The Virtual Challenge Meets Tabulator

A custom web application for managing virtual academic competitions.

The Problem

The Virtual Challenge Meets was created as an alternative for schools to compete in practice competitions without the travel costs associated with in-person meets. They needed a custom software application to register users, distribute materials, collect results, and generate reports.

The Solution

We developed and continue to maintain a custom web application based on Eclipse RAP. This allowed for the rapid development of an application-like interface for administrators, as well as a simple form-based interface for end users.  The Tabulator handles hundreds of users entering scores for thousands of students each year.

The original design leveraged the Amazon cloud for the application and the database. To achieve a better cost/performance ratio, the application was moved to a custom server. The Java application runs in a Docker container with nginx as a reverse proxy. The database was originally built on Amazon SimpleDB, but was later migrated to MySQL.

The Tabulator provides rich reporting capabilities for the admins to tabulate the results of the meet. There is built-in functionality for sending reports of the results to users, along with printable PDF certificates to the winners.