Can MLS be run on 2 Ward Computers to Update Records at the Same Time

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
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JeffTurgeon
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Can MLS be run on 2 Ward Computers to Update Records at the Same Time

Postby JeffTurgeon » Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:44 pm

I've been reading some comments about installing MLS on more than one computer in a Ward to use at the same time. I've read that MLS can be run on the Web but basically only for printing reports and the such.

The problem is that many auxiliaries want to use MLS to update data while the Ward Clerks are tying up the machines.

The ExecSec has suggested to the Bishopric that we put MLS on 2 machines to relieve congestion and the local Bishopric concurs. Apparently he tried to download MLS this morning on one of the FHC computers but was stopped by a password request.

Our Ward ExecSec is a computer guy. He has experience repairing computers and has been taking classes at college on networking them and the like. He told me there should be no reason why MLS can't run on 2 machines simultaneously with today's technology.

I'm not so sure. I'm afraid that if user 1 (on the clerk computer) updates a record and meanwhile user 2 (on another computer) updates, the update from user 1 would basically be un-updated by user 2 or vise-versa. I think this way because I know that MLS is not actively working live on the web to a server while changes are being made. Our ExecSec believes that the updates are encoded so the server will know when a true update was made.

Help.....

How should I respond to this request?

Can MLS run concurrently on 2 machines for the same Ward Unit?

If this is not possible is there some official church documentation I can cite?

lajackson
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Postby lajackson » Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:55 pm

Do not do it. The password failure at the FHC saved your bacon today.

JeffTurgeon wrote:I've read that MLS can be run on the Web but basically only for printing reports and the such.


MLS does not run on the web. LDS.org has many features that rely on information from MLS, but they are independent and you are not running MLS when you access them.

JeffTurgeon wrote:The problem is that many auxiliaries want to use MLS to update data while the Ward Clerks are tying up the machines.


You will need to schedule and share.

JeffTurgeon wrote:Our Ward ExecSec is a computer guy. He has experience repairing computers and has been taking classes at college on networking them and the like. He told me there should be no reason why MLS can't run on 2 machines simultaneously with today's technology.


Except that it is not designed that way, the program is not written that way, and it will not work for the reasons you included in your post.

JeffTurgeon wrote:I know that MLS is not actively working live on the web to a server while changes are being made. Our ExecSec believes that the updates are encoded so the server will know when a true update was made.


You are correct. The program does not work the way your ExecSec believes. The database is on your administrative computer running MLS. The server is programmed to refuse any computer other than the one it knows. The security failure saved you from grief today. It he had successfully transmitted, he would have locked your clerk computer out of the system.

If he needs documentation, have him speak with your stake assistant clerk for technology.

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:20 pm

MLS is a single user application. It has been intentionally programmed that way. I suspect it is for security reasons.

The responsibility for computers in the stake rests with the stake president and is managed by the STS. The bishop does not have the authority to install MLS on any other computer. Each ward is supplied with one administrative computer. MLS containing unit records can only be installed on administrative computers. (Policies and Guidelines for Computers Used by Clerks for Church Record Keeping; Handbook 2, 21.1.11)

Notwithstanding Church policies and procedures, the programming of MLS does not support multi-user capabilities. This would include having the same database on two systems. Only one computer is set to have send/receive security permissions. Any attempt to do a send/receive on another system will fail because CHQ will only recognize one authorized computer. The database on the authorized computer cannot be merged with the database on another computer.

It is because of situations similar to the one you describe about many users needing access to unit data at once that development efforts began a couple of years ago to provide that access through the Leader and Clerk Resources applications on LDS.org. There is more ability to manage data than just read data and print reports. Certain leaders can update/change limited data. Eventually leaders should be able to perform many of the data management and data access needs on LDS.org. To do this the data needs to be stored on Church servers. A lot of membership data is already stored there. That is why we have the capabilities we have been provided over the past couple of years. MLS is both a data storage program and data terminal for data stored at CHQ. When accessing data on LDS.org the information is supplied by data stored on CHQ servers.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

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rbeede
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Postby rbeede » Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:56 am

Using the web version of MLS you (a clerk) can update member's addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses now.

Member's can also update the same information themselves in the online directory.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:56 am

rbeede wrote:Using the web version of MLS you (a clerk) can update member's addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses now.

Member's can also update the same information themselves in the online directory.


Close, but members cannot update their addresses in the online directory -- just phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.


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