The Basic Meeting List Toolbox

Using The BMLT Root Server

NOTE: The following link will download a PDF of the Greater New York Region Administration Manual, which is designed to be printed in “Chapbook” format (A booklet that is made by folding US Letter -8.5 X 11- paper in half).

Download The GNYR Meeting List Administrator Manual

The book is a bit “dated,” as it was written for a workshop given in 2014. The Greater New York Region BMLT Root Server now covers 5 Regions.

Additionally, here is a manual written by the SoCal Region

And another one, written by the Carolina Region

Initial Log-In

If you click on most of the images on this page, you will be taken to a more detailed version of that image.

In order to administer the root server or edit meetings, you go to the root server main page, where you will be prompted to enter your login credentials (a user name and a password). Depending on what kind of permissions you have on the server, you may see a number of choices after logging in.Most administrators will see the screen in Figure 2.


Figure 1: The Log-In Screen


Figure 2: The Initial Screen For A Server Administrator


Figure 3: The Initial Screen For A Standard Service Body Administrator


Figure 4: What An “Observer” User Will See Upon Initial Login

My Account

Every administrator will have a “My Account” editor. This allows you to make basic changes to your login and account. Notice that the “Change My Account” button at the bottom of the screen is gray and disabled. It will only enable when changes have been made to the account information.

If you are logged in as a Server Administrator, you will be able to edit your own account display name and login ID. Normal administrators cannot do this, and must request that the Server Administrator make these changes on their behalf.

The “My Account” screen will show you what Service bodies you have observer/edit rights on. If you are a Principal Service Body Administrator for a Service body, then you will actually be able to make changes to that Service body’s information. If you are a Service Body Administrator that has been given edit rights by the Principal Service Body Administrator for a Service body, then you will not be able to make changes in the basic information for a Service body, but you will be able to edit meetings for that Service body. If you are an Observer User, then you will be able to see hidden information (like meeting contact information) for a Service body, but will not be able to edit any information.


Figure 5: Standard “My Account” Screen


Figure 6: The “My Account” Screen For A Service Body With Access To Multiple Service Bodies


Figure 7: Server Administrator “My Account” Screen.


Figure 8: Changing The Account Description


Figure 9: Changing The Account Email Address

Blank passwords