About Alan

My name is Alan Kent.  This blog is on things that interest me personally (work related or otherwise).  From my LinkedIn profile:

I joined eBay and took the Cassini search engine rewrite project from alpha releases to live on site for 2012 holiday season for “completed” items and live for 100% US web search traffic for “active” items in 2013. Project challenges included scale (many thousands of machines), performance, reliability (search must never got down), Hadoop for index construction, C++ for query evaluation. I was also responsible for the old search engine including delivering business lift. Cassini was a success rolling out with no down time or customer impact.

I then worked on aligning business and technical strategy for Magento and eBay Enterprise, becoming VP of Architecture when Magento was spun off.

In Australia I helped successfully commercialize research from RMIT University, the TeraText product range, a high performance text database system for large scale search (e.g. large Defence/Intelligence databases) and complex document management (e.g. Legislation). Reached a billion record database in 2003 on a handful of machines.

I have worked on IT security solutions, network monitoring, web application security design, and authentication solutions.

I have brought complex projects running over budget to a successful conclusion.

As a manager: develop the team, encourage and motivate, and ensure team members are working effectively and efficiently. I engender a trust-based relationship where all team members are valued and respected, while recognizing team members have different skills and ambitions. I deliver quality work, and encourage those around me to do likewise

I have used Agile with success. I believe in education rather than dictatorship.

I believe good design is simple design, bringing in abstraction layers to make complex system easier to understand.

Specialties: Ecommerce solutions, Software Architecture and Design, Security, Text database systems, C/C++, Java, TeraText, SAML, XML, SOAP, high performance, multithreaded, distributed systems.



  1. markus hecher · · Reply

    I am very interested in the livescribe echo and would like to develop apps for myself. Is it possible to develop them on the echo? Why am I not able to find the sdk or an archive of an older version? Could you provide me a copy of it?



    1. I think LiveScribe has discontinued the developer program, so I think you are out of luck sorry. They probably still have it internally, just not as widely opened to developers as before.

  2. Wanted to leave you a quick note thanking you for the time and effort you put into the Livescribe pen and your posts regarding the midi code in particular.

    I was wondering, with your experience with the actual internals and coding involved with the livescribe pen, I was wondering if you ever explored being able to install the AFD files used by the livecribe pen.

    I am in the research phase of developing my own installer for documents that I have completed. Would you happen to know the C# code involved with loading AFDs onto the pen?

    Hope that you have having a good week.


    1. Sorry, I have dropped out of the community for some time now. They had a developer program, but I think it has closed down. So you would have to contact LiveScribe directly to see if development is still possible as a third party. It was not hard to do, but softwrae on the pen was J2ME (not C#). I never interacted with C# code for loading AFDs into the pen so I have no advice there sorry.

      1. You are correct that the developer program has completely closed down for the Echo and Pulse smart pen product line. However, I still like to tinker with the SDK that I still have installed on my development machine.

        One particularly annoying feature I have yet to track down is the ability to save variables to the pen’s memory in the form of a preferences file. Looking through the Livescribe command library it looked like there was a way to read a preferences file and variables stored within, but no way to write one.

        I’d like to have a preference file that would store integers for things like health and gold and various story flags. While I realize it’s been over a year since you’ve worked with the SDK, your blog is the most expansive on the subject.

        Do you happen to know the J2ME code used by the old SDK for saving variables to the pen for later retrieval?


  3. Rajkumar · · Reply

    Hello Alan, i followed this link https://github.com/alankent/vagrant-magento2-apache-base/ to install magento in vagrant , after i run deploy.sh , i got only blank page in my browser (addr : http://localhost:8080) what is the problem…

    1. Hi. That image is very old sorry – I should take it down. It is out of date.

  4. Rajkumar · · Reply

    Hello Alan,

    I need to create Inbox tab in customer account page, purpose is to the customer see our messages also our site account, what admin sent.(based on g-mail).

    so, I need to get the Email content , which admin sent to customer(for example customer order something then admin sent to customer , this product ordered and details) then, store to Database, if i stored data base then, I need to show customer the inbox page easy to design my code.

    But, My problem is I am New to magento and Magento 2, I started with maganto 2,

    So, I don’t know, what are the module to handle sending email process? and Which Class Also? , then , only I get the Email Content Object then stored to Database.

    Suggest me which way to achieve solution, also send me which Module and class.

    I try to get email content to a file, but No luck, see this link I posted also magento forum


  5. Hi, I just try to find to can help from Magento.
    this is our website http://www.lxjewelryinc.co
    the website can not go to and show “Exception printing is disabled by default for security reasons.
    Error log record number: 1087564536”
    can somebody help?
    thank you

    1. Sorry, but if I start doing support here I would get swamped. But as a hint, have a look for log files under the ‘var’ directory – the web page is indicating an exception (error message) was written to a log file, but its not showing it on the web page. Hopefully the full error message in the log file will help.

  6. Dear Sir, can you please tell me the password of your magento2 docker sftp. In this link https://alankent.me/gsd/file-syncing-with-winscplsyncd/ describe password not working.

    1. Can you ssh in? I thought it was magento / magento (username/password).

  7. Hello Alen,
    Thanks for your contributions. We have run into a roadblock so I figured I’d ping you to see if you know of anyone who’s done it. We are developing an app that used React Native for the frontend and magento 2.1 for the backed , we are using REST APIs to talk to magento. We got 99% of the app done but we can’t seem to fing any examples or documention for Paypal as gateway with REST.

    We highly appreciate any help in the matter.

  8. Hi Alan,

    if you have to start to build an Amazon or eBay, would you use Magento 2 as starting platform?, could Magento 2 handle an actual Amazon or eBay?

    Thanks, regards

    1. There are several extension for listing such as M2E Pro and Codisto. Would I use Magento 2 for this? Yes, but did you expect me to say anything different? 😉

  9. Hi Alan, in Magento 2 i need to play with document incremental….
    I need to have two increment for invoice (invoice and receipt)….

    Why Magento 2 do not use eav_entity_store as Magento 1? There are a lot of table (sequence….)


    1. I joined the project after M2 was underway – I never really got into M1 in depth. So that level of question on sequence numbers and why it changed, I am not sure. I know there are sequence number tables like sequence_(creditmemo|invoice|order|shipment|…)_{store-id} , and the meta tables to map entity’s to table names. You can define profiles to generate the numbers. it might be related to the EE capability of splitting database tables onto different databases – so we need the sequence numbers to split with the tables they are generating numbers for. (Sales_sequence_profile defines the rules for numbers – e.g. Prefix/suffix/increment value; sales_sequence_meta stores the actual table name holding the counter). If important, I can track it down with the other architects.

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