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thin clients - capital savings

Posted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:59 pm
by cvacanti-p40
I would be interested to know if the Church has considered moving to a thin client solution for local units with a virtual infrustructure on the back end...I have seen the benefit of this in small and large businesses...either running on a local lan or across the wan.

Posted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:16 am
by russellhltn
Thin clients are not going to work without a network to run them on. Currently, the local units are only starting to get Internet access - if they pay for it.

Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:17 pm
by jbh001
Moving MLS to a Web-based solution is more likely to happen than thin clients, if for no other reason than the network is already in place.

All you would need is a ship and a star to sail her by . . . er . . . I mean a computer and a meetinghouse internet connection to surf with.

Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:47 pm
by Mikerowaved
I don't know about anyone else, but I wouldn't like MLS to be dependent on the Internet to function. Aside from the security aspect, the Internet is just not all that reliable for end users. Sure, some installations are rock solid, but can every provider guarantee that for every installation? Not in this day and age.

Posted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:52 am
by MorettiDP
I published a topic some days before about it but we receive a request to delete the topic, but the information published is about the true eforts to move MLS to various internet applications in the next years. I belive "Home and Visiting Teaching Application" now in production is an exemple. It will replace this same functions in Windows based MLS and will be one of this various applications of a "new MLS" in internet.

Posted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:59 am
by marianomarini
I'm a fan of Internet but I've some doubt about it as a real time system!
If Internet became unavailable (for any reason) on sunday, when you have to insert offering data, what do you do?
1. Wait unti Internet will be available? (With members donation on the pocket you can't go home)!
2. Give back donations to members?
3. Fill bank form, do a deposit and return to meeting house later to complete the work?
I think local program and automatic batch update would be the best choise.
It would be desirable that Pc will shout down after successful update.

Posted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 11:46 am
by RossEvans
I have discerned no movement toward migrating unit financial functions of MLS to the web, but membership functions are another matter. Much of the detailed membership data is already stored redundantly in MLS and the databases at CHQ, and that redundancy is growing.

The initial problem is developing a web application that can carve out and replicate a subset of membership functionality online -- making sure the new system truly does that, without loss of functionality that MLS now provides. The specs for the new HT/VT app almost hit that mark, but IMHO still fail to do so. Theoretically, however, it would not take much marginal effort to cure that deficiency. In the long run, that seems to be where the roadmap leads.

None of that seems to point to a thin-client architecture (Citrix, etc), but rather to something that is browser-based.

Posted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:57 pm
by jbh001
marianomarini_vi wrote:If Internet became unavailable (for any reason) on sunday, when you have to insert offering data, what do you do?
One way to handle this might be to convert the financial modules of MLS into offline webapps. Clearly this is 1 to 10 years away, but it might become a viable option.

Posted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 11:50 pm
by james_francisco
I'm not sure that there is a good business case for thin clients in the church's computing environment. There is not a huge difference in cost between the thin clients and the lower end computers that the church buys for wards and stakes. The big savings for business organizations come in hardware and software maintenance. The bulk of that is in wages and benefits for the tech staff. Since the bulk of the first line maintenance in the church is handled by stake technology specialists who do not get earthly wages, most of the benefit disappears.

Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 4:47 am
by jltware
Is there a way we can try out the new home and visiting teaching apps online yet, or is it only available in a restricted trial area. I don't know about general MLS applications being available on the web, but I think home and visiting teaching would be really useful, as elders quorum presidencies, high priest group leaderships and relief society presidencies don't have a key to access the clerks office (needs a bishopric key), and so are dependent on bishopric members to update home and visiting teaching. Seems inconsistent to grant software access but not a key to access the computer the software is run on, but this is the policy, at least in our area, and requests by the stake presidency to change this have fallen on deaf ears. This results in lists and figures being hugely out of date, and in crowding in the clerk's office on Sunday in the wards where they do try update it. Days when the bishopric are there the office is generally in use, so it is difficult to find time to make extensive changes to lists. Generally it is only update for quarterly reports if at all, and this is even worse as clerks are busy trying to get their own stuff done at this time of year.