Communication of changes made to MLS - how does this work?

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
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ericb
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Communication of MLS revisions - how does this work?

Postby ericb » Sun Sep 02, 2007 6:30 pm

During my short tenure as ward clerk (6 months), I've noticed a number of changes to the MLS software that have occured either via a Send/Receive or performed by the Stake Computer Specialist. This morning, I noticed our ward computer is now running MLS version 2.6. I'm feeling I have too little knowledge of what these changes encompass.

My question is this -- when MLS updates are deployed, how are the changes supposed to be communicated to ward clerks? Is my stake not passing along the information? Is there revision history information I can refer to (and if so, where)? Even though I'm not directly involved in the update processes, I feel I should be informed of how the changes affected MLS since everyone else in the ward (particularly the bishop) depends on me to know the ins & outs of the application.

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Mon Sep 03, 2007 6:59 am

I haven't used MLS but I learn a lot about the changes just from the forums and what people have said is different, along with all the problems. The major change with MLS 2.6 from what I have gathered is the support for barcoded temple recommends.
- David

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Postby JamesAnderson » Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:39 am

While at this time there is no need for me to be on MLS as my calling does not require it, I have still let some of those that do in my ward know of things discussed here, and they have sounded surprised that some of the things happened.

Has anyone seen any 'release notes' or 'readme' file sent with any MLS update? Back in 2005 when I was the HP group secretary we were just flying by the seat of our pants on a few things namely in handling HT companionship changes/reporting, found a tarantula sized bug in that part of it, and I knew who to contact due to some casual comments made about the future initial deployment of MLS I had heard about only two months earlier in another setting. That was when I think v2.4 was released, maybe it was an even earlier version.

Still it's good software, just having growing pains is all, as the Church finds how useful it is and will yet be.

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Postby jlarso5 » Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:43 am

There is a release notes.htm that goes with the update. It was included in the reimaging that took place on our wards computer in order to upgrade to 2.6. There have been some additional changes (like adding a checkbox for tracking people that have been set apart) but nothing "major" that I can remember

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ericb
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Postby ericb » Mon Sep 03, 2007 9:47 am

JamesAnderson wrote:...I have let some of those in my ward know of things discussed here, and they have sounded surprised that some of the things [have] happened.


I think this is essentially my point -- those of us that work with MLS on a regular basis should not be surprised with changes, but need to be kept well informed. Someone might indicate nothing much has changed, and then I'll happen to read somewhere else that "oh yeah, that was introduced" or "oh yeah, that changed a little". We really need to have an official, concise, and ongoing source for changes. Here are some suggestions I have for improving the process of communication (if some of these are in place, please point me in the right direction):
.
  • For every change to MLS that may impact how the software is used, provide clerks a message (using the standard message feature of MLS) with information regarding the change -- include the purpose for the change, how it is to be used, etc.
  • As appropriate, provide change information prior to an update being deployed. This would apply more to 'in your face' changes that affect normal use. For example, I'm still seeing posts on various sites regarding the temple activation report warning message -- I ran across this several months ago (and posted a message in this forum), which really should have been addressed by now.
  • As appropriate (say every 6 months or so), provide a roll-up of information regarding changes to MLS for the previous 6-12 months. That would give clerks the opportunity to review the changes in a glance, and (hopefully) consider how the improvements could be effectively implemented.

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Postby russellhltn » Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:21 pm

ericb wrote:My question is this -- when MLS updates are deployed, how are the changes supposed to be communicated to ward clerks?


By default, "release notes" are installed on the Desktop.

I believe major changes, just as this last MLS 2.6 is communicated via the MLS messaging system. It at least gives you a heads up that change is coming.

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McDanielCA
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Postby McDanielCA » Tue Sep 04, 2007 3:16 pm

I have a copy of the release notes for MLS 2.6 if you are in need of them.

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:50 am

Would it be alright to upload the release notes so that others who are curious would like to see them?
- David

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WelchTC
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Postby WelchTC » Thu Sep 06, 2007 6:57 am

thedqs wrote:Would it be alright to upload the release notes so that others who are curious would like to see them?

Great idea! We will see if we can get them posted.

Tom

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:01 am

It might even bring more people (most stake and ward clerks) to the site to increase our already great knowledge pool about MLS. :D
- David


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