What’s My Score? A Scorekeeping App for Trampoline Competitions Built on the Telerik Platform

What’s My Score?
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What’s My Score is a scorekeeping app for use in trampoline competitions in the UK. Track your scores, watch competitors, monitor your progress competition by competition. What’s My Score is our Telerik Featured App for March 2015 as it was built using Telerik AppBuilder and Kendo UI, Kendo UI Mobile, Kendo Charts, Telerik JustCode, Telerik Analytics and AppManager.

About this app

We interviewed Matt Green, Trampolinist, Coach, and developer of the What’s My Score App who told us of the road he traveled and the hoops he jumped through (see what I did there?) to build What’s My Score.

Matt Green

What inspired you to create What’s My Score?

Have you ever been to a gymnastics, swimming, or any other sports competition where the scores are posted up on a wall using tape and printouts? What if we could remove the constant crowd around the score sheets? This would allow much easier access to coffee for judges…as a judge, I’m probably the only one that noticed that. More importantly it would provide access to the competitors’ position over many flights where the top 12 or 20% go to the finals. Competitors do look at their scores a lot and compare their form and difficulty to the competitors above and below themselves, which is hard to do on paper, especially when 30 others want to do the same thing.

So the simplest answer to that question is that it was a new challenge for someone trained as a web developer. Helen Jollife, the committee chair for trampolining at BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport), asked last summer if I could build a mobile app to track trampoline competition scorekeeping and I committed to the challenge. My previous work always began as desktop first and mobile last. These days, in part because of the experience of building this app, it is quite the opposite: mobile first and mobile only. The mobile project started as a mobile-first website using TypeScript, AngularJS and Kendo UI for the data and charts. Once it was ready the next step was to move it into a Cordova application. This was to save time initially, as deployments to phones took up too much time: I have a full-time job and could only work on this project on evenings and weekends. Kendo UI Mobile played an important role in helping me to complete the project to do what it was designed to do. The BUCS competition in February and I was racing the clock!

Other technical choices helped speed deployment of the mobile app. For example, I made an early switch from JavaScript to TypeScript in version 0.6 and now on 1.4 it is barely noticeable when I compile TypeScript into JavaScript. The first great benefit of this is that I can describe the data and processes; there is far less guessing involved. Complementing this is Kendo UI’s Typescript definition file which further assists in the accuracy in working with the datasources. Consuming competition data also had to be handled before almost anything else. Before the mobile app could begin it needed the data. Fortunately, my experience as a web developer easily solved those problems: I produced a set of WebAPI V2 endpoints and made use of SignalR and an application on the same network looking for changes in the scores. With this architecture, the application only copies up the current score changes to the database. This is good from my standpoint as it runs quite happily on a free tier on Azure – and the lowest-end database. The solid data-tier architecture also also allows the app to scale either up or outwards without much effort.

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How did using Telerik software solutions help you move the project forward?

The use of TypeScript in AppBuilder massively decreased the potential of bugs. AppBuilder with LiveSync was of great use when developing cross-platform – this is the only reason I have a Windows Phone version, and probably the only reason the app was finished in time for BUCS. Telerik Support had a fantastic turnaround on helping me with various iOS and Windows Phone deployment and publishing problems. I made good use of AppManager – I don’t have a iPhone, so I leave it for others to test, which is important when 85% of my users are currently on iPhone 4 – 6.

Since I used AngularJS heavily throughout, Kendo UI’s integration with AngularJS and AppBuilder’s support for TypeScript helped me complete the project in time using the framework I like best. And it was a success: 350~ people installed it on the BUCS competition weekend. 950 university students were there as competitors for trampolining. Of those I was expecting 10-50 people to use it but I saw considerably more usage. Now that I am updating it to use Telerik Analytics, I can get even better data.

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What’s next for What’s My Score?

My job ensures that I’m a good web developer. UX is certainly a priority but it would be incorrect to assert that I’m great with visual design. This is where I rely on the frameworks and themes to save time and energy. Working on the app’s UX is going to be a priority in upcoming releases. I have plans for notifications, but I will need to be very particular on the implementation otherwise there will be a lot of spamming. Adding live commentary on the event was also suggested by app users. We could add recordings of routines. We could add in-app purchases for merchandise at competitions. There are lots of things to keep my spare time occupied for the foreseeable future!

As the app becomes more popular it has the potential to move into different competitions structures and leagues. Where the same scoring system is in place this isn’t much of a challenge. If the scoring system varies then I’ll have to create another app to read and feed it into my web services. Every competition will bring a new host of competitors and relatives that would find the application useful, and every year there is a new horde of competitors. It has the potential to keep feeding new customers into buying the app. The scoring software that provides the data is used in a variety of countries and regions, so my market isn’t necessarily limited to the UK.

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