What is MGI?
Some TACWeb servers are equipped with MGI (Modular Gateway Interface) which arms developers with powerful website capabilities including shopping cart systems from hard-coded or database-driven websites, forms processing, guestbook, authentication, banner ad, database, other E-commerce functionality and many other goodies. See the MGI Features List below.
MGI is Fast!
Websites using MGI are fast because MGI is written in compiled code rather than a scripted language (not CGI scripts). This means that MGI processes requests quickly and efficiently. In addition, the built-in MGI database engine is compiled directly into the code, so there is no processing delay that occurs when the database is a separate application. The MGI built-in database engine is fully multithreaded to speed search times even further.
MGI is Easy to Use!
MGI makes it easy for even an intermediate level developer to add many dynamic features to their website including shopping carts and many others, see the MGI Features below.
What is a Hard-Coded Shopping Cart System?
Another reason TACWeb utilizes MGI is because it is one of the only systems available that can enable a normal html page website to have shopping cart features.
MGI can be used to for database or "hard-coded" shopping cart systems. The "hard-coded" system uses tags that are embedded in regular html pages, which interacts with our MGI server. Many websites with shopping carts are designed with database-driven systems. Database systems are more easily manageable for websites with thousands of products. But for sites with one to hundreds of products, a "hard-coded" shopping basket system offers several advantages.
||Add shopping cart to your existing web pages without having to convert the site to a database driven system.
||Make only specified items available for sale on your website, while still having product information on products that are not available for online purchase. (i.e.: if some items are too expensive for online sales but, still want to list info and instruct to call or visit for purchase, while product accessories or lesser priced items can be purchased online.)
||Search Engines Friendly
One problem with database driven websites is that search engines can have difficulty when trying to "spider" the website for content. A "hard-coded" website is easy to "spider" and download all your content, which could improve your listing ranking with search engines.
MGI Features Include:
Server Side Includes
- Server side includes are functions like displaying the current date and time or displaying file information such as the last modified date. Display the current date and time in your city for the benefit of those in other time zones.
- Display incrementing text or graphic counters on any page. You can even use custom graphics to match your web site or the graphics built into MGI. If you don't want everyone else to see your count, use hidden counters!
- Collect comments from your web site visitors. Guestbook functions are great for contest registrations too.
Forms to Email Processing
- Translate a form submission into a nicely formatted email message. This function is ideal for online information request forms, contact forms, purchase forms, etc.
- Display banner ads at any location on your web site with automatic impression and click-through tracking. Set up banner ads easily and create client reports with full web-based administration. The banner ad function can be used to sell banner ad impressions or as a free link exchange.
- MGI credit bank provides all of the functions for a pay-per-view image site or software download site. Charge custom fees for each file or download. Use in conjunction with gift certificates!
- MGI offers simple password protection with one username and password or database-driven password protection with multiple usernames and passwords - one for each person. Designate access to specific pages of a site by assigning users to a "group". Use the start date and end date features to create a subscription service and control everything from a web-based administration screen.
Polls and Surveys
- Get your visitors' opinions by placing a poll or survey on your site. Show them real-time compiled results in a graph or keep that information to yourself.
- Many universities and primary schools use MGI to administer online quizzes to students. Teachers love the automatic grading and easy quiz construction.
Built-In and ODBC Databases
- MGI contains a built-in, multi-threaded database for creating custom searchable databases. Easily integrate search results with e-commerce functions. If you prefer, run all database functions with a compatible ODBC database. Ideal for quick conversion of legacy systems.
E-Commerce with Credit Card Processing
- The MGI e-commerce system is just 5 easy steps for your customers - 1) add items to a shopping basket, 2) enter payment, billing, and shipping information, 3) confirm the order, 4) process credit card information (if you prefer) and 5) send the order email. All aspects of the system are customizable for your business including payment, shipping rates, and taxes.
- If you are requesting sensitive financial, medical or personal information, take advantage of MGI's email encryption to protect the information while it is in-transit. E-commerce orders can also be encrypted.
- Search engine placement can make all of the difference for your web site. Use MGI's cloaking functions to present different text to search engine "spiders" and your customers. Hidden text and META tags don't work, but there is no way for the search engine to bypass an MGI cloak function.
- Use the MGI token system to promote your web site with affiliates. Affiliates promote your services and send customers to your web site. You translate the affiliate's number to your order email and give the affiliate credit.
And Much, Much More
- Those low-level programming functions such as conditionals, variables, and tokens allow you to create awesome custom functions for your web site - E-Card systems, chat, calendars, discussion boards and anything else you can imagine.
For more MGI information and technical guides, click here to go to Page Planet Software.