MaxaNet Reference Guide


Topics covered in this document:

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Configuring your MaxaNet workspace(s)


You'll need a MaxaNet workspace and your administration password to proceed. Contact JBS Software if you have any questions or would like a workspace setup.

With your workspace you will be provided an administration link. At the bottom of the administration screen there will be 2 input boxes for your administration password. Until you start working with bidder data, credit cards, and bids you can use the Standard sign-on.

From the MaxaNet administration screen select Contact Information and fill out the form. The email that you enter will be the 'Return address' on all emails sent by MaxaNet on your behalf.

From the MaxaNet administration screen select Page Settings. This section will allow you to enter a header and footer and determine which colors you would like to use for your MaxaNet workspace(s). If you have multiple workspaces the page settings will apply to all of them. You can use html tags in the header and footer areas to add logos and different fonts and links to your pages. There are preview links available so you can easily review your changes.

Important: If you do not plan on adding inventory to your MaxaNet workspace skip down to the Adding auction details section.

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Create a local folder to store all photo and inventory information


A key strength on MaxaNet is its ability to handle large volumes of inventory and photos. Prior to uploading the inventory and photo data it must first be organized on your local computer. To begin you will need to create several folders to store the data. This can be accomplished with the MaxaNet Utilities program (download) or with Windows Explorer . Using Windows Explorer...

With the C:\ drive highlighted select the File, New, and Folder options to create new folder called maxanet.

Once the maxanet folder has been created, select the maxanet folder and then select the File and New and Folder options to create the example folder within the maxanet folder. Once created, the folders will appear in Windows Explorer as...


This folder (C:\maxanet\example) is where all inventory and photo information needs to be stored. This folder does not need to limited to just photo and inventory information. It can be used to store all types of documents related to the event. In addition, it does not need to be on the C: drive. The maxanet folder can be located anywhere on your local-area network. If the maxanet folder is located on a network drive, several users will be able to access the information simultaneously.

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Create an Excel spreadsheet to record all item information


If you do not have Excel, you can use just about any speadsheet or database program to create the layout below. Place the inventory information into the following columns. Do not use column headings...

Excel is a very powerful tool that can be used to manipulate data that is stored in columns. Depending on the format of the data that your inventory files are available in you may need to copy and/or concatenate columns in Excel to make your data fit the above format. Please refer to your Excel help files for more information on how to manipulate the column information. JBS will be making Excel tips available through the JBS Software web-site in the future. Check back regularly for updates. Help is now available on concatenating. Concatenating is a function that combines multiple columns of information into a single column.

Save the speadsheet to the C:\maxanet\example folder. When you are ready to upload the inventory to your MaxaNet workspace you will need to save the file in a tab-delimited text format and give it a filename of data.txt. To save the spreadsheet in a tab-delimited text format, select the File and Save As... options. Set the Save as Type option to 'Text (tab-delimited)'.

When saving Excel files as text files, Excel (97) will display a message. See below. Select 'OK'.

When working with text files in Excel, a message may appear when exiting. See below. Select 'No'.

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Format and copy all images


Every camera manufacturer provides a way to move your digital photos from your camera to your computer. Regardless of how you accomplish this we want the photos to end up in the C:\maxanet\example folder and each photo must have the following features... We really like the image editing software Irfanview. It is free, easy-to-use, and full of great image editing and renaming features. One feature in particular is a huge time-saver. Irfanview can take an entire folder of images (or even from the camera directly) and copy them to another folder (C:\maxanet\example for this example), resizing the files in the process.

Here is a quick overview of using Irfanview to convert your images...
Once Irfanview is open, select File and Open and browse to find an image file for the event. Once selected it will be displayed in the viewer. To batch resize all of the files in selected folder select File and Batch conversion/rename. The Batch conversion screen will appear. Select one of the files to convert and then the Add all option on the left side of the screen. The filenames will all appear in the Input files box. On the right side of the screen select Browse to find and define the output folder (C:\maxanet\example in this example). In the lower right corner of the conversion screen select Advanced options to define the conversion details.

Irfanview - Batch conversion screen

The Advanced options screen will appear. Make sure that all of the settings are set as below. When finished, select OK and then the Start option in the upper left corner of the previous Batch conversion screen. The files will be resized and copied to the C:\maxanet\example folder. The whole process will take less than a few minutes.... an HUGE time saver over manipulating the files individually.

Irfanview - Advanced batch conversion details screen

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Sharing the data with MaxaView, Maxa, and other programs


Now the data has been stored, it can be used in a variety of ways. For example, to create a digital presentation of the inventory, you can run a program called MaxaView. MaxaView creates a PowerPoint type presentation for the event. A slide will be created for each item in the inventory and each slide will include an item number, description, and digital image. Contact JBS if you are interested in MaxaView.

In addition to MaxaView, the inventory can be imported directly into Maxa for the accounting portion of the auction. The MaxaNet Utilities program (download) makes the process easy! Contact JBS for details on Maxa.

Regardless of how you want to use your inventory and image data keep this in mind... If you ever enter inventory or image data more than once you are working harder that you have to. Touch it once!!!

