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Problems with MLS export

Posted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:40 pm
by natet
Our stake is preparing to publish their stake directory. The way they accomplish this is to have each unit perform an export in MLS of the membership and organization data, and then run a perl script against these CSV files to generate PDF's of the directory pages. Our ward was recently formed (2 months ago), and we're running into an issue with the export. The organization file is empty. We are still in the process of making some callings, and for some organizations, we only have the president called, or the president and councilors called, but no secretary. I am at a loss as to why the export isn't working. Any ideas of what might be going on? I looked in the mlslog.txt file, but that seems to only be recording transfer information.

Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 3:11 am
by russellhltn
The obvious question is - have any of these callings been entered into MLS? It's entirely possible that's been ignored.

The second obvious question is to make sure the "Organizations" check box was checked when the Export was run.

Third, for the callings that have been entered, were existing positions in MLS used or were these created as "custom" positions? I don't know about the export file, but some other features won't work correctly if you create custom positions instead of using the built-in positions in MLS.

Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 6:56 am
by RossEvans
RussellHltn wrote:Third, for the callings that have been entered, were existing positions in MLS used or were these created as "custom" positions? I don't know about the export file, but some other features won't work correctly if you create custom positions instead of using the built-in positions in MLS.


Custom positions -- and "custom" misspellings -- are included in the Organization.csv file exported from MLS. But I have no idea what the Perl script is looking for.

If Organization.csv is being created but is empty, that is very fishy. Do callings show up within MLS in any of the organization reports?

Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:03 am
by aebrown
natet wrote:Our ward was recently formed (2 months ago), and we're running into an issue with the export. The organization file is empty. . . . Any ideas of what might be going on?


It appears to me that you may have found a bug, albeit one that I have not been able to track down completely.

When I run the export using the MLS test database on my home desktop computer, the Organization.csv file is similarly empty (it has just the one row of column headers, with no actual data). I definitely have organization data entered. All the other export files are properly created -- only Organization.csv is blank. All these callings show up everywhere else in MLS they should -- on the individual organization screens, on the member's record, on the Callings by Organization report, etc.

So I decided to try it out on my laptop, which also has MLS installed with the test database (but not the exact same data as my desktop, since I have modifed both databases in different ways). MLS export on my laptop worked just fine -- the Organization.csv file had the expected data.

I even went so far as to backup my desktop database and restore it on my laptop so that I would be dealing with the same data. It still works fine. So the problem isn't related to the data. Exporting from the stake organization on my desktop works fine as well.

I'll try to check this out with some actual ward installations of MLS in my stake over the weekend and report back. But this is indeed an odd one.

Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:35 am
by natet
Alan_Brown wrote:It appears to me that you may have found a bug, albeit one that I have not been able to track down completely.

When I run the export using the MLS test database on my home desktop computer, the Organization.csv file is similarly empty (it has just the one row of column headers, with no actual data). I definitely have organization data entered. All the other export files are properly created -- only Organization.csv is blank. All these callings show up everywhere else in MLS they should -- on the individual organization screens, on the member's record, on the Callings by Organization report, etc.


This is exactly what I'm seeing. Were both your laptop and desktop installed the same way? I mean, we recently went through an upgrade in MLS. Did you install the latest version on one, and use the upgrade path for the other?

I'd appreciate hearing what you find this weekend. I'm a little in a crunch right now, as the stake clerk wants the ward files by this weekend so he can get the pdf files to the printer, but I really don't want to have to build that file by hand.

Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:37 am
by russellhltn
Alan_Brown wrote:When I run the export using the MLS test database on my home desktop computer, the Organization.csv file is similarly empty (it has just the one row of column headers, with no actual data).


Now, what happens if you restore your desktop backup to your desktop (rebuilding the indexes)? You can make a backup at the file level if you want to preserve your defective database.

Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:14 pm
by lajackson
natet wrote:I'm a little in a crunch right now, as the stake clerk wants the ward files by this weekend so he can get the pdf files to the printer, but I really don't want to have to build that file by hand.


You might let the stake clerk know of your problem, and ask him to send over the STC to solve your problem for you. Just a thought. [grin]

Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:23 pm
by mkmurray
lajackson wrote:You might let the stake clerk know of your problem, and ask him to send over the STC to solve your problem for you. Just a thought. [grin]

STC? What is that? Or did you mean STS (stake technology specialist)?

Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:54 pm
by natet
RussellHltn wrote:Now, what happens if you restore your desktop backup to your desktop (rebuilding the indexes)? You can make a backup at the file level if you want to preserve your defective database.

Not a bad suggestion. Alan, I'd like to hear the results of this, as well as loading the data from a backup of your laptop MLS on your desktop.

Edit: that is, if you have the opportunity to try these out...

Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 6:51 pm
by aebrown
natet wrote:Not a bad suggestion. Alan, I'd like to hear the results of this, as well as loading the data from a backup of your laptop MLS on your desktop.




Neither of the proposed scenarios made any difference; the exported Organization.csv file is still empty on my desktop after I:
  • Restored the backup from the desktop (to simply restore the indexes for the same database)
  • Restored the backup from my laptop (to restore data from an MLS system that doesn't exhibit the problem)


So clearly the problem was with this installation, not with the data. Obviously, the next step seemed to be to reinstall MLS. I did a full install using the download from mls.lds.org (I didn't bother to do an uninstall first, in order to make my testing as incremental as possible). Lo and behold, the export started working.

I can't explain why this problem happened, since I had done a full install of that exact same installer previously. But in any case, the problem has gone away, so I would recommend that anyone having this same problem do a complete install (and please report back to this thread with your results).