Mls 2.9

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
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kfindlay
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Postby kfindlay » Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:04 am

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:42 am

DJC wrote:We have heard that some stakes did not receive the message. We apologize if the message didn't get out to everyone.


I haven't heard of anyone who was notified ahead of time that MLS 2.9 was coming, although my set of data points is limited. How was the message sent out? How was the set of recipients determined?

My stake is a participant in the beta program, and I have communicated directly with Church employees regarding our participation in that program. Also, I am specified in the LUWS as the Stake Technology Specialist, and my e-mail address on LUWS is current. I don't know what else to do to make it easy for the MLS Beta Team to communicate with me.

It is indeed disconcerting to receive a major software update with no warning, particularly on a Sunday. With previous updates, I have been given warning; when this happens, I try to do the update throughout my stake on a Saturday, or at least warn the ward clerks it is coming.

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Postby RossEvans » Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:00 am

Alan_Brown wrote: Yesterday I sent a strongly worded message to Clerk Support requesting that the MLS product team would start running a more professional beta program.


Where I once worked, managing product development, design and testing for a commercial online database service that we grew from nothing and professionalized as time went by, we used to say this:

"There is module testing, there is end-to-end alpha testing, there is regression testing, there is beta testing. Then there is If It Works It's Not a Test."

I suspect that in the software industry generally, more often than we like to think, developers just skip to that phase and call it a beta -- if not a "release."

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childsdj
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Postby childsdj » Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:07 pm

The problem on this beta announcement was with the LUWS distribution list. It was sent via edoc or MLS messaging to the stake and any stake clerks email addresses we had, but we did not get all of the email addresses from the LUWS for clerks. This was our fault. We thought we had the whole list, but in looking back at it we didn't. We did send some emails and for sure MLS messages.

Thanks.

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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Tue Aug 12, 2008 4:43 pm

DJC wrote:The problem on this beta announcement was with the LUWS distribution list. It was sent via edoc or MLS messaging to the stake and any stake clerks email addresses we had, but we did not get all of the email addresses from the LUWS for clerks. This was our fault. We thought we had the whole list, but in looking back at it we didn't. We did send some emails and for sure MLS messages.

Thanks.

It would sure be nice if a person could "opt in" to your notification list. Many of us interested are not in stake clerking positions.
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed Aug 13, 2008 5:49 am

DJC wrote:The problem on this beta announcement was with the LUWS distribution list. It was sent via edoc or MLS messaging to the stake and any stake clerks email addresses we had, but we did not get all of the email addresses from the LUWS for clerks. This was our fault. We thought we had the whole list, but in looking back at it we didn't. We did send some emails and for sure MLS messages.


As I have more calmly gathered information, I see I need to apologize for a rash statement I made earlier:

Alan_Brown wrote:I haven't heard of anyone who was notified ahead of time that MLS 2.9 was coming.... It is indeed disconcerting to receive a major software update with no warning.


It turns out that indeed my stake clerk received an e-mail regarding MLS 2.9. He has always forwarded such things to me in the past, or at least mentioned it, but for some reason he just assumed that I would have received it, and so I never got that one. We also did receive an MLS message on August 1, but some other clerk saw the message and didn't tell me about it. While that strengthens the request for better targeting of MLS messages, still we do know how MLS messaging works now, so that is a breakdown of our own internal stake processes.

I have come to rely on the messages I get because of my calling listed in LUWS, and that didn't happen this time, but my earlier statement was hasty and ill informed. The MLS team did indeed provide notification of the upcoming release. Mea culpa.

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aebrown
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Moved posts to new threads

Postby aebrown » Wed Aug 13, 2008 8:28 am

This thread was getting rather long and it was difficult to follow the different topics being addressed. So I have created two new threads to handle some distinct topics:

  1. MLS 2.9 Installation Problems covers the topic related to installing MLS 2.9 on a computer that has had the "clerk" Windows user permissions altered.
  2. MLS 2.9 Export Formats covers the topic of vCard vs CSV for the Palm* formats.
I moved the appropriate posts to these threads. If I missed anything, or if an additional topic should be split out, let me know.

skiptaylor
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Postby skiptaylor » Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:40 am

DJC wrote:The problem on this beta announcement was with the LUWS distribution list. It was sent via edoc or MLS messaging to the stake and any stake clerks email addresses we had, but we did not get all of the email addresses from the LUWS for clerks. This was our fault. We thought we had the whole list, but in looking back at it we didn't. We did send some emails and for sure MLS messages.

