Scoring software

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GrumpyCatFace
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Scoring software

Post by GrumpyCatFace » April 17th, 2020, 12:27 am

Does anyone have knowledge of the typical contract a bowling center signs for their scoring software? I have an idea for a new program that could do it better.

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Re: Scoring software

Post by boomer » April 17th, 2020, 3:51 pm

You'd have to talk with the manager, but it likely comes with the hardware or from the hardware MFG simply because these things don't (AFAIK) have standardized APIs that we can hook into.

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Re: Scoring software

Post by bowl1820 » April 18th, 2020, 1:14 am

FYI He's referring to Bowling League Secretary by CDE not the software that runs the hardware and front end at the alley,.
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Re: Scoring software

Post by GrumpyCatFace » April 18th, 2020, 5:35 am

Yeah, I guess I reinvented league secretary. I’d love to know what they’re charging though, because I could do it for a lot less.

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Re: Scoring software

Post by bowl1820 » April 18th, 2020, 11:14 pm

GrumpyCatFace wrote:
April 18th, 2020, 5:35 am
Yeah, I guess I reinvented league secretary. I’d love to know what they’re charging though, because I could do it for a lot less.
The pricing can be found through the CDE website, Basic info is

BLS-2020 Standard is $139.00 and if your upgrading it's a lot less.

BLS-2020 Professional is $199.00

For the auto scoring system you have to get a quote because it depends on center size. The Electronic Scoring Systems this integrate with include: QubicaAMF Conqueror Pro, Brunswick Sync, Steltronic Focus, US Bowling Pulse

Your software would require the API's for all those systems to work with them.

I would suggest downloading the demo vers. of BLS and see just what all it actually does Before trying to reinvent the wheel.
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Re: Scoring software

Post by boomer » April 20th, 2020, 9:06 pm

I used BLS on its own a while ago and that sucked. Like really. . . such a pain.

You WANT the APIs to latch into the scoring systems that the house uses. You really do not want to be doing it by hand.

What features do you have in yours? have you compared back to back? BLS has been doing this for quite a while (not sure if Lance is still there or not) and have a pretty comprehensive system, and their online system is really quite good. A few things I'd want that they don't have, a few things they do differently than I would, but that's a style thing. :)

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Re: Scoring software

Post by GrumpyCatFace » April 21st, 2020, 12:32 am

boomer wrote:
April 20th, 2020, 9:06 pm
I used BLS on its own a while ago and that sucked. Like really. . . such a pain.

You WANT the APIs to latch into the scoring systems that the house uses. You really do not want to be doing it by hand.

What features do you have in yours? have you compared back to back? BLS has been doing this for quite a while (not sure if Lance is still there or not) and have a pretty comprehensive system, and their online system is really quite good. A few things I'd want that they don't have, a few things they do differently than I would, but that's a style thing. :)
Well, I’ve only seen BLS in use once (this past season), but I was a bit horrified by the interface. A modern-looking app would go a long way, I think. Also, the graphs and charts are pretty miserable looking.

My main innovation would be on the backend. I work as a database administrator, so I’m very familiar with storing and feeding data quickly and report building.

One big idea I had was to integrate with the actual scoring display, and give the user the option to bowl against the ‘house pro’ - whatever the highest score was frame-by-frame, in the last week/month/year. Or better, use a given PBA player’s score on a similar pattern.

So the bowler could walk up to his lane and select from a menu of ‘phantom players’ to compete against. I think that would be really fun for some of the hot shots out there that think they could beat Belmo on a THS or Shark pattern or whatever.

Also, having that database could allow tournament organizers or USBC officials to pull up any bowler’s scores from a national database. Not sure if they’d go for it, but having a verified source for everybody would eliminate all of the other record keeping that each local chapter does.

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Re: Scoring software

Post by MegaMav » April 21st, 2020, 12:52 am

GrumpyCatFace wrote:
April 21st, 2020, 12:32 am
I work as a database administrator, so I’m very familiar with storing and feeding data quickly and report building.
Nice to meet you. Me too.
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Oracle now, for 1 year.
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Re: Scoring software

Post by GrumpyCatFace » April 21st, 2020, 5:13 am

MegaMav wrote:
April 21st, 2020, 12:52 am
Nice to meet you. Me too.
DB2/LUW for 11 years.
Oracle now, for 1 year.
MS SQL for 8 years. I can’t even Oracle to save my life lol

So I was thinking a big private azure DB for a few bucks a month, and the charts/reports in crystal or something similar. I know powerBI is beautiful but stupid expensive.

