Documenting MLS export files

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
RossEvans
Senior Member
Posts: 1346
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:52 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Documenting MLS export files

Postby RossEvans » Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:08 pm

I have posted documentation for the four core MLS export files -- Membership.csv, Organization.csv, HomeTeaching.csv and VisitingTeaching.csv -- on the wiki.

This documentation is not official. Apparently there is no such thing. The content is based on my own empirical analysis of the ward export files.

I have documented only the ward version of these files, because I don't have stake files to analyze. (My understanding is that the stake version of Membership.csv is identical.) I also have not documented the vCard files.

There are a couple of minor questions for which I don't know the answer:

  1. If a ward has more than one Elders Quorum, what value is stored for them in the Quorum column of HomeTeaching.csv?
  2. There are multiple places where the member names in HomeTeaching.csv, VisitingTeaching.csv and Organization.csv correspond to the "Preferred Name" column in Membership.csv. What would happen if a unit's MLS installation did not specify "Preferred Name" in its overall System settings?
No doubt, now that I finally did the work to document this stuff, some new version of MLS will render it obsolete.

User avatar
mkmurray
Senior Member
Posts: 3241
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 9:56 pm
Location: Utah
Contact:

Postby mkmurray » Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:29 pm

I can help with Question 1...I'll see if I can get that answer for you in the next few days.

As for analyzing the vCards, I have gotten pretty good at that. I'll see if I can draft something up on that as well.
Many questions are already answered on the LDSTech wiki. Check it out!

User avatar
aebrown
Community Administrator
Posts: 14693
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Sandy, Utah

Postby aebrown » Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:53 pm

boomerbubba wrote:I have documented only the ward version of these files, because I don't have stake files to analyze. (My understanding is that the stake version of Membership.csv is identical.)


Well, the stake version of Membership.csv does contain all the fields of the ward version in the same order. But then it adds two additional fields: Unit Name (which is the abbreviated name, not the full name of the unit) and Unit Number. The same is true of Organization.csv -- the same two fields are added at the end.

boomerbubba wrote:1. If a ward has more than one Elders Quorum, what value is stored for them in the Quorum column of HomeTeaching.csv?


They will see "Elders 1" or "Elders 2".

boomerbubba wrote:2. There are multiple places where the member names in HomeTeaching.csv, VisitingTeaching.csv and Organization.csv correspond to the "Preferred Name" column in Membership.csv. What would happen if a unit's MLS installation did not specify "Preferred Name" in its overall System settings?


If in System Options > System, the ward has selected "Use Full Names," then that preference is indeed honored on export as well for the three files you mentioned. Columns such as Supervisor or Home Teacher 1 will contain the full name, not the preferred name.

Note, however, that if the Use Full Names option has been selected, then the third column (Preferred Name) of Membership.csv will not be included at all. That means that the other columns all shift over one position -- not a big deal if you are using field names, but applications should take care not to depend on field order, and be aware that the Preferred Name column may not be present.

RossEvans
Senior Member
Posts: 1346
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:52 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Postby RossEvans » Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:49 pm

Thanks, Alan. I have made those changes to the wiki.


I have a followup question about the stake files. The wiki, as I found it, lists two stake Organization files:
  • Organization Data (Organization.csv)
  • Ward Organization Data (WardOrganization.csv)
Is it possible that the wiki outline is out of date, and that there is now only a single consolidated file called Organization.csv?

User avatar
aebrown
Community Administrator
Posts: 14693
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Sandy, Utah

Postby aebrown » Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:57 pm

boomerbubba wrote:I have a followup question about the stake files. The wiki, as I found it, lists two stake Organization files:
  • Organization Data (Organization.csv)
  • Ward Organization Data (WardOrganization.csv)
Is it possible that the wiki outline is out of date, and that there is now only a single consolidated file called Organization.csv?


