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BMLT link database with NAWS
10/06/2013 at 12:11 pm #10188
Mike K. (Uncoast ASC)Participant
I’m the newly appointed meeting list trusted servant for our ASC’s website committee. Its now my commitment to get assure our ASC’s meeting list information is current and accurate at the many locations it is being disseminated. I’m posting this question because I’d like some guidance on how to link our BMLT database information with NAWS.
In our BMLT admin area, there’s a field entitled “World Committee Code”. I don’t know where to find these codes for our meetings. Does NAWS link our area-maintained BMLT data using this code?
Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.
10/06/2013 at 12:54 pm #10189
Have you reached out to Jack?
The source code is available online.
I am not at a place to recall the url, but I can get it later today.
10/06/2013 at 1:03 pm #10190
10/06/2013 at 1:06 pm #10191
10/06/2013 at 3:00 pm #10192
Hey Mike, great question! This has been an issue for far too long… and I do hope that at some point BMLT will automatically update World. But as far as I know it doesn’t and we are left with manually trying to accomplish updates in multiple databases and on different platforms. To make things worse, there are third party websites that piggyback on our listings and produce their own “versions” of meeting lists (Case in point: “In The Rooms”).
This makes it difficult to keep the 5th Tradition with so much confusion surrounding our meeting times and places… Perhaps this discussion will lead to a permanent solution in which we can all breathe a sigh of relief!
As far as keeping World meeting lists updated we may wish to bring Eric Swidler into the conversation to shed light on any initiatives being considered and how the NAWS Group Code (Which I believe is the “World Committee Code” in BMLT) might be utilized.
Fellowship Services Team Assistant
NA World Services
In Loving Service,
“No trees were killed in the creation of this message. However, many electrons were terribly inconvenienced.”
10/06/2013 at 11:34 pm #10193
BMLT does in fact have the capability to export meetings to a CSV (spreadsheet) file. That file can then be emailed to NAWS for import into the NAWS meeting database. It’s not automatic synchronization, but the next best thing.
For this to work, each meeting has to have the NAWS Group Committee Code populated in the BMLT World Committee Code field. Which, to my knowledge has never been entered.
After the Group Committee Code is entered, a new link will appear in the Service Body Administration section named “Get The Meetings For This Service Body As A NAWS-Compatible File”.
The link does not show up unless at least one Group Committee Code is entered into the World Committee Code field.
Here’s what I have been thinking about. We have 2 options. Each Area webservant would go to NAWS, get the Group Committee Code for each group and enter it into the BMLT World Committee Code field. This may be rather tedious for some areas with a large amount of meetings. There is also room for error when entering the code manually.
Option 2. I was planning to automagically import all of the Group Committee Codes from NAWS into BMLT for the whole region. This was on my agenda to support the upcoming CAR voting, so groups can verify if they are eligible to vote. To be eligible to vote the group must be registered with NAWS (which is the Group Committee Code). If the group is in BMLT it will be eligible to vote.
Here is another thing to ponder, which I was going to bring up at the next RSC. BMLT has the capability to export all the meetings in the region for import to NAWS. The Florida Region IT coordinator would send all of our meetings to NAWS on a monthly basis. There is another region already doing this. It kind of makes sense, to keep all of our meetings in synch with NAWS on a regular basis and to have a single point of accountability. Any feedback on this would be great and will be brought to the next RSC when it is discussed.
10/07/2013 at 7:46 am #10202
Feedback: GOOD IDEA – A Few questions… How much time would this take each month for the IT Coordinator. Are special skills required for this task that would limit the pool of members that would qualify for the position. What are the ramifications if the regional meeting list is not up to date? Would sending erroneous information be worse than not sending any information? Maybe some more to come.
10/07/2013 at 8:08 am #10203
Mike K. (Uncoast ASC)Participant
I’ll contact NAWS and attempt to get the Group Committee Codes for all the groups in our area. Hope things don’t get muddled because some of our groups may have only one code, yet have multiple meetings at different times and days in the week (more will be revealed, eh?).
