Sunday, June 24, 2007

MMS: Multi-Currency & Google Checkout

Version 4-007 of the OpenSkills membership management system (MMS) has just been released.

OpenSkills is moving from operating as a public company in Australia to operating as a private company in the UK. OpenSkills will be the same in almost every respect from the point of view of guests, subscribers and members except for two things: There should be more time spent on improving the OpenSkills systems, and the subscription payments will be in British pounds (£, GBP) instead of Australian dollars (AUD). This new version of the MMS addresses the change of currency.

People who already subscribe to OpenSkills will have a payment history in AUD and we don't want to lose that history. All new payments will be in GBP. So, the MMS needs to be able to support both currencies at the same time. Version 4-007 shows amounts postfixing the currency code, for example the current subscription fee is "10.00 GBP" and the previous one was "20.00 AUD". Account balances show the total in each currency - no attempt is made to add sums of one currency to those of another. The implementaion of this in the MMS uses a few modelling tricks I came up with while working with investment banks, so the model is fairly robust.

The second significant change in v4-007 is the ability to pay using Google Checkout. This facility is disabled for now and will be switched on as soon as we get the Australian company finally closed down. When it is switched on uses of the MMS will see a Google Checkout button on their "My Account" page. Clicking that will send them off to Google Checkout where they can make a payment. This mechanism is better than the old ones because the account number is included in the information sent off to Google via the payment button, so no more anonymous payments to try and resolve!

There you go. If you see any problems when using this new version of the MMS please let us know at Thanks.

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