Does Custom Field Info Transfer?

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
Reece-p40
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Does Custom Field Info Transfer?

Postby Reece-p40 » Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:41 pm

Is “custom field” information electronically transferred to the Stake PC when they make an MLS backup of the Ward database?

The reason I ask is, in the past, there have been MLS updates which wiped out my custom field “names” (but not the info in the fields on the records themselves). When this happened, I could not access the info from the records until I re-created those custom field “names”, and of course, they had to be exactly duplicated.

If the info DOES transfer, does it also create the custom field “names” in the Stake database, so the info is readily available on a custom report from the Stake PC?

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Tue Jun 16, 2009 8:07 pm

Reece wrote:Is “custom field” information electronically transferred to the Stake PC when they make an MLS backup of the Ward database?

The reason I ask is, in the past, there have been MLS updates which wiped out my custom field “names” (but not the info in the fields on the records themselves). When this happened, I could not access the info from the records until I re-created those custom field “names”, and of course, they had to be exactly duplicated.

If the info DOES transfer, does it also create the custom field “names” in the Stake database, so the info is readily available on a custom report from the Stake PC?

I'm guessing that custom fields are privy only to the install of MLS on that specific machine. I doubt the info or field definitions are sent back and forth between wards and stakes or wards and Church Headquarters.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed Jun 17, 2009 4:32 am

Stake MLS provides features for examining an individuals Talents and Interests and Custom Member Fields. Under Membership > View and Update > Custom Member Fields, you can view those fields. Using Custom Reports, you can select records using criteria that filter on talents or custom fields, and you can select those fields in the output.

I'm pretty sure that some of the wards in my stake use Talents and Interests and I think some even use custom fields. But nowhere in stake MLS can I see a single entry for anyone in these fields.

There are obvious challenges in a stake being able to see custom fields, since (as was pointed out), you have to have specified any custom talents or other fields in System Options > Members for it to work properly. But how could the stake possibly map all those custom fields the same way for all the wards? From what I understand of the structure of the data, the first custom field is in the same position for each ward, but almost certainly would have a different definition in each ward. The standard talents and interests should be simpler, but they don't seem to be transmitted, either.

All these talents and custom fields are not actually part of the membership record at CHQ; they are extra information stored in MLS (this is clear from the fact that when a member moves to a different ward, this extra info is not moved with them). We know MLS can transmit some additional information beyond what is on the record (such as some calling information) and that this information can go to the stake MLS.

However, I don't see any evidence that the talent and custom field information is transmitted to the stake, but the presence in stake MLS of custom field information makes me wonder if it was perhaps actually intended to work, but did not get fully implemented. That is simply speculation.


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