How to Install and Configure Master Form v4 – Part 1

Master Form v4 is the best form on the Net to use for security because it has anti-hijacking code built-in plus auto-submission protection against spammers. It also allows you to:

Block IP addresses by people that misuse your form
Ban words and phrases that are inappropriate or are commonly used to spam forms.
Define the maximum data size to limit the amount of information submitted.

Master Form v4 Installation and Configuration

Although Master Form comes with extensive documentation for installation I still had trouble with it and spent countless hours trying to fix the errors I was receiving.

I wrote this simple tutorial to help others (and myself should I forget how to do it again) get it quickly set-up.

1. Purchase Master Form

Visit the Master Form Home Page – to purchase and download the software. You will receive all the files in a zipped file.

Note: You can only install the Master Form Files on one domain. From this domain you can generate any number of forms for other domains however it will use some of the bandwidth from your server.

2. Generate Master Form

After purchasing, you will receive a confirmation email. In this email will be a link to generate your custom copy of the program by inserting your transaction ID and filling out these details:

domain name where the master form will reside
directory location of Perl version 5+ (ie #!/usr/bin/perl)
email address for communicating with tech support
check box to agree the software license agreement

Note: Once you have generated the program, the domain name you specified is the licensed domain name.

3. Server requirements

Unix/Linux – the server’s operating system must be Unix or Linux.

Sendmail or qmail – Virtually all Unix/Linux servers have sendmail installed. Some have qmail or a sendmail clone instead. When sending email, Master Form V4 prepares the email then hands it to the sendmail or qmail software for the actual sending.

7 specific Perl modules – 7 Perl modules need to be available on the server. These are common and standard installation modules most hosting companies provide for their clients with their default installations.

HTTP::Request::Common – this is one of two modules used for retrieving pages from the Internet with http://.. URLs.

LWP::UserAgent – here is the other of two modules used for retrieving pages from the Internet with http://.. URLs.

MIME::Base64 – this module is used for creating email attachments.

SDBM_File – a Perl database module is used to maintain form location, sequential numbers, and automatic submission prevention databases. SDBM_File is a standard Perl module.

Fcntl – file locking is handled with this module.

CGI – this module is used for memory conservative file uploads.

Cwd – Cwd is used to find/confirm the current working directory for relative server paths.

4. List of Files

This is the list of files contained in the Master Form Package and what their function is:

MasterFormV4.cgi (the form handler/form processor)
MasterFormV4AutoSubmitBlock.cgi (auto-submit blocking code tracker)
MasterFormV4Common.pm (software package supporting routines)
MasterFormV4CP.cgi (the control panel)
MasterFormV4DownloadInstall.cgi (automatic upgrade initializer)
MasterFormV4DownloadMonitor.cgi (automatic upgrade monitor)
MasterFormV4DownloadLink.pm (temporary download links plug-in or placeholder)
MasterFormV4PlugInInstall.cgi (plug-in installation routines)

Documents
LicenseAgreement.html
MasterFormV4Manual.html
README.txt

5. Upload the Master Form program files to your server. Place them in a directory that can run Perl CGI programs. Upload them as ASCII/plain text. I installed mine in the cgi-bin directory.

6. Set the permissions of the program files to 755 (read/write/execute read/execute read/execute).

If you are using SmartFTP you can change the settings by going to:

Tools-settings-ASCII/binary-default transfer type-ASCII transfer type

7. Type the URL of MasterFormV4CP.cgi into your browser. You’ll be asked to provide a password for future access. This will give you access to the Master Form control panel. Once in the control panel, click “Email Configuration” and verify the Master Form V4 initialized information.

8. Create a new subdirectory if you plan to use database or email templates located in a directory other than where MasterFormV4.cgi is installed at.

Name the directory as you please. Set permissions for the directory to 755.

If you uploaded MasterFormV4.cgi into a subdirectory named “mf4″, this is how the directory structure might look:

cgi-bin |
| mf4 |
| work

If you want to put a stop to form mail spam and want to quickly create forms for multiple web sites get a copy of Master Form v4 NOW.

Part 2 will discuss “How to Configure Master Form Files”

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