Since the mid-90s, our consultant Jakob Bo Larsen has developed and maintained a small program suite for the Danish Homing Pigeon Associations.
The programs were originally developed in Visual Basic 6 with an MS Access database. With the advent of new technologies, however, Internet functionality and SMS service have also been made available via MySQL and PHP.
The Danish Homing Pigeon Association handles the homing pigeon sport in Denmark. The members are spread over more than 120 local associations spread across the country. The associations are divided into 18 geographically distributed sections with their own competitions, articles of association, and board of directors. Besides, a nationwide secretariat handles contact with the authorities, application for a permit for racing flights, clarification of veterinary issues, accounting, control, and calculation of official results. Nationwide competitions are also planned and administered by the secretariat.
The main features in the program-suite support functions in the three organizational levels of association, section, and secretariat:
- The association program is installed in each of the local associations. It makes it possible to arrange local race flights in the local associations, just as registration for section and DDB flights is made in the association program. Results are collected in the association program by direct reading from the electronic systems used in the individual pigeon classes to register returned pigeons. The association program provides the opportunity to define and calculate local competitions, just as collected data is communicated to the sections and the secretariat by emails and file transfers.
- The section program is used in the individual sections primarily to arrange and administer regional competitions.
- Finally, the secretariat program in the national secretariat is used to administer DDB flights. These include national flights covering all associations in the country. In addition to competition planning, performance calculation, and accounting in connection with games and prizes, the secretariat program also includes functions to support the general administration, such as member registration and quota calculation.
Internet communication takes place via several PHP programs installed on a Linux server in the secretariat. Data sent from the association program is automatically captured by embedding programs written in PHP. These stores the transferred data in a MySQL database and perform initial performance calculations. Other PHP programs pick up text messages sent from the electronic facilities that register returning pigeons, or they allow for manual registration of return times. Data collected from the various sources in the MySQL database form the basis of websites that present temporary as well as final results.
In addition to the primary programs mentioned above, the program suite includes:
- A membership program integrated with the association program that can be acquired by the individual member for the administration of their own pigeons.
- An exhibition program.
- A stock index.