Merge Bridgemate databases from different playing areas

There is a feature in Magic Contest that allows you to run events in multiple playing areas using different Bridgemate servers. Then you merge the two Bridgemate databases into one combined database that is used to import results from. You need two computers, two servers, and a USB memory or other means to move files between the two computers.

The below text comes from versions 4.8 and 4.10 and has not been edited further than what was written in the change log.


It works for both team and pair events

The text below is written from a team event perspective. You can easily apply it to pair events with nothing more than marginal changes to the text.


4.8 … Bridgemate > Merge databases from different playing areas

You can now find a new menu option in Contest menu > Bridgemate:

  • Merge databases from different playing areas

This does exactly as it sounds, i.e. the contents of one Bridgemate database is copied to another. The normal usage is for a team contest with two or more playing areas, but there are no major obstacles to using it in a pair event.

You can make this feature as complicated as can be. The goal is the opposite, i.e. not to create a full fledged database handler, so strict limitations have been applied on what can be done and not. These are described below.

For this to work you must have created a Bridgemate database. This is the “current” database.

Then you select the menu option and select a database you want to copy from. This is the “other” database.

What happens next is the following:

  1. A copy of the current database is stored in Magic Contest Inbox\Old.
  2. All names from the other database are copied to the current.
  3. All results from the other database are copied to the current.
  4. The other database is moved to Magic Contest Outbox\Old.

Let us assume that you have a team contest with 12 teams. This means 6 tables in open room and 6 tables in closed. In the current database you find tables 1-3. In the other database you find tables 4-6.

What happens after the merge is that you will have a current database containing all tables, i.e. tables 1-6 in both open and closed rooms. A copy of the database before the merge (containing tables 1-3) is stored in Magic Contest Inbox\Old.


Check list

Do the following to merge databases in a team contest:

1. Create the team contest in the current playing area. Enter team names and players.

2. Copy the contest file (.mc4 file) to the other playing area.

3. Create pair windows and Bridgemate databases in both playing areas, but only use the corresponding tables in each playing area.

4. When the round has finished, send the Bridgemate database from the other playing area.

5. Place the other Bridgemate database in Magic Contest Outbox (*) on the current computer.

6. In the pair window (**) on the current computer, select Contest menu > Bridgemate > Merge databases from different playing areas.

7. Select the other database (***). Names and results are copied to the current database.


Some clarifications to the starred items above

(*) The other database has to be placed somewhere, but it cannot be in Magic Contest Inbox since both databases have the same names. You can place the file wherever you want, but the first time Magic Contest will look in Magic Contest Outbox. After that Magic Contest will look in the selected place.

(**) You cannot do this from the team window. The reason is that it is very easy to have selected an incorrect round.

(***) The file name that is suggested is the same as the current database.



There are no validations against two databases being merged more than once. This means that the same results from the other database can be copied more than once. This does not really matter since the result import is not affected.

You cannot merge two pair contests that have been scored as section A. In such a case the A results from the other database will be mixed with the A results from the current database. This will most often lead to the current A results being prioritised in favour of the other A results, but there are no guarantees to this. The main problem is that the other A results cannot be imported into section B in the current contest.

If you have a contest with board numbers above 32, where you restart on 1 after board 32, you should be careful. To ensure that this will work I recommend that you follow recommendation 2 below. Then there is no risk of errors.


Recommendation 1

If you have imported the line-up in the other playing area and you find an error, then this is corrected in the teams window.

When you later close the line-up window and select Enter names in the pair window the incorrect player has now been corrected. The problem is that these changes have not been stored in the Bridgemate database (that will be sent when the round has ended).

The solution is to, from the pair window, select Contest menu > Bridgemate > Export names to Bridgemate II. This means that the correct member numbers and names are exported to the Bridgemate database. When the databases are later merged everything will be fine.


Recommendation 2 … for pair events

If you want to merge databases in a pair contest I recommend that you start the pair contest in the current playing area with two sections.

Then you send the contest file (.mc2 file) to the other playing area and use it to create the Bridgemate database, both in the current and the other playing areas.

During the course of the event you use section A in the current playing area and section B in the other. This means that you without problems can merge the two databases and correctly import both names and results.


4.10 … Bridgemate > Merge databases automatically

Since version 4.8 there is a new Bridgemate feature called Merge databases from different playing areas. It does exactly that.

Normally, your active (“current“) Bridgemate database resides in Magic Contest Inbox like this:

  • [Magic Contest Inbox] … abc.bws

and the database to be manually merged from (“other“) is found in Magic Contest Outbox like this:

  • [Magic Contest Outbox] … abc.bws

In case of the new and automatic merge feature, a few conditions must be fulfilled:

1. You must activate Create JSON file with contest data. This is a setting found in Contest menu > Bridgemate > Properties. The idea behind this is that you first export JSON data to an external source of data that uses the JSON file for basic definitions. Then you import data from the same source.

2. You must import results up to and including the current round. This is a setting found in Contest menu > Bridgemate > Properties, then the Bridgemate (import) tab, and finally activate the option called Import only up to and including the current round.

3. The Bridgemate database name must be correct. The file naming is as follows, i.e. -n is added to the file name, where n is the current round:

  • [Magic Contest Outbox] … abc-1.bws
  • [Magic Contest Outbox] … abc-2.bws
  • [Magic Contest Outbox] … abc-3.bws
  • and so on…

Placing the other files in Magic Contest Outbox is not necessary, but that is the default setting. If you wish to import the files from another place, you need to do a manual merge where you select a file from another folder. After that you can continue to merge files from that folder.

No validations are done. This means that if you merge round 3 twice, there will be duplicates in the master Bridgemate database. This normally works, but it may cause problems.

The main issue is if you have merged round 3 and then made changes in the remote location and merge round 3 again. Magic Contest has now imported the first and unchanged version of the result and will continue to do so. The only solution to such a problem is to create a completely new master Bridgemate database and then merge all rounds from scratch. A better solution is to only change in Magic Contest.