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Copy the image files to a folder on your server


Here we are going to use an FTP program to take the image files from the C:\maxanet\example folder and copy them to a folder on your server. To proceed you will need some information about your FTP account. This information will be available from your web-host. You'll need... There are many FTP programs available and many of them are inexpensive or free. We use CuteFTP. It has a very easy-to-use interface and has a free-trial period. Here is a sample sign-on screen for CuteFTP...

CuteFTP - sample login

Once connected to your server, your local computer will be displayed on the left and the server on the right. Use the navigation folders found at the top of each side to navigate to the desired directory.

On the left we want to display the C:\maxanet\example folder. If the desired folder is not available on the right side (server) of the screen, CuteFTP has tools that will let you create a folder on your server. At the top of the CuteFTP screen there is an option called Commands. The following will appear...

CuteFTP - create a new directory (folder)

Make sure you place the folder in the proper area. Your web-host will be able to provide this information if you have any questions. Once the folder has been created and/or accessed, the right side of the CuteFTP screen will display the destination folder. To copy the files from the left side of the screen (local computer) to the right side of the screen (server), highlight the files and then select the large 'up' arrow at the top center of the screen. See below...

CuteFTP - local and server views

Once copied, the image files will be displayed on the right side of the screen and the photos will be available for Internet viewing.

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Loading the inventory to your MaxaNet workspace


You'll need a MaxaNet workspace and your administration password to proceed. Contact JBS Software if you have any questions or would like a workspace setup.

With your workspace you will be provided an administration link. At the bottom of the administration screen there will be 2 input boxes for your administration password. Until you start working with bidder data, credit cards, and bids you can use the Standard sign-on.

The main administration screen will appear. Select Inventory and Photos to continue. In the Upload Auction Inventory area, browse to find the data file and set the delimiter to Tab. For this example the following will appear...

Once you click on the Upload Inventory button the data will be copied from your computer to the MaxaNet server and into your workspace. There is no limit to the number of items that can be uploaded or how many times the inventory can be uploaded. During the upload process MaxaNet will create a link for each of the categories listing in the inventory file. These links will be used on the Auction Details page.

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Defining the Internet location of the photos


From the main administration menu select Auction Details. The Base URL address of photos setting defines the web location of the photos. For example...

Once the Base URL is saved, the inventory with the attached photos can be viewed on the Internet.

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Adding auction details


There are a number of options that need to be set before the workspace will be ready for viewing. For example... These and other options are available in the Auction Details and the Auction Messages sections. Each option is documented.

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Linking to your MaxaNet workspace(s) from your web-page


There are several options available to link to your MaxaNet workspaces. Each option provides a slightly different output. First, some definitions...

Option #1. Link from a non-framed page on a web-site that is not hosted by JBS.

Option #2. Link from a framed page on a web-site that is not hosted by JBS Option #3. Link from any page on a web-site that IS hosted by JBS Additional MaxaNet link information can be found in the Auction Details and Auction Calendar sections of the Administration pages.

Each MaxaNet workspace has a customized footer. That is, the text at the bottom of each page can be modified so that the copyright information can read... Copyright ©2002, Your Company Name and so on. We want your visitors to feel that the technology that is making your web-page so exciting is YOUR technology.

Important: If you are accepting online bids in your MaxaNet workspace skip down to the Creating a photo gallery section.

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Collecting bids


Now that the inventory has been loaded to your MaxaNet workspace and has been linked into your web-site, you are ready to start accepting bids on your inventory. With your MaxaNet workspace you can accept bids up until the start of the auction, right on through the auction, or as an online-only auction. From the Auction Details section of the MaxaNet administration page set the following options... Additional registration terms can be defined in the Auction messages section of the MaxaNet administration screen.

With the bidding parameters set, registered bidders can bid for items online. With each bid that is received the system automatically updates the web-site and sends an email to the auction administrator. In addition, the system will immediately and automatically send an email to any bidder that has been out-bid. Taking bids online prior to an auction adds an element of competition to the pre-bidding process that was never there with conventional absentee bids.

MaxaNet can also be used to manage absentee bids for participants who are not online. Using the Super password feature, (See the Change your Password section of the MaxaNet administration screen) administrators can add absentee bids for any bidder, whether or not they are registered as online bidders.

For both online and onsite absentee bidders you want to encourage the use of the max-bid feature. If you are recording absentee bids using the super password you may want to apply a minimum bid (ex. $20) for the opening bid on all items where the opening bid is not specified.

There is a whole suite of online bidding tools and reports available in the Online Bidding Tools section. Each option is fully documented.

When the server time matches the end-time the bidding will be over (with the exception of the auto-extend items, if applicable).

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Sending a bulk e-mail to all winning and/or active bidders.


When your online bidders registered they provided you with their email address. Communication with these bidders is key! At the close of the online portion of the auction it is important that you; thank the bidders for their participation, explain that you will execute their bids at the live auction on their behalf, and that you will send them an email if they were the winning bidder at the close of the auction.

From the MaxaNet administration screen select Online Bidding Tools, Bidder Reports, and then View for either the active bidders or the winning bidders. Select Empty Cart and Add Emails to Cart.