I think everyone would really appreciate your Option 2 (automagically importing all Group Committee Codes from NAWS into BMLT)…. at least I would. When might you be able/willing to do this? Should I wait?
I’m tending to favor providing Areas the responsibility for communicating meeting list changes to NAWS and RSC (rather than having our RSC be responsible for doing it.) However, if this were all automagically done seemlessly behind the curtain, so to speak, it really wouldn’t matter, now would it? Some folks feel one database should easily be able to communicate with another (its the 21st Century, isn’t it?)
Also, rather than monthly batch updates to NAWS, I feel changes should be submitted to NAWS dynamically, as they happen to keep things evergreen and accurate at all times. Wasn’t that one of the selling points of the BMLT?
Just my two cents. I’d like to help if I could in any way. Unfortunately, I cannot commit to attending RSC weekends. Can I do anything from my remote command post here in Gainesville?
10/07/2013 at 11:48 am #10205
Thanks Jack, aint it great to get the creative juices flowing to find solutions! I too like option two, and I am in agreement with the monthly Region update to NAWS. Since meetings are usually updated monthly on BMLT after ASC anyway, and schedules are printed monthly (at best), I do not see the need for instant gratification with NAWS. If it could be scheduled to update on the last day of the month it should work for most of us web wannabe’s.
Another consideration would be that not all areas have adopted BMLT and this would be a great “attraction” for them to embrace it! Seeing as how it would help to eliminate a lot of repetitive work and ensure their meetings got synchronized. Just one question at this time, I have some new Home Groups and meetings that I have added to BMLT and to our schedule… yet they have not been listed with World by their GSR. Will this cause a conflict? Do we need to make sure every meeting is registered first or will NAWS accept the CVS file and register them for us?
10/07/2013 at 2:34 pm #10206
Looks like the following areas have got a jump start on this. River Coast, Palm Coast, Uncoast and Nature Coast. This is a good thing and the enthusiasm is appreciated.
The more people we can get to understand and implement the process the better. This will give us, as a region, more experience and expertise going forward. It would absolutely be better to have more people with this knowledge other than myself for a lot of reasons. The challenge will be with areas that do not have the resources.
Right now there are 2 things going on.
One. We need to populate all the NAWS Group Committee Codes into BMLT. The more people helping out the better. I will still be doing an audit of the results to see if we get the desired (accurate) results. This was something planned to support the upcoming CAR voting. I will be assisting Areas that do not have the resources (people or time) to do it themselves.
Two. Exporting meetings from BMLT to NAWS. Between now and the next RSC, we need to think about whether the export process should done by the region or each area individually. The process requires very little technical expertise and time. Probablty 5-10 minutes. It simply involves clicking the link to export a file then emailing that file to NAWS.
I want to mention that one area has volunteered to perform the monthly exports for the region. I do not have an opinion on whether this is a good or bad idea. But, it is food for thought. Maybe rotating the responsibly with willing volunteers that are part of a workgroup or project? It never hurts to keep an open-mind to suggestions. Especially when they come from our members. Thank you for the idea.
I plan to attend the WSLD (Western Service Learning Day) this month. The attendees of this conference will include NAWS IT, the author of BMLT (Chris M) along with implementers of BMLT such as myself. There will be many discussions related to BMLT (with NAWS) including synchronization. Of course, nothing is promised. But, we are not the only service body that would love to see this happen.
There is one request I have. Please do not email NAWS the export file for your area yet. I was planning to do one initial export for the whole region to get us synchronized. It won’t hurt anything, if you feel you need to perform an export for your area. I just wanted to see how accurate our data is as a region. I also didn’t want to overwhelm NAWS with a barrage of exports and possibly create confusion.
I plan to complete this by the end of this week (probably sooner) and will post here when done.
10/07/2013 at 5:29 pm #10207
LMAO and more importantly Why are you doing this?
The problem has been and always be NAWS….
We were talking about the NAWS database problem back in 1996 in the Southern California Regional Website Committee. I can see it hasn’t advanced very far in 16 years or so.
10/08/2013 at 1:02 pm #10210
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