How to change usernames?

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
komatta
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How to change usernames?

Postby komatta » Wed Jul 02, 2008 9:58 pm

Somehow during a recent bishopric change, we ended up with the following usernames for 1st and 2nd counselors:

"2nd Counselor" and
"2 Counselor"

As you can see, it looks like someone couldn't see a way to edit a username and decided to choose a marginally different username for the new 2nd counselor, while the new 1st counselor retains his old "2nd Counselor" username.

I've also wondered what to do when there's a typo in a username. I had a look around and I didn't see an obvious way to fix these things.

Is it possible?

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:11 pm

maruchan wrote:Somehow during a recent bishopric change, we ended up with the following usernames for 1st and 2nd counselors:

"2nd Counselor" and
"2 Counselor"

As you can see, it looks like someone couldn't see a way to edit a username and decided to choose a marginally different username for the new 2nd counselor, while the new 1st counselor retains his old "2nd Counselor" username.

I've also wondered what to do when there's a typo in a username. I had a look around and I didn't see an obvious way to fix these things.

Is it possible?



It's very straightforward to fix the spelling of a username (or completely change the name).
  1. Login to MLS as an Administrator
  2. In System Options, go to the User screen
  3. Click on the username you want to change (it is blue and underlined to indicate that clicking on it will perform some action)
  4. Type in the new username
  5. A new password is required when you change the username, so you will need to have the user there.
Note that you may not be able to remove the username you no longer want to use, if that username is tied to any financial transactions. But you can inactivate it, and it will go away in three years (in the US, that is -- 5 years in Canada).

By the way, there are many who don't think it is a good idea to have MLS user names tied to a calling, but say it is better -- particularly for anyone involved in financial transactions -- to have the username connected to an actual person. I certainly am a proponent of connecting usernames to people, not callings, but some others disagree. See this thread for the discussion.

tmcgregor-p40
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Student Ward Username Management

Postby tmcgregor-p40 » Sun Jul 27, 2008 3:45 pm

In a student ward environment I find it would be nice to delete rather than just remove MLS usernames from active use. The turnover of student usernames is incredible and an occassional purge of deactivated usernames (sooner than 3 years) would help tidy up the system. Also, as new bishoprics come and go, most are not up on the advice to edit a replacement rather than add another new user. I admit to the same until I came across this forum. Student ward leaders and student members might benefit from an active forum to address their special needs.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sun Jul 27, 2008 4:55 pm

tmcgregor wrote:In a student ward environment I find it would be nice to delete rather than just remove MLS usernames from active use. The turnover of student usernames is incredible and an occassional purge of deactivated usernames (sooner than 3 years) would help tidy up the system.


The 3 year requirement is part of the Church's overall record retention policy in the United States (it is 5 years in Canada). In this case, it is legal issues that dictate the software implementation. I doubt that it is going to change, so you need to do the best you can within the system.

The inactive users show up in only one place in MLS -- the list of the users under System Options. Everywhere else (such as the login screen, batch authorization, etc.), only active users are listed. So I don't see how it is much of a burden to have a long list. The one recommendation I would make that could certainly help units with long user lists is to have a good naming convention: Choose "LastFirst", "First Last", "FMLast", or whatever seems good, but require all the users to follow the convention. That way you can easily find anyone in the user list.

tmcgregor wrote:Also, as new bishoprics come and go, most are not up on the advice to edit a replacement rather than add another new user. I admit to the same until I came across this forum. Student ward leaders and student members might benefit from an active forum to address their special needs.


As I mentioned earlier in this thread, "there are many who don't think it is a good idea to have MLS user names tied to a calling, but say it is better -- particularly for anyone involved in financial transactions -- to have the username connected to an actual person. I certainly am a proponent of connecting usernames to people, not callings, but some others disagree. See this thread for the discussion."

Your statement about "edit a replacement" seems to imply that you use calling names, rather than person names. If you use person names in a ward/branch with high turnover, the user list will indeed get long, but you won't have the problem with odd variations in spelling of calling names.

billv-p40
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Postby billv-p40 » Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:08 am

MLS 2.9 will begin encouraging the association of users with members instead of users with callings. Users cannot be deleted because they are associated with data items in the database. When these items are removed, the hidden user is also removed. This happens at the close of the year.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Fri Aug 22, 2008 4:11 pm

billv wrote:MLS 2.9 will begin encouraging the association of users with members instead of users with callings.


While I would welcome this if it were true, because I am a big proponent of associating users with members (not callings), I see no evidence of any new encouragement in this direction in MLS 2.9. It is certainly true that MLS 2.9 aggressively reminds us to associate a member with each MLS user. But those who interpret the instructions as allowing users to be associated with callings won't have their opinions changed in the slightest by MLS 2.9.

Even if your usernames are "Bishop" "Financial Clerk" "Elders Quorum Secretary" etc., you can change the associated member when the person with that calling changes. In the calling-user scenario, the administrator can make sure the person with the new calling is present at the computer as the association is changed, just as they would have to be when a new user is created under the member-user scenario. In fact, those who use the calling-user scheme will neatly slip around the new reminder/required field system of MLS 2.9, since a user will always be associated with a member (even though in cases of procrastination or neglect, it will be the member who used to hold the calling).

I still think there are strong arguments for the member-user scenario based on financial transaction traceability, but the unfortunate fact is that MLS 2.9 hasn't changed this argument one bit, unless you are hoping that people will read between the lines and say that the reminder to associate users with members only makes sense if new usernames are created for new users. What is really needed to answer this question is an entry in the MLS help file or some other official instructions, or a prompt on the Add/Edit User dialog that says something like "User Name (based on member name)".


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