Access Web Services

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mjquito
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Access Web Services

Postby mjquito » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:26 am

I need help in accessing a LDS web service to get a list of all the members in my ward.

I'm the EQ President in my ward. I know I can get this list by going to the lds.org, etc. But, I want is to get this through a web service. I'm a developer. I went to the http://tech.lds.org/wiki/LDS_Tools_Web_Services site and I was able to authenticate myself but couldn't get the list. Can someone help? Thank you.

lajackson
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Re: Access Web Services

Postby lajackson » Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:39 am

LDS.org is the only Church website where you can obtain that information. You can also access it using the LDS Tools app, but there is not a separate web service that provides membership information.

Membership information is extremely sensitive and is highly protected by the Church. Leader and Clerk Resources at LDS.org and the LDS Tools app should provide the information you need to fulfill your calling as an elders quorum president.

LDS Tools Web Services are only available to Church developers working on the LDS Tools app.

mjquito
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Re: Access Web Services

Postby mjquito » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:03 am

Thank you for the prompt reply. I appreciate it. I understand, but this is how I view this issue.

If I can go to lds.org and sigin with a username and password and then able to have access to all resources that I have permissions to (e.g. membership records, home teaching, members move-in ...) through a nice web graphical user interface, then why can I not be ABLE TO DO THE SAME THING in a less graphical user interface LIKE sending a HTTP request (post) with my username and password and then requesting (GET) and receiving the response in a JSON or XML format. The latter and the former have the same security process. The only difference how the data is presented (JSON raw or nice presented HTML/CSS).

Actually, I was able to get a list of the members using the little documentation provided http://tech.lds.org/wiki/LDS_Tools_Web_Services . There are some URLs that requires parameters that I don't understand, and I would really like some help on that. I'm developing an app that would greatly benefit the church.

russellhltn
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Re: Access Web Services

Postby russellhltn » Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:50 am

mjquito wrote:The only difference how the data is presented (JSON raw or nice presented HTML/CSS).

That's not the church's stand. Some formats are more open to abuse than others. Third party app development is not permitted.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

scgallafent
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Re: Access Web Services

Postby scgallafent » Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:47 pm

If you go to the page you linked to (http://tech.lds.org/wiki/LDS_Tools_Web_Services) and click on the support link, you will see the following condition in the terms of use:
You may not decompile, disassemble, reverse engineer, circumvent security measures on, create derivative works based on, or in any way modify the Application or the Data, or merge either into another program.

mjquito
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Re: Access Web Services

Postby mjquito » Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:47 pm

Thanks for pointing the support page. I just read it and it only set the rules for the "LDS Tools" application and the data "available through the Application" (Emphasis added)
IRI hereby grants to you a limited, non-exclusive, revocable license to use the LDS TOOLS application (“Application”) and the directory and calendar information from your ward/branch and stake/district that is available through the Application (collectively, “Data”), according to the following conditions:


I just want to learn more about the "LDS Tools Web Services" to be used for other apps and not the "LDS Tools" app, which to my undestanding they are two different things. The "Terms of Use" in the support page , I believe, is only is referring to the "LDS Tools" app and not the "LDS Tools Web Services."

eblood66
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Re: Access Web Services

Postby eblood66 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:43 pm

Although the document deals with meetinghouse technology, section 4.9.3 of the Meetinghouse Technology Policy document is quite specific that use of membership data, whatever the source, in third-party (i.e. non-official church) software is not allowed.

mjquito
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Re: Access Web Services

Postby mjquito » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:51 pm

Yes, that's very interesting what is in the "Meetinghouse Technology Policy" ...
4.9.3 The use of MLS data and membership information in third party software is prohibited, whether obtained from within or outside of a meetinghouse.


But in another LDS site, https://www.lds.org/help/support/third- ... e?lang=eng, it says:

When it comes to third-party software, the Church recommends using free software applications like OpenOffice when possible to keep costs down and to reduce the burden of keeping license agreement records. There is no prohibition against purchasing third-party applications or receiving donations of software, as long as the unit adheres to the license agreements and keeps physical copies of the license certificates in the clerk’s office... (Emphasis added)


Then, why would the Church be okay with third-party applications and then have 4.9.3 that says otherwise? An example would be from a clerk's perspective ... "I going to copy the emails from a report generated from the LCR or MLS and use a third party software to send an email to that list." or "I'm going to copy a list of members and manage it using a third party"

Another example would be that the LDS Tools app enables a user to output membership data to third party apps. For example, exporting a contact to a third-party contact list app. Or, exporting a list of new members to a third party app. This argument would be invalid though because it is the LDS Tools app (church approved app) that lets the user what could be exported to third-party apps.

I also found similar threads to this and concludes that its up to the local leaders to interpret the words in the policies, "letter vs spirit"
https://tech.lds.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=19360
https://tech.lds.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=21595

Another interesting thing to know is that 4.9.3 appears in the "Meetinghouse Technology Policy" and not in the main LCR page, https://www.lds.org/help/support/tools- ... r?lang=eng which is weird because many members today will go to the LCR to get "membership data" and there is no warning or links or questions about how the "membership data" should be used besides "For Church only."

Conclusion: I love the Church. My ward and many wards use google spreadsheet, dropbox, or other third party software to keep track of visits or manage home/visiting teaching. Or, like sending massing emails. I'm a EQ president and use google spreadsheet to manage home teaching because it is, unfortunately, a pain using LCR. I'm going to talk to my Bishop and Stake President regarding this to see what they think.

scgallafent
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Re: Access Web Services

Postby scgallafent » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:32 am

Just so that what you're hearing is completely unambiguous: Church policy prohibits what you are describing. Yes, you can see all of this information using LCR, but reverse-engineering the LCR or LDS Tools endpoints (or any other endpoints with membership data) to access data is prohibited. If you need additional clarification, you can PM me and I will get you in touch with a very pleasant person in Church IT security who will tell you that what you are asking for is prohibited.


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