Tourneytopia 2009

posted on 03/12/09 at 08:32:48 pm by Joel Ross

For Develomatic, the first quarter of the year is by far our busiest time. We usually add a few features to Tourneytopia that our users have asked for over the past year, as well as having more sales and support calls than any other time of the year. With Selection Sunday just a few days away, this year is no exception.

Just this past week, we wrapped up the final touches, fixing the few minor issues found during the Accenture Match Play contest - a contest that we originally started using as a way to beta test the site in anticipation of March Madness. Now that we run numerous tennis tournaments throughout the year, it's no longer as useful to use it that way, but we still use that as a target for feature completion for the NCAA tournament.

So what did we spend our time doing this year? Well, let's see:

  • Updated the look and feel for the pools. Before, we had to rely on Javascript to finalize the layout to get it to work right, but we re-did it a bit, and I think it works better now than before.
  • Added custom skins. Last year, we simplified our styles in such a way that we could easily add skins to the site, and we added about 10 for people to choose from. This year, we took it one step further, and we allow you to choose any custom colors combos!
  • Pool Admins can now submit picks after the deadline. This is one feature that we resisted adding, but finally decided it was time. Now, if you're running a pool, you can add picks after the window closes. This'll let admins add picks for people who turn in paper brackets. Except they all go under the admin account...
  • ...which brings me to the next new feature: transferring picks to other users. In the above example, after the admin submits a pick, they can go to their account page, click a button, and get a URL that they can send to someone. When they click on that link, the pick will be transferred to their account. This was probably the second most requested feature, right behind admins being able to submit after the deadline.
  • Integration with We've been running these two services for a couple of years now, but we'd never put them together. This year, after getting no requests like this in the past, we got several inquiries about collecting entry fees - specifically for charity pools. One person said integration between the two would be a selling point for us over other pool management software. So we added it.

We've done a few other thing as well to improve performance - but those aren't really features. But know that we've had our eyes on performance, and made several software tweaks as well as hardware changes to ensure that the site performs up to our standards.

With the tournament just days (hours!) away, I can't wait!

Categories: Development