These instructions are for those who wish to set up BCOE&M on their own web server. Hosted installations follow a different procedure outlined in a setup email subscribers receive after paying for the service.
BCOE&M has been tested with PHP versions 5.3.X (and above) and 7.3.X as well as MySQL version 5.5.X.
If you plan on installing on a local server, we recommend downloading and installing Xampp for your operating system. Xampp, a PHP development environment from Apache Friends, contains the correct versions of PHP and MySQL (via MariaDB) for use with BCOE&M.
BCOE&M utilizes a number of PHP extensions that must be enabled for the application to function properly. All but OpenSSL are enabled by default with a normal PHP server installation. Check with your web host to verify that the following are enabled:
Refer to your web hosting provider's documentation for procedures specific to their environment.
$hostnamevariable does not need to be changed from "localhost" - however, some server enviornments may specify something different. Be sure to consult your hosting company's documentation for connecting to MySQL databases.
$prefixvariable. This is useful if you wish to have separate BCOE&M installations or other applications share the same mySQL database.
$installation_idto provide a unique ID for this BCOE&M instance.
$session_expire_aftervalue. Default is 30 minutes.
$setup_free_accessvariable is set to TRUE.
A sample of the configured variables is provided below (the commented lines have been removed to save screen space). This exemplifies an installation that is housed in a sub-folder with a DB table prefix, installation ID, and a 45 minute session timeout. Leave the
$sub_directory variable empty if you are not installing in a subfolder –
$sub_directory = "";.
<?php /* * Configuration for an installation housed in a sub-folder with a DB * table prefix, installation ID, and a 45 minute session timeout. */ $hostname = "localhost"; $username = "mycleverusername"; $password = "mysecurepassword"; $database = "bcoem"; $connection = new mysqli($hostname, $username, $password, $database); $brewing = $connection; $images_dir = dirname( __FILE__ ); $prefix = "bcoem_"; $installation_id = "84972da38Nza39124"; $session_expire_after = "45"; $setup_free_access = TRUE; // Change to FALSE after setup is completed $sub_directory = "/comp"; $base_url = "http://".$_SERVER['SERVER_NAME'].$sub_directory."/"; $server_root = $_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']; ?>
Via the the /site/paths.php file, there are a few ways for administrators to further customize their installations, take it offline for maintenance, and enable troubleshooting functions. Open that file and enable or disable the global definitions housed there (mark them
FALSE). Each global definition is detailed below.
define('MAINT', TRUE); to bypass the default home page and display a "Site in Maintenance" message to visitors. Default is
define('CDN', TRUE); to utilize CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) that house essential code libraries such as Bootstrap, jQuery, TinyMCE, Font Awesome, etc. The default value of
TRUE should be good for the majority of installations. However, some web hosts do not play well with CDN and/or response is delayed from a CDN provider. If this is the case, follow the directions detailed in the Load Libraries Locally page and then set the value to
FALSE. Default value is
define('TESTING', TRUE); to put your installation into test mode. Especially useful when testing outside functions such as PayPal IPN. Default is
If your site is experiencing functionality issues, set
define('DEBUG', TRUE); to display all PHP errors on screen. Especially useful if you're getting the "white screen of death." These errors are essential for diagnosing a problem if you report an issue on GitHub. Default value is
To view the session variables BCOE&M employs, set
define('DEBUG_SESSION_VARS', TRUE);. This will show a collapsable table of all session variables on screen. Default is
define('FORCE_UPDATE', TRUE); if your installation is experiencing certain MySQL-related errors such as column does not exist, etc. This will trigger database structure checks and add or remove columns that may be throwing errors. Default value is
Only enable this definition for a single refresh of the home page. Otherwise, the script will run on every page access until disabled, significantly affecting performance and page-load.
Markdown is a standard that employs plain-text syntax for text formatting which is then converted to structually valid HTML for display. This is useful if your web host employs a strict security protocol that disallows HTML tags in http POST methods and you are unable to update your competition information.
define('ENABLE_MARKDOWN', TRUE); to use Markdown syntax instead of HTML for text formatting. This will swap the TinyMCE editor for the Bootstrap Markdown editor - used in BCOE&M's Competition Preparation > Edit Competition Info function and store formatted text as plain text in your database. Default value is
BCOE&M employs several email-related functions such as sending account creation confirmations and contacting competition officials, relying on PHP's native mail() function. In some web hosting environments, mail() is disabled, thereby disabling all email functions from the application. If that is the case in your environment, or if you simply wish to use SMTP protocols to send emails, set
define('ENABLE_MAILER', TRUE);. This will enable the use of PHPMailer to send emails from the application.
Please Note: Further configuration is necessary in the /site/config.mail.php file for PHPMailer to work. See the configuration documentation in that file for more information.
There are various reasons why the browser-based setup may not be successful. Below are some troubleshooting steps to take.
BCOE&M 2.6.2 has been tested with PHP version 5.6.X (up to 7.3.X) and MySQL 5.5.X. Make sure you have these versions installed on your webserver.
How do you check your server’s PHP and MySQL version? Simple, use the phpinfo() function.
<?php echo phpinfo(); ?>
If you encounter a blank screen during the setup process, first, make sure that you have the correct PHP version installed on your webserver. Previous versions do not handle session instantiation effectively for BCOE&M.
If you have verified that your PHP version is correct, the next step would be to perform a “Fallback Installation” - see below.
It is possible to install an instance of BCOE&M without using the browser-based installation process.
Included in the package download is a subfolder called “sql” that contains an SQL file called bcoem_baseline_2.1.X.sql. This file contains the complete database structure and dummy data to get you up and running. Complete instructions are at the top of the file.
To install the baseline database and dummy data, you will need access to your database via phpMyAdmin or shell access.