Remote Files Support

David Bullock — 

Memberium includes enhanced support for Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3).

Amazon S3 provides you with secure, durable, easy to use, highly-scalable object storage. With Amazon S3, you pay only for the storage you actually use. There is no minimum fee and no setup cost. This enables you to store large amounts of data at a very low cost. You pay for what you need, with no minimum commitments or up-front fees. With Amazon S3, you can store as much data as you want and access it when you need it. You can stop guessing your future storage needs and scale up and down as required, dramatically increasing business agility.

Amazon S3 is easy to use with a web-based management console and mobile app and full REST APIs and SDKs for easy integration with third party technologies.

You can learn more about Amazon S3 here.

Why You Need S3

With S3, there are no setup fees. You only pay for what you use, and it has virtually unlimited capacity.

  • Bandwidth Optimization
    If you are on shared hosting account, any surge in traffic can easily push you over your bandwidth quota for the month. Often, the web host will suspend your account to minimize impacting their other clients. Amazon S3 provides unlimited bandwidth that is separate from your web hosting. Charges will be made to credit card and payment can be made at the end of the month.
  • Better scalability
    Using Amazon S3’s cloud-based hosting for video and image serving is relatively fast. Separating this kind of content away from normal traffic will ease your server load and provide better scalability for the rest of your site.

Unique Memberium Features

Memberium has several unique features over competing solutions, including support for unlimited Amazon S3 profiles, no “on page” time limits, and URL’s that self-destruct when shared.

Shortcodes

The Remote Files Dashboard works with the [memb_s3_link]

Terminology

Profiles
A profile is a collection of settings; including the bucket name, access key, secret key, and default expiration with which to serve your files from. You can create as many profiles as you like.

Buckets
Buckets are the special top level “folders” used by Amazon S3. They are unique names across all of Amazon S3, so don’t even try to grab commmon words like “photos” or “videos”. The simplest way to get your unique names is to use your domain name as part of the bucket name. For example: “com.memberium.photos” instead of “photos”.

Access Key
Access keys consist of an access key ID and secret access key. If you don’t have access keys, you can create them by using the AWS Management Console. Amazon Access Keys can be visibly shared.

Secret Key
Access keys consist of an access key ID and secret access key. If you don’t have access keys, you can create them by using the AWS Management Console. Secret Keys must be protected and kept secret. In the Remote Files Dashboard the Secret Key is partially hidden.

Expiration
This is the time in seconds from the point that the link is clicked, until it expires. With other systems you would need to set this to several hours. With Memberium you can set it down to very short timeframes of 15-30 seconds.

Managing Your S3 Files

There are several tools for loading files onto Amazon S3, including using Amazon’s own dashboard.

  • Transmit
  • S3 Fox
  • Cloudberry
  • CyberDuck

In order to make the files secure, and require authorized download you’ll need to make sure that they are not marked as World Readable, but can be accessed by “Authenticated Users”. World Readable files can be downloaded by anyone. By removing this permission, we’ll require that only authorized download links will work, and everyone else will get an access forbidden error.

The exact method by which this is done varies between the different tools. For example in Transmit, you would click the file and press CMD-I to pull up the file information, then in the “Read” dropdown you would change it from “World” to “Authenticated Users”, and click Apply. The procedures for the different apps is similar.

Securely Linking to S3 Hosted Files in Memberium

Once you have your Remote file profiles created, and your files are securely uploaded and ready, you can start adding links to the files into your site pages.

Memberium provides the [memb_s3_link] shortcode to generate the special, digitally signed URLs. By creating the profiles above, you can skip using most of the parameters, and just tell [memb_s3_link] which profile to use and which “object” (file) to link to. You can think of the profile as a “preset”, an example S3 link using the preset values would look something like this

<a href=”[memb_s3_link profile=”memberium” object=”myfile.pdf”]”>Download Now</a>

Need Help?

Please contact Memberium Support and let us know how we can assist you.

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