About On-line Entry Forms
Several methods by which a competition organizer can use the internet to provide dance
entry and package purchase forms to those attending the competition (hereafter called
attendees) are described and compared on this page. All of the methods provide
"on-line entry forms" in some sense. They differ primarily in three ways:
How attendee acquires forms (does method require something to be downloaded to attendee's computer or not)
How attendee completes forms (by hand or by typing into computer)
How organizer receives forms (paper/text file/COMPMNGR importable file)
COMPMNGR supports three methods as indicated by the text in red below.
The simplest method is to post the dance entry and purchase forms as web pages which can be printed by attendees. Then the attendees can complete the forms by hand and mail or FAX them to the organizer. This method is incorporated as one of COMPMNGR's extra cost features. Once the organizer receives the forms the information must be entered into COMPMNGR manually. The main advantage of this method is that attendees have immediate access to the forms, rather than requiring the organizer to mail or FAX them to attendees.
A variation of the first method is to provide the forms in files (usually PDF format) which can be downloaded for the organizer's web site. This approach usually produces better looking forms, but it requires the attendee to be sufficiently computer literate to download files and store them in some folder where he or she can later access them. And the organizer still has to type the information into COMPMNGR.
There are three variations of the method in which the attendee types the dance entry and purchase information directly into an on-line web page form (no download required), the difference among the three being the process for sending the information to the organizer. In the simplest of the three, the attendee types in the information, prints the forms, and mails or Faxes them to the organizer as in the two methods described above. (This method is incorporated as one of COMPMNGR's extra cost features.) In the second variation, attendee types in the information and clicks a 'Submit' button to store the data in a text file which is automatically emailed to the organizer (or saved on the web site host computer for the organizer to download); then the organizer views or prints the text file to extract the data to type into COMPMNGR. The third variation is like the second, except the text file is formatted in a special way which can be imported directly into COMPMNGR so the organizer doesn't have to type it in manually. This third variation is usually called on-line registration and is probably the most accurate and easiest for the attendees, but is more difficult to implement for the competition organizer since it requires installing a program to run on (and store data on) the web site host computer (as opposed to the organizer's computer or the attendee's computer) to which the organizer (or his web master) usually has limited access. Support for on-line registration is incorporated as one of COMPMNGR's extra cost features.
In the last method, the attendee downloads a program which has the forms embedded in it. The program runs on the attendee's computer, allows him or her to type in information, and then saves the information in a file which can be emailed to the organizer. There are two variations of this method. In the first the file is not importable into COMPMNGR so the organizer has to view or print the text file to extract the data to type into COMPMNGR. In the other variation the text file is formatted in a special way which can be imported directly into COMPMNGR so the organizer doesn't have to type it in manually. This approach avoids the problems of writing a program to run on the web site host computer, so it is easier to build in user friendly features. COMPMNGR has an optional EntryForm feature that falls into this last category, however it is rarely used so is available only by special request.