MLS 3.5 Thread Post by the MLS Product Manager

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
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johnshaw
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Postby johnshaw » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:12 am

One other thought might be to give us an item in the help area (where one used to exist I believe) to 'Check for Major Update' - any of the . releases could be pushed normally, but these big ones you could allow the end user to Check and install at their leisure. With the understanding (through good communication) that if it hasn't been upgraded by a certain date that it will be automatically installed the first send/receive after that date. Allow a couple weeks for a window of time.
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”
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russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:00 am

hansg wrote:This won't be a solution for all, but if you want to preempt an uncertain 3.5 install date/time, you can navigate to the website Justin first mentioned in this thread and (with the permission of your bishop) download and install 3.5 yourself.


I don't think that's the bishop's decision. You'd need the permission of the stake president.
Have you searched the Help Center? Try doing a Google search and adding "site:churchofjesuschrist.org/help" to the search criteria.

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krebsj
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Postby krebsj » Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:41 pm

One small change to the name of the article on the Record-Keeping and Tech Support site: Navigate to: Applications > MLS > MLS Release Notifications article.
KrebsJ wrote:My name is Justin Krebs and I am the product manager for MLS. As many of you know, we are in the midst of releasing MLS 3.5. I want to apologize for some of the communication issues as part of this release. I take full responsibility for them and am working hard to improve communication with you going forward.

To get the official information about the MLS 3.5 release, please visit the Record-Keeping and Technology Support site: http://clerksupport.lds.org. Navigate to: Applications > MLS > MLS Update Procedures article.

The timing of giving a specific release date has been challenging as we have continued to find issues that we have needed to resolve, thus extending our beta testing period. I need to do a better job of communicating these changes to the units as there are changes in schedule. I will be working on that. Here is the latest thinking on the schedule:

1. We have released to over 4,000 units as of today.
2. We plan to expand to additional units this week but the number and location of units is still being determined as we work through some issues found in the latest beta testing.
3. As we determine which units to expand to, I will ensure that we get a communication to the units so they can plan accordingly.

I want to thank each of you for your tireless efforts in supporting MLS for your units. I know it has been frustrating at times. Please feel free to reply to this thread with any suggestions for how I can improve communication and support of MLS for you.

In the spirit of better communication, there will be an MLS 3.5.1 release around mid-November. I will create a new thread on it to keep you posted.

Best regards,

-Justin
R. Justin Krebs :)
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hansg
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Postby hansg » Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:18 pm

RussellHltn wrote:I don't think that's the bishop's decision. You'd need the permission of the stake president.


From the update page: "The stake president or bishop must approve of the stake's or ward’s participation.

Meaning if you're a ward get permission from your bishop. If you're a stake, get permission from the SP.

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Postby russellhltn » Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:39 pm

hansg wrote:From the update page: "The stake president or bishop must approve of the stake's or ward’s participation.


Some MLS updates need to be done by all units of the stake to work right. Perhaps that's not the case for 3.5, but I wonder about the precedence that sets. Up to now, most computer decisions have been under the STS and the stake.

Justin, can we get your input on this?
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krebsj
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Postby krebsj » Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:44 pm

Great, we will plan to do so. In fact, our next release to units on CUBS is currently planned for next Monday.
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krebsj
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Postby krebsj » Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:45 pm

Great, we will plan to do so. In fact, our next release to units on CUBS is currently planned for next Monday.
mrrad wrote:I would simply suggest that the next update be pushed out beginning on a Monday or Tuesday rather than "after hours" on a Friday. This will allow clerks who wish to work during the week the option to do it and, we hope, to iron out issues before going into panic mode on a Sunday.

Thank you for all of your work. Most MLS updates have been absolutely painless on the user end so we're not accustomed to having problems.
R. Justin Krebs :)

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krebsj
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Postby krebsj » Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:50 pm

Excellent thoughts. Thanks for sharing! It will really help me to keep things in perspective.
JohnShaw wrote:First, let me say, the process to bring the systems (CDOL, online Directory, and MLS) into alignment is I'm sure, no minor task, coordinating that effort is a big deal. The MLS system has improved and progressed a great deal over the last few years and the teams involved are appreciated for their efforts. The minor releases have only extremely rarely had issues. However, I believe, that impacts a bit, the major releases that should have more care and feeding involved with them from my perspective.

I'd just like to add a +1 on notifying us specifically when it will push, if it doesn't push, then let us know that as well.

Here is a potential suggested MINIMUM notification/communication that should go out to both MLS messaging, posted on leader.lds.org, and through email.
  1. Leadership notification, (Stake Presidencies and Bishoprics) that the change is coming, what it is intending to accomplish, effects, encourage clerks to look for the coming instructions (Create expectations that while dates are not solid now, as they firm up communications will be sent out).
  2. Send out the Instructions Documentation - The Coming Soon message (like the 3.5 was done).
  3. Message with Firm(ish) dates - Initial push to X number of units - if all goes well.... Date for push to remaining
  4. All goes well, Message to remaining Units that push is X date
  5. If initial push uncovered issues you want to handle prior to the upgrade, send a push notice to remaining with a stay tuned message
  6. Remaining units push notification (with clarifying documentation discovered during initial push, etc...) and solid date to remaining units

Of course you can refine this it is only rough in nature, and maybe it seems a little much, but Information like this will save our clerks PRECIOUS time and money. I have at least 5 clerks that are at minimum 1/2 hour drive to the meetinghouse, many who made special trips on Saturday to the clerk computer because they were told it would be pushed on Friday - They didn't want to spend a Sunday going through those processes. LUS had been telling people all week it was going out on Friday, I read it on the tech board, and called LUS to validate, after confirmation, I let my clerks know the information we had and they acted.

I look like an idiot, they wasted their time... Their precious Saturday time I'm sure you have heard these things over and over. But, I wanted to add this for emphasis - Clerk are not all 5 minutes from the meetinghouse - There is a commonly known scouting / hiking / trekking philosophy that says you are only as fast as your slowest member. In this case, I would hope the team is FIRST and FOREMOST thinking, How does this impact a clerk that must drive 1 hour to get to the meetinghouse? How will our process affect him directly, because his time away from his family is precious, and we truly want to be respectful of it.

Remote access to the computer might be a good idea... In Brian Fromm's Clerk Computer presentation he basically said that justifications would need to be provided to remote access, add this to the VERY long list of reasons why remote access should be allowed.
R. Justin Krebs :)

MLS Product Manager

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sj3vans
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Postby sj3vans » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:32 am

Also, it would be helpful for messages sent through MLS to also be sent to clerks via the email address associated with their LDS.org accounts.

Also, I'd like to add my support behind remote access as I would gladly remote in to my units to ensure that the upgrade would not hit on a Sunday. My furthest unit is about 2 hours away, so remote access to check on the health of a system and specifically this update would be extremely helpful to me. Although this is being discussed elsewhere in the forums and I'll add more on this topic there.

Thanks for all you do!

rolandc
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Postby rolandc » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:56 am

Notifications Sent to Clerks LDS Account email

Remote Access to fix some of these things that we need to fix.


2nd.
Roland


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