Granting calendar access to missionaries

Discussions about the Calendar Tool at lds.org. Questions about the calendar on the classic site should be posted in the LUWS forum.
aetaber
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Granting calendar access to missionaries

Postby aetaber » Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:51 am

Our very alert sister missionaries asked for access to our ward calendar, particularly once they get more computer time (per the June 2013 broadcast). How can we get a missionary account set up that a) doesn't tie up one of our local less-active member accounts, b) doesn't need to be reset every time we have a missionary transfer, and c) can have calendar viewing privileges for all ward calendars?

Best regards,
Alan Taber
Moorestown, NJ

eblood66
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Re: Granting calendar access to missionaries

Postby eblood66 » Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:28 am

aetaber wrote:Our very alert sister missionaries asked for access to our ward calendar, particularly once they get more computer time (per the June 2013 broadcast). How can we get a missionary account set up that a) doesn't tie up one of our local less-active member accounts, b) doesn't need to be reset every time we have a missionary transfer, and c) can have calendar viewing privileges for all ward calendars?

Best regards,
Alan Taber
Moorestown, NJ

LDS Accounts with access to local unit resources must be tied to a specific member. Using the membership number of an less-active member should be very inappropriate because it would expose their private information to the missionary. The only option is to create an out-of-unit record for the missionary and then give them a standard calling in MLS. When a missionary transfers you would have to remove the previous missionaries' out-of-unit record and create one for the new ones. There is no way around that, at least at this time.

russellhltn
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Re: Granting calendar access to missionaries

Postby russellhltn » Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:14 am

That's a problem that will have to be solved at Church HQ, not at the local unit level. I'd suggest someone be assigned to print out the calendar as the short-term solution.
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aetaber
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Re: Granting calendar access to missionaries

Postby aetaber » Sun Aug 11, 2013 2:49 pm

Thanks, Russell, I appreciate that perspective. I reckon that'll get figured out eventually.

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sbradshaw
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Re: Granting calendar access to missionaries

Postby sbradshaw » Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:42 pm

Another option would be to have the ward mission leader give them his sync URL for the calendar. The ward mission leader makes sense because he's in contact with the missionaries, he can be assigned to help add things to the calendar, and he's not in a position where he might have access to private calendars.
(See this page for your URL, for example: https://www.lds.org/church-calendar/sync.jsp )

I don't know what programs and/or services the missionaries will be allowed to access, but with this URL the calendar can sync to Google Calendar, outlook, Mac/iOS Calendar, etc. without requiring an LDS Account login every time. You'll want to make sure it stays with the area instead of the missionaries (maybe have the ward mission leader generate a new sync URL every time there's a transfer).

russellhltn
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Re: Granting calendar access to missionaries

Postby russellhltn » Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:52 pm

sbradshaw wrote:Another option would be to have the ward mission leader give them his sync URL for the calendar.


The instructions on the sync page states "(This URL is provided for your own personal use. It should not be shared with anyone else.)"

There's also the issue that the WML may not want the same things on his calendar that the Missionaries would want to see.

While the missionaries might really want it, if the church thought it was important they'd either fix it or provide instructions. A monthly print-out would most likely work just fine and takes care of the case where missionaries may not have access to a computer.
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mevans
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Re: Granting calendar access to missionaries

Postby mevans » Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:13 pm

I think the church is still trying to figure out where to go with technology and individual missionaries. Some people might remember how temples used to be computerized with the mag-stripe recommend and that the church put a stop to that and rethought everything and came up with a different way to use computers inside the temples. They probably don't want to go too far in a technology direction with 80K missionaries until they've figured out what they want to do.

Once the church gets a better handle on how technology will work with individual missionaries on a worldwide basis they'll probably be in a better situation to implement the technology. If missionaries had instant access to various online tools (Directory, Calendar, Lesson Schedules, Newsletter) for the ward in which they're serving it might help them do things more efficiently. It makes a lot of sense and it won't surprise me if it happens. Some of the pieces are already in place. We just need to be patient.

russellhltn
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Re: Granting calendar access to missionaries

Postby russellhltn » Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:28 pm

mevans wrote:Some people might remember how temples used to be computerized with the mag-stripe recommend and that the church put a stop to that and rethought everything and came up with a different way to use computers inside the temples.

What caused them to be removed is that the church decided to stop recording who did the proxy work for whom. Once it got simplified to where and when, the mag stripe was no longer needed. It wasn't the technology that was the wrong direction, it was the purpose that got changed. There was a similar change on the membership record side - that as it turned out went too far. (Stopped recording who ordained whom with the resulting problems with priesthood linage.)

Seems to me the logical way to do it is to have the mission office assign missionaries to a ward and then they'd have access like regular members. But I'm sure that's a major code change to accommodate this new function. Right down to changes in the underlying data structure. And that may be why we haven't seen the developers in awhile. And just like the other products that get rolled out, it's likely to have bugs. So the rollout will be in phases.

At least that's how I read the crystal ball.
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eblood66
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Re: Granting calendar access to missionaries

Postby eblood66 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:53 pm

russellhltn wrote:Seems to me the logical way to do it is to have the mission office assign missionaries to a ward and then they'd have access like regular members. But I'm sure that's a major code change to accommodate this new function.

It's obvious that mission offices already associate missionaries with wards they are serving in. The Directory shows this information in the Missionary section.

However, I know that access is granted based on information in an LDAP directory which currently gets updated from CDOL (that's where the delay between when a calling is put in CDOL and when someone has access to websites comes from). The LDAP information is used during authentication and is then put into HTTP headers (which can be viewed at https://lds.org/header) and that is what websites like the Directory use to determine what each person can access.

So the main technical issue is probably creating a process to take the missionary information and update the LDAP directory. It would require work but probably isn't huge.

However, I'm sure it would have to first be approved by the Missionary department and probably also the Priesthood department and then prioritized against all the other work. My guess is that it will happen eventually but it may still be a while.

Gary_Miller
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Re: Granting calendar access to missionaries

Postby Gary_Miller » Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:19 pm

russellhltn wrote:Seems to me the logical way to do it is to have the mission office assign missionaries to a ward and then they'd have access like regular members.

How would this work with missionaries who are assigned to multiple wards?


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