This user guide describes how to seamlessly integrate the Roster Athletics platform with the TimeTronics MacFinish timing system.
This guide is divided into a few sections below:
- What do you need to do to set up the integration?
- Integration type
- Starting integration
- Troubleshooting Tips & Tricks
What do you need to do to set up the integration?
- You have already created the meeting/meet on the Roster Athletics platform.
- You have downloaded and installed the Roster/timing data transfer program named Roster Athletics Agent (you can download the program here: Download and install the RosterAgent).
- You have a full license to use the TimeTronics MacFinish software (note that TimeTronics only works with Windows). You can download it here: https://www.timetronics.be/support
The RosterAgent program is a small program that allows communications between the Roster platform and TimeTronics so that they can stay in sync with each other during the competition for start lists upload from Roster to TimeTronics and results download and sync from TimeTronics to the Roster platform (and immediately in the app).
Now you should have everything ready to start the integration. Make sure you have the following three programs open:
- Roster Athletics in a browser
- TimeTronics MacFinish running
- RosterAgent running
The RosterAgent shares information data between TimeTronics and Roster by using shared PAR files (start lists) and TXT files (results). It works if you are using the same computer or you are using a shared file folder between computers (e.g. one computer running Roster/Roster Agent and another computer running TimeTronics).
To start integration you have to select the Input directory (start list updates) for PAR files and Output directory (result files) for TXT files.
TIP: the input and an output directory should be folders or sub-folders on a drive (e.g., C:) and you should avoid adding the folder directly to your desktop.
1. Choose participants that you want to export from Roster Athletics to TimeTronics. You can find this setting on the meeting Details in the Timing system integration section.
You can export all participants or exclude participants with DNS status (e.g., when you already know before the competition that the athlete will not show up, but do not want to remove him/her).
2. In the same section below, choose the format that will be used for PAR files.
There are 3 Event description format types to choose from. PAR files name will be displayed as follows:
The Custom format field allows you to pick the file format. Click on the descriptors of your choice to add them to the field. Erase by simply deleting them. Please note that the field format requires colons around each descriptor, and the descriptors must be separated by a single space. Thus :EventName: :Gender: would display only the event names and gender for each event. The options are as follows:
If you need to reset the Custom setting, press the Default symbol to return to the initial set of recommended default parameters.
3. Now you are ready to load and integrate your meeting/meet data.
Open the relevant meeting and go to Details. On the left-hand-side, click the Agent config button and select TimeTronics.
This will download an authentication .roster file for your specific meeting/meet that lets the RosterAgent know to use this meeting to connect with TimeTronics MacFinish. Save the file in a place where you can easily find it again.
Please note: It is critical that you use the LAST downloaded authentication file to load into the RosterAgent. Otherwise, the permissions will not match and you will not be able to connect to your meeting (“Can’t connect - permission denied”).
Once the authentication file is downloaded, go to the RosterAgent. Click on Load configuration and select the latest .roster file (e.g., meeting-xxx-auth.roster) for this meeting/meet that you downloaded (as soon as you load the configuration, a ".roster" file will be saved. This file stores the directory information so you don't need to enter directory settings every time.).
Click Start. TimeTronics MacFinish and Roster Athletics are connected if the Result monitor status is Active and the Connection status is Connected.
Note that Stop will stop the connection, and Quit will exit the program completely. To change a configuration file or to change input/output directories, the connection must be stopped (i.e. no active connection).
If you have Show notifications enabled by default, you will see status messages such as:
You can disable notifications by pressing the Show notifications button, which will then appear as a lighter shade button.
When the Roster Agent is running, pay attention to the Result monitor and Connection statuses:
- Active - normal operational mode
- Connected - normal operational mode
- Reconnecting - agent will automatically attempt to reconnect
- Invalid - using outdated configuration file: try to re-download and then reload the config file
Once you have prepared your start lists in Roster Athletics, then go to TimeTronics MacFinish. Click on Document in the menu, and select Import Competitors from File...
Select the desired PAR-file (.par). Each start list has a unique PAR-file. You can identify the correct file via the name, which has the following information: "meeting ID - event details with data that you can select in the Event description format - [event ID]" (e.g., [meet1023] 1000 100m - Senior - Heat 1 .par).
The ID column in TimeTronics MacFinish will contain information about the bib number and lane/order.
Now the start lists for a particular event are loaded into TimeTronics MacFinish. TimeTronics is now ready to go and the event can commence in standard TimeTronics procedure. Once the event has finished and TimeTronics has marked the results, click on Document → Export Results to File.... You can go ahead and use the default event filename when saving. After saving, wait approximately 10 seconds or less while the data is synced to Roster Athletics.
You can now go back to Roster Athletics and see the times and rankings for the athletes that have been updated from TimeTronics. The results are also immediately available in the Roster Athletics App.
Important note: every time an update to the start list is made in Roster Athletics, it is automatically pushed to the Roster Athletics Agent, but you will still need to open the latest generated PAR-file in TimeTronics MacFinish to load these changes. Also please note that field events are not supported.
BIB-numbers: If you have added BIB-numbers in Roster Athletics, they will be under the field Information.
Competitor status: in TimeTronics MacFinish, the status for each athlete can be set under Time → `click CTRL` + click with the mouse → Status. These status options translate to Roster in the following manner:
- A time is added and no status → OK + result
- DNF → DNF
- DNS → DNS
- DIS → DQ (+ selection of DQ rule)
- NR → OK + place, but no result
DQ rules can be added in Roster but not directly from TimeTronics.
Precision: we recommend using Thousandths as results precision in TimeTronics. By setting to thousandths, all results will be sent to the Roster system with 1/1000 precision, which then allows Roster to assign the correct places automatically. When setting to thousandths, the Roster app and .pdf results printouts will still show hundredths except for when there is a tie in the hundredths place, in which case the thousands place will be used to calculate place and shown accordingly, for example, when two athletes from two different heats have the same result. To set the default precision in TimeTronics MacFinish click on File → Preferences... → General and mark Precision Linked.
Troubleshooting Tips & Tricks
- Make sure you are running the latest version of the RosterAgent (please see the Download and install RosterAgent for the latest version number).
- If a message of "Can't connect - permission denied" message pops up while trying to connect the RosterAgent, make you have loaded the latest version of the meeting/meet agent configuration file. This file is downloaded from meeting Details → Agent config.
- The Roster Agent has the ability to queue up saved TimeTronics results if you lose connectivity (e.g. bad or very slow internet). If you lose the connection, the saved TXT files will be queued up and uploaded automatically once the reconnection has been detected and re-established by the Agent. The upload queue is visible in the RosterAgent and will normally be empty when there are no connection issues or cleared once any queued results are automatically uploaded.