HT/VT Reporting Website Overview

Discussions around miscellaneous technologies and projects for the general membership.
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russellhltn
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#41

Post by russellhltn »

thedqs wrote:Hmm how about straight submission to the clerk's computer.
Personally I wouldn't be comfortable with that. I'd assume anything on the DDNS would be probed and possibly attacked. Plus all the issues of having to leave the ward computer on in an environment that may or may not be friendly to that kind of thing

What about doing this via email forms? The leader sends the customized forms to all members. They fill them out and email them back. Later submissions supersede earlier ones for the same month. There's still the issue of how to input this into MLS as I don't think it provides anyway to do that.
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thedqs
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#42

Post by thedqs »

I know that MLS has a e-mail type system built in. Is there an external address that maps to it? Then you could have all the submissions go to the MLS account and a program which updates the account based on the email recieved.
- David
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brado426
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#43

Post by brado426 »

I'm not sure exactly what problem you guys are trying to solve. Sending data via e-mail is probably the most insecure way to send anything via the Internet.

This HT/VT Reporting site uses SSL encryption, which is the same security method implemented by most banks and other sites that require secure client to server communication. In my opinion, submitting results via SSL is far more secure than sending anything via e-mail.

Setting up some sort of connection into the Clerk's computer from the outside is a huge "no no." I would not recommend that as it would be extremely unreliable and render the PC insecure.

I believe a reporting system such as this needs to run on a centralized server that is backed up and reliable in a data center. I do not see any way around a central database for something like this.

Brad O.
russellhltn
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#44

Post by russellhltn »

brado426 wrote:Setting up some sort of connection into the Clerk's computer from the outside is a huge "no no." I would not recommend that as it would be extremely unreliable and render the PC insecure.
Exactly. And that's why I proposed the email route since it would be a common denominator and wouldn't open up the ward PC to outside attack. As for email being "insecure" I think we need to define the concern. If it's the possibility that the information will "leak out", that's possible. But are we collecting/disseminating enough information in a email packet to be concerned about the risk?

I agree a central server is the best way to go, but unless the church decides to do it, I don't see it happening.

I guess the real question that needs to be answered is what are we wanting to do? Create a setup that can actually be used by a ward/stake? In that case it needs to be within the reach of ward/stakes to implement. (And setting up a secure central server probably doesn't meet that criteria.) On the other hand, if we're trying to model a setup for the church to use as a "head start" for building their application, that's a different story.
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brado426
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#45

Post by brado426 »

Russell: I agree with your synopsis of the situation. I believe that in order for a system such as this to become a reality, the church would need to get behind it.

I am uncertain of exactly what the future of this system is, however I believe in it and I hope to see something become of it. My intent is not to create something that can be provided to every ward today... especially if it means that the functionality of the application would be negatively affected.

My point regarding e-mail security isn't that we shouldn't be using e-mail at all. This web-based system uses E-Mail to contact the teachers for results. My point is that if we are going to go as far as setting up a reporting system, let's keep it as secure, simple and feature-rich as possible. Going with an "E-Mail Only" reporting system would require sending actual data via e-mail (a practice that I am not especially keen on) as well as decreasing and, in many cases, eliminating many of the benefits the system currently provides (I'll spare you the specifics for now :)) In my opinion, the best way to do this is with a centralized website as this reporting system has been designed. Even if this design is currenly not in accordance with church policy, I still believe it keeps things as secure and simple as possible while providing some seriously powerful features. On the other hand, I fully understand why church policy is as it is and I even agree with it.

I think something will happen to make this possible one day.... I just don't know the what's, how's, and when's. :o

Brad O.
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thedqs
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#46

Post by thedqs »

Best idea is to develop what you have make sure it works and have the church take it from there. The site scriptures.lds.org and the LUWS were basically done that way and that way your program gets the resources that you are wanting to run it on (dedicated server, SSL, etc.)
- David
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Mr. M-p40
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#47

Post by Mr. M-p40 »

tomw wrote:Well I would suggest that people review their handbooks and talk with their leaders about how things should be counted. As far as the software is concerned, I believe that it should stick with what the handbook states and if there are exceptions programmed in, it should be clearly marked as exceptions and again refer people to their leaders and the handbook. The fear is that if people see an option on software then they believe that the option is to be used...even if the feature was meant to be an exception.

Tom

I completetly agree...we should review our handbooks and do what our leaders ask us to including the counting of our visits. Which is exactly what we are doing.

Thanks Tom!
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greenwoodkl
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#48

Post by greenwoodkl »

Mr. M wrote:I completetly agree...we should review our handbooks and do what our leaders ask us to including the counting of our visits. Which is exactly what we are doing.

Thanks Tom!
If this does ever get official Church sanction and resources, I think providing availability for exceptions clearly marked as exceptions and only available to proper levels of authority (stake with GA review, ward with stake review) before enabling would be in order. The plain vanilla would then only show the official handbook options. :)
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WelchTC
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#49

Post by WelchTC »

brado426 wrote: I think something will happen to make this possible one day.... I just don't know the what's, how's, and when's. :o
I've been talking and working with Brad since the first of the year. The application is being reviewed here at the Church. I've discussed the idea with senior managers within the proper organization. It just takes a long time for us to get something like this going because of the huge workload we are already working on. So the further along a concept is, the faster the Church can implement it should we choose to do so. Keep up the great dialog.

Tom
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brado426
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#50

Post by brado426 »

Does anyone know if the Home/Visiting Teaching assignments list is uploaded to Salt Lake via the MLS system? Or are only the results sent?

Brad O.
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