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  FileMaker Asia Pacific News
   
  Apr-Jun 2013  
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Keeping Track
Canterbury Track Cycling (CTC) in Christchurch, New Zealand holds twice-weekly race meets where between 50 and 100 riders hurtle round a 400-metre concrete velodrome. Canturbury Track Cycling web site

When the club updated their website in 2012, they enlisted the help of local developers Digital Fusion who suggested how they could improve the recording and particularly the publication of their results. This was currently being done by jotting down the results on paper during the meet, typing them into the computer later in the day and finally uploading them to their website. It was extremely time-consuming and prone to error.

 

The RacePlace solution, using FileMaker Go on an iPad publishes results directly to the CTC website in real time. It was developed in just four weeks at the end of 2012 and trialled at the club's major two-day track carnival in the first week of January 2013. A committee member stationed at the finish line with an iPad was given the task of recording the first three places and then publishing the results online.

Digital Fusion (logo)As there are often many last-minute changes to the program on race day it was important for the solution to be carefully designed for rapid performance. The club needed to add and edit riders, to create events and add races to these events. They sometimes needed to change the order of the races, the distances and add new riders. Often this was done at the last minute in the bustle and confusion of a race meet. As Committee chairman Syd Martin says:

"Race meetings have up to twenty races in quick succession—with typically ten minutes between races."

In addition to making last-minute changes to the race program, results needed to be recorded and published very quickly. Syd continues:

"The results can now be recorded and uploaded before the next race starts. Riders get on their iPhones and look at the results while they're warming down! The solution has improved track cycling data gathering and result presentation way beyond what we ever thought possible."

RacePlace

Canturbury Track Cycling (logo

Julie McLeod is Operations Manager at Digital Fusion and also has a daughter who is a member at CTC. Julie stressed that the rapid development platform and the mobile capabilities of FileMaker Go were the key factors in getting the solution up and running so quickly without any major problems:

"It has been a fantastic project with very quick deployment and hugely valuable to the club. Being able to publish results in real time from major events involving high-profile riders encourages other professional riders to participate in future events."

Julie is convinced that RacePlace could be used in other sports meetings such as swimming and car racing where the ability to make last-minute changes to schedules and to publish results in real time are vital.

Thank you to Syd Martin from Canterbury Track Cycling and Julie McLeod from Digital Fusion for sharing this story with us.

How did they do that?  

One of the key requirements of the RacePlace solution was to be able to enter race times quickly. The problem with time data entry is the positioning of colons and the decimal point. For example, to enter a time of 12 minutes and 4.56 seconds, you would enter 12:04.56. This means finding the colon and period keys while entering the numbers, and that takes time.

Digital Fusion developers implemented an innovative solution to allow the user to enter digits only, with a script trigger formatting the data as a valid time on each keystroke.

 

So the data entry is simple—type 120456. As you do so, the data is structured progressively—0:00.010:00.120:01.200:12.041:20.4512:04.56.

The developers even accounted for data entry errors! When you delete a digit, the remainder is reformatted to the previous iteration. So when the current data shows 0:12.04, and the delete key is pressed, it reformats as 0:01.20. If you enter an invalid character (anything other than a digit 0-9), it will be deleted.

 

So how does this work? It is a script trigger applied to the field for the OnObjectModify event. When a character is typed into the field, the script is triggered and the field contents are assessed. If the new character is valid or if a character has been deleted, the current set of digits in the field is applied to a general data mask of 0:00.00.

This is a great solution to allow users to quickly enter data while having it automatically formatted for correct display and structure. You could easily imagine other uses for this technique in formatting phone numbers or product serial numbers.

 
  Willem Meyer (Innovation image)  
From the Asia Pacific Regional Manager...

In a highly competitive and fast-changing business environment, the ability to innovate is a critical part of any company’s success. The FileMaker platform's design tools, flexibility, performance and multiple platform deployment capabilities give you the freedom and power to innovate.

In this issue we present striking examples of how FileMaker developers leveraged this power to create innovative solutions to their clients' problems. We also asked our Systems Engineer, David Head, to take a closer look at these solutions and explain some of the technical innovations behind the scenes. I think you'll be impressed.

 

By the way check out what's on at the 2013 Developer Conference (DevCon) in San Diego California USA. Coming up in August, this year the theme is ‘Platform for Innovation’.

Willem Meyer

 
 
 
 
  Subscribe to our newsletter   Apr-Jun 2013  
  pg 01 pg 02 pg 03 pg 04 pg 04  
 
 
     
 
 

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