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Subscriptions the first and the rest

I have trolled through almost every post on the internet concerning the ARB and how it works.  I then when through AIM not quite as extensively, downloaded the Helpers dll and am still a little lost in the woods.  I think there are too many ways to do the same thing but I am unclear which direction to take.  I have the ARB web service, AIM, and the AuthorizeNet.Helpers dll.


What I understand is that ARB will clear at 2AM the morning after the subscription has been posted so if I want to know that payment has gone through I should use AIM for immediate gratification.  So I programmed the following:

Make the initial payment with AIM for the first 3 months.  Then set up ARB to take over after the inital 3 months to do reoccuring payment.  Is this a good way of doing things?  Also I am not sure I set up the system to do 3 month reoccurring billing correctly but that is another topic.


Now in comes AuthorizeNet.Helpers dll  this has a SubscriptionGateway class.  Can anyone tell me if this is opperating on the ARB or is this an instant clearance process?   It appears the helpers can do both the initail payment and the subscription and I could remove the hords of code that I did for AIM and ARB and use a compact code segment. 


Thanks for any feedback on this matter.




Lots of people use AIM / ARB for subscriptions, so it's certainly a valid option. As someone who's implemented them, however, I would much more highly recommend using CIM (Customer Informaton Manager). With CIM you create a customer profile and a payment profile (both of which return an ID), then you can immediately bill the first payment and just have an automated process run on your server every morning to generate successive charges as they come due. Makes things simpler to deal with since you only have one API and not two, and since you don't have to bother implementing a callback page like you do with ARB.


The SubscriptionGateway class is only for managing ARB subscriptions and does not contain any functionality for running individual payments.  The SDK does support both ARB and AIM, but individual transactions processed through AIM would need to be run using the regular Gateway helper class.

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