Ward Tools

Discussions around the setup, operation, replacement, and disposal of clerk computers, not to include using MLS
craiggsmith
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Ward Tools

Postby craiggsmith » Sun Sep 26, 2010 7:22 am

My stake presidency wants to use an iPhone application called Ward Tools. This application requires the iPhone to be able to see the clerk desktop computer, which has to run the Apple's Bonjour service. They've been able to get it to work at home and at other buildings out of the box; at the stake center there appears to be some router settings that prevent anything on the LAN from seeing anything else. I'll try to get the exact router model, but it's a D-link with a whole lot more options than I am used to seeing.

I'm not a network guy. I tried the Ward Tools group but haven't gotten any suggestions yet. Does anyone here have any ideas on what I should look for?

Note that I am concerned about security. A couple ideas I have are only to make this available Sunday mornings during their meeting, and/or to get another router and set up a separate network just for them.

Thanks very much.
Craig
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South Jordan, UT

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sun Sep 26, 2010 9:17 am

hemismith wrote:My stake presidency wants to use an iPhone application called Ward Tools. This application requires the iPhone to be able to see the clerk desktop computer, which has to run the Apple's Bonjour service. They've been able to get it to work at home and at other buildings out of the box; at the stake center there appears to be some router settings that prevent anything on the LAN from seeing anything else. I'll try to get the exact router model, but it's a D-link with a whole lot more options than I am used to seeing.

I'm not a network guy. I tried the Ward Tools group but haven't gotten any suggestions yet. Does anyone here have any ideas on what I should look for?

Note that I am concerned about security. A couple ideas I have are only to make this available Sunday mornings during their meeting, and/or to get another router and set up a separate network just for them.

Thanks very much.


I'm pretty sure that the problem has nothing to do with the router, but rather is related to the Sophos software firewall, which blocks the wardtools.exe application.
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:31 am

hemismith wrote:This application requires the iPhone to be able to see the clerk desktop computer, which has to run the Apple's Bonjour service.


I have to say, this creeps me. I know there's been applications where one needs to export the MLS data, but it seems you're saying that the iPhone has to see the MLS computer on the network? I'd be very leery about providing external access to MLS data like that.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:11 pm

RussellHltn wrote:I have to say, this creeps me. I know there's been applications where one needs to export the MLS data, but it seems you're saying that the iPhone has to see the MLS computer on the network? I'd be very leery about providing external access to MLS data like that.

That wasn't an accurate description of how Ward Tools works. It does not need access to the MLS computer. It just needs access to the computer that Bonjour and Ward Tools are on, which can be any computer that has imported an MLS export file.
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craiggsmith
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Postby craiggsmith » Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:37 pm

To clarify for those who aren't familiar, you export a csv file from MLS. Then you run a conversion program on the files, and then you run another program that the iPhone interfaces with wirelessly to update the data. Other phones just interface via a sync cable. We would delete the files and turn off the interface program after the update. If we had to change firewall and/or router settings constantly it wouldn't be as ideal.

I initially assumed it was the firewall as well, but we brought in two laptops that work fine on other networks, and we cannot see them on the church's network. So it seems that it must be a router setting. But I don't doubt the firewall may pose a problem also. I just loaded Sophos last night though; this computer was still running the Symantec firewall.
Craig
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South Jordan, UT

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:26 pm

You mention that there is a D-Link router involved in the network. This would mean you have the potential for two firewalls to be involved if the network is set up following Church policy and procedure. A Church provided security appliance (firewall) such as the Cisco ASA 5500 or The Cisco PIX 501 must be installed for all internet connections. There are three filtering options available. The first two options, LDS Restricted Access and LDS Extended Access, will most likely prevent access to the websites necessary for Ward Tools to function. So if the filtering option configured on the Church provided firewall is not General Access, the least restrictive, then I would suspect a change in filtering level may be the fix.