No, there is still a WardOrganization.csv file. It contains the ward leadership for the major auxiliaries. It's not populated on the test data (and there is no way that I know of to populate it), but I can take a look at our stake's live data tomorrow to see the file structure.

The Organization.csv file at the stake level lists stake leaders only.

RossEvans
Senior Member
Posts: 1346
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:52 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Language dependencies

Postby RossEvans » Thu Oct 15, 2009 8:12 am

I have added a section to the Export (MLS) article that makes a start at covering the language dependencies in the Wiki analysis, which is very English-centric right now.

I added a table of all the English string literals that my analysis found in the data fields of the four core export files. There are blank columns and cells next to each term so that other Wiki collaborators, more multilingual than I am, might document the strings found in other versions of MLS.

This is important to users of these export files, including users of some third-party apps that are English-dependent, who happen to be using MLS set up in another language.

My analysis does not cover the metadata -- column names and perhaps even file names -- that might be translated into other languages.

User avatar
aebrown
Community Administrator
Posts: 14693
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Sandy, Utah

Postby aebrown » Thu Oct 15, 2009 12:20 pm

boomerbubba wrote: I added a table of all the English string literals that my analysis found in the data fields of the four core export files. There are blank columns and cells next to each term so that other Wiki collaborators, more multilingual than I am, might document the strings found in other versions of MLS.


I moved the table to a new article called MLS export language dependencies‎ because the original article was getting too big, and the language article could become even larger than that eventually.

I filled in the German data.

boomerbubba wrote: My analysis does not cover the metadata -- column names and perhaps even file names -- that might be translated into other languages.


At least in German, the file names and column names are indeed different from English. So anyone dealing with these export files generated from another language will have to be aware of those differences as well. Thus I added tables of file names and column names to the wiki article.

RossEvans
Senior Member
Posts: 1346
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:52 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

A bug in WardOrganization.csv?

Postby RossEvans » Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:17 am

As I have been looking more closely at the format of the stake export files, particularly the work Alan_Brown did recently to document them, I am sort of appalled that the WardOrganization.csv file is missing two column headers that should be labeled "Unit Name" and "Unit Number".

A spreadsheet or text editor would probably open this file and not complain, but it might choke the CSV parser of lots of other programs.

Surely this is not done by design, and the MLS developers really intended to use the appropriate column headers, as they did in the Organization.csv file.

I suggest that someone -- a user of stake MLS, which I am not -- report this through channels as a bug. Maybe it can be fixed.

User avatar
aebrown
Community Administrator
Posts: 14693
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Sandy, Utah

Postby aebrown » Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:44 am

boomerbubba wrote:the WardOrganization.csv file is missing two column headers that should be labeled "Unit Name" and "Unit Number".

I suggest that someone -- a user of stake MLS, which I am not -- report this through channels as a bug. Maybe it can be fixed.


I certainly agree that it can only be an oversight. I have reported the issue.

RossEvans
Senior Member
Posts: 1346
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:52 pm
Location: Austin TX
Contact:

Postby RossEvans » Sat Oct 17, 2009 9:48 am

Interested parties really should look at the outstanding work Alan_Brown has done over the past few days to expand the article on MLS export language dependencies. There now is an .xls spreadsheet documenting translations not only for text literals within the MLS data but also for filenames and column names. As of this writing, the spreadsheet is populated for English, German, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

Another point, which Alan raises on the Wiki, is that there also ought to be translations of the standardized callings. That is a great idea.

I have a related question about the new standardized callings, having little or nothing to do with multilingual translation:

I know that the displayed text strings of these organizations and positions (callings) are standardized. Does anyone know if the MLS standardization also defines the "Org Seq" and "Pos Seq" values? These are integers that comprise all or part of the primary key of these records in the export files. What I am wondering, for example, is whether a standardized "Org Seq" of nn always means Relief Society, and a standardized combination "Org Seq", "Pos Seq" of nn,nn always means Relief Society President.


Return to “MLS Support, Help, and Feedback”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests