Magic Contest cannot write to the BMPlayer.mdb file used by Bridgemate Control Software

This problem occurs when the following is true:

  • You use Bridgemate II
  • The first Bridgemate Control Software installation on your computer took place after 18 June 2015, i.e. BCS version 3.1.2 or later
  • You have activated a number of Bridgemate II settings through Magic Contest that are found through Contest menu > Settings > Bridgemate, and the Bridgemate Control settings tab
  • You have activated Optional entry > Member number to Enter member ID in Bridgemate II
  • You have activated Show > Player names to look up and show player names in Bridgemate II
  • You have set Show > Player names > Name source to BMPlayerDB database

The error message you receive when the Bridgemate database is created is this:

Couldn’t find file BMPlayerDB.mdb

You are recommended to read the official Bridgemate II documentation as well as the special Magic Contest Bridgemate II document to really understand all the references in this walk-through.


OK, so what is this all about?

To begin with, as of version 3.1.2 from 18 June 2015, the BCS install script has changed locations for the BMPlayerDB.mdb file. This is a file that is installed together with BCS, and the new location is the following (see the BCS change log):

– Default location of BMplayerDB.mdb changed to C:\Users\<Windows_user>\AppData\Local\BridgeMate Control

The problem is that there is no corresponding setting in Magic Contest. Instead, to make it work, you need to do one of two things:

  1. Either use the Bridgemate database setting in Magic Contest
  2. Or move the BMPlayerDB.mdb file and change a BCS setting


Use the Bridgemate database setting

Do the following to change the setting:

  • Select Contest menu > Settings > Bridgemate
  • Select the Bridgemate Control settings tab
  • Locate the Show > Player names > Name source setting in the list
  • Change it to Bridgemate database

By selecting that option, the entire member database is written to the Bridgemate database every time a new database is created, instead of writing the entire database to the BMPlayedDB.mdb file.

This is a perfectly valid solution, and also the easiest one. This option is especially recommended if your member database is small, as it will take neither time nor disk space to use it.

Note! Even with a large member database there is nothing majorly wrong with this option. Creating the Bridgemate database might take a few seconds extra, but after that, everything is normal.


Move the BMPlayerDB.mdb file and change a BCS setting

This option requires a little more work, and is more technical to its nature.

First you need to locate the BMPlayerDB.mdb file. According to the BCS change log, this is the location where the file is installed:

– Default location of BMplayerDB.mdb changed to C:\Users\<Windows_user>\AppData\Local\BridgeMate Control

Note! When you use Windows Explorer, and you have selected C:\Users\<Windows_user>, the AppData folder might not be visible. Then you need to write that text in the address bar rather than select it.

You need to move the BMPlayerDB.mdb file to where BCS is installed. This is typically a folder called C:\Program Files\Bridgemate Pro, or something like that.

Next step is to change a BCS setting:

  • Open BCS
  • Select Tools > Options > General
  • Select the File locations tab
  • Change BMPlayerDB.mdb database file to BMPro.exe program folder

At this point, Magic Contest and BCS should be able to sort out its player name problems. If you now create a new Bridgemate database and enter member IDs in Bridgemate II, you should see the player names in the display. If not, you need to go back to the different documents describing what to do and how to do it.


Special case for Windows login

There is a bridge club in Stockholm that has a number of computers that are set up with two Windows accounts, one for admin rights and one for plain tournament director rights. Since programs cannot be installed while using the TD account, the admin account has to be used for that.

The problem that occurred was that a BCS installation file created after 18 June 2015 was used. Because of the admin login required to allow program installations, the BMPlayerDB.mdb file was installed in the C:\Users\Admin\AppData folder. Then, after changing to the TD user, when Magic Contest created the Bridgemate database, the error message mentioned above was shown.

Couldn’t find file BMPlayerDB.mdb

The intention during the Magic Contest 4.11 development was to allow the setting to use either the Bridgemate program folder (before 18 June 2015) or the C:\Users\<Windows_user>\AppData folder. For different reasons this was not developed. Now, had it been developed, this same error would have occurred anyway since the current user’s AppData folder was not used.

The solution was the same as above even if the BMPlayerDB.mdb had to be located in another Windows user’s AppData folder.