • PHP OpenSSL support enabled
    • PHP FTP and FOPEN/FREAD functions enabled.
    • PHP PEAR libraries
    • PHP ZEND Optimizer 3.x
    • mySQL 4.0.2 or higher. Your Open-Realty® database must also have mySQL FILE permissions.
    • Your Open-Realty® database user must also be able to execute the MySQL "LOAD DATA INFILE" command.
    • Ability to edit php.ini and APACHE httpd.conf.**
    • Ability to create CRON jobs that can use CURL (optional, for automating all processes)
    • Ability to make outbound connections from your server to FTP, HTTP, and HTTPS servers.

    *You may use an already existing Open-Realty® installation, but for best results you should first remove any existing property classes (and all listings) so that you can start with a clean slate. You can then add additional property classes after the IDXManager™ is up and running.
    ** Depends on the size and amount of data and images provided in your IDX, for sites with less than 2000 listings total this may not be necessary.

  9. #19
    charlesh's Avatar
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    That's what I'm talking about - Lynne, you need to charge more! Don't ever do anything for free!

    Savvy web site developers can leverage this powerful combination to create informative and lucrative customer-oriented Real Estate web sites that rival completely custom solutions costing $20,000.00 or more.

  10. #20
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    I try not to market what I am unfamiliar with and use clients to learn-as-I-go but I don't want to give away my time either...

    They are charging $40 a month and I believe $299 for set-up and I think the license is $399 ... I'll have to take a look at the ded prices again - didn't you have anxiety about transferring everything?!
    Thank you,
    Lynne Hanson
    RL Hanson-Online

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