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Weekly update – 3 March 2023

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It's crazy sometimes how quickly the work week goes by. On Monday I started working on a Stripe Checkout integration for a client (using the FormBuilderProcessorStripe module), and somehow today I'm still working on it, and it feels like only a day has passed.

This particular integration is a little more complicated than others I've worked on. The user makes a few selections that determine the final price, and when they submit the form, it has to authorize (but not yet capture) the amount due, so that the money is basically in a holding state. Then it has to send a notification to another company asking them to approve or deny the request. If they approve it, then it captures those funds through Stripe. Or if they deny it, then it releases the hold on those funds. It's also connected to multiple Stripe accounts in different currencies, and it has to use whichever one corresponds with the transaction details.

In this particular form, some of the purchases also involve a 3rd party web service to confirm availability. And there's more to it as well, but I'll leave it at that... it's just a lot of moving parts, so I guess that's why I haven't done anything this week other than work on that. But the good news is that much of it has been added to the FormBuilderProcessorStripe module, so that the next this time need comes up for you or me, hopefully it won't take so much time. Here's a few of the things that have been added to FormBuilderProcessorStripe:

Previously you could just accept a payment. Now you also have the option to setup a separate authorization and capture. And you can capture from a newly added API method, from the FormBuilder entries screen, or from our Stripe dashboard. On the API side, all you need to complete the capture is the ID of the payment (called the payment intent ID), which is saved with the form entry. The capture typically must be done within 7 days of the authorization. Doing an authorization (and later capture) is preferable to a charge when you think there's a reasonable chance the it'll need to be un-done. One reason is because an authorization costs nothing, whereas a charge (or capture) does, regardless of whether it is refunded. 

The module also has a new option to create a Customer in Stripe that you can charge later. This is different from authorization/capture in that creating a customer doesn't authorize any particular transaction or funds, but rather saves their payment info in Stripe, enabling you to charge it anytime later. This is useful for many cases, but one would be where a customer wants to save their payment information with their account, so they don't have to re-enter it every time they make a purchase.

Several new configuration options were also added. New public API methods were added for capture, cancel and refund payments. You can now pass any data from the form into Stripe metadata. You can now specify the Stripe API version that you want to use with the module. And you can now send email receipts, even if not enabled in Stripe. More transaction information is now shown when using the "view entry" in the admin. Several new hooks were also added. 

Technically this update to FormBuilderProcessorStripe is ready to post now, but I'd like to do a little more testing first, so I'll be posting this module update in the FormBuilder board next week. I also have some updates to the InputfieldFormBuilderStripe module as well (which uses Stripe Elements rather than Stripe Checkout), and it may be updated at the same time, or shortly after.  No core updates this week, but hopefully I got enough client work done this week that I can really focus on the core next week. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

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This sounds like a lot of fun. It's amazing how complex logistics are now for web purchases, but also amazing that so much can be done with APIs and so much transparency can be provided to the customer (when needed). This reminds me that I need to rework a bunch of old FBA integration code... 

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