Importing and Exporting Calling Data

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
davebailey
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Location: Cedar Hills, Utah

Importing and Exporting Calling Data

Postby davebailey » Sat Aug 23, 2008 5:17 pm

Hello,

I'm a ward clerk in a large ward which has a partially transient membership. One area where I struggle to keep information and reporting current is in callings.

As you are probably all aware, keeping track of 200 callings, potential candidates, those to be released, those to be set apart, those who shouldn't receive callings, and then keeping that information up-to-date on MLS and, where appropriate, posted on the ward website, is a real challenge. In fact, I would go so far as to say that this is where I spend a majority of my administrative time.

What's more the current version of MLS does a pretty good job of tracking some of this, but MLS is a program in the clerks office. I need something I can sit in Bishopric meetings with my laptop and work on, something that tracks actions that are going to happen as well as those that have, and then synchronize the relevant information to MLS and the ward website.

What I am considering is to write an open-source application that will help me maintain a list of members and all their callings, including tagging for various calling and/or member object traits such as - "to be released", or "under consideration" for a particular calling.

To implement this, I believe I can write an interface for the ward website to synchronize calling data.

What I'm not sure how to do is to import and export calling data from MLS. The CSV files don't appear to export calling information, and certainly don't import it. I don't relish the idea of trying to figure out the internal data structure, which probably changes fairly often anyway, to pull and push this information from and to MLS.

Is there a way that a calling import/export interface/API could be added that would allow the creation of a helper application to asssist with these time-consuming, repetitive, and error prone tasks?

Thanks,

David

RossEvans
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Postby RossEvans » Sat Aug 23, 2008 6:29 pm

davebailey wrote:What I'm not sure how to do is to import and export calling data from MLS. The CSV files don't appear to export calling information, and certainly don't import it. I don't relish the idea of trying to figure out the internal data structure, which probably changes fairly often anyway, to pull and push this information from and to MLS.


You can't import this data to MLS but you can export it.

If you want to write your own helper app, the primary export table for that is called Organization.csv, which includes the date of sustaining for each calling. This table can join to Membership.csv by the field called "Indiv ID."

There are third-party helper apps out there. A free PC application is called MLS Companion. There is a commercial app called Ward Tools, designed for PDAs.

davebailey
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Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:29 am
Location: Cedar Hills, Utah

Postby davebailey » Sun Feb 01, 2009 6:49 pm

Thanks for the tip for getting the callings.

Stay tuned at http://ldsadmin.org

Now I just need a way to put the changes back into MLS. :-)

RossEvans
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Postby RossEvans » Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:49 am

davebailey wrote:Now I just need a way to put the changes back into MLS. :-)


I have never seen any hint that MLS development managers will ever approve any import functionality.

mdcarney-p40
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Location: South Jordan, UT

Postby mdcarney-p40 » Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:27 pm

The MLS Companion website does not appear to have any links on it for download. Anyone know where I can get a copy?

mdcarney-p40
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Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 1:29 pm
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Postby mdcarney-p40 » Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:31 pm



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