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RossEvans
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#71

Post by RossEvans »

tomw wrote:Let me assure you that we are talking with the MLS people. I sit near the PM for the project and coincidentally he is related to me through marriage. I have discussed what we are doing and he is on board. Management is on board with the decision that the HT/VT will lead the way in storing data for HT/VT and then MLS will integrate with it when they are ready. Does that make sense?

Well, since the units are supposed to choose between using this HT/VT app or MLS, my recommendation to my bishop would be that "when they are ready," then we would convert to the new app, but not before. If that time is relatively soon -- such as the "mid 2009" date Chad threw out in the Wiki discussion -- I still think the 1.0 launch should be planned to include it.

An earlier demonstration, with no integration, is possible with duplicate data entry. No doubt some units would participate in such a demonstration, just as they have with the standalone RAR application. Our HP/EQ/RS leaders might consider doing that. But I think few bishops would willingly forgo the existing reporting of even HT/VT teachers and teaching assignments, which is an important part of basic membership reporting in MLS and its downstream dependents. Going to a second source to view HT/VT results is much more thinkable.

In practice, I think the choice of which tool to adopt would be made at the stake level in many or most cases, because stakes might prefer their wards and branches to use the same methods.
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#72

Post by eblood66 »

boomerbubba wrote:In practice, I think the choice of which tool to adopt would be made at the stake level in many or most cases, because stakes might prefer their wards and branches to use the same methods.
Given that stakes do not have access to HT/VT data in MLS (except for the statistics in the Quarterly Report), I'm not sure there would be much motivation for consistency on the stake level.

Of course, if stakes can view HT/VT data in this new system, they might mandate its use for that reason. :rolleyes:

My bishop never accesses HT/VT data directly from MLS. He either asks me or the quorum or RS presidents personally when he has questions. He never even asks me for full HT/VT reports from MLS. I doubt I'll have any trouble selling the new system in our ward. But I can accept that that might not be typical.
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WelchTC
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#73

Post by WelchTC »

eblood66 wrote: Of course, if stakes can view HT/VT data in this new system, they might mandate its use for that reason. :rolleyes:
This new system will allow stakes to view this information. It will make getting the quarterly reports much easier.

Tom
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garysturn
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Automating

#74

Post by garysturn »

tomw wrote:This new system will allow stakes to view this information. It will make getting the quarterly reports much easier.

Tom
I would think the whole purpose to automation is to automate the reporting process as well. So that make sense that the Stake could get the data. I would think that reporting could all be automated and results could be seen in real time as they come in.

And can't we create the ability to download data for the Bishops PDA. MLS does not upload HT/VT data to integrate with, but it does upload most other information and that information can be integrated into the new App to created the reports the Bishop might need.
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RossEvans
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#75

Post by RossEvans »

eblood66 wrote:My bishop never accesses HT/VT data directly from MLS. He either asks me or the quorum or RS presidents personally when he has questions. He never even asks me for full HT/VT reports from MLS. I doubt I'll have any trouble selling the new system in our ward. But I can accept that that might not be typical.

What do you mean by "HT/VT data" -- assignments or results? My bishop lives primarily by his PDA, which gives him a handy report for each family that shows, among other things, who the HT/VT teachers are. And the PDA is driven by MLS. I know there are some non-tech bishops out there, but every one I have worked with for the past decade has used a PDA.
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#76

Post by WelchTC »

GarysTurn wrote:I would think the whole purpose to automation is to automate the reporting process as well. So that make sense that the Stake could get the data. I would think that reporting could all be automated and results could be seen in real time as they come in.
Exactly Gary. That is the intent. As the results are reported real time, the ward and stake leaders have them real time.
GarysTurn wrote:And can't we create the ability to download data for the Bishops PDA. MLS does not upload HT/VT data to integrate with, but it does upload most other information and that information can be integrated into the new App to created the reports the Bishop might need.
Yes, we should absolutely create this ability. One of the purposes of having the community to help with the HT/VT app is to be able to do more of these types of add-ons to products.

