Preparing for IOS

Applies to: IOS

This document contains information to help you help us setup your Internet Ordering System. It is intended for new and prospective users.

Software requirements

IOS can be used with most of the Timestone Software production applications such as NeoPackProfessional, NeoComposite and OutPost. It requires you to use SQL jobs. Integration between the production software and IOS is achieved through communication between your local MySQL database and your IOS server.

If you are not familiar with SQL jobs please consult the document Getting started with SQL jobs


Timestone Software uses a specialist third party hosting service to host all websites. Servers are located in Europe, USA and Australia. Your site will be hosted by the server most appropriate to your geographical location. All maintainence such as routine backups is performed by us.

What we need from you to get started

In order to prepare your site we require the following:

  1. A name for your site eg
  2. Information regarding your preferred payment gateway
  3. Graphics/logos to customise your site
  4. An email address from which order confirmation emails are sent

Site name

Each site can have their own domain name such as This is the URL your customers will enter into their web browsers to connect to your site and place orders. You will need to register your name with one of the many domain name registration services such as GoDaddy, VentraIP and more.

If you already have a company website you will already have a domain name registered. In these cases you need not register a brand new domain name (although you can if you want to). Instead you can simply add a name to the existing domain. For example in the same way that the domain has extra names such as and, a photographer with a domain of could add or or

Very importantly the name must directly resolve to the IP address we provide you so that it connects to your IOS server.

The primary A record of the name must point to the IP address of your web server. This IP address is provided to you by us.

Labs hosting IOS for photographers

A lab hosting IOS on behalf of photographers needs a name for each of the photographers along with a 'central' name that the lab will use to connect to the server to upload jobs and download orders

For example consider a lab, Imaging Services Pro, offering IOS to two photographers Acme Photography and Photographer Joe. The lab would need to provide a name pointed to the IP address provided by us. This could be for example. The two photographers would also need names pointed to the same IP address. These could be and respectively.

  • The lab connects to with the Timestone software production applications when uploading jobs and downloading orders
  • Acme Photography's customers connect to with their web browser to place orders
  • Photographer Joe's customers connect to with their web browser to place orders

Are SSL security certificates needed?

SSL certificates are usually used when web sites are collecting sensitive information such as credit card details. They give your site a https:// URL rather than a http:// address. They are a legal requirement for payment gateway providers such as PayPal.

As described below, credit card information is not entered directly into IOS. Instead the customer is redirected to your payment provider's site to complete the financial transaction. Therefore SSL certificates are not needed. However some payment gateway integrations work better when the host site is also a https site while some photographers prefer to simply give their customers the extra sense of security of using a secure site.

SSL certificates need to be purchased and renewed yearly. If your SSL certficate expires the site will no longer work.

Payment gateway information

IOS integrates with several payment gateways such as PayPal, Authorize.Net and many more. This means when your customers place orders, the money goes directly to you - it is not routed through us.

Please contact us to see if your preferred provider is supported and the information we need from your account

Graphics to brand your site

At a minimum your site can be customised with graphics or logos you provide us. We require two such graphics - one that appears in the top left corner of every page of your site and another that appears above the log-in box on the first page only.

Examples of such graphics can be seen on the Timestone Software demo site

The graphics should be approximately 250x130 and 430x100 pixels respectively and saved as transparent PNGs.

It is possible to customise your site to a far greater extent through the use of custom CSS. For this you will need the services of a web developer who should contact us for more information.

Default email address

Whenever a customer places an order in IOS they will receive a confirmation email. This email naturally needs a valid FROM email address. We ask that each photographer provide an email address for this purpose. Note the FROM email address can be set on a job by job basis when uploading or at an account level in tsAdministrator. In the absence of these the default address provided at setup is used.

Understanding IOS pricing and usage

IOS has two different charges - an initial setup fee to install the site and a yearly fee based on usage. An explanation of the fees is below. For actual figures please contact the Timestone representative in your area.

The setup fee

The setup fee is a once off fee to install the site on the server, integrate to the payment gateway and get your site up and running.

For labs, the initial setup fee includes setting up one photographer. Additional photographers' setup fees are discounted 50%.

Units are counted as follows

  • Where images are present, each image is counted as a unit.
  • If a subject has no images, the subject is counted as a single unit
  • In the absence of both images and subjects (Identify ordering) each order is counted as a unit

Plans are available for: 50,000, 100,000, 250,000 and 500,000 units. An unlimited usage plane is also available

It is important to understand plans are based on the total number of units allowed on the server at any one time. It is not an annual usage. As you approach your usage limit you can remove old jobs before uploading new ones to stay under the limit.

End of article