Installing GMS

BEFORE YOU BEGIN: This page was designed as a step by step guide to get you started using GMS 7.5

Special Olympics International has created a more detailed guide for different types of installation scenarios. While the instructions below should suffice for most installations, if you would like to review this document please click on this link.

1 System Requirements

Windows XP and newer can run GMS with minimal problems. However, we recommend Windows 7 and newer, with an Intel i5 processor, 4GB RAM, and at least 128GB of hard drive space.

GMS is not compatible with Apple OSX. If you wish to run GMS on a Mac, emulation must be performed (i.e. Bootcamp).

2 Download Request and Registration Key

Special Olympics, Inc. (SOI) offers free GMS software licenses to all accredited Special Olympics Programs and their users. Understanding that many GMS users are volunteers, SOI distributes the software through each Program office.

IMPORTANT NOTE: GMS is offered in both 32-bit and 64-bit formats. To understand whether your computer can run the 64-bit version of GMS, read the answer to the second question at this link.

Please complete the following form to request your copy of the software and the registration key.

Upon review a series of follow up e-mails will be sent to you with links to your requested version and your registration key.

GMS Download / Registration Code Request

  • This information is required so that we can send you your download link and registration key.
  • Please select your primary role within Special Olympics
  • GMS is offered in both 32-bit or 64-bit formats. To understand whether your computer can run the 64-bit version of the software please visit: This Link
  • If Yes please indicate which versions of GMS you are currently working with. (You may select more than one)
  • Important Information
    Thank you for your request. Upon review you will receive one e-mail with links to download the software and another containing your registration key. If you do not receive this email within 24 hours please check your Junk Mail / Spam folder and that info@specialolympicsontario.com is on your e-mail safe list.

3 Downloading & Installing GMS

To download, please follow the instructions in your e-mail. If you do not receive your e-mail within 24 hours please check your Spam/Junk Mail folders and ensure that info@specialolympicsontario.com is not being blocked by your email software.

If you are still having difficulty please contact James Noronha at jamesn@specialolympicsontario.com

After downloading the .zip file, extract the folder to a central location; your Desktop, for example. GMS is distributed as a single executable (.exe) file. It does not use Windows Installer to install the program onto your computer and proceed to the next step.

IMPORTANT NOTE: GMS 7.2 and onward have a built-in feature that prompts users to download new versions as they are released. This feature helps to 1) notify all users when there is an updated version available, and 2) make it easy for users to upgrade.

IF YOU ARE UPGRADING FROM GMS 7.2 OR LATER

You may simply copy the files downloaded either through or form request or through the auto-update download (in GMS) to your local GMS Folder. If you are running the 64-bit version of GMS please ensure that the ielib64.dll file is present in your GMS Folder. 

4 Starting GMS

If you are running the 32-bit version of GMS please Double-click on the GMS.exe file in your GMS Folder from Step 3. IF you are running the 64-bit version of GMS please Double-click on the GMS7_x64.exe file in your GMS Folder from Step 3. On a new installation, GMS will prompt the user to enter a User Name (optional), Organization Name, and GMS 7 Serial Number. Your User information and serial number will be in the second e-mail you received entitled GMS Registration Key.

Remember: If you are running the 64-bit version of GMS please ensure that the ielib64.dll file is present in the same folder as your GMS7_x64.exe file. The ielib64.dll is found in the 64-bit install zip file.

5 Database Selection on Start-Up

For a new install you will see a database selection window like the one on the right.

Select “Tools” then “Setup database connections”. This will open the Database Connections window.

6 Database Connections Management

From the Database selection window, select “Tools” and “Setup database connections” to bring up the Database connections window. This is where you will manage all of your database connections. You can also access this window from within GMS. From the GMS Main Screen > Administrator Tools > Database Connections.

Existing databases will appear in the left column. Once you select that database, the database connection settings will appear on the right. On the bottom left, you can select your “Default database at startup” and the checkbox for “Automatically connect to this database when GMS 7 starts up” to bypass the Database Selection window the next time you open GMS.

Many people think that data is stored within GMS itself. GMS is a client that reads and writes data to a database. The database, Nexus for your purposes, is where the data is actually stored. GMS, as a client, brings data to and from the database so that the user can work with it.

7 Create a New Database Connection

1. In the Database Connections window, select “Create New” on the upper-left of the window.

2. Select that you are creating a “Nexus” connection.

3. Enter a “Connection Name” and a “Nickname (Optional)”.

4. Change “Connection Type” to “Work with local data files directly (only one user at a time)”.

5. Click on the folder icon at the end of the “Folder with Data Files” and direct GMS where to build/store your Nexus database tables. Usually, this is the same folder where GMS.exe and .ini files are stored.

6. You can add to the “Notice to show on-screen when this connection is used:” field to have that text show in the GMS Main Screen as a reference.

7. Select “Save” then “Close”, which will take you to the Database Selection window.

1. In the Database Connections window, select “Create New” on the upper-left of the window.

2. Select that you are creating a “Nexus” connection.

3. Enter a “Connection Name” and a “Nickname (Optional)”.

4. Change “Connection Type” to “Work with local data files directly (only one user at a time)”.

5. Click on the folder icon at the end of the “Folder with Data Files” and direct GMS where to build/store your Nexus database tables. Usually, this is the same folder where GMS.exe and .ini files are stored.

6. You can add to the “Notice to show on-screen when this connection is used:” field to have that text show in the GMS Main Screen as a reference.

7. Select “Save” then “Close”, which will take you to the Database Selection window.

8 Getting Started

1. You should now be back in your Database Selection Window.

2. Select the Nexus Database that you created in Step 7 in the “Connect to which database” drop down list.

3. Click Connect and GMS will start.

4. If this is the first time you are connecting to this database GMS will identify missing tables. Simply keep clicking Next and the necessary database tables will be created and GMS will finalize its installation.

5. You are now ready to Get Started working with GMS.

6. Once GMS is loaded you will be presented with the main menu.

7. As you get oriented to GMS the following are great resources and things to keep in mind.

  • DO Click Here to download and import the Reports Set from the Resources Page these preset reports are standard for Special Olympics Ontario and will save you countless hours of report creation.
  • Do check out the TRAINING PAGE to find Quick Guides, Cheat Sheets and other training resources that will help you navigate and get started using GMS.
  • Do take a look around this GMS Support Site and its links to Special Olympics International’s GMS Support Resources
  • If you get stuck don’t hesitate to Get In Touch with support for help.
  • The context menu (Right Click) is your best friend. When in doubt, try right clicking on an item in GMS to see if there are options not displayed on the main screen.
  • Finally remember the best way to get comfortable with GMS is to practice using it. Don’t be afraid to create demonstration games, simulate competitions and test out new features and functions.

Have Fun and thank you for using GMS and your dedication to Special Olympics.