MLS (Local System) BAK files

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
TKhanson
New Member
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2014 7:06 am

MLS (Local System) BAK files

#1

Post by TKhanson »

Folks:

Our local ward clerks office PC has a folder titled MLSData-Backup. There are hundreds of .BAK files, as far back as 2004. Are these needed? What is the policy on keeping/removing these? Would like to keep this local PC up to policy and clean. Thx.

T. Hanson
Executive Secretary
lajackson
Community Moderators
Posts: 10400
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 10:27 pm
Location: US

Re: MLS (Local System) BAK files

#2

Post by lajackson »

TKhanson wrote:Our local ward clerks office PC has a folder titled MLSData-Backup. There are hundreds of .BAK files, as far back as 2004. Are these needed?
The annual changeover to the new year should have cleaned out most of those files. The requirement is the same as your financial retention requirement. In the U.S., for example, you should keep the current year plus three prior years. So it would be safe to delete all of the files that are 2017 or older.

In another country, there may be a longer retention requirement, but the principle is the same. Keep the required files and delete the rest.
russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 31501
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Re: MLS (Local System) BAK files

#3

Post by russellhltn »

I don't recall seeing any directions on that. They're not as important as they used to be. Absent a more authoritve direction, I'd use the same standard for record retention. For the US, that's 3 years plus current. Meaning anything 2017 and before can be deleted.
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.
russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 31501
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Re: MLS (Local System) BAK files

#4

Post by russellhltn »

lajackson wrote:The annual changeover to the new year should have cleaned out most of those files.
I know it clears out the data in MLS, but I've never seen it clear out the BAK files. As a STS, I'm usually purging them when replacing computers.
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
Community Moderators
Posts: 10400
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 10:27 pm
Location: US

Re: MLS (Local System) BAK files

#5

Post by lajackson »

russellhltn wrote:
lajackson wrote:The annual changeover to the new year should have cleaned out most of those files.
I know it clears out the data in MLS, but I've never seen it clear out the BAK files. As a STS, I'm usually purging them when replacing computers.
It always has for us, except for those computers where we copied old MLS folders when we set up new computers instead of using the restore a backup method after a clean MLS install in the online instructions.

Quite a few years ago, MLS changed the file structure, including the location of the backup files, and I suspect that has something to do with why the old files still lurk around. I started seeing the problem around the time of that change.
russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 31501
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Re: MLS (Local System) BAK files

#6

Post by russellhltn »

Ah, these files won't copy from old to new computer unless you do it manually. If you don't copy them over, you'll only have new ones going forward.
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
Community Moderators
Posts: 10400
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 10:27 pm
Location: US

Re: MLS (Local System) BAK files

#7

Post by lajackson »

russellhltn wrote:Ah, these files won't copy from old to new computer unless you do it manually.
Good point. When I actually use my checklist to swap out an administrative computer, I copy the three (I am in the U.S.) most recent year-end files. You can tell which ones they are by the extension, which I have forgotten. That way the clerks can go back in MLS and look at prior year data.

I also keep in mind that if the computer jumps into the lake and dies, Salt Lake has all of this information available. Not too long ago I set up a new computer for a unit and got everything, membership and financial, from Headquarters.

Not recommended, but it can be done if the situation requires.
craiggsmith
Senior Member
Posts: 851
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 3:14 pm
Location: South Jordan, Utah

Re: MLS (Local System) BAK files

#8

Post by craiggsmith »

Is there really a need to keep any of them? I've usually kept a few year-end backups, but the instructions for setting up a new computer have never said to keep any and restoring an old backup is never recommended. All the data is at HQ, LCR now how finance, and they have never been requested in an audit.
Craig
South Jordan, UT
User avatar
Mikerowaved
Community Moderators
Posts: 4432
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 12:56 am
Location: Layton, UT

Re: MLS (Local System) BAK files

#9

Post by Mikerowaved »

craiggsmith wrote: Sun Oct 17, 2021 8:24 pm Is there really a need to keep any of them? I've usually kept a few year-end backups, but the instructions for setting up a new computer have never said to keep any and restoring an old backup is never recommended. All the data is at HQ, LCR now how finance, and they have never been requested in an audit.
I asked myself the same question while copying user-data from old clerk PC's to the new ones. Some backups dated back 3 or more years! Not only are those sorely outdated, they probably won't even restore to a current version of MLS. I ended up deleting anything earlier than the most recent year-end backup.
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.
russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 31501
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Re: MLS (Local System) BAK files

#10

Post by russellhltn »

Mikerowaved wrote: Sun Oct 17, 2021 10:03 pm I asked myself the same question while copying user-data from old clerk PC's to the new ones.
I follow the retention rule of "three years plus current" when copying the files over. Even then, it's one of the longest part of putting in a new computer.

I agree the need has largely disappeared. I can't think of what MLS has that isn't backed up to CHQ/LCR. It used to be finance and HT/VT, but that's not true anymore.

I looked, but I couldn't find any policy on how long to keep the backups. Perhaps there's something in MLS?
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.
Post Reply

Return to “MLS Support, Help, and Feedback”