ScoreKeeper News: Volume 6 - January 20, 2005

Upload Meet Web Pages with FTP

For several years, ScoreKeeper has been able to create web pages of your meet results and can even update the page as soon as a new score is entered. Until recently, however, you had to use an external program to actually get this page onto your teams live stats web site. As of version 1.1, ScoreKeeper includes the ability to use the FTP (an acronym for File Transfer Protocol) to upload your generated web pages directly to your web site.

While it easy to set up the FTP options in ScoreKeeper, it may not be obvious where to go to do so. The setup takes entries on two (ok, three) screens. First is the program preferences (Edit > Program Preferences) on the Web Pages (1) tab. Enter file names for in the entries both Live Scores File Name and Team Stats File Name. The Team Stats web page has not yet been implemented but you can enter a name anyway so it will be ready when ScoreKeeper is. You can use the file name tokens (+C, +Y, +M, and +D) to base a file name on the meet date or enter a literal file name directly. It is likely that using a literal file name will be the better selection because your web site may require a specific file name. If it does, enter that name here. For the File Path entry below, enter a folder where the local copy of the web page file will be created before it is uploaded.

The Home Team

The second screen where FTP options may be found is the Home Team entry form (Edit > Home Teams > [select team] > Change. Why are these settings on the home team screen? While it may not be immediately obvious, ScoreKeeper now supports multiple home teams (Men's and Women's, for example). Each home team probably has its own web site. See, it makes some sense after all.

On the Internet Tab are several options that may require information from your system administrator to complete. First, go to the FTP Login group box and enter the user name and password needed to log into your web site for uploading. In the FTP Live Scores Web Page group box, enter the host name and folder path to which the web page file should uploaded. The host name is often something similar to "ftp.yoursportsteam.com." The Directory entry may be blank or could contain a directory path to the desired location of the meet results web page.

NOTE: You can ignore the "Page Address for Link" field at the top of the Internet tab. This field is unrelated to FTP but is used when creating your web pages. It creates a link on the page that lets users click on your team name to jump to your team's home page.

Most of the time, you are done when you have completed the above settings. However, for special circumstances, such as when you are behind an Internet firewall or must address a proxy server, you might need to use the advanced options. You can get there with the Advanced FTP Options button.

The Advanced FTP Options screen (third and last) are several options, added in this release, that usually should not be changed. The first lets you tell ScoreKeeper to address FTP requests through a proxy server. If you are using a Proxy server or firewall, check the box and enter the proxy host name or address. The default port number is 21. This is almost always used for FTP but may be changed if necessary. The Transfer Type is usually set to Auto Detect. Change it to Binary if you know that your web page (via one of the include files) contains non-text data. Almost all web pages are pure text so ASCII (text) can be selected if you haven't gone hog-wild with your include files.

The last option, Open Mode, determines how file transfers are done. In Asynchronous mode, program execution can continue while the file is being uploaded. In Synchronous mode, the program has to wait for the transfer to complete before continuing. These selections have little effect on ScoreKeeper because the FTP is done in its own execution thread (a type of multi-taking used on modern computers). The Passive selection is special because it lets your PC establish the connection to the remote computer rather than asking the remote computer to establish the connection. This is important when you have a security firewall that prevents an outside computer from establishing a connection. Passive mode is also an Asynchronous connection. Passive mode is the default.

There is one more setting but it should already be set. Go to the Web Pages menu and make sure that the "Enable Web Page Uploads" option is checked. It is checked by default if the FTP options have been filled-in. It gets turned off automatically if an error occurs while attempting to upload the web page.

Ok, Now What Should I Do?

Now that you have all the settings entered, all you have to do to upload your web page is to create the page itself. ScoreKeeper does the rest. Each time a new page is created, it will be uploaded immediately after. If web page generation is happening in the background while entering scores, there will be no message that the upload has occurred. It will give you a message if it fails. If you generate the web page from the menu, a message will let you know when it is complete.