Concept: Create a computer program that would assist organisations run their event, be it Eisteddfod's, Agricultural Shows, or any other event where individuals compete.
Criteria: I wanted a program that is simple to use, ticks all the boxes for Entries, Events, Results, Prize money, could be hosted on the cloud. Have a simple setup.
Target Group: The program was designed for Eisteddfod's but it soon realised that the program could be used for many other competitions, with some minor additions.
History: Having spent the last 20 odd years around Eisteddfod's and Agricultural shows, both as a competitor and a volunteer I could see the need for a simple computer program to do the heavy lifting in these two disciplines. I initially started with the Eisteddfod hence the program's first name. I soon realised that the program could be used for other organisations and I then used it at an Agricultural show with great success.
The program was envisaged back in 2012. I then looked around for a suitable platform to run the program.
I initially used a Spreadsheet, but found the training of others to do the data imputing difficult.
I looked hard at MS Access based programs, but decided to go with FileMaker platform, as it is cross platform being able to be used on PC, Mac, iPad & iPhone. FileMaker had the benefit of hosting the solution on the cloud.
Cloud hosting: By using the one program and hosting it in the Cloud several people can access the program at one time to make changes to their events without compromising other sections. When the time for judging came around several sections could be judged at the same time.
Design: After several years trying to learn how to write the software program, I soon realised that I was unable to do this.
Next job was to find a suitable developer. I searched the FileMaker website for Australia and took the first name that came up. This was Digital Fusion. I then organized a meeting with the Principal Craig Saunders in December 2015.
I was assigned Grieg Jackson to engineer the solution.
Development: It took a while for us to get on the same wavelength, but eventually we got started. One of the best things that happened was the use of “Slack” this allowed real time conversation and for both of us to be on the same development field.
With the use of Slack there was less doubling up and I had some control of how things were progressing. The solution was also hosted on the cloud so I was able to test the solution as we went and we were able to implement changes to the solutions on the go.
Trials: We started to test on and Eisteddfod but other than doing the entries and the Program, the organisation was happy to continue with their normal way of judging etc. Next step to find another organisation who would like to test for me. An Agricultural Show Society came on board. I set up the program and the rest is history. We had a successful trial, were able to make a couple of changes to the program at the request of the organiser's in real time.
Conclusion: To customise the program to have a Complete Event Management Component to enable continuity between members of an organisations and to have the program available on the cloud 24/7.