Tom
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#77

Post by eblood66 »

boomerbubba wrote:What do you mean by "HT/VT data" -- assignments or results?
Both. He doesn't use a PDA. Both counselors have smartphones but neither load any church data onto them (other than phone numbers). I do but I would have no problem loading data from two sources.

When the bishop wants to know who home/visit teaches someone, it's usually in PEC or Welfare and he just asks the appropriate president. In other cases, he gives me a call. He has the quorums report in PEC about anybody who isn't being taught regularly.

LIke I said, it may not be typical. I don't know. But I can say it does happen.
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Intigration of data

#78

Post by garysturn »

boomerbubba wrote:What do you mean by "HT/VT data" -- assignments or results? My bishop lives primarily by his PDA, which gives him a handy report for each family that shows, among other things, who the HT/VT teachers are. And the PDA is driven by MLS. I know there are some non-tech bishops out there, but every one I have worked with for the past decade has used a PDA.

MLS does not upload to the Church system the HT/VT assignments and routes. The new app we are talking about creating would allow priesthood leaders to create these assignments and routes online and the info would be stored on Church servers. MLS does upload other membership information and the new app could integrate with that information in the new app and we could create the ability for the bishop to download the same types of reports for his PDA from the new system.

The idea of syncing with MLS would be to send that integrated info back down to the local system and update the old HT/VT assignments and routes. So integration of data is possible at the top end, but sending that back down to MLS would require changes to MLS. Some see no need to send the data back down because at some point MLS will be updated and integrated into some type of new system later anyway, and the ability to sync would require updating the old MLS system which the community project can not do.

The current MLS system does not create the HT/VT results reports that are sent on to the Stake, those are still done by the Clerk by hand on a paper in some Stakes. The new app would automate reporting of results as well.
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RossEvans
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#79

Post by RossEvans »

GarysTurn wrote:And can't we create the ability to download data for the Bishops PDA. MLS does not upload HT/VT data to integrate with, but it does upload most other information and that information can be integrated into the new App to created the reports the Bishop might need.

That is an interesting idea.

Off the top of my head -- assuming that the Ht/VT data is accumulated on the central website -- I think most of the the data in the current MLS export files would exist centrally in the mothership databases iin Salt Lake. The exception that comes to mind is callings, which are in the Organization.csv export file. I don't know what is captured in a Send/Receive from MLS. (If callings data exists in the mothership databases, then why in the world do clerks have to rekey it into LUWS admin screens?)

Someone with access to the mothership data should be able to do a field-by-field inventory of the existing MLS export files without too much trouble.

If the export functionality could be migrated quickly -- if the data exists, it's all just report output upstream -- that would cure some problems. The developers could even fix the holes in the existing MLS export formats.

Obviously there needs to be authentication, and under the bishop's authority the MLS exports now can be exported for use by counselors, clerks and other leaders. The current authentication method in MLS is that admin privileges are required. (In our ward that means bishopric and clerk; others set their own local practice.) BTW, exports from MLS are used for more than just PDAs.
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#80

Post by eblood66 »

GarysTurn wrote:And can't we create the ability to download data for the Bishops PDA. MLS does not upload HT/VT data to integrate with, but it does upload most other information and that information can be integrated into the new App to created the reports the Bishop might need.
I agree that this would be a very good (and probably important) stop gap measure until the data could be feed directly back to MLS.

However, it would not quite duplicate the current abilities in MLS because organizational data (callings and such) will not be available in the HT/VT app (except for certain pre-defined leadership callings) since that data is not transmitted to CHQ right now. We might mitigate that problem as well with a standalone app that can combine an export from the HT/VT app with the MLS export and create a combined file for import to a PDA.

I'm also not sure the HT/VT app would have enough information to duplicate the New Member or Household reports in MLS. Personally I haven't used those so I'm not sure.
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