Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
I tried to remove a user from MLS today and I got the following message "The user is referenced in one of the database records and connot be deleted. For now the user is flagged as inactive". What does this mean? How do I find the reference so I can remove them from the system?
It means that the user's login is probably recorded as part of the counting team for a donation batch, and that batch is still within the retention period. Since the donation batch can't be deleted, the user name can't be deleted either.
allenjpl wrote:It means that the user's login is probably recorded as part of the counting team for a donation batch, and that batch is still within the retention period. Since the donation batch can't be deleted, the user name can't be deleted either.
That's correct, and I would just add that deactivating an MLS user is just as good as deleting in almost every respect. The only place you will see a deactivated user is on the System Options screen that lists the MLS users. And that screen is typically accessed very rarely. So it's really not a problem to have several deactivated users.
Note also that once the retention period has passed and the last transaction is deleted that involved that user (which happens during the process of closing the fiscal year), the deactivated user will automatically be completely removed from MLS.
I gathered that to be the case for removal of former user. But I have a couple of units who have the same member associated with two seperate callings and I cannot adjust their "rights" because "that person is associated with another position". i.e. The High Priest Secretary was entered for organization only. He was called as counselor in bishopric and entered in MLS with his new calling with Admin rights. I can't modify his rights because he is associated with another position which I can't delete.
topsgtret wrote:...I have a couple of units who have the same member associated with two seperate callings and I cannot adjust their "rights" because "that person is associated with another position".
It sounds like these units created MLS users based on calling, and not by name. That is contrary to the recommendations in the documentation for several good reasons.
You should always associate a user with a person. For example, Brother John Doe's MLS user name might be something like "jdoe". That user would be associated with John Doe's MRN. Then when he gets released from his calling, you remove or deactivate the jdoe user name. If he then gets called to a different calling, you go to that existing user name, restore it, and set the permissions appropriate for the new calling. If you follow this practice consistently, you'll never get any of the error messages you mentioned.
But even if you have followed the questionable practice of associating MLS users with callings, you should be able to make this work. If you have an MLS user called "HP Secretary" and it's associated with John Doe's MRN, then when he gets released as HP Secretary, you should edit that MLS user and make sure that it is now associated with the MRN of the person who now has that calling. Then there should be no problem associating John Doe's MRN with the bishopric counselor MLS user.
The worst situation (which I have seen a couple of times) is when units use both approaches for user names -- some based on calling and some based on the person's name. That's a hopeless mess and I could only recommend that you adopt the strategy of user names based on name, and gradually clean up the mess.
topsgtret wrote:Thanks Brother Brown. That is the way I felt, hopeless. So it will take 3+ years to clean it up?
No, you can clean up much of it right away. There is nothing stopping you from systematically making sure that each MLS user (active or inactive) is connected to the correct MRN. When you have done that, you should be able to create any new MLS users or reactivate old user accounts with no conflicts. You can also make sure that each user has the correct permissions.
The only step that takes 3+ years is waiting for deactivated user accounts to completely go away.
This is back to the original problem. The same member (MRN) is connected to two positions. I do not know how they were able to do that, but one user, HPSec, is deactivated. The 1Counselor is active. Both user positions are connected to the same MRN. I cannot make changes to either position without receiving an error message. Since I'm not longer at the church I'll paraphrase the error message: "member is connected to another position, choose another member." This also happened in my YSA Branch when a new counselor was called and given access to MLS. He forgot his password twice and they (clerk or branch president) created new accounts for him. When I was auditing membership records I discovered the counselor had three accounts. I could deactivate two of them but could not modify his "rights" nor could i "restore" the deactivated users. I received the same error message when attempting to restore. He will be released next month so I can just deactivate the remaining position without problems.
topsgtret wrote:This is back to the original problem. The same member (MRN) is connected to two positions. I do not know how they were able to do that, but one user, HPSec, is deactivated. The 1Counselor is active. Both user positions are connected to the same MRN.
For versions of MLS prior to 3.5, MLS did not check to see if an MRN was connected to more than one MLS user. So it seems clear that these multiple users mapped to the same MRN were created in MLS 3.4.3 or earlier.
topsgtret wrote:I cannot make changes to either position without receiving an error message. Since I'm not longer at the church I'll paraphrase the error message: "member is connected to another position, choose another member."
The message is "The member is already associated with a user. Please select a different member." Just to be clear, we are talking about a user here, not a position.
topsgtret wrote: I cannot make changes to either position without receiving an error message.
I really don't think that's the case. MLS will certainly allow you to choose a different member for that user, as long as it is not a user that is already connected to yet another MLS user. As long as you choose a different member before you click Save, you will indeed be able to save changes to the user.
The one thing that might be slightly confusing is this: When you are editing an MLS user and you click the Select button to select a different member, the "Find Member in list" text box is already filled with the member's name. That will typically result in a list of members that has only that one member in it, so you might be misled into thinking that that is the only member you can choose. But if you blank out the "Find Member in list" text box, you'll see that you can select any ward member (12 and older). Choose one who is not an MLS user, and you'll be able to save your changes.
topsgtret wrote: I do not know how they were able to do that, but one user, HPSec, is deactivated.
The only time a user can be deactivated rather than removed (deleted) is when the user is associated with a financial transaction (that user entered a financial transaction into MLS). The message "The user '[username]' is referenced in one of the database records and cannot be deleted. For Now, '[username]' is flagged as inactive." will be displayed when the user "Remove" link is clicked. The user account will remain listed on the "Users" account list with no permissions and the "Remove" link will be replaced with a "Restore" link. The member's name will also be displayed with this deactived user account. All 'deactivated' user accounts will be displayed in this manner.
MLS does not allow a MRN to be associated with more than one user account. When attempting to create a new user account for a member (MRN) then MLS will display the warning message. The warning message lets you know there is an active or 'deactivated' user account. Scanning the user accounts on the "Users" page should reveal the user account for the member. Should a member with a deactived user account be called to a position that needs access to MLS again, simply restore the "deactivated" user account, change the user name if necessary, assign permissions, enter a new password, and the member will have access to MLS again.
I am venturing a guess a user account will be found if the "Users" account listing page is scanned for the member who cannot be associated with a new user account. If calling positions are used as user names then the user name may be a variation of the user name used for the current user account using the calling position as the user name.
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