One this that bothered me about the Authorize.Net ARB subscription functionality is that there was a three year limit on subscriptions. In other words, all subscriptions would expire at most three years and you could not set it to be longer. This was true whether you used their ARB API or set the subscription up manually. The only way to accommodate longer subscriptions was to change the subscription length somewhere down the road after a portion of the subscription has transpired. If you had a large number of subscriptions you would need to create some sort of automated system to use the ARB API to update your subscriptions as they came close to expiring or else you risk losing revenue from those subscriptions.
Fortunately Authorize.Net actually listened to their users and removed this restriction. Now open ended subscriptions can be created both manually and through the ARB API. To do this through the API simply set the ‘totalOccurrences’ parameter to be ’9999′. This applies to all subscription lengths.
Here is the email sent out by Authorize.Net:
At Authorize.Net, we do our best to listen and act on the feedback we receive from our merchants. As a result, we are pleased to announce that we have removed the three year restriction for all Automated Recurring Billing (ARB) subscriptions. You can now create subscriptions with an End Date that occurs more than three years after the Start Date, or with no set End Date at all. Once created, the payment gateway will submit payments for each ongoing subscription until you either cancel or modify the subscription to specify an End Date. Ongoing subscriptions can be created manually in the Merchant Interface by selecting No End Date under the Subscription Duration, or by entering “9999″ in the Ends After field. To turn an existing subscription into an ongoing subscription, you can update the subscription information using the same process. For more information, please see the Merchant Interface Online Help Files, available by clicking Help at the top of any Merchant Interface page. You can also create and update your subscriptions automatically using an Application Programming Interface (API). For more information, please see the ARB API Developer Guide.
Here is a link to the updated guide: Authorize.Net ARB Implementation Guide