VP-ASP Shopping Cart 5.0 Install Document
  Table of Contents

VP-ASP Shopping cart is one of the most comprehensive e-commerce solutions available anywhere and for any price. It allows you to build an Internet shop that can sell 1 product or tens of thousands of products. VP-ASP is ready to use and comes with extensive customer facilities for browsing, searching and ordering products. The back end administration allows the merchant to alter and manipulate products, run reports, bulk mail, track and display orders.

Installation Summary

Installation should only take 5 minutes.

When you receive VP-ASP it will be in the form of a zip file. You will need a utility such as WinZip to uncompress the one file into 200+ files. All are files stored in a single folder. This document includes details for Windows both on your local PC and on Windows web hosting company.

VP-ASP for Windows databases are  Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL Server. If you are using MYSQL you will have purchased or installed the UNIX/MYSQL version of VP-ASP. Only the deluxe version of VP-ASP for Windows includes all three database support options.


The Detailed Design Guides are packed with information.  The design guides can be downloaded from the web.

Developer's guide http://www.vpasp.com/virtprog/vpasp500developer.zip
Merchant's Guide http://www.vpasp.com/virtprog.vpasp500merchant.zip
Option Package Guide http://www.vpasp.com/virtprog/vpasp500optiondesign.zip
Add-ons Guide http://www.vpasp.com/virtprog/vpasp500addonsdesign.zip
Technical specifications http://www.vpasp.com/virtprog/vpasptechnical.htm
Customer Sites http://www.vpasp.com/demos/vpaspsites
Forum http://www.vpasp.com/virtprog/vpaspforum
Additional Help http://www.vpasp.com/virtprog/helpdesk

Windows PC Install - Access Database

Running VP-ASP on your own local Personal Computer

First determine what Windows operating system you have.  Then determine if you have the appropriate Microsoft prerequisites.  

Windows 95/98 If you have Windows 95/98 VP-ASP requires that you have the free Microsoft product called Personal Web Server (PWS). 

If you do not have PWS installed, then you must install it. It comes either free on your Windows CDROM or it can be downloaded from the web. Please see http://www.vpasp.com/virtprog/info/faq_pws.htm
Windows NT/2K/XP Professional VP-ASP requires that you have  Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS).  This is available on the NT or XP CD-ROM. 
Windows ME/XP Home Unfortunately Microsoft has not made available any software  that can run ASP on these operating systems.  To evaluate VP-ASP you will need to use VP-ASP on your  web hosting company.

Steps to install VP-ASP on your local PC

  1. Unzip the files to a folder on your hard drive
  2. Tell IIS or PWS that this is a virtual directory. See Windows 95/98/NT PWS or Windows XP set-up for the proper way to do this if you have never done it before

VP-ASP is installed

The next step is to run VP-ASP

1. Start your browser
2. Type or http://localhost/shopping

The is Microsoft's magic number meaning my own personal PC. Shopping is the virtual directory that you created.  If you have installed VP-ASP on a web server that has an actual domain name the will be replaced by your normal domain name. If you are using Windows 95/98  and are unsure how to create a virtual directory go to www.vpasp.com/virtprog/info/faq_pws 
For Windows XP Profession go to  www.vpasp.com/virtprog/info/faq_xpsetup.htm
  1. You should now see the default VP-ASP home page 
  2. Click on the shop button and you should see the demo shop  categories.

What can go wrong?

The most common problems are these:

1. Instead of seeing the shop categories, a program tries to load.
This is caused by an incorrect setting of your virtual directory. Please see

2. On Windows NT/XP an error occurs trying to write to the supplied VP-ASP Access database. 

This is because the correct permissions have not been set that allow people from a browser to update the database. Use our diagnostic tool diag_dbtest.asp to test the database and then see our help file at  http://www.vpasp.com/virtprog/info/faq_databasesetup.htm

3. VP-ASP does not store any cookies on the customers PC but it does require the browser to have cookies enabled.  If cookies are not enabled in the browser no products are added to the shopping cart and the cart empty message appears.

4. The Database cannot be opened, You get errors such as
ADODB.Recordset error '800a0e7d' The application requested an operation on an object  with a reference to a closed or invalid Connection object. 

This means that VP-ASP cannot open the database.  First run the diagnostic tool diag_dbtest.asp  Then check our FAQ at http://www.vpasp.com/virtprog/info/faq_setup.htm

In 99% of cases this is caused by incorrect NT/2000 configuration

Web Host - Access database

If running on your web host, make sure they have the necessary pre-requisites. See www.vpasp.com/virtprog/info/faq_hosting.htm

  1. Create a  folder on your web host. Copy the files from your PC to your web hosting company using your normal FTP tools. such as CuteFTP or WSFTP. 
  2. Copy the supplied Access database, shopping500.mdb, to a special directory your web host supplies. It cannot be in the same folder as the rest of VP-ASP.  Most web hosting companies supply a special database directory since normal directories on a web host are read only.
  3. You must edit shop$config.asp to tell VP-ASP where the database is located. See www.vpasp.com/virtprog/info/faq_databasesetup.htm
  4. To use VP-ASP and see  demo shop, use your browser and type www.yoursite.com/shopping. The shopping is the folder you copied the VP-ASP files into on your web host.
  5. Now run our supplied diagnostic tool, diag_dbtest.asp. Make sure the database can be read and written.

