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The ae-ini.txt Configuration File

What is it?

You configure Associate Engine by setting configuration variables in a file called ae-ini.txt that comes with Associate Engine. The ae-ini.txt configuration file sets the global preferences of Associate Engine such as the default number of results to show per page.

Do I have to change anything? No

The configuration variables have default values so you don't need to change them unless you want Associate Engine to work differently from its default behaviour.

Note: You do not use the ae-ini.txt configuration file to specify what to search for (e.g.: Harry Potter books). To specify what to search for, you use Script Parameters instead of configuration variables.

What kind of settings can I change?

There are two types of settings that you can change:

Where is it and how do I edit it?

The ae-ini.txt file comes with Associate Engine and is stored in the same directory on your webserver where the Associate Engine script file is located.

The ae-ini.txt file is a text file that you can open and edit using a text editor such as Windows Notepad or Windows Wordpad. (Tip: To run Windows Notepad, select Start > Run... and type notepad then press Enter.) After you have edited the ae-ini.txt file, you will have to reupload it to your webserver for the changes to take effect.

Can I have more than one configuration file?

Yes, you can have sequentially numbered configuration files and each one will be loaded one after the other. This allows you to use the default ae-ini.txt file and put your custom settings in ae-1-ini.txt (that's a one after the dash). In the future, if an updated ae-ini.txt file is released, you can overwrite your old copy of ae-ini.txt and you would still have your custom settings in your ae-1-ini.txt file.

If any of the following configuration files exists, Associate Engine loads them in the following order:

Using filenames that end with .txt is useful because you can then double-click them in Windows and they will open in the Windows Notepad text editor for viewing/editing. Double-clicking a .ini or .key file in Windows will not open the file in Windows Notepad.

This feature is also useful if you have a dedicated webserver and want to share a common ae-ini.txt file among all your websites (e.g.: share the same file by using linux/unix symbolic links). If you want to custom the configuration for a particular website, you would create a ae-1-ini.txt file in that website.

Format of ae-ini.txt Configuration File

Click here for a sample ae-ini.txt configuration file.


Sample ae-ini.txt configuration file

The ae-ini.txt configuration file contains one or more lines with the following formats:

variableName = variableValue
variableName = variableValue #comment
variableName variableValue
variableName variableValue #comment

For example, the following line causes the cache stale time to be set to 1 hour:

cache.stale 1 # set cache stale time

Any spaces or tabs before the variableName are ignored. The variableName and variableValue must be separated by a space or a tab or an equal sign (=); extra spaces and tabs around the equal sign are ignored. Blank lines and comments (indicated by #) are ignored. Do not follow the value by any characters other than spaces or tabs or #.

Configuration Variables

See Configuration Variables for details on what each configuration variable does and what values you can assign to each.

Verify Loading of Configuration

You can verify that the ae-ini.txt configuration file is being loaded by Associate Engine. To do that, you use the cfg parameter.

Note: Substitute your domain name and adjust path "/cgi-bin/" and filename "" if different on your web server.

Note: Substitute CFGVALUE with your CFGVALUE value. See below.

Your CFGVALUE Value:

To prevent other people from viewing your configuration, the CFGVALUE value is based on your particular associate ID. To find out what your CFGVALUE is, look in your ae-key.txt key file. This file is a text file so you can open it with a text editor such as Windows Notepad.

Suppose you see the following text in your ae-key.txt file:

cfg 1234-5678

Thus your CFGVALUE value is 1234-5678 and you would use something like the following URL to view your configuration:

WARNING: Keep your CFGVALUE value confidential. Do not give it out to other people.

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