Live search of turf standards

For some time now (we are talking years by the way) I’ve had a database (MySQL) sitting on the web with most of the performance standards for sports and amenity turf surfaces. I wanted to learn a bit about live search and querying of different databases (well different tables within a database) so decided this would make a good little project with a useful outcome.

Performance standards for sports turf and amenity surfaces are available from a range of organisations, e.g. Sport England, the RFU, the FA, The ECB, British Standards Institute, The Institute of Groundsmanship, the STRI, City & Guilds. Being able to find out about them and query them in a simple and accessible way is not something which is currently available. The web is an ideal medium in which to carry this out.

I’ve designed a database which holds the titles and descriptions of the different sports, amenity turf categories (from BS7370-03) and a couple of lawn standards I created to see how useful they might be for the domestic market.

I have a live search page http://www.turfstandards.co.uk/index.php which has 24 potential options available – the options are stored in a database, so can be easily added to as required – ┬ádepending upon the key word, e.g. rugby, turf, amenity, etc. One of the fields in this database is a web address, but this can’t be queried as it sits there awaiting to direct the option clicked to the right place. Once an option is selected and clicked this takes the user through to another page which is held in another location.

Live search page

Live search page

Live search in action

Live search in action

The web address held in the live search database is a php file (located on a different web domain) which is automatically populated by a query to the performance standards database, holding some 600 individual standards. It was easy and quick to create the 24 pages for the performance standards pages because all that was needed was a minor amendment to the SQL search query.

Search result outcome

Search result outcome

What would now be useful are further links added to the resultant performance standards pages which link through to what each individual standard criterion means in detail and how it is assessed and applied in practice.

The purpose of the exercise has been achieved though as I have created a working live search, which then automatically queries another database table (upon selection of one of the live search options) to produce the desired outcome; all in a pretty seamless way. Nice one.

Chris Gray, 26th July 2017