Thanks.

I'm rarely given an MLS message unless it pertains to a broadcast.
Skip Taylor :eek:
Lancaster CA.

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mkmurray
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Another Revision of MLS 2.9

Postby mkmurray » Sun Aug 17, 2008 7:53 am

It appears a revision of MLS 2.9 has been sent out (most likely only to those in the Beta program). I downloaded the August 14th version of MLS 2.9 this morning. Here are some changes in the Release Notes:
...
  • Under user rights, each user name should now be associated with a member name and membership record number. This provides additional security and prevents user names from being used by more than one person. Two Out-of-Unit Administrators are also authorized (previously these were called Stake Administrators). These might be administrators from the stake, mission, or administration office. Note: There is now a field in MLS for a password for these Out-of-Unit Administrators. Each Out-of-Unit Administrator should enter his password in each ward's copy of MLS. On Urgent Tasks, he should click Some users need to be associated with a member, then click Yes. He should select Out-of-Unit Administrator and fill in his password. This will allow him to access each computer to provide technical support when needed. If he is already listed as a stake administrator, all he has to do is click Out-of-Unit Administrator. Then he will retain his old user name and password.
...
  • Exported MLS files containing address information, such as family data or individual data, are now available in both .csv and vCard formats. MLS will export both file types and the user may choose the one he wants. Palm brand devices should be able to handle both formats without difficulty.
...

Another change I noticed that is not listed is that the Urgent Task Some users need to be associated with a member has been removed from my view. I am only the Assistant Ward Clerk over Membership, so it makes sense that the task was out of my scope (I didn't have rights to do anything with that task anyway).

To me, it seems like they have improved the Urgent Tasks (at the least, perhaps MLS Messaging too; just a guess though) to key off the member's login and associated calling/rights. If this is the case, this is a great improvement in my opinion. I will have to double check with our Ward Clerk when he gets back in town or our Stake Clerk when he comes to enter his password to see if they see the Urgent Task. Hopefully the Urgent Task wasn't just removed altogether.

The only other thing I can think of is that if our user names match the members' names, perhaps the Church added an auto-detect feature to automatically hook up logins and member record numbers? Probably not as likely as the first explanation I offered though...

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:36 pm

mkmurray wrote:Another change I noticed that is not listed is that the Urgent Task Some users need to be associated with a member has been removed from my view. I am only the Assistant Ward Clerk over Membership, so it makes sense that the task was out of my scope (I didn't have rights to do anything with that task anyway).

To me, it seems like they have improved the Urgent Tasks (at the least, perhaps MLS Messaging too; just a guess though) to key off the member's login and associated calling/rights. If this is the case, this is a great improvement in my opinion. I will have to double check with our Ward Clerk when he gets back in town or our Stake Clerk when he comes to enter his password to see if they see the Urgent Task. Hopefully the Urgent Task wasn't just removed altogether.

The only other thing I can think of is that if our user names match the members' names, perhaps the Church added an auto-detect feature to automatically hook up logins and member record numbers? Probably not as likely as the first explanation I offered though...

After further review, the reason the Urgent Task disappeared immediately after download of the new revision of MLS 2.9 was because "magically" all of the logins got tied to members' record numbers. Apparently, it is more likely that the Church wrote a little algorithm that automatically matched up logins to members if the login name matched the member's name. This is further verified by the fact that the Urgent Task now had a checkmark by it.

As for Urgent Tasks and MLS Messages only popping up for the correct login/calling, hopefully that can happen in a later version of MLS, as I have seen no evidence to support my earlier guess.


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