If General Access is the filtering option configured then a troubleshooting procedure would be to connect to the internet at the Church provided firewall, or bybass the D-Link router. If you are using the D-Link router to create a subnet behind the Cisco router (Church provided firewall) and you can access the internet and the necessary websites at the Cisco router without issue then you are probably correct that the D-Link router settings need to be looked at.
hemismith wrote:I initially assumed it was the firewall as well, but we brought in two laptops that work fine on other networks, and we cannot see them on the church's network.
Whether you can see other computers on a network or not should not affect this issue. Access to the internet does not depend on networking computers (connecting one computer to another on the LAN). You are only using the gateway for this operation.

Clarify for us your network (describe the configuration and setup) and we should be able to narrow down the problem. For example, do you have a Church provided firewall installed? Where is the D-Link router in relation to the Cisco device? Is any of the network involved wireless? I assume the computer you are using Ward Tools on is an administrative computer. Can it connect to the internet? Are there any sites you cannot access other than the Ward Tools site?

I guess I should have asked the most important question first. Have you consulted with your Stake Technology Specialist about the issue? Has he been involved in solving the problem? If you are that person then disregard those two questions.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

craiggsmith
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Postby craiggsmith » Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:49 pm

Thanks very much. Yes, the D-Link router creates a subnet behind the standard church firewall with both hard-wired and wireless connections. We have no problems accessing the internet, but this program does not involve anything outside the subnet. It does indeed require two machines within the subnet to see each other. I hope this clarifies it; please ask more questions if not.

And yes, I am the Stake Technology Specialist and that's why I'm tasked with figuring this out. I was just called and unfortunately feel somewhat inadequate for this position but will do my best.

Thanks.
Craig
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South Jordan, UT

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Sun Sep 26, 2010 11:43 pm

Not having used the Ward Tools application I was not aware that the iPhone needed to connect wirelessly on the LAN to the computer with the application. That does narrow the issue to the wireless setup and networking.

I am not aware of anyone setting up LAN networking using a Church provided wireless (usually Cisco 1200 series WAPs) setup since that requires the WAPS to be appropriately configured. I don't think the Church configures the WAPs for networking but only for gateway operations. The configuration of a Church provided wireless installation requires the support from the Local Unit Technical Support service center (service desk). If you have a Church provided wireless installation you will have to call them to help you troubleshoot this issue.

If the wireless setup is locally provided then you can configure a local network. You will have to make sure the D-Link router is configured for a LAN. Your predecessor may have only configured the router as a gateway. You will need to reconfigure it for LAN operations as well. You will then have to setup at least the one desktop computer for a locally configured network and not just internet access. I have not done that so I don't know if it is possible on a Desktop 5.5 configured system. If the desktop does not have Desktop 5.5 it can be configured for local networking.

In any case you need to get a local network set up to use the Ward Tools with the iPhone wirelessly.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:35 am

Alan_Brown wrote:That wasn't an accurate description of how Ward Tools works. It does not need access to the MLS computer. It just needs access to the computer that Bonjour and Ward Tools are on, which can be any computer that has imported an MLS export file.


What controls are in place to assure that only the authorized devices have access? Is there a login/password?

But outside of that, I have other concerns about how the unit's computer is set up. It's completely possible that someone with a bit of networking knowledge could access the hard drive. Being able to do so from a wireless device only increases that concern.
Have you searched the Wiki?

Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

craiggsmith
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Postby craiggsmith » Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:11 am

Thanks. No problem. I highly doubt this wireless router is Church-provided. I do believe it is set up as a LAN but I'll double check everything.

I just did a little searching on Bonjour, and there is some good information out there and I think that's where I need to focus. I'll post what I find.

I am concerned about security. There is no login, but this tool does not access the drive directly; no Windows sharing is enabled. The program you run on the host uses Bonjour to expose a service to the iPhone. We would turn off the program after the iPhone syncs each time. I'm not sure what risks there are in having the Bonjour service itself running all the time though.
Craig
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South Jordan, UT


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