Custom Reports for WinSwim

We use WinSwim to manage and run swim meets for the MacDolphins and now that our season has started, I have been doing a lot of work with WinSwim and not too much with wp-SwimTeam.  There are some things I need to fix but right now nothing is broken.

A year ago when I started using WinSwim I ended up creating a slew of custom reports mostly to deal with the fact that our pool is one of the few in the area which is a 25 meter pool – most are 25 yards.  We needed times in both meters and yards and the reports which came with WinSwim didn’t really handle it.  So I created a bunch of my own.  The only real downside of using custom reports is it required a file that is installed with WinSwim (language.xml) to be modified.  This was a maintenance headache as it would be overwritten with each WinSwim update.

WinSwim 4.0.21 introduced a new model for custom reports which removes the need to modify the language.xml file (yeah!).  Now each report is paired with a corresponding XML file and they all reside in a directory called “custom” within the WinSwim installation tree.

The reports are mostly geared around Heat Sheets and end of year reports.  To use the new reports, download the ZIP file and unzip into your top level WinSwim installation directory. 

WinSwim Custom Reportsv07-05, last updated on 2009-07-06

For example. in my case, I have WinSwim installed like this:


When the reports are installed correctly you will have a new “Custom” menu available in the Report Viewer as a new top level menu item to the right of “Reports”.  Note that the old “Custom” menu under the “Reports” but will still be there and will likely be empty unless you are using the old style of custom reports (which is still supported).


TSA Presentation

I have been asked to present the experiences of the MacGregor Downs MacDolphins with WinSwim and our team web site at the March board meeting of the Tarheel Swimming Association (TSA).

Our experience with Hy-Tek and ultimately WinSwim were significant drivers in the development of the wp-SwimTeam plugin.  I have made the presentation available for download.


SQL issue solved

My Access SQL problem is solved.  Access can’t do what I wanted to do but the folks at WinSwim modified their custom SQL query report to allow for error supression which solves the problem.  I just can’t say enough about the excellent support from WinSwim.

I don’t know how most swim teams manage their swimmers but ours revolves around age groups.  Everything is organized by age group, coordianted by age group, reported by age group, etc.  I have been creating Win Swim Reports using Crystal Reports to present the data in the database in a format our team is used to seeing it it.

Working on these reports is the primary reason I haven’t made much progress on the plugin lately.  Swim team is winding down, our last meet is tomorrow night and once the season is over I expect to be able to work on the plugin again.  There are a number of things I’d like to implement while the experience is still fresh in my memory.  If I wait I’ll probably forget why I thought something was a good idea!  🙂

Struggling with MS Access

While it isn’t really relevant to the wp-swimteam plugin, it is related to swim team.  Our team is using WinSwim for meet management which relies on Crystal Reports for generating reports.  I have been customizing reports for our team and am working on one which requires me to really poke into Access.

I have done quite a bit of work with MySQL so it is frustrating to encounter SQL constructs which Access doen’t support.  Right now I am struggling with how to determine if a table in Access already exists and if it does, I want to drop it.  What a PITA.  Access doesn’t support the DROP TABLE IF EXISTS construct which MySQL (and others) support.

If you know how to do this, please tell me how in the comments!  🙂

Kudos to WinSwim

Yesterday I completed the first pass of exporting a LSC Registration Pyramid SDIF file.  Since I only have the demo versions of the Hy-Tek tools (Team Manager and Meet Manager), I sent the SDIF file to the support contact I have been working with at Hy-Tek.  Meet Manager can’t read the file which makes sense because it contains roster information, not meet entries.  Team Manager can’t read it either because it doesn’t import SDIF.  Great.  It turns out Hy-Tek really only supports a subset of SDIF.  Now what do I do?

When I first started looking into this problem, I found a couple other similar applications which manage swim team rosters and meets.  One was from EasyWare, the other from WinSwim.  I tried to import the data into WinSwim and didn’t have much luck.  I then sent the file to their support e-mail address and hoped I had simply made a mistake in my SDIF file.  I got a nice reply stating that WinSwim didn’t support the LSC Registation Pyramid and suggested I structure my file a little differently OR use their ASCII import method.

The ASCII import method didn’t look too difficult but instead of tackling it last night, I played Rock Band with my son.  I am really glad I played Rock Band instead of working ont he plugin!  This morning I woke up to an e-mail asking me to download and try a new version of WinSwim which support the LSC registration pyramid.  Yeah!  I installed it and imported my sample data without any issues.  How cool is that?  Unless I run into a problem, I expect our  team will make an investment in WinSwim instead of Hy-Tek.