Phone Number Storage and Usage

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
Wilbsguy
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Joined: Sun Apr 11, 2010 3:44 pm
Location: USA

Phone Number Storage and Usage

Postby Wilbsguy » Sun May 16, 2010 2:52 pm

This suggestion may be completely redundant or may not be all that important compared to other things going on but this seems not too difficult to implement and would help people out so here it goes anyway.

I think that the phone numbers should be stored without the extra characters so that they can all be standardized or customized easily. I know that MLS is for more than the US but for example all numbers have 10 digits in the US and different people have different preferences on how the number is displayed. Each person could than easily maintain the numbers on their own preference. Like I like mine xxx-xxx-xxxx but others like the (xxx) xxx-xxxx format. The ward would have a default and each user could than change how they view and use the phone numbers.

The only reason I am thinking of this is with the increased usage of smartphone directories, like ward tools. The stake has asked that we maintain a particular method to enter the phone number so the phone user can use the application to dial instead of needing to write the number down. The application evidently has a hard time reading outside of the prescribed format. This takes work and is a headache with people moving in or changing numbers. Seems it would be too hard to strip out anything not a number and store only the numbers. This would also allow the system to do checks on the numbers to help prevent fat finger errors. Also things like a default area code could be added if only 7 digits are entered. I don't think this would add too much coding but could really standardize things and make it easier on clerks.

Freedom55
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Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:15 pm
Location: BC, Canada

Postby Freedom55 » Sun May 16, 2010 4:29 pm

I agree with you. Our stake was finding that clerks were not only using different formats, but also adding extra letters indicating the contact status. We have asked all of our units to use the xxx-xxx-xxxx format only.

atticusewig
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Posts: 308
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:48 am

MLS needs to remain flexible

Postby atticusewig » Sun May 16, 2010 6:04 pm

The current storage method for phone numbers
allows for flexibility. We don't need another
MLS "upgrade" that ties the hands of clerks.

External apps that want to use the data should
be able to parse the current format, not impose
some limiting format in the guise of uniformity.

The fix for bad data is better training, not removing
functionality some units find useful.

- Atticus Ewig

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Mikerowaved
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Location: Layton, UT

Postby Mikerowaved » Sun May 16, 2010 8:53 pm

Freedom55 wrote:I agree with you. Our stake was finding that clerks were not only using different formats, but also adding extra letters indicating the contact status. We have asked all of our units to use the xxx-xxx-xxxx format only.

Since our stake has 2 area codes available (even more if you include a few of the member's VOIP and cell numbers) we needed to chose a uniform 10 digit format. All the MLS training slides use either the xxx-xxxx or xxx-xxx-xxxx formats. That was the main reason our stake also settled on xxx-xxx-xxxx throughout all our units. Now, getting all the clerks to actually USE this format 100% of the time is another story. ;)
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russellhltn
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Location: U.S.

Postby russellhltn » Sun May 16, 2010 9:32 pm

Wilbsguy wrote:with the increased usage of smartphone directories, like ward tools. The stake has asked that we maintain a particular method to enter the phone number so the phone user can use the application to dial instead of needing to write the number down.


The web browser on my Android phone will read 10-digit phone numbers and allow me to dial just by tapping the number in a web page. It doesn't work with 7-digit numbers.
Have you searched the Wiki?
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