Open API? Custom Meeting Agendas?

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jacobstimpson
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Open API? Custom Meeting Agendas?

Postby jacobstimpson » Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:16 am

There is some great direction in the handbook on agenda for Ward Council, Bishopric & Youth Council. However it seems that a lot of time is spent organizing an agenda and printing and sharing those agendas. Pulling data from the calendar and other reports to simplify this process would be great. Has there been any discussion about this? If not is there an API that could be used to pull data automatically after you authenticate via your Church Account and it validates your calling so it is secure and could be developed by fellow nerds?

hedeliusk
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Re: Open API? Custom Meeting Agendas?

Postby hedeliusk » Sun Oct 27, 2019 10:09 am

For the calendar, it isn't as direct as using an API, but the church made the decision to make the feeds available via Google Calendar, iCalendar, and Microsoft Outlook. I wrote a parser to get my exported Google Calendar feed and load that into a document used for Ward Council Agenda and the Sacrament Program (when I was the Ward Executive Secretary). It made a big difference in scheduling and publishing information. I found many more ward leaders would use the Calendar on the church's website, rather than just emailing events around, and they loved that events were distributed nearly effortlessly and "automagically" in the program. Members knew much more about what was happening when. It helped drive efforts to push events towards a single location, a "source of truth" and things got coordinated better.

jdlessley
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Re: Open API? Custom Meeting Agendas?

Postby jdlessley » Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:56 am

jacobstimpson wrote:[I]s there an API that could be used to pull data automatically after you authenticate via your Church Account and it validates your calling so it is secure and could be developed by fellow nerds?

Access to APIs to develop programs is limited to in-house church apps/programs or church sponsored apps/programs.
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russellhltn
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Re: Open API? Custom Meeting Agendas?

Postby russellhltn » Sun Oct 27, 2019 12:05 pm

jdlessley wrote:Access to APIs to develop programs is limited to in-house church apps/programs or church sponsored apps/programs.

That's true of membership and financial information. The calendar can be accessed within the limits of the person accessing it and the API.
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jdlessley
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Re: Open API? Custom Meeting Agendas?

Postby jdlessley » Sun Oct 27, 2019 12:37 pm

russellhltn wrote:
jdlessley wrote:Access to APIs to develop programs is limited to in-house church apps/programs or church sponsored apps/programs.

That's true of membership and financial information. The calendar can be accessed within the limits of the person accessing it and the API.

I agree as long as the data is solely from the calendar. The OP mentioned other data sources such as reports and reports generally have membership data.
JD Lessley
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Andrewjgold
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Re: Open API? Custom Meeting Agendas?

Postby Andrewjgold » Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:24 am

hedeliusk wrote:For the calendar, it isn't as direct as using an API, but the church made the decision to make the feeds available via Google Calendar, iCalendar, and Microsoft Outlook. I wrote a parser to get my exported Google Calendar feed and load that into a document used for Ward Council Agenda and the Sacrament Program (when I was the Ward Executive Secretary). It made a big difference in scheduling and publishing information. I found many more ward leaders would use the Calendar on the church's website, rather than just emailing events around, and they loved that events were distributed nearly effortlessly and "automagically" in the program. Members knew much more about what was happening when. It helped drive efforts to push events towards a single location, a "source of truth" and things got coordinated better.


Hello @hedeliusk - Could you message me when you have a moment. I would very much like to speak with you about the parser you wrote. We would benefit from this in our Ward. Thank you kindly!

Andrewjgold
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Re: Open API? Custom Meeting Agendas?

Postby Andrewjgold » Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:25 am

jdlessley wrote:
jacobstimpson wrote:[I]s there an API that could be used to pull data automatically after you authenticate via your Church Account and it validates your calling so it is secure and could be developed by fellow nerds?

Access to APIs to develop programs is limited to in-house church apps/programs or church sponsored apps/programs.


@jdlessley Is there a list of the church sponsored apps/programs that you referenced above? Thank you kindly.

jdlessley
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Re: Open API? Custom Meeting Agendas?

Postby jdlessley » Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:40 pm

Andrewjgold wrote:@jdlessley Is there a list of the church sponsored apps/programs that you referenced above? Thank you kindly.

I am sorry but I do not have access to the list of church sponsored apps. I doubt that there are any remaining fully volunteer development teams since Windows LDS Tools was terminated in 2016. There are volunteers that help with development efforts on a small number of apps but those apps are managed primarily by church app managers.
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sbradshaw
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Re: Open API? Custom Meeting Agendas?

Postby sbradshaw » Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:05 pm

jdlessley wrote:I doubt that there are any remaining fully volunteer development teams since Windows LDS Tools was terminated in 2016. There are volunteers that help with development efforts on a small number of apps but those apps are managed primarily by church app managers.

Correct, there are three external apps I'm aware of that continue to be developed by volunteers: Gospel Library for Windows, Sacred Music for iOS, and Sacred Music for Android. However, at least one of the volunteers on each of those teams is also a Church employee, who can make sure the apps are following Church standards/guidelines; and none of those apps use APIs that access membership or other sensitive data.

The Church has an obligation to make sure that privacy laws (which vary by country) are followed when it comes to how various pieces of membership data are handled, from birth dates to full names to temple recommend status. It would be hard to make sure that happens if there were a public API available. I don't know of any other large organizations that allow you to export or access membership data using a public API.
Samuel Bradshaw • If you desire to serve God, you are called to the work.


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