Sunday, June 7, 2015

WER: Importing and Exporting Player Lists

Being able to take registration for an event on two computers, or a computer that isn't the one you're running the event from, can be the difference between starting on time and starting late. It's also how we manage to use separate stations for registration and scorekeeping at larger events.

Imagine Friday Night Magic at your FLGS. For many stores, their register and tournament computer are the same thing, and between getting players registered in WER and their last-minute card or pack purchases checked out, things can slow down to a crawl. Even if you need to run the event from the register computer for whatever reason — it's the only one connected to a printer, or close to the play area, for example — you can enter players on a different computer and import the list when it's time to pair round one.

The buttons you need are on the same screen you use to enter players:

One very important thing to note: if you press "Enrollment Complete" at any point, the Import and Export buttons will disappear. You'll still be able to add players to the event, but you won't be able to export the player list.

Click "Export." You'll get a dialogue box asking you where you want to save the exported list:

I usually prefer a cloud storage folder, like Dropbox or OneDrive, that I can access from the computer I'm going to be using to run the event. You can also save to a flash drive or a network folder if your store has that kind of thing set up. Note that the default name for the file is "EnrolledPlayers.xml" that you'll probably want to change it to something more specific, like MMDDYYFNM.xml.

One note on file types: WER uses two kinds of exports:. wer files and .xml files. For backing up and re-importing complete events, it uses. wer, which contains all of the information about the tournament. For player list and completed event copies, it uses .xml. If you're saving a. wer file for the player list, you clicked the wrong button.

When you click "Import," an identical dialogue pops up asking what file you want to import. You'll only be able to select an .xml file. Select the file for your event (which you named something more specific than "EnrolledPlayers.xml" so you could tell which one is the correct file), and click Open.

WER will do some stuff. If you're importing a few players, it processes very quickly. If you're importing more than about 50, WER will take its sweet time, and on my computer it likes to flicker, just to make me worry that it's doing Something Bad. When the import is complete, you'll see this:

The number of players added to the event should match the number of players from the file you imported. If players weren't added to the event, you'll see how many next to "players skipped." The most common reason for the import to skip players is because they're already enrolled, which might happen if you're importing multiple files or if you started to register players with this computer before you switched.

As long as the number of players in your event matches the number of players you're supposed to have, you should be good. Yay!

I mentioned in the beginning that you can also use the player list import and export to take registration on two computers and combine them. This works because the "Import" button doesn't disappear after you import one player list, and you can import as many additional files as you need. The process is the same:
  • Take registration at both registers/computers.
  • A few minutes before the event start time, hit "Export" to save the player lists from both computers. Make sure that either each file name is different or the files are exported to different folders.
  • Open the event on the tournament computer. Hit "Import" and select the first list. Wait for WER to do its thing. Hit "Import" again for the second list. You may see some skipped players that were accidentally registered into both files.
  • Click "Enrollment Complete" and pair round one! 
It's very important that you don't click "Enrollment Complete" before you're finished exporting or importing files, because those buttons disappear as soon as you do.

Hopefully this saves you some time and frustration getting those larger in-store events started :D

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