MLS Test data

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
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johnshaw
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Postby johnshaw » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:19 am

+ 1 on the test unit data... it is also so old that when we look at it for training, etc... all the AP age boys are unordained, all kids are over 9 and upbaptized, etc... it would be great to update the data and include CUBS. Couldn't it be setup without security and we could update the data across the Internet, etc.. that would be great.

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Postby russellhltn » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:56 am

JohnShaw wrote:+ 1 on the test unit data... it is also so old that when we look at it for training, etc... all the AP age boys are unordained, all kids are over 9 and upbaptized, etc...


I'm not sure, but the birth dates may be calculated from the creation date. I know the financial side worked that way.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:27 am

RussellHltn wrote:I'm not sure, but the birth dates may be calculated from the creation date. I know the financial side worked that way.


Unfortunately the membership side is not like the financial side for the test data. The birth dates for all the membership records are hard coded. The youngest member of the test ward was born 11 Jun 2003, so no one is under 8 (and except for that one boy, everyone is at least 9). The deacons are all at least 21, etc. So it's out of date and getting worse.

I've been pleading for years for the test data to get updated, but my pleas fall on deaf ears. At one point a Church employee suggested that the test data was about to be removed because they couldn't imagine what the test data was good for anymore. We complained loudly enough that the test data was not removed, but it certainly hasn't been updated. I use it all the time for LDSTech, but also for training within my stake. I can't use live data because I often don't have access to live data in the places where I do the training. When I do one-on-one training with a clerk, I can use that unit's live data for some things, but some things I want to teach are not practical with live data -- I can't just move someone out, or record a marriage, or a divorce, or delete a donor, etc. on live data, yet I have provided training on those features and many more.
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simonawright
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Postby simonawright » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:11 pm

Who created the test data in the first place and why was it created?

If it was to provide a means of checking the software for bugs etc pre-release, how do they do it now?

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Postby russellhltn » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:34 pm

Drat. I suppose if someone wanted to, they could go through the test database and add 8 years to all the birthdays and then save it. Unfortunately, I don't think that would work on the stake side.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:03 pm

simonawright wrote:Who created the test data in the first place and why was it created?


As long as I have been using MLS (since about 2003), it has contained the test data. It is integrated right in MLS (all you have to do is add a unit with the right magic numbers, and the data is added by MLS itself).

I can only speculate as to why the test data was created, but it seems clear that it was for training purposes -- both so people could do their own learning without affecting live data, and so that clerks can provide training to other clerks, leaders, and secretaries on how to use MLS.

simonawright wrote:If it was to provide a means of checking the software for bugs etc pre-release, how do they do it now?


I don't think it ever had much to do with checking the software for bugs. Currently testing is done first internally by the MLS development team, and then it is released in beta form to selected units for feedback as they test it with their live data before the official release.
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simonawright
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Postby simonawright » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:17 pm

I can only speculate as to why the test data was created, but it seems clear that it was for training purposes -- both so people could do their own learning without affecting live data, and so that clerks can provide training to other clerks, leaders, and secretaries on how to use MLS.


If it was for training purposes it is sad that the test data hasn't been maintained as that function is needed as much now as it was when MLS was first introduced. Clerks tend to serve longer than most callings but we still have new men called to serve that need help. The online lessons are good but there is no substitute for having a go yourself and this is best done with test data.

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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:17 pm

IMO, I think this would be an ideal task for a community supported project.
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Postby russellhltn » Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:13 pm

Just to add to this old thread: It seems that the install install of MLS is becoming even less useful. Once installed, the organizations are locked. Anyone know of a way to unlock them? This was a install on top of a older version, so I'm no not sure if I could make it work by doing a fresh install.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:02 pm

RussellHltn wrote:Just to add to this old thread: It seems that the install install of MLS is becoming even less useful. Once installed, the organizations are locked. Anyone know of a way to unlock them? This was a install on top of a older version, so I'm no not sure if I could make it work by doing a fresh install.


Yes, I noticed the same thing. When I figured that I had just blown away big chunk of the usefulness of my test install, I uninstalled 3.5, reinstalled 3.4.3, and restored a 3.4.3 backup of the test data that I had.

It's sad that we haven't been able to convince anyone in authority that the test data really is useful.
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