The first screen that appears when a user enters the Comet application web address is the login screen (Figure 2). Every COMET user needs to be authorized, which means that every user has to have their own valid username & password combination. Credentials will be provided in the form of an email sent via the system by the SUPERUSER of the national football association. Each user must have a valid and unique email address. Otherwise SUPERUSER will not be able to send him/her the username & password combination or other important messages. The username and password are sole and non-transferable property of the person who accesses the system. In fact, each person is responsible for all actions performed under their username. If someone forgets a password, the SUPERUSER can assign him/her a new one.
Note: If you have checked «Remember me» (Selection A) before clicking the "Login" button, your credentials will be saved and reused for next login. From that point forward, you will be logged in automatically each time you access Comet pages. If you wish to disable or cancel this option, you must logout of the system and it goes back to the standard login procedure.
User roles and user permissions
Every user of the application may have one or more roles. For example, one person can be the SUPERUSER of the association, the person responsible for confirming registrations and contracts of players, as well as the competition administrator. Every role has a set of permissions that allow specific actions. Also, each user always belongs to some organization (national federation, regional association or club). For example, if the user from Regional Association of Bogota has a role of “Players Administrator”, he or she will be able to enter, edit and confirm players’ registrations & contracts only for clubs that are members of his regional association, but not registrations of players from other regions. If the user has no authority to execute an action because of his/her role, the system will generate the following message: "You are not allowed to execute this action! “ The SUPERUSER of the association is in charge of administration of users and roles.
User interface is the collection of forms, controls, menus, and graphical elements that visually present the information stored in the system and allow users to manipulate that information. Comet interface has the following components:
- Application Header - top section of the screen which never changes, contains a few pieces of information and images that identify the user & association; also allows access to the “Quick search” function and the “Top menu.”
- Left main menu (primary navigation bar) – all business process functionalities associated with football management are available on the left side menu (see Selection A).
- Top menu (user shortcuts) – other functionalities associated with user settings are available on the top main menu (see Selection B)
- Central display & input area – this is the largest area on the screen where the user enters, searches, views and edits the available information, the system uses standard interface controls
On the left side of the page header you’ll notice the logo of the user's national association, while the right side displays some general information about the user (see Selection C).
Quick search box
At the top of the page, adjacent to the logo (see below), the system provides “quick search” capability. User can search for any entity by typing its name in the search box (e.g. first and last name of a person, name of a club, a stadium or associations, etc.) and access the complete record with a single mouse-click.
User settings are accessible from the menu on the top right side of your screen. On the "User settings" screen (see image below) each user is able to configure the following:
- change the password (see Selection A)
- change contact phone number and email address (see Selection B)
- change the “look and feel” or theme of the screens (see Selection C)
- enable or disable dock/stack menu (see Selection D)
- change current (working) language (see Selection E)
- upload or change user's photo (see Selection F)
User settings are stored in the system database and apply upon user login.
When your user account is first created, the initial password is automatically generated by the system. It is recommended that you change your password after your first login. You can do this by entering your old password first, then inputting your new password twice (see Selection A). Note: A strong password is the first step to ensuring your online privacy and data security. Here are some tips to consider when creating a new password for Comet or any other system you access via login. Characteristics of a strong password are its length (use a minimum of 8 characters), complexity (use a combination of letters, punctuation, symbols and numbers), variation (change your passwords periodically) and variety (don’t use the same password for everything). Remember to keep your password secure and don’t share it with others.
When you have finished your work, you may exit the system by clicking on "Logout" at the top right of the screen. For security reasons, if the user is inactive for more than 30 minutes, he/she will be logged out automatically. In order to continue working in the system, the user will have to login again.
Standard manipulation of data
Some features are almost identical for different objects (entities), whether we are talking about clubs, stadiums, players or coaches. For example, the system has the functionality for entering a new entity (e.g. add a new club to the database when registering a new club), for modifying an existing entity (e.g. changing the name of a stadium) or searching for an existing entities by specific search criteria (e.g. search for all stadiums in Lima). Procedure for accessing these three common database functions (create, search, modify) is standardized. Once the user learns how to work with one type of entity (e.g. club), he/she will have learned almost the entire application. In the sections that follow, we have provided additional descriptions of the three most-commonly-used system functions.
Create a new entity
It is often the case that the user needs to add a new entity into the database, whether it is a player, a club, or a stadium. The form which allows the user to create a new entity is fully standardized and consists of:
- required fields (marked with a different color)
- optional fields (which may be left empty)
- buttons for saving your new entry, resetting (clearing) the form and accessing the search screen (which cancels ‘data input’ mode)
As an example, figure below shows the model with the entry of a new stadium.
If a user tries to save the data, and did not fill out all the required fields, the system will generate an appropriate message (image below shows an example). Also, if the user enters inconsistent data (e.g. instead of a valid date, the user enters text), the system will alert him/her and prevent the wrong entry. Note: Labels of the required fields are in red color.
If all the fields are correctly entered and the user clicks the “Save” button, the system inserts the new record into the database and generates the following message: “The transaction is successfully executed.”
Search for an existing entity
When you click on the search function under any category listed on the left menu, you will notice that any search form is very similar to the entry form for creating a new entity. In this case, the data you enter in the fields shown on the form will be processed as database search criteria. Any single field or a combination of fields can be used as criteria for the search. For example, on the form for searching players, if we enter "Rodriguez" for last name, by clicking on "Search" we will get all the players with last name Rodriguez. Note: You may use a wildcard character ( * ) to replace any arbitrary string. Table below shows some examples of the search of clubs.
|Result of searching
|Name (of club)=La Paz
|All clubs named «La Paz»
|All clubs from place of «Conchillas»
|All clubs whose name begins with the letter «A»
|All clubs whose name contains «son»
Table: examples of different search criteria
Modify an existing entity
In order to modify an existing entry, the user must follow these steps:
- Find and open the object. (See Search for an existing entity)
- Click "Edit" to start changing data.
