Home Teaching List on LDS.org

Discussions about the Leader and Clerk Resources on lds.org.
dchris10sen
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Home Teaching List on LDS.org

Postby dchris10sen » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:28 am

Just a suggestion/request: One of the most frequent questions in Bishopric meeting is "Who's the Home Teacher/Visiting Teacher?" It would be nice if those lists were part of the Clerk's Reports.

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Postby jonesrk » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:25 am

Currently the problem is that that data is only in the local MLS. There isn't a copy of it at CHQ yet to show on the Clerk Resources.
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Postby faazshift » Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:25 pm

Is Home/Visiting Teaching data planned to be pushed upstream to Church Headquarters in the near future?

I personally think it would be a very useful feature for members to be able to access information about their own home teaching route and who their home teacher is. It would provide, among things, less reason for members to not be more diligent in their obligations, more accountability, and better/quicker information to members (instead of having to get in touch with someone and wait for things to happen). A potential addition might be the ability for members to submit their home teaching report online. Either way, I think this would be greatly beneficial.

Are there currently any plans for such a feature to be implemented? If so, is development currently underway?

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:46 am

faazshift wrote:Is Home/Visiting Teaching data planned to be pushed upstream to Church Headquarters in the near future?
...
Are there currently any plans for such a feature to be implemented? If so, is development currently underway?


This has been discussed many, many times on this forum. It's clear that some development work is underway by Church developers. It's also clear that for any web application to display or manage HT/VT data, that data will have to be pushed to CHQ servers. But there have been no announcements of specific features or schedule, so no one can answer your "near future" question.
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Postby RossEvans » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:28 am

aebrown wrote:This has been discussed many, many times on this forum. It's clear that some development work is underway by Church developers. It's also clear that for any web application to display or manage HT/VT data, that data will have to be pushed to CHQ servers.


I'm not sure that last part is clear, although it obviously would be desirable. As I recall, when this was proposed as a live community project a few years ago the overriding structural decision driving that project -- made at CHQ -- was that there would be no integration of data between MLS and the web-based reporting. Local units choosing to use the proposed online system would have to eschew MLS tracking of HT/VT, and vice versa. The rationale was that the back-end infrastructure work to accomplish MLS integration was too expensive. I would hope that the recent announcement of an internal project means this decision was reconsidered, but I have seen no news yet to justify this hope.

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Postby aebrown » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:36 am

RossEvans wrote:I'm not sure that last part is clear, although it obviously would be desirable. As I recall, when this was proposed as a live community project a few years ago the overriding structural decision driving that project -- made at CHQ -- was that there would be no integration of data between MLS and the web-based reporting. Local units choosing to use the proposed online system would have to eschew MLS tracking of HT/VT, and vice versa. The rationale was that the back-end infrastructure work to accomplish MLS integration was too expensive. I would hope that the recent announcement of an internal project means this decision was reconsidered, but I have seen no news yet to justify this hope.


Thanks for the clarification. I should have simply said "for any web application to display or manage HT/VT data, that data will have to reside on CHQ servers." That conclusion is inescapable, but you're right that it's not necessarily a requirement that MLS data be pushed to CHQ servers. However, I certainly share your hope that MLS and the online HT/VT system will be integrated. That's been the pattern with all other online systems that have been released recently, and the benefits of doing the same for HT/VT are obvious.
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Postby veehb » Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:16 am

Another thing that would be most helpful on a stake level would be to have the home teaching and visiting teaching statistics available on LDS.org. I find that report in MLS most helpful in trying to help track home teaching and visiting teaching in our stake. But, I have to go to the stake center to access the report. It would be very handy to have that report available on LDS.org under Leader & Clerk Tools. As a stake executive secretary, one of my duties in our stake is to track home teaching for the stake president. Looks like there is some difficulty in moving items such as this from the MLS database to the LDS.org database. Hope that work is being done to make this type of thing more possible in the future.

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Postby johnshaw » Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:14 am

There is something impacting the ability to have HT/VT online from a logistics standpoint or an approval standpoint. There was a large community effort that was absorbed by the Church officially, and then all went quiet. It is good to be aware that while the work to get it done is not simple, neither is it so complex that it wouldn't be done by now if it weren't either being held up, or many other priorites have been placed before it. The local level is where HT and VT should matter most, that is where we're talking about people and individuals, once it gets beyond the ward/branch level, we're really looking at numbers, and in HT we all know that those numbers can mean many things. Wards/Branches have different activity rates, different sizes, varrying amounts Teachers vs Teachees.... The complexity involved with knowing whether a ward/branch is 'doing' their home teaching is substantial. In our Stake, the Stake President reviews HT/VT concerns with the Bishops/Branch Presidents in monthly PPI's, but in the Presidency we use the Quarterly report as a snapshot to see how a ward is trending. When used in combination with the online Key Indicators graphing, going back 4 years, you can see trends pretty well.

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Postby genman » Mon Jul 09, 2012 4:43 pm

According to the informal comments in the following blog from Feb 2012, being able to enter/edit home teaching data on lds.org is "in work... coming this year... hurrying as fast as prudently possible":
http://tech.lds.org/blog/452-adding-mls-functionality-to-ldsorg

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Postby johnshaw » Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:01 pm

While I applaud your delight at the news, let me quote the last post in that blog entry

# Tom Johnson 2012-06-19 15:16
No one knows the exact time, but I'm willing to bet that you'll see more relevant features (such as HT/VT) within a year. The financial component probably won't be in place for a couple of years. These are conservative estimates.


Notice the use of the terms conservative estimates. The initial release of this solution also included the coming soon messaging, and it didn't happen, there have been other obvious priorities (you can see them in under the Tools menu and in the beta forum area) placed ahead of making this data available and accessible outside of the Bishopric + Admin staff.

The complexities of moving a distributed database to a centralized database is also difficult. If you code something, and run into a snag, often that snag then needs to be logged as a change request to the MLS system, even a small fix can take a while due to release schedules of both apps. However, MLS was updated in 2009 11 times (Jan, Apr, Jun, Jul, Aug, Oct, Nov(2), Dec(3), 2010 7 times (Feb, Jun, Jul, Aug, Oct, Nov, Dec) and in 2011 6 times (Feb, Jun, Jul (2), Sep, Nov) and in 2012 1 time (Jun).. I think this shows that the release is not really an issue, if a quick change is needed it can get implemented.

I do know of what I speak, I work for an Enterprise that hosts VERY LARGE data in single client instances, as technology has improved, we've started to move pieces of that solution from single client instances to multi-tenant repositories. This is very much like what is involved with migrating data from local MLS installs to online access. Many of us are in the field, we understand the complexities, and we are also the strongest advocates of these solutions. I start to evangelize these solutions, and look pretty foolish when results are so slow in coming, IF, I can't provide a reasonable explanation.


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