Remote Access to MLS functions

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
mmkids6
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Remote Access to MLS functions

Postby mmkids6 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:53 am

Where in the Handbook does it say that we can not operate in MLS remotely, or what policy is there that dectates that? Will this option ever be available and to what extent?

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:05 am

An old Clerk computer policy said remote was available for diagnostic purposes. That's not the same as remote usage.

But if you go to the LDS Tech Broadcast June 1, 2012, at around 27:12 you'll hear that it's currently not allowed by policy.

The church's effort is focused on making MLS functionality available on a website.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

mmkids6
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Remote Access to MLS

Postby mmkids6 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:25 am

As I listened to the broadcast I find that it did not say anything about remote access to MLS from home or anywhere else. I needed to know what the future entailed for those clerks that are miles, or hours away from the Ward buidling, and wondering if the accessibility was available for them, other than on Sunday. I have had one question posed as to what policy directs the use of remote access.

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Postby lajackson » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:55 am

mmkids6 wrote:As I listened to the broadcast I find that it did not say anything about remote access to MLS from home or anywhere else. I needed to know what the future entailed for those clerks that are miles, or hours away from the Ward buidling, and wondering if the accessibility was available for them, other than on Sunday. I have had one question posed as to what policy directs the use of remote access.


I recall the comment being a minute or two earlier in the broadcast than the time quoted previously. But do not waste effort on finding it without a better "needle in haystack" location. I think I pulled the quote out of the stream. I will check to see if I still have it when I get home.

In my own personal opinion, I think the future for clerks that are miles or hours away will be that Church headquarters will remote in to help with problems. Actual use of the computer will still have to take place at the computer, even if that time is limited to one day a week at the building. And developers are working as quickly as they can to make as many of the membership functions of MLS available at LDS.org as possible.

Even when remote access was a consideration, it required someone at the actual computer, so that did not help a lonely clerk who lived far away.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:19 pm

mmkids6 wrote:As I listened to the broadcast I find that it did not say anything about remote access to MLS from home or anywhere else. I needed to know what the future entailed for those clerks that are miles, or hours away from the Ward buidling, and wondering if the accessibility was available for them, other than on Sunday. I have had one question posed as to what policy directs the use of remote access.


At about 27:20 in the linked broadcast, Brian Fromm (Product Manager over Clerk Computers) says:
The big one that I wanted to talk about is remote access. There's a lot of ways you can connect to a machine remotely -- there's PC Anywhere, Logmein, TeamViewer; there's a lot of apps like that that you can install. As of right now it is not allowed by policy to put those on the computer.
He goes on to say that if you think you need remote access, they'd like to hear (at mhifeedback@ldschurch.org) why you think you need it. The basic answer is that important functions are gradually being moved to Leader and Clerk Resources on LDS.org, so the need to go to the ward's computer to use MLS should become less and less over time.
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.

cordesa
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Postby cordesa » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:36 am

I am the Ward Clerk in a ward that is very spread out in Northern Arizona. Today, I found out that our Stake Tech Spec. removed the Remote access tool that we setup about a year ago based on this information. The main reason for installing the tool was the distance from the building. We also found that it made the MLS more accessible for the Quorum and Relief Society Secretaries to input their HT/VT data. Before having the remote access tool, they were keeping track in their own spreadsheets - and not putting the data into MLS. On Sunday, with processing donations, and counsel to not be doing Data Entry during Sunday School - they really can only access the computer during the week. Remote access made MLS easily accessible. I will email the mhifeedback@ldschurch.org with our comments. Until the ONLINE MLS TOOLS accommodate HT/VT data - Remote Tools to access the local MLS data are needed.

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johnshaw
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Postby johnshaw » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:34 am

Does anyone have the specific policy where this information can be shown to a Stake President that is wanting this setup on a computer. My Stake President will want to see the documentation, I think the Wiki would probably due.

This 'policy' makes a clerk's life very hard. But I can understand the real problem is likely NOT remote access, but the lack of a real good way to setup remote access. The number of ways to do this wrong is potentially staggering. I'm confident that I could setup remote access securely, but couldn't comment on others attention to detail. In one unit I visisted at the beginning of my calling they had VNC installed with NO password on the default port --> I removed it.

I would say, however, that a few hours of detailed attention, a process created by the Central Office, and we'd be up and running. I understand what lajackson is saying, but I guess I've lived in Missouri to long... show me... leader and clerk resources was launched 2 years ago and with a few minor exceptions has remained static. I believe that they ARE now working on it, but over the last 2 years it hasn't received the attention that moving off of the classic stuff has received or the maps program, etc... (which I'm sure is the decision that was deliberately made and without knowing any details could have been a fantastic decision to make).
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dgpapenfuss
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LDS Tools on PC platform - need list functionality

Postby dgpapenfuss » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:49 am

I am a new Relief Society secretary. I do not want to maintain the ward Relief Society email addresses in my own email tool. I noticed that the LDS Tools program on my IPAD had a feature of custom lists, I want this same feature on my Windows 7 PC where I usually do most of my work.

When I logged into LDS.org and used the tools feature there, it doesn't have this functionality.

The custom lists feature would meet my needs. Too bad it doesn't work on the IPAD, it just opens a blank email with no addresses. But I really need this functionality on my PC.

Any suggestions? We really need to get remote access to this data as people have to travel long distances, or there is only one computer at the ward building which I will rarely have access to.

Thanks,

-Darcy

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:49 am

JohnShaw wrote:Does anyone have the specific policy where this information can be shown to a Stake President that is wanting this setup on a computer. My Stake President will want to see the documentation, I think the Wiki would probably due.


See post #5
Have you searched the Wiki?

Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

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johnshaw
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Postby johnshaw » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:01 am

so the policy is because Brian Fromm said so? :)
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”

― Thomas Paine, Common Sense


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