Here comes October report.

This is the first post that I migrated myself to mainly write first on WeChat platform, then automated cross-post to my own website. You can follow to receive future posts 👍

Summary


Finally micro-payment license was granted. More development for HeaTap progresses, several release versions were sent out to some people to test, feedback came in and evaluated, now reached the point that the app needs more features to help retained users to keep using the app, with willing to contribute puting data (mainly markers) via the app. Roadmap is laid out for development.

wikipull is another automated tool I\'ve done to automated post on abzi.co 's wiki site after done posting on WeChat platform.

As well, I report back on cost result of using my digitalocean.com 's backing-up solution for a full month. In short, it's cheap and you have daily backup up to N snapshots. All automated.

Micro-payment License


The major thing you need to prove to Tencent as part of application is what you're selling? The first product for us wasn't launched yet, and that's the problem. You need to launch it, make it live out there so the audit can check. That's the case of us.

What we did is also having the following as a supplementary document submitted.


Supplementary Document for micro-payment application

The whole process could be finished in a week. 1-5 days for auditor to review the application, then the less is in full-flow and smooth i.e. confirming amount of money transfered from Tencent, signing contract.

The thing that confirms my understanding is that when you acquired such license for your WeChat Official Account. Then your future mini-program(s) will be able to have payment ability by linking to it. Such ability passed through from Official Account to mini-program binded with the former. No need to apply again.

The payment platform to manage is at pay.weixin.qq.com . The recommended browsers to access is either IE9+ or Safari. I have problem accessing it with Chrome. Whenever you log in, the session expires. So if you have a problem, try to use IE9+ or Safari instead.

Notice for browser compatiility (translated to English) to access pay.weixin.qq.com

All in all, it's all done for us.

Complete Status for micro-payment application

HeaTap



I wrote a progress report specifically for HeaTap at our company's WeChat Official Account 气包子. You can read more on it there.

As said in summary section above, at this point we feel that it lacks of crucial features to keep users using the app, and are willing to contribute to add more data on the map.

So 3 road maps are added going forward. Read more here.

    Customer Service

Aside, customer service on WeChat platform is so well though-out. Multiple persons can take role to help answering questions from user(s) who sent message through customer service channel from within mini-program app.

Access customer service feature from within HeaTap.

Answering questions from user via separate customer service dashboard. Multiple users can take role to answer for a single user.

In terms of API, the same as Official Account, we can configure push message event in case there's any message sent from users, so make it relay to our server. This way we could alert our potential staffs to react to such event in time.

The message user will get will stay at the front page of WeChat's message and contacts. Easier to see and better for high interaction.

Staff sent message to user asing question via separate customer service dashboard.

What shown to user: Messaging with mini-program's customer service channel right inside WeChat.

What shown to user: Message will stay in Service Messages at front page of WeChat's message & contacts.

    Reviewing Time

During the latter-mid month towards the end of the month, I released quite often either due to bug fix, or quickly add small feature. Reviewing time is short enough that allows me to do just that.

It can take 3 hours, half a day, a day, or two days for what I've experienced. Most of the time, just several hours. Once submitted at afternoon, it's approved at evening. I observed. Reviewing is carried out automatically via bot (testing users from Tencent).

Bot tests our mini-program during reviewing process for new release version. Each new version logged with a new bot user.

HeaTap also logs user information when the app grants access-token to use the app's API, thus during reviewing session we could see a testing user like in image above. Safe to say that reviewing process is automatic.

    Cloud Testing from IDE

As a plus, below is result from cloud testing feature.

Cloud testing from within IDE

The result is as follows.

Result from cloud testing

WikiPull


WikiPull is automated pulling, and generating Jekyll-friendly post project to create equal in content for our WeChat Official Account, and wiki site. 3 days spent to have this project done.

The objective is to not being locked-in in content to only on WeChat platform. We want users outside WeChat ecosystem to be able to digest our information as well.

This project gives me a chance to realize how powerful of regular expression that could be done in Javascript alone (project is based on NodeJS & Bash script). The process starts and periodically pulls in latest post information from WeChat platform to see if it needs to update the local cache of latest post. If so, then it will pull down content, parse it to be Jekyll-friendly format then commit & push to local & remote repository, then deploy to target public directory. All automatically.

Regular expression to extract all image and save into a list of image objects.

Also as there can be two possible ways to invalidate the state of wiki site

  1. New post created and posted from WeChat platform

  2. Manually edit directly to Wiki site's repository

So webhook comes to play. As wiki site is based on Github, this can be easily achieved by having a script (in this case PHP script) to listen to such push event then automated perform an update server.

Webhook report for one of push packet event. PHP scripts did its work automatically to update wik repo and deploy.

Automated commit & push from NodeJS script

There's room for improvement for this project as I could refactor out Jekyll's post generation module so users can customize and write their own. Currently, I didn't open source this project yet.

As well the debate whether we should use NodeJS or PHP can be put aside, just use whatever suitable for the job. For webhook integration, it's much better to use PHP as it's trivia operation, we could quickly and test thing out with PHP without a need to start/stop process. Yes, most importantly we don't need to start the life long process of NodeJS to react to event that is not frequent enough to justify server resource in used. PHP wins in this case.

Updated: Anyway during the time of publishing this post, I came across unpleasant workflow and restriction introduced by using PHP. Even better option would be having a single NodeJS process that listen to all push event from all (all several) projects. I will write about this in separate article.

DigitalOceanBackup


Project URL on Githubgithub.com/haxpor/digitaloceanbackup

I report back result of cost running this backing up solution for a full month, keeping only latest 3 daily snapshots, server size at 12.85GB.

At $2/month on top of basic cost ($10/month) you can have 3 latest daily snapshots back up plan for your DigitalOcean server (server size at 12.85GB).

Automation comes to play on its own.

Compare this to weekly-basis backing up plan that DigitalOcean provided which costs $2/month. We could have multiple daily snapshots (backup) instead of weekly. Think about it.

Recently I discover a way to send message to notify result of such operation via Official Account to my WeChat account via template message. Normally I would do it with Slack, easy integration. But now for Chinese-centric, and WeChat ecosystem, it's much better to let you still stay inside WeChat. I will add this feature as well. As tested, you could see something like this.

Alert messages for result of backing up operation right inside WeChat.

To make template message work, you need to select which template you want to use. Then add that into your library. These are done on mp.weixin.qq.com platform. Then supply POST data via API programmatically for data to be shown for each section. The result is like in image above.

Fuckup Night Vol.2 Shenzhen


The last for this monthly report.

I will be sharing one of my past business endeavors at Fuckup Night Vol.2 right at SimplyWork co-working space right here in Shenzhen. If you're interested, please sign up below!

Fuckup Night Vol.2 right here in Shenzhen at SimplyWork co-working space

So see you next Thursday 9th.


That's it for this month. I hope you enjoy my sharing.

This report is quite a big step as I focus to push content first on WeChat platform so my Chinese friends, or networks connected with me via WeChat has easier time to digest information. But rest asure that other ways around to access such information are still there and not in less priority.

Tell me what you think, as always.

Happy building!