Dunn Bros & Database Development

Dunn Bros & Database Development

It’s been long since I have given an update on the work of which I am a part here in the home offices of the Prayer League.

I spend much time in front of the computer screen. That much is true.

Development continues on the WMPL website and our Fellow Worker blogs. The objectives remain the same. Enhance and improve the processes by which members and workers alike can engage and access records and resources of the Prayer League. It is a massive and ongoing project … no end in site. I’ve learned much about WordPress in the process. I’ve had opportunity to write and publicly release a few plugins that other might use on their WordPress sites (Amen, Truth, and Plugin Protector). I also continue work on a few private plugins. One of these integrates our website with our donor database, eTapestry, allowing for better integrity of our data, and accessibility of giving reports for members and fund reports for our missionaries. Much of the fine-tuning of these plugins happens off-hours, as I code ‘for fun’. Adrienne finds that strange. I suppose getting lost in code could be comparable to getting lost in a movie, a book, or the composition of a song. It’s nice and quite educational.

Yesterday found me with opportunity to slink away to the dark recesses of a corner in Dunn Bros and devote some time to database development and some light reading of a technical training manual for FileMaker. Our office is in dire need of an improved digital solution for tracking missionary service (inquiry, candidacy, field assignment, home assignment, etc.). We have some small databases in place that serve these purposes, but some of the staff have found them inadequate or cumbersome for daily needs. I’ve been sitting on this project for some time, but it is now time to forge ahead and build some sustainable solution. I’ve never developed a database from scratch. Please, pray for me.

[amen id=’64’]

We are also in process of planning an email service migration from an in-house server to Google Apps. With Google Apps, we’ll gain the benefits of a robust and innovative feature set, the ability to access email and calendar services from any Internet-connected computer, collaborative file storage in the cloud, easily manageable and customizable mailing lists, and lower infrastructure and support concerns in regards to our email services. This, too, is a massive undertaking. I am exploring ways in which we can migrate mail messages with some degree of integrity. However, it is likely that staff will take on some of the load in reconfiguring account settings and other tools they might use. Pray for flexibility, patience, and cooperation for all involved.

In addition to the three massive projects described above, I continue to offer general technical support to our Fellow Workers, have begun setup for other websites (such as that of Building Leaders for a Global Harvest), assist in facilitation of WMPL social media engagement (connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+), investigate archival concerns, and do other various things that don’t come to mind at the moment.

Our Lord is good to His children. Thank you for your prayers and support of the work to which we have been called. If you’d like to continue support, you can find our periodic prayer requests here (additionally, you could setup your own online prayer journal using the plugin I developed) and you can financially give to our work by clicking on our Support or Ministry Fund in the sidebar (note: another fruit of my labors — if you’re logged in as a member, your contact info will auto-fill on the WMPL donation page).

Keep your eyes open for coming posts in which I explore what it means to be called to the service of a social media missionary. And now … off to a bit more reading … data modeling and identifying relationships.

God’s blessings on you this day!