- Click "Save" to store your changes to the database or “Cancel” to discard any changes and restore original data.
One simple example would be to change the club’s date of foundation:
- On the left menu, choose “Clubs” then click on “Search clubs”. Enter "Deportivo Tachira" as the name of the club, click on “Search”, and then select the club from the list.
- Click on the "Edit" button and enter "11.1.1974" for "Date of foundation."
- Click on the “Save" button.
If all data is valid and user has permission to make changes to this entity, the system informs the user that the transaction has been successfully completed. Otherwise, the system may generate some type of an error message or a warning message.
There are many places in the application where we use data lists to display search results or present the list of possible values. For example, Figure 8 shows results of searching for clubs. You may notice that a list has a title at the top, a name of each column of data, text boxes for typing additional selection criteria and then a list of records. A list displays at most 10 records per page and it provides a paging tool at the bottom for clicking through multiple pages.
Every data list can be: sorted in ascending or descending order by clicking on the column name at the top (Selection A); filtered by entering additional criteria in the filter fields at the top (Selection B); and exported to several standard document types (Selection C).
Upload documents for an entity
Each entity in the system may require additional documents to be attached to the record, i.e. photos, logos, contracts, etc. On the detail form of any entity, you will find a "Documents" button. By clicking on this button, the user may upload one of more files for the selected entity. Some document types are predefined and the rest can be uploaded as “Other” (see figure below). Uploaded documents can later be viewed and downloaded by other users, if their role allows it. To download a document use the save icon next to the file name. To delete a document use the X icon at the end of the row.
Note: The ability to view, upload or download documents, especially secure documents such as players’ contracts, depends on user's roles. (See User roles and user permissions)
Changing status of an entity
Each entity in the system (e.g. player, organization, registration) has its own defined workflow which follows the rules of the national football association. These rules take each entity though one or more steps and statuses. For example, a club can be ACTIVE or INACTIVE, a player's registration can be ENTERED, CONFIRMED, TERMINATED, etc. The procedure for changing status of an entity is essentially the same as “modifying an existing entity” (see section 3.7.3). After opening the selected entity and choosing to edit the record, the user may change the status of the entity by clicking on the available status button (see Section A). Depending on the configuration of the system (based on client’s requirements), user will have to enter a reason for changing the status and confirm his/her selection.
Note:The ability to change the status of an entity depends on user's roles and association rules.
Note:This system has an audit function which tracks status changes for each entity. If you wish to view this information, open the "Status Log" tab of the selected entity.
Ease of use features
As you begin to use Comet on regular basis, you will notice certain features especially designed to improve efficiency and ease of use. Some of these features are more obvious than others, so let’s take a look at the list:
- Auto-complete feature for names of persons, countries, regions and cities (e.g. when you start to type “Par” for name of the country, system generates a list of available options)
- Auto-format feature for names of persons, countries, regions and cities (e.g. automatically changes lower case to capital letters)
- Selecting common options by default (e.g. status = active, gender = male)
- Menus and tools arranged by usage & grouped logically
- User customization features (e.g. language, colors, toolbars)
- Shortcuts for entering dates in the system (e.g. type in 0 = date is set to today)
Entering dates in the system
Every date field in the system follows the same rules. The required date format for the application is dd.mm.yyyy (e.g. 25.01.2013). Date can be entered by typing or by using the calendar tool which opens on the screen as soon as you click on the field. When you prefer to type the date, rather then click through the calendar, you will find the following shortcuts very useful. Typing 8 digits – you can enter all 8 digits representing day, month and year (ddmmyyyy), but there is no need to use punctuation; system will auto-format the field upon exit
Typing 6 digits – you can enter a date in the following format ddmmyy, and the system will auto-format the date and assume current century
Typing 4 digits – you can enter a date in the following format ddmm, and the system will auto-format the date and assume current year
|(in year 2017)
Typing 1 digit for relative date – if the desired date is between +/- 7 days from today’s date, then it will be sufficient to type in one digit or period with a digit and tab away from the field; the system will auto-format the date to the following specifications: 0 = today, 1 = today + 1 = tomorrow, 2 = today + 2, .1 = today – 1, .2 = today – 2, etc.
|(today is 15.01.2017)
Insert new registration for already existing person in the system
The system is designed to facilitate entry of all types of registrations for persons that participate in the area of football (players, coaches, club staff, referees, delegates, observers, and all other persons involved in competition management and administration. It is very often the case that one person has more registrations of various types in the time or during a longer period of time. For example, one person can be registered for year as a player, and after that, as a club coach. It is also a frequent case that a referee after certain period of time becomes an observer. In these cases, personal data already exists in the system and it is not necessary to enter it again. The steps for entering a new registration are the following ones: Select the desired module from the main menu and then the menu item for entering new registration, e.g., "New coach", "New referee", "New observer", etc. On the screen for data entry, first enter the ID. When you start entering other data, the system will check if there is already a person with the same ID in the system. If there is one, the user will get a notification with the following message: "A person with the same ID already exists in the system: Name and familiy name. Do you want to load that person?" Click on the "Load" button to continue creating a new registration. If a person does not exist, enter all the mandatory data and finally click the "Save" button.