COMPMNGR OVERVIEW

You should read and understand all the instructions in the "How to acquire and start using COMPMNGR." section below. But in a nutshell, here is what they say. To start using COMPMNGR you should download its setup program file and run it to install COMPMNGR and associated files, programs, and shortcut icons on your computer. To become a registered user, which entitles you to have more than 250 entries, to sign up for web page creation options, and to receive technical support, you need to go to the on-line license agreement and registration fee calculation (FeeCalc) page, enter the information so as to calculate your registration fee, and submit the request for registration (which sends it to the vendor). On receipt of a license agreement and payment of the registration fee Douglass Associates will email you a registration file along with instructions. The requirement for payment in advance is new as of April 1, 2016 and was explained in a newsletter broadcast emailed to all recent customers on March 31, 2016. Click here to read it.

If you are an experienced COMPMNGR user you can skip directly to the 'Download' and 'on-line FeeCalc' buttons at the bottom of this page.  However, you should understand all of these instructions before you do so. If you would prefer to hire someone to handle all this for you click here to see a list of people who offer COMPMNGR related services.

The COMPMNGR computer program is designed to help you perform many of the tasks associated with organizing dance competitions. Click on features to view a partial list of these tasks. The instructions given here should allow you to get COMPMNGR up and running on your computer, provided that you have the required computer skills, which are also listed below. If you have troubles getting COMPMNGR up and running click on troubleshooting COMPMNGR. Once COMPMNGR is up and running you can use its built-in help system to learn how to use it. If you already have a version of COMPMNGR running on your computer, following these same instructions will update it to the latest version without altering your competition data. If the information presented here is new to you, you should print and study it.

Before setting up COMPMNGR for a competition you should download and install the latest version. There is no charge for doing so. To learn about the differences among COMPMNGR versions click on version history.

How to acquire and start using COMPMNGR.

To follow these instructions you need the skills to perform certain basic tasks on your computer. You need to be able to download a file from a web site or email so that the file is stored in a folder you specify on your computer's hard disk. You need a basic understanding of computer files and folders and the operations that can be performed on files, such as copying them, renaming them, deleting them, finding them on your hard disk, and running executable program files without an icon. If you are not familiar with such operations you should enlist the help of someone who is; COMPMNGR technical support does not include help on such basic operations. To see a list of people who provide COMPMNGR related services click here.

The first thing you should know about COMPMNGR is that you can get the program for free by downloading it from this web site. The program is used to create and open competition database files, which have a format unique to COMPMNGR. The database for a competition is contained in two files, a registration file and a main data file. When you download COMPMNGR from this web site you get the latest version of the program, some supporting files (e.g. help files), and a pair of sample data files (a registration file and main data file with some sample dance entries and other purchases) constituting a database. You can actually use this setup to put on a small competition, up to 250 entries (dance entries, not persons attending), without paying a registration fee. Or you can use the setup to get started on a larger competition. If the number of your competition dance entries approaches the limit of 250 entries you will eventually have to contact the vendor to get a new registration file which allows you to handle more than 250 entries. There is a registration fee, which varies with the size of the competition, for obtaining a registration file allowing you a larger number of entries. Technical support and the web page creation option are only available to organizers who register and pay the full registration  fee. Collegiate, high school, and USA Dance (USABDA) nonprofit amateur competition organizers not requiring the web page option or technical support may obtain a registration file for free by submitting the on-line license agreement specifying their affiliation as "College", "High School", or "USA Dance" and providing their web site address so the vendors can verify their affiliation.

A COMPMNGR registration file is a small file containing the maximum number of entries allowed, a master password assigned by the vendor, subordinate passwords you may assign, and beginning and ending dates between which you are allowed to enter more than 250 entries and heat your program. Registration files have the file extension ".rgc" (for example, MyComp1999.rgc). When you use the COMPMNGR program to open a competition database, it first opens the registration file for the database, retrieves the list of passwords, and prompts you to enter a password. If you enter a valid password, it next opens the main data file, which has the same root name (MyComp1999 for the example above) and an extension ".dbc". COMPMNGR then determines whether the current date is between the beginning and ending dates between which you are allowed to enter more than 250 entries and heat your program. Even if the current date is outside that range AND you have more than 250 entries, you can still use most of COMPMNGR's features (e.g. invoicing, accumulated awards points calculations, setting up your next competition). The two main features disabled when you are outside the date range AND have more than 250 entries are making new dance entries and heating the competition program.

COMPMNGR must be configured (set up) for your competition before you begin to enter your dance entry and purchase data. Instructions for doing this can be found in the COMPMNGR help system under the index heading "Setting up a new competition", but before you do anything you should read the help system topic "Getting started" and its links to several other important topics. As a general rule, a COMPMNGR setup should never be done "from scratch". You should always use either the database from your previous competition or the sample database (named DEMODATA) included with the download as a starting point, then follow the help system instructions for opening that database, making a copy under a new name, switching to (opening) the new database you created by the COMPMNGR copy process, deleting the previous dance entries and purchases from the copied database, and modifying the database setup as required.

COMPMNGR has an extensive help system. The first thing you should do when you start using the program is click on Help, then Getting started. You should read the "getting started" help topic, then click on the links to "sequence of steps in using COMPMNGR", and "basic concepts" and print and study those topics. The information above and that in the help system should tell you all you need to know to run COMPMNGR effectively. If you have problems in downloading and installing COMPMNGR or in retrieving and installing a registration file which has been emailed to you, click on troubleshooting COMPMNGR. If you still have questions you may contact the vendor, providing that you are a registered user.

The information in the preceding four paragraphs can be summarized as a five step process for acquiring and using COMPMNGR for your competition:
(1) Download (see link below) and install the latest version of the program and its supporting files (see list given at bottom of download page) prior to each competition.
(2) Run COMPMNGR and review its help system "getting started" topic. Then print the "sequence of steps in using COMPMNGR" to use as a check list.
(3) Use COMPMNGR to open your previous competition database and follow the COMPMNGR help system instructions for creating the database for your new competition by copying the database from the previous one. If this is your first competition, so you have no previous database, you should try to get a database for a similar competition from a friendly scrutineer or registrar. Failing that, you can use the DEMODATA database included with the COMPMNGR setup as a starting point. Note that, no matter how you make copies of the previous database ".rgc" and ".dbc" files, the maximum number of entries will be reset to 250 and web page creation features will be disabled.
(4) Close the old database, open the one you just created, and make whatever changes are necessary in the setup of the schedule, the dance categories, purchase items, packages, and other parameters.
(5) Following the "sequence of steps in using COMPMNGR", begin to enter the dance entries and other purchases for your attendees. If at any point you suspect that you will have over 250 dance entries, or you want to use COMPMNGR's web page creation features, or you need technical support, then complete and submit a license agreement (see link below). We will send you a registration file to replace (by overwriting) the one you created in step (3).

 

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