MLS User Cleanup

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
ericawaite
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MLS User Cleanup

Postby ericawaite » Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:01 pm

What is the best way to clean out old MLS users on the PC in the clerks office? Our PC has inactive users that are no longer in the ward / stake from 6 years ago? How can these inactive users be cleaned up? We replaced our PC 4 months ago and the inactive users were transferred over as well.

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aebrown
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Re: MLS User Cleanup

Postby aebrown » Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:16 pm

ericawaite wrote:What is the best way to clean out old MLS users on the PC in the clerks office? Our PC has inactive users that are no longer in the ward / stake from 6 years ago? How can these inactive users be cleaned up?

The first thing that you should do is make sure that every user is deactivated if they have no current calling that requires them to have access to MLS. For some users you will be able to delete them, but for many, when you look at their entry in the list of MLS users, there will only be a "Restore" link. That means that that user was involved in some transaction that is still in the MLS database. In that case, you can't delete the user. You just have to wait until the last transaction that they were involved in gets archived (which happens during the process of closing out the appropriate year). For financial transactions, that is 3 years plus the current year (in the US; retention periods are different in different countries).

So if a user participated in a financial transaction in the US on January 2, 2012, that user will remain in the database until the year 2015 is closed. At that point the user will be deleted (assuming he was deactivated at some point before that). Until then, it's useful that they remain in the database, since you might need to go back and look at who approved a donation batch on January 2, 2012, and the way the database is set up, that is only possible if their user still exists in the database so that it can be linked to that transaction.

Although I appreciate your desire to keep things tidy, it really isn't anything to worry about. If you have deactivated their account, then they won't be able to login to MLS, and they won't appear anywhere in MLS except on the list of users.

dougj
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Re: MLS User Cleanup

Postby dougj » Tue Dec 08, 2015 8:10 pm

We have several users who have been out of the ward for more than two years. How can I find the entry in MLS that is preventing them from being deleted?

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aebrown
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Re: MLS User Cleanup

Postby aebrown » Tue Dec 08, 2015 8:16 pm

dougj wrote:We have several users who have been out of the ward for more than two years. How can I find the entry in MLS that is preventing them from being deleted?

Aside from the fact that it's very hard to find those transactions, the fact is that even if you could find the entry, there's nothing you could do to remove their association with that transaction. All you can do is deactivate the users and then wait for the transactions to be removed from MLS at the end of the record retention period (three years plus current year in the US). So if a user made their last transaction in 2012, then the user will be removed as the year 2015 is closed, which will happen in early January. If the last transaction was in 2013, you'll have to wait one more year after that.

russellhltn
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Re: MLS User Cleanup

Postby russellhltn » Tue Dec 08, 2015 8:41 pm

dougj wrote:We have several users who have been out of the ward for more than two years. How can I find the entry in MLS that is preventing them from being deleted?

Keep in mind we're talking about the financial records of the ward. Altering the prior records just to drop a person from a list seems rather extreme. And I'm not sure as you can delete the entry. I believe MLS just makes "correcting entries" and never really deletes anything.

I suggest you wait until that financial information is automatically purged. As long as the account is inactive, it's not causing any issues and the account isn't even visible in most screens. Come January 2016, anyone who has been kept around because of entries in 2012 will be dropped. (USA 3 years plus current rule.)
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

dougj
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Re: MLS User Cleanup

Postby dougj » Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:58 pm

Relax. I'm not going to alter any records. Just wondering if it could be a duplicate donor record or an old custom calling or some such thing. If it takes three years + one to clear financial records, it takes three years. However, I know that in two cases it has been over five years since the member records moved out of the ward and the user records are still there. I know it's been that long because my wife says so. :)

So, once again, what is it that is keeping that five to six year old record in my system?

russellhltn
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Re: MLS User Cleanup

Postby russellhltn » Wed Dec 09, 2015 1:41 am

I assume you've tried to remove it and it doesn't allow it.

The only thing I know of is that their login was used in a financial transaction that hasn't been purged yet. (I think Finances is the only thing that will prevent a user from being removed.)

While it's possible the user moved out 5 years ago (although I'd verify that - you may be able to look in the CDOL at the "Historical Information" for the ward), there's a couple of ways they might still be tied to the finances:
  • At one time, some wards based the logins on callings rather than people. The login might have been passed along to that person's replacement.
  • If he was in the area, he might have returned to help out one day.

If neither of those apply, you might want to call Local Unit Support and have them look into it.
Have you searched the Wiki?

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

eblood66
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Re: MLS User Cleanup

Postby eblood66 » Wed Dec 09, 2015 7:06 am

dougj wrote:So, once again, what is it that is keeping that five to six year old record in my system?

I think that there is a bug that prevents some users from being purged. I don't know what triggers it but I saw it in my last ward. I know for a fact that we had at least 2 users who had not had access to MLS for at least 1 year before I was clerk and they were still in the system even when I was released 7 years later.

I think my current stake clerk has seen that too. He insists that once a user has been added to MLS it never goes away and so he insists that we name users based on callings even though I've pointed out the documentation that says not do that.

But in my opinion having extra users listed is really so little of a problem that I don't think it's worth the effort for the developers to track it down especially if MLS goes way in a few years.


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