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Re: Scoring software

Post by boomer » April 21st, 2020, 3:26 pm

I've been using BLS since . . . IDK, maybe 15 years. Not sure if he's still there, but the programmer used to be a roommate, waaaaaaay back in the day.

Yeah - I'm not a fan of the interface - never really have been. It violates one of my UI prime directives: "Make people go past the right thing to get to the wrong thing" - but really that's neither here nor there.

What you're talking about is rooted in data, but has so much more to do than that. (btw, been programming since the 80s, doing MS SQL and MySQL for 10-12 years) - you can have all of that data, but in order to "ghost bowl" you have to hook into the lane system (unless you want it to be fantasy bowling and that's a whole different, and to my mind, far easier, beastie) and I've never seen one that actually runs BLS. BLS just takes a data-dump from the local lane system and enables reporting - which by itself is data. On its own, that's easy. We all could do that, I'd wager. Whip up a UI, establish the format for the data dump, and Bob's your uncle.

I don't think that's what you're meaning, though, right? To me, to "against a pro" means having their screen, frame by frame, to bowl against, which means changing the UI on the bowling center screen (which, yes, they ARE nightmares of poor interfaces, bad input devices, etc.) - but that's where data ends and API interfacing begins - and I have zero idea how these systems interface. I have a really bad feeling that most of them (especially the old ones) are ALL ANALOG, meaning no digital APIs, really. LOL - I saw a screen reboot a short time ago and it was still on WIN 98 !!!! :O (At least it wasn't ME, amiright! ROFL)

Reminds me of a "game" simulation that a professor on my campus is running - it stopped working and we had to figure out why. Turns out it stopped working when we moved to Win7-64 and turns out the program was on 8-bit compiled FORTRAN and 64-bit Windows stopped supporting 8 bit programs. One of the original authors had died and the other one didn't have the source code anymore (he said, "You're still USING that thing???" LOL - faculty)

Old systems suck. . . but when you're a bowling center that's just getting by or getting absorbed by AMF-Bowlmor, your concern isn't getting fancy software, it's keeping things working and maybe putting some lipstick on it (fancy cheap animations).

Just my thoughts on it.

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Re: Scoring software

Post by GrumpyCatFace » April 22nd, 2020, 5:07 am

FORTRAN lmao

Yeah, the interface is probably ancient. I snuck a peek at the hookup at my local center, and it had a bunch of either coax or RCA lines running to the back of a win 98 computer. Amazing that stuff still works really.

The ghost bowling is probably a non-starter. No way to get into that software, unless I worked for Brunswick ( who wouldn’t bother anyway). It’s a shame though, because there’s a lot of innovation to be done there.

I know I could build a better BLS, but I suppose that markets pretty locked up as well. They seem to be the only game in town, and not even that widely used - at least in my area.

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Re: Scoring software

Post by boomer » April 22nd, 2020, 3:10 pm

start by making better brackets / sweeper / tournament software.

I HATE those systems. Keep thinking to do it but . . . nah. LOL

Then you can creep into the leagues from there.

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Re: Scoring software

Post by GrumpyCatFace » April 23rd, 2020, 1:39 am

boomer wrote:
April 22nd, 2020, 3:10 pm
start by making better brackets / sweeper / tournament software.

I HATE those systems. Keep thinking to do it but . . . nah. LOL

Then you can creep into the leagues from there.
What are they using now, excel sheets? I assumed there was already a product for that.

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Re: Scoring software

Post by GrumpyCatFace » April 23rd, 2020, 2:22 am

So it seems that BLS’s only real competitor was Perfect Secretary, and they folded 2 years ago.

Got into the demo version of BLS 2019 and... wow. They don’t seem to be even trying.

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Re: Scoring software

Post by boomer » April 23rd, 2020, 3:26 pm

GrumpyCatFace wrote:
April 23rd, 2020, 1:39 am
What are they using now, excel sheets? I assumed there was already a product for that.
They're using Braxion or . . . CDESoftware (BLS) neither of which is really very good.

And I don't know what they use for Sweepers but that sucks.

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