SQL Server Set-up

SQL Server is a complex Microsoft software product.  From the VP-ASP point of view it is very simple to use.  The steps in using SQL Server are:

  1. Create the SQL Server database. This can be done using SQL Server's Query analyzer or it may have been created for you by your web hosting company

  2. Add the VP-ASP Tables

  3. Load the configuration table with default values

  4. Optionally add the demo shop values

Web Hosting company has created the database
If your web hosting company has already created the database and you DO NOT have the ability to use Query Analyzer, then VP-ASP supplies a tool called convertsql.asp. This tool can be used to build the VP-ASP tables but  cannot create the database.

It can build the tables and load the default configuration. It can also load the demo shop if required.

To use convertsql.asp, you must first tell VP-ASP where the empty SQL Server database is located by changing these lines in shop$config.asp

xSQLServer=”www.yoursite.com” or IP Address in form “111.22.333.90”

Use convertsql.asp from your browser


Building SQL Server Tables

Type in the filename

You will see messages being displayed telling you the tables that are being created. If you get an error that the database cannot be read or written, check the shop$config statements above. 

Loading the Configuration File
The next step is to load the default configuration options.  Now start convertsql.asp by typing the location where you installed VP-ASP  www.yoursite.com/shopping/convertsql.asp

Type in file name below. This loads the initial configuration and language file


Loading Demo Shop
This step is only necessary if you want to “play” with VP-ASP demo shop. Otherwise it is not necessary. Use convertsql.asp and type in the filename create500demo.txt. This loads the database with the demo shop.

The SQL Server database is loaded and ready. You should now be able to click shop on the home page and see the product categories.

Creating the SQL Server – Query Analyzer 

If you have expertise with SQL Server, you can use the SQL Server tool called Query Analyzer to create the database.  The database needs to be created using SQL Server Query Analyzer or your web hosting company sometimes creates the database for you. Query Analyzer comes as part of the Microsoft SQL Server Product and is not supplied by VP-ASP. 

1 Query Analyzer Creation
Simply start Query Analyzer. Open the file create500sqlserver.sql and run the script. It should take about ten seconds.  The database and the tables are now created. 

Updating Shop$config.asp
The shop$config.asp settings should be as follows: 

xSQLServer=”www.yoursite.com” or IP Address in form “”

Continue in the step to load default Configuration above.


Shop administration is for the merchant or web developer and not for the customer. The administration facilities include: Details of Administration are in the VP-ASP Merchant's Guide and VP-ASP Developers Guide.

· Add, delete and modify products
· Add, delete and modify any other VP-ASP table
· Define administrator userids
· Define menus and tasks for each administrator
· Restrict administrators to viewing or updating specific tables
· Display sales reports
· Perform searches of the database
· Export data from tables
· Mail to selected customers
· Configure most of VP-ASP options
· Send messages to customers via order tracking
and much more

Two userids are defined:
admin with password admin 
vpasp with password vpasp

The first step is to verify the shop works by clicking on the shop. This should bring up the demo categories if the demo store is installed.  If you simply want to play with the demo store, it will run immediately and no further configuration is required.

To log into VP-ASP Administration, click on the Merchant Administration hyperlink. After you login go to Shop Configuration. Administration is used to:

  • Change the store name and address, e-mail address and more
  • Configure options for taxes, shipping, discounts, product layout, and many other options
  • Which categories and products you have
  • To run sales reports
  • To update any table
  • Turn on or off the hundreds of VP-ASP features using the Shop Configuration

Customizing VP-ASP

VP-ASP "look and feel" are controlled by these files. The VP-ASP Developer's Guide goes into great detail on how to make VP-ASP look any way you want.

shoppage_header.htm will be displayed as your top and or top/left navigation bars and logo.
shoppage_trailer.htm will be displayed as your bottom navigation bars.
shop$colors.asp has much of the HTML generated by VP-ASP
shop.css is the style sheet used 

Diagnostic Tools

The diagnostic facility, diag_dbtest.asp, can be used to determine if your database and mailing system are working. The fields displayed come from the configuration file shop$config.asp. You can play with different values. If you move the database, we recommend you run this diagnostic tool to verify the database can be read and written to.

You can test various mail systems, ASPMAIL, CDONTS, ASPEMAIL and JMAIL or if you add your own mail support into shopmail.asp, it can be tested here. These are names of software packages that may or may not be installed on your web host.

If diag_dbtest works, you should receive a message such as:

VP-ASP Diagnostics 5.00

Database Read Database can be read
Database Write Database can be written
Database Permissions Database permissions tested OK
Summary No problems reading or writing database

Read Failures

The possible causes are:

  1. xdblocation="abc" is not correctly set and VP-ASP is looking in the wrong location.

  2. The directory where the database is located does not have read/write permission

  3. You are using ODBC connection and the name in the configuration file 
    xdatabase="odbcname" is spelled incorrectly.

Write Failures
Always occur with read failures. If the database can be read but not written then possible causes are:

  1. The directory where the database is located does not have write permission.

  2. See the reasons outlined in the section before this.
    Check the FAQ at www.vpasp.com/virtprog/info/faq_databasesetup.htm

Licensing and Order Number

VP-ASP is licensed to one shop in one domain. See license.txt for more details. This license supercedes any previous license arrangements. By installing VP-ASP, you agree to abide by these license terms.

A license key is required to use VP-ASP. This license key can be obtained by going to www.vpasp.com/license.asp . You will need your VP-ASP order number, domain name and the e-mail address on the original order. If you have obtained VP-ASP through a reseller ask them for your license key.

When you purchased VP-ASP you will have received an order number. This is required to be placed into the file shop$config.asp.  Edit shop$config.asp with a plain text editor such as notepad and change this line.

const xordernumber="0"  the zero will change to your order number.