MLS Access

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
harddrive
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MLS Access

Postby harddrive » Sun Nov 15, 2009 4:09 pm

I was at church today and a couple of people asked me about putting a second computer into the clerks office because all the leaders want to get on the computer at the same time. The other issue is that the room is used for interviews because we have two wards meeting in our building.

As I thought about it and the thought was that we couldn't put a second computer in because I don't believe that the MLS database is multi-user. Am I correct that the MLS database is not multi-user, which means that I can have the database on one computer, but have a second computer that is networked access the same database at the same time?

If the MLS database is not multi-user then what have others done so that the leadership gets access to MLS? I was thinking of something like PC Anywhere or using a VPN through the church network so that the users can work on things from home or at another time.

Let me know, so that I can help to find the best solution for my ward.

Thanks
Terry Palmer, Assistant Stake Clerk

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sun Nov 15, 2009 4:52 pm

No, MLS is not multi-user.

You may want to look at some of the PDA tools that allow some common look-ups. You also might consider having one person run a common set of reports. That way it's one schedule instead if many. But first I think I'd work at getting interviews out of the office.
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RossEvans
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Postby RossEvans » Sun Nov 15, 2009 5:41 pm

You cannot have a second installation of MLS. But for read-only access, some of the functionality of MLS can be replicated in third-party software that accesses the MLS export files on a laptop. Also, as RussellHltn noted, some such functionality can be provided by PDAs and smartphones.

In addition, some use of the computer may be accessing the Internet rather than MLS. With appropriate approval, another network connection to the Internet is possible. For example, our exec sec often needs to access bishopric/PEC agendas on Google Docs while a clerk is using the MLS computer. So we have a network switch in the clerk's office for connection to a guest laptop.

crislapi
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Postby crislapi » Sun Nov 15, 2009 6:53 pm

There is really only one time each week that MLS is tied up - right after sacrament meeting. The rest of the week it sits empty. You might want to encourage some to use it during the week.

lajackson
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Postby lajackson » Sun Nov 15, 2009 7:08 pm

RussellHltn wrote:But first I think I'd work at getting interviews out of the office.


Interviews? We hold regular classes in the clerks offices and the bishops offices in our building. The interviews take place outside under the tree. [grin]

I am with crislapi. Besides the issue that MLS is not multi-user, I would guess that the real challenge is that everyone wants to use it during Sunday School or right after church when the deposit is being prepared.

Priorities and scheduling. Because we have classes in the clerks offices, folks have to find another location, like the foyer. But wait, we started a class there, too. Terribly inconvenient. [hehehe]

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:29 am

I've not run into this problem, but a part of me wonders why the building's design seems to be that out of touch with the ward's needs. Overlaping wards?
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elderlarryhawkes-p40
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Postby elderlarryhawkes-p40 » Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:05 am

RussellHltn wrote:You may want to look at some of the PDA tools that allow some common look-ups.




boomerbubba wrote: some of the functionality of MLS can be replicated in third-party software that accesses the MLS export files on a laptop.



With the new update of MLS 3.1, the exported database files from MLS are formatted differently. So currently from what I can see by using a tool called "MyWard" and testing "MLS companion database", none of these tools currently work to view ward information offline. Of Course, viewing the raw text exported CSV files from MLS can still be done with Open Office Calc (spread sheet) or Excel or anything else that will open a text file, but the data is not nearly as user friendly in the raw text format. :confused:


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