What data is synchronized between Shepherd’s Staff and Unite?

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Churches can create logins on their Unite site that allow members to log in and make changes to the online directory. Then this can be synced with your Shepherd’s Staff software to keep your database accurate.

Though most data are bi-directional and can be updated from either end, some fields are restricted to only one update path. Some other fields may be reflected on Unite’s online directory but not carry over automatically back to Shepherd’s Staff.

In this article, explanations on exactly what information gets sent across the synced connection are detailed for your reference.

Each field, along with any restrictions, are as follows:

  • Database ID – These characters represent the internal, unique database ID (automatically assigned by Shepherd's Staff) for a specific Shepherd’s Staff database. If you have more than one database, each database will have its own distinct ID. Unite uses this ID to separate people within the same Unite account (if someone is uploading people from more than one database). Shepherd’s Staff uses this value to make sure that the people received from Unite are for the currently active Shepherd’s Staff database and avoids data corruption.
  • Person ID – The internal Person ID from the Person table in Shepherd’s Staff, which, along with database ID, are used to match up the person between the two products.
  • Household ID – Unite uses the internal household ID from the Person/Household table in Shepherd’s Staff to determine which household a person belongs to. Moving people to other households in Unite will not be recognized in Shepherd’s Staff. For that reason, officially moving people between households must be done through the Shepherd’s Staff software.
  • Household Name – This descriptor is used by Unite to set the name of the Household on the site directory. This is ignored by Shepherd’s Staff as official household name changes, like for a Church directory or other reports, must be done through Shepherd’s Staff.
  • Title – Changes are bi-directional. It has a character limit of 20.
  • First Name – Changes are bi-directional. It has a limit of 15 characters and cannot be blank.
  • Middle Name – Changes are bi-directional. It has a limit of 15 characters.
  • Last Name – Changes are bi-directional. It has a limit of 20 characters and cannot be blank
  • Preferred Name – Changes are bi-directional. It has a limit of 15 characters. If there is no preferred name in Shepherd's Staff, the sync inputs the first Name in its place as it is a required field in Unite. If a preferred name is the same as the first name, it will not import into Shepherd’s Staff.
  • Maiden Name – Changes are bi-directional. It has a character limit of 20.
  • Sex – Changes are bi-directional. Current options are Male or Female.
  • Household Sequence – This is used by Unite to determine which person is the Head of Household but is not sent to Shepherd’s Staff. As such, a person’s sequence must be changed through Shepherd’s Staff to update the database. It is also worth noting that the sequences of Child and Other in Shepherd’s Staff are not recognized by Unite and are not imported.
  • Member Status – This field can only be sent to Unite. Membership status will need to be changed in Shepherd’s Staff to reflect accurately in congregational reports.
  • Visible on Unite site – This value stands for the “Show in Unite” checkbox on the Other folder of the Person Record. It can only be sent to Unite and changes to this value must be done through Shepherd’s Staff.
  • Household Email – Changes are bi-directional. It has a character limit of 50.
  • Personal Email – Changes are bi-directional. It has a character limit of 50.
  • Work Email – Changes are bi-directional. It has a character limit of 50.
  • Cell Phone – Changes are bi-directional. Phone numbers less than the 10-digit minimum will be ignored if imported into Shepherd’s Staff. Cell extensions are not recognized.
  • Work Phone – Changes are bi-directional. Phone numbers less than the 10-digit minimum will be ignored if imported into Shepherd’s Staff. Work phone extensions are recognized.
  • Home Phone – Changes are bi-directional. Phone numbers less than the 10-digit minimum will be ignored if imported into Shepherd’s Staff. Home phone extensions are not
  • Primary Address – Changes are bi-directional. There is a limit of 35 characters. This field is required in Shepherd’s Staff and will be ignored if blanked out by an import from Unite.
  • Primary Address City – Changes are bi-directional. There is a limit of 20 characters. This field is required in Shepherd’s Staff and will be ignored if blanked out by an import from Unite.
  • Primary Address State – Changes are bi-directional. The limit is 3 characters. This field is required in Shepherd’s Staff and will be ignored if blanked out by an import from Unite.
  • Primary Address Postal Code – Changes are bi-directional. There is a limit of 13 characters. This field is required in Shepherd’s Staff and will be ignored if blanked out by an import from Unite.
  • Primary Address Country – Changes are one-way, from Shepherd’s Staff to Unite. There is a limit of 15 characters.
  • Alternate Household Address – Changes are bi-directional. There is a limit of 35 characters. This field is required in Shepherd’s Staff and will be ignored if blanked out by an import from Unite.
  • Alternate Household Address City – Changes are bi-directional. There is a limit of 20 characters. This field is required in Shepherd’s Staff and will be ignored if blanked out by an import from Unite.
  • Alternate Household Address State – Changes are bi-directional. There is a limit of 3 characters. This field is required in Shepherd’s Staff and will be ignored if blanked out by an import from Unite.
  • Alternate Household Address Postal Code – Changes are bi-directional. There is a limit of 13 characters. This field is required in Shepherd’s Staff and will be ignored if blanked out by an import from Unite.
  • Alternate Household Address Country – Changes are one-way, from Shepherd’s Staff to Unite. There is a limit of 15 characters.
  • Alternate Household Address Begin Date – Changes are one-way, from Shepherd’s Staff to Unite. This is used by Unite to determine if an address is active. There is no field for address begin and end date in Unite, and so there is no way to import data back into Shepherd’s Staff.
  • Alternate Household Address End Date – Changes are one-way, from Shepherd’s Staff to Unite. This is used by Unite to determine if an address is active. There is no field for address begin and end date in Unite, and so there is no way to import data back into Shepherd’s Staff.
  • Alternate Personal Address – Changes are bi-directional. There is a limit of 35 characters. This field is required in Shepherd’s Staff and will be ignored if blanked out by an import from Unite.
  • Alternate Personal Address City – Changes are bi-directional. There is a limit of 20 characters. This field is required in Shepherd’s Staff and will be ignored if blanked out by an import from Unite.
  • Alternate Personal Address State – Changes are bi-directional. There is a limit of 3 characters. This field is required in Shepherd’s Staff and will be ignored if blanked out by an import from Unite.
  • Alternate Personal Address Postal Code – Changes are bi-directional. There is a limit of 13 characters. This field is required in Shepherd’s Staff and will be ignored if blanked out by an import from Unite.
  • Alternate Personal Address Country – Changes are one-way, from Shepherd’s Staff to Unite. There is a limit of 15 characters.
  • Alternate Personal Address Begin Date – Changes are one-way, from Shepherd’s Staff to Unite. This is used by Unite to determine if an address is active. There is no field for address begin and end date in Unite, and so there is no way to import data back into Shepherd’s Staff.
  • Alternate Personal Address End Date – Changes are one-way, from Shepherd’s Staff to Unite. This is used by Unite to determine if an address is active. There is no field for address begin and end date in Unite, and so there is no way to import data back into Shepherd’s Staff.
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