It's feature update time! We have a big batch of bug fixes and enhancements to tell you about. Before we get down to business, let us share one fun thing: the first-ever Official Team MSR t-shirt and hoodie!
We designed ourselves t-shirts and hoodies inspired by F1 team jackets and when our friends saw the mockup, they wanted one too! So, we’re letting everyone be part of Team MSR and grab a super-soft sweatshirt or t-shirt. But there’s only one printing so get your pre-order in today: http://msreg.com/msrshirt
Now, on to how we're making your events better!
If scientists studied the phenomenon, they would prove conclusively the strong psychological link between a racer and their number. When a racer can’t pick their number, they call us and state flatly, “I can’t register”. We don’t want that and you don’t want that so we spent some time improving how numbers work for both organizers and attendees, making the selection process more automatic and transparent and restoring sanity for those racers who Must. Have. Their. Number. Or at least want to know why they can't.
All of the work we did in the background is so we can generate this highly-informative dropdown of available numbers. Previously the racer would only see the available numbers (or in some cases, be forced to select their reserved number). Now all numbers are displayed with notes for when the number is reserved or registered and by whom.
The good news is that people will know why their number may not be available. The bad news is that it still might not be available, so we’ve also added a tooltip containing what numbers they are assigned, if any, as well as what numbers are allowed and if the numbers free up before the event (some oversubscribed organizations release reserved numbers close to an event). We also included the contact information for the registrar so racers can get their numbers figured out as quickly as possible.
On the surface these changes look simple but the rules around numbers are one of the most complex things we deal with in MSR. Fun geek fact: the database query to generate that dropdown list is a hefty 215 lines of SQL.
Lastly, since you like to be organized and keep your number lists tidy, we now show the date for the last time the number was used by the owner. You can sort by that column and then – using another improvement – delete numbers inline so you can quickly knock out the expired numbers. Other number updates include:
- Number pools list all referencing events you know which events rely on a particular set of numbers
- If you don’t want to tidy up a pool using the last used date, you can now archive unused pools to keep your list short
Another major in-the-background update was mentioned in a recent blog so I’ll just briefly cover it here. We now automatically identify where users are located and filter events in the calendar to within 300 miles of their location.
Users can type in any landmark, city, state, or location into our location box to change their location or narrow their results. Valid examples include, “San Francisco”, “California” or “Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca”. You can still use zip code – like always – to pick a location like 94107. The filter by event type further narrows the results to just what the participant wants to find. We now remember these filters for a week so users don’t have to start over if they get pulled away before they finish.
We also use this same technology to pre-fill the postal code (which we then use to fill in the city and region). Fewer clicks and fewer steps means faster registrations.
Buttons, Buttons, Everywhere...
As you’ve seen over the last year, we’ve been making constant improvements to our mobile support since more than 30% of your registrations are coming from phones and tablets. All of the primary buttons have been upgraded to replace the green pill-shaped images with red rounded rectangles. We've also introduced a more consistent approach to secondary actions on a screen where there may be more than one button.
“You’re telling us about buttons?”, you might ask, and the reason is because these new buttons scale perfectly on any size device including high-definition screens like Apple Retina devices. These are the kinds of optimizations we make on your behalf so you don't have to ask yourself, "Is my registration mobile friendly?" The buttons are now applied consistently across the site. Plus, they’re pretty. Preeeeeeetty.
New Vehicles Report
We added a new type of report specific to vehicles. You've always been able to include vehicle details when looking at events to create entry lists, timing and scoring exports, etc. This new report allows you to list, sort, filter and export vehicles in your database independent of an event. If Annie has twelve cars, two bikes, a kart and a tow rig, she's one lucky girl, but she'll also have 16 rows in your report. 🏎 🏎 🏎
Below are some additional changes that resolve feature requests or bug reports. Most of these requests come directly from you!
- We have increased the number of times you can attempt to charge a card on file from 2 to 5, giving you more opportunities to try a card before we mark it as dead. Failed deferred charges are still added to our dunning list to help resolve them automatically.
- On the Check-In screen, we’ve added the ability to only show people not yet checked-in which causes your list to shrink as you handle your attendees.
- Financial reports now allow filtering to “Offline Only” for viewing cash, credit, discounts and credits. We also added a “Monies Due” column that is simply the difference between the order and payment totals.
- Detail reports now allow filtering and sorting by Last Updated date. If you’re doing incremental printing of reports (say, as you process people in batches), this lets you filter or sort by the last time a registration was modified and then simply print the desired pages. Thanks to AFM for the pointer on this one.
- Added a new license validation rule of “Today”. Previously you could only check if a (race or worker) license would be valid at the start of the event. You can now check that it is valid only as of the current date which is helpful for people registering far in advance when a license might expire between the time they register and participate.
- Added a “You have unsaved changes!” warning to the Text and Waiver editor so you don’t accidentally navigate away and lose changes in progress. We anticipate a few fewer "arrrrrrrghs!" on the 364 days per year that aren't Talk Like a Pirate Day.
- When selecting an event from our dropdown (e.g. in the Email Blaster or Reports), the truncation could lead to ambiguity when events had very similar names. This was common for series like Championship Round 1, Championship Round 2, etc. The length has been increased and the truncation now happens in the middle which leads to much better results.
- When a registration is waitlisted, we no longer redeem payment credits on file. This saves organizers from having to back out the credits for the people who never get off the waitlist.
- Custom questions that have multiple-choice answers now see those answer lists in a single column. Previously we used an inline style which used less space but could be difficult to read, particularly on smaller screens.
- Fixed a bug where registrations added by an organizer were not properly setting the “1st Timer” flag
- Fixed an instance where Canadian/European-style dates were not parsed correctly and surveyed entire system to make sure we caught all other instances.
- Fixed a bug where Vintage races were not displaying the race-style entry list. The public list now properly shows groups and classes and numbers like any racer would expect.
- Fixed a bug where Branches at the top level of the registration form were not re-checking themselves during edits. This is a rare setup but led to attendees dropping selections from their registration when making changes. This also fixed a bug where uncommon recursive nesting of Branches and Groups did not re-check properly.
- Fixed a bug where event type-specific credits were not auto-selected when a participant was checking out. On the topic of event type-specific credits, the Refunds and Credits reconciliation tool now includes a field for limiting credits to one event type.
- Have you ever logged in and found yourself on a page that said, “Click any link to continue”? We found the culprit and you’ll be lovingly dropped onto your dashboard instead.
- We made a small but significant change at the database layer that has made MSR much faster for accounts which belong to many organizations whether they are participants or organizers. The intended 2-for-1 side effect was a major reduction in memory usage which eliminated the occasional server stability problems we were experiencing earlier this year.
P.S. - Got RaceHero?
Have you seen our other service, RaceHero? If you work a racing series, we have an app for you! You might already have live timing with Race Monitor, but RaceHero delivers your entire weekend in one place:
- Detailed live timing with lap charts, lap times, positions gained/lost indicators
- Automatic, accurate provisional and optional official electronic results, complete with announcements, penalties and footer notes
- Entry list
- Event schedule
- Easily find results searching by name, team or transponder number
Our live timing and results show all of the extra MYLAPS Orbits fields like hometown, sponsor, year/make/model, etc. You get all of this, automatically, by running the RaceHero Relay in Timing and Scoring. It's free to run, requires no babysitting and is compatible with other live timing services so try it today and join groups like SCCA, NASA, AFM, BMW CCA, World Racing League, Chump Car, Lucky Dog Racing League and more!