Exciting news for the SC Prep History Site


 I am excited to announce there has been a major overhaul of the site and the new site will debut later this week. I have spent a great deal of time working on the new and improved site during the summer, and I hope you will be excited to see all the changes and improvements.

Corrections

  • Over 2500 corrections were made to the database over the past 90 days
  • Processed all emails and corrections sent to me over the past year.
  • Cleaned up every data table to create uniformity across the data, no more entries where duplicate information is present polluting the data.
  • Cleaned up the coach’s database. Once again making sure the name was consistent throughout the system.

New Development Platform and GUI

The original platform was created in Microsoft FrontPage and then Migrated to Web Expressions in 2011. The problem is/was Microsoft discontinued FP in 2008 or so, and Web Expression was killed off in 2014. I have been working and developing in a platform which offered no support or help for a very long time. Needless to say, it was frustrating and limited what I could do. There was also no new development or new features added since the software was DOA almost a decade ago.

I have migrated the entire site to WORDPRESS. It may not be the cleanest or most sophisticated development system or platform out there, but it works, and there are tons of features and support and Add – Ons and ready to use Themes and Templates. It works for me and seems easy to maintain and add new ideas and features as time goes by. I went with Word Press for these reasons, and after two months of working on things behind the scenes, I have become fairly adapted to the program. There are aspects I hate about WP, but as I said, it works, and I have spent a considerable amount of time learning the inner workings of the program.

Database

The main improvement and what I am most excited is the migration of the primary databases from Microsoft’s Access database program to MySQL. Those of you who have a basic understanding of databases know exactly how hard it was to take 20 years of data and change it from one format to the next.

However, the main database had completely outgrown the capabilities of Access. 99% of the problems on the website over the past few years have been a result of too much stress and queries on to the limited Microsoft platform. 

Access is extremely limited on what is capable of doing for tickly when it’s being pinged to death with people accessing the site during football season. I’ve known for a few years now that migration to MySQL or other robust data platform was needed.

 Basically, access is without a doubt, the worst platform and program ever developed by Microsoft and after nearly 20 years of using the database for the site, I was forced to make the necessary change. Access simply just could not handle the work demand being placed on the data during the season, and the result was a website that was continually crashing. 

I spent almost a full month redesigning the databases and the tables and making sure the data was in a format which could be transferred to MySQL without losing any information. I successfully transferred the data back in June and only lost the information off one table during the process

Now that the data sits in MySQL, there should be no more runtime errors or missing operand errors which would eventually add up and cause the entire site to crash. I moved all the data over around 60 days ago and have been using the revised and improved MySQL database on the word press site for almost two months now.

It is still a work in progress, and I am trying to finish learning how to manipulate and transform data within the MySQL workbench. Hopefully, this will eliminate the all too common errors on the website and allow for more time in the future.

Cleaning up the data

During the process of migration MySQL, I would estimate that over 30,000 data entries were cleaned up in one manner or another. I went back through the entire data stream and eliminated spaces, commas, and entries which were not coming through on the queries or when totaling up information.

I also eliminated all the duplicate entries like Richmond Academy GA, Richmond Academy, Richmond Academy, Georgia all being the same school but being entered the data in three different formats

I went through the coach’s database and did the same procedures. Mike and Michael are standardized, and all periods, dots, juniors and initials have been cleaned up

New information

  • I have added over 1000 coaches, and 200 games to the system
  • Added home /away to over 5000 games
  • Added 2000 out of state games
  • Cleaned up duplicated entries and added the roster from the Shrine Bowl to 2018
  • Added the state title winners and runner ups to every championship in every sport sanctioned by the SCHSL
  • Cleaned up the data on over 20,000 records in one form or fashion

I hope everyone will find the site much more user-friendly and easier to navigate. The changes should completely eliminate all the previous runtime errors and make sure the data stays consistent and never crashes. 

I intend to switch things over this week and point to the new site as soon as everything is verified, and my beta tester signs off on all the links and information.

Thanks for visiting and I hope everyone has a fantastic season. 

Safe travels to all.

Dave Pickren

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