The Bulk Emailing Utility screen will appear. Select Send Emails. Enter a subject and a message and then select Send Sample. You (the auction administrator) will receive a copy of the email. If the message is acceptable then press the Back button on your browser and then select Send to All. An email will be sent to each entry in the cart.

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Downloading the online bids for use with Maxa


Bids...
From the MaxaNet administration screen select Online Bidding Tools, All Winning Bids, and Download. Highlight the entire screen (Cntrl-A) and press Cntrl-C to copy it to the clipboard.

From the Windows desktop select Start and Run. Type Notepad and Enter. Press Cntrl-V to paste the test results to the blank notepad. Save the file in the C:\maxanet\example folder and call the file absentee.txt.

Bidders...
From the MaxaNet administration screen select Online Bidding Tools, Bidder Reports, and Download. Highlight the entire screen (Cntrl-A) and press Cntrl-C to copy it to the clipboard.

From the Windows desktop select Start and Run. Type Notepad and Enter. Press Cntrl-V to paste the test results to the blank notepad. Save the file in the C:\maxanet\example folder and call the file bidders.txt.

JBS provides a MaxaNet Utilities program (download) that converts MaxaNet bids and bidder data into the Maxa program. The bids can be imported to Maxa as either absentee bids or as auction results. This feature requires Maxa, Version 4.62 or higher.

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Uploading auction results from Maxa to MaxaNet


The live auction results are always going to take priority over the online absentee bids. At the close of the live auction, the live auction results can be uploaded to MaxaNet and the live results can then be displayed and also used to email invoices to winning online bidders.

From Maxa (version 4.62 or higher)...

From your MaxaNet administration page select Online Bidding Tools and Auction Results. Browse to find the auction results file (C:\maxa\export\maxanet.txt in this example) and select Upload Auction Results.

From your MaxaNet administration page select Auction Details and change the Display Format to Realized Prices.

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Sending invoices via email to online winners


Assuming that you have uploaded the auction results.... from your MaxaNet administration page select Online Bidding Tools, Auction Results, and Preview Online Bidder Invoices.

The Bidder Invoice screen will appear. Enter a bidder number from the list at the top of the page and enter the appropriate rates and messages. When finished, select View invoice for this bidder.

An invoice will be displayed. You can email the invoice, adjust the invoice, invoice another bidder, or view a summary of all the invoices. Each invoice that is sent will also be sent to you in the form of a BCC (blind carbon copy). If you elect to view a summary of all the invoices you will have the option of sending all of the invoices with a single selection.

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Creating a photo gallery


MaxaNet supports thumbnail galleries. With a thumbnail gallery the viewer can select any of the smaller images to view the larger image. To upload photos see Inventory and Photos, Add or Edit Thumbnails, and Add Thumbnails. The following will be displayed...

Each photo must have a thumbnail or image photo number. You can use whatever number you like. The photo number is independent of any inventory number that the item may have. Each photo can optionally list a description. If the Add to photo gallery option is selected the image will be included in the photo gallery. If the Add to highlights area option is selected, the thumbnail will be displayed on the auction details and calendar pages.

When photos are uploaded, MaxaNet automatically creates a thumbnail sized image eliminating the need to resize the photos on your local computer. Make sure that the photos to be uploaded are no larger than 640 x 480 pixels.

To edit the thumbnail gallery see Inventory and Photos and Add or Edit Thumbnails. To edit the thumbnail images that have been the added to the highlights area see Auction Details and Highlight Photos.

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Combining workspaces to create a calendar


This section applies to MaxaNet customers who have 2 or more workspaces. Each MaxaNet workspace can be used to promote 1 event at a time and each workspace may contain any or all of the following elements... The different workspaces can be collected to create an online calendar. The calendar will have a keyword search that will span all of the workspaces for matches. The search reviews both the auction details area and all inventory files. To establish your MaxaNet calendar see Auction Calendar and Archives. All of the active workspaces will be listed along with their respective auction title and date and time. In the calendar box the order in which the workspaces will be displayed can be defined. See below...

There are several calendar formats currently available. More will be added as format requests are received. Here are a few examples... 0 - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13

See Page Settings to record your desired calendar format.

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Archiving auction results


Without a doubt, your auction success stories are your best form of advertising. MaxaNet gives you the opportunity to archive each auction. Each archive will contain the auction details, inventory, thumbnail gallery, and optionally, the realized prices. In addition, you'll be able to provide a narrative of the auction. This narrative will give you the opportunity to highlight your successes and preserve them for future prospective sellers to see. Your MaxaNet archives will support keyword searches and password protection for all price information. See Auction Calendar and Archives to archive the current event and to establish the passwords that can view archived prices. The Auction Calendar and Archives section will also have a report that details which passwords have been used to access price information.

A sample archive is available for your review. If you you would like to search for price information use a password of 'p1'. Use a keyword of 'pottery'.

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Suggestions?


Please let us know how we can make MaxaNet a better service for you! We welcome any comments or suggestions and of course we'd be glad to answer any questions via email.

Last updated December 8, 2002

Copyright © 2002, JBS Software, Inc. All rights reserved.