Ward Tools

Discussions around the setup, operation, replacement, and disposal of clerk computers, not to include using MLS
jzaugg
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Postby jzaugg » Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:04 am

Perhaps it was already said (if so, sorry to have missed it) but the church recently came out with LDS Tools.
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lds-tools/id391093033?mt=8

It dose not yet show the reports and details that Ward/Stake Tools has.. but it dose use your LDS account log in to upload the current data posted on MLS. No exports needed.

That being said it would be nice if there were some calling based features added like Word Tools has.
Eg.

Membership numbers
Confirmation dates
- as a clerk I get calls all the time so members can use the ward web and/or new family search etc.

Home teaching lists... in the Ward Tools ver.. I can click on a family and see who there home teachers are... very handing in PEC or Ward Councils.

Reports... Action and Interview lists, Quarter Reports etc...


In the end the down fall of the Word Tools is it was only good as it's last export... so the LDS Tools ver being able to be updated via the web is great!!!!!!!!

any way.. that is more then my $0.02 worth.

craiggsmith
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Postby craiggsmith » Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:54 pm

I agree, when I first heard about this I was hoping LDS Tools would meet their needs. But among other things, they said one of the biggest reasons they like it is for temple recommend information. When someone calls them from some temple across the country and they forgot their recommend and have a relative's wedding in 1/2 hour they can give them an answer.
Craig
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South Jordan, UT

lajackson
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Postby lajackson » Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:42 pm

hemismith wrote:. . . one of the biggest reasons they like it is for temple recommend information.


There are two methods to obtain this information. The president and his counselors can log into TES and get real-time information.

Or, our executive secretary downloads the report from MLS and prepares a small Excel file each month. That file (as either an Excel or a pdf) can then be placed on a mobile device (I have an iTouch) and be used as a reference.

craiggsmith
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Postby craiggsmith » Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:34 pm

I'm not familiar with TES; I assume they can't use it with a mobile device. The other option is certainly a straightforward one.
Craig
STS
South Jordan, UT

RossEvans
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Postby RossEvans » Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:59 am

Alan_Brown wrote:I'm pretty sure that the problem has nothing to do with the router, but rather is related to the Sophos software firewall, which blocks the wardtools.exe application.


That is pretty much correct. For the iPhone, Windows Mobile and legacy Palm platforms, there is a file-conversion utility called MLS Converter that can be run anywhere because it is just standalone desktop software. To get the converted files (with a .pdb extension) onto the handheld, the iPhone version requires a second utility called Ward Tools Updater. It is this upload utiility that uses the Bonjour networking, which is blocked by the Sophos firewall.

(Users of the WM and Palm versions can load the converted .pdb files directly. But the iPhone requires this wireless access. There also is a newer Android version that does not use the pdb files, and can just load the MLS-export CSVs directly.)

Before the Sophos firewall was deployed, leaders in many units were updating Ward Tools on their iPhones directly from the administrative computer. Now, the best workaround is to export either the CSV files or the converted pdb files to personal computers and update the iPhones from there.

craiggsmith
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Postby craiggsmith » Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:09 pm

OK, so I guess there's no hope of getting it working directly with Sophos (or getting the church to unblock it). The bishop who's currently using it must not be using Sophos. The stake computer's Symantec software hadn't had an update in 3 years. I need to go around and inventory and update them all.

I don't personally have an iPhone, so I can't test it myself directly. But I did try testing it with iTunes, which also uses Bonjour for sharing libraries. At one point I was actually able to see a shared library on the clerk computer, but I didn't have any music loaded to see if I could actually play it. The change I made that I believe enabled this was to disable UDP endpoint filtering, but I'm not positive as there was a much delayed response to changes (perhaps iTunes doesn't check very often).

The strange thing is that this is a firewall setting and I thought it only affected traffic to and from outside the router's subnet.
Craig
STS
South Jordan, UT

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:44 pm

hemismith wrote:OK, so I guess there's no hope of getting it working directly with Sophos (or getting the church to unblock it).


You won't know until you ask the church. ;) This forum is primarily user-to-user help. (Most employees have a name badge icon under their name.) We don't have anything to indicate if this is part of a formal policy or not, but since that's the way it's set up, it's best to error on the side of caution and assume that is policy until we hear differently.

hemismith wrote:The bishop who's currently using it must not be using Sophos. The stake computer's Symantec software hadn't had an update in 3 years. I need to go around and inventory and update them all.


Yes, it sounds like the systems are behind and should be updated with Sophos.
Have you searched the Help Center? Try doing a Google search and adding "site:churchofjesuschrist.org/help" to the search criteria.

So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

lajackson
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Postby lajackson » Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:31 pm

hemismith wrote:I'm not familiar with TES; I assume they can't use it with a mobile device. The other option is certainly a straightforward one.


TES is a regular Church website with which the stake presidency is probably familiar. I just tested it with my iTouch. Works fine.

They may not have considered that it could be used to look up whether or not a temple recommend is current. The list is a better option, and faster, but gets out of date.

craiggsmith
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Postby craiggsmith » Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:39 pm

Thanks, I'll have them try TES and see what they say.
Craig
STS
South Jordan, UT

ThomsonMA
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Keep it Simple

Postby ThomsonMA » Mon Oct 04, 2010 10:51 pm

What I've done to update Ward Tools data is to do the export on the MLS computer and copy the resulting files onto a USB flash drive. I take that flash drive home and plug it into my own PC, where I run the conversion tool and have Bonjour installed so that it will sync with my iPhone.

That way I don't have to work around Sophos, firewalls, or routers.

It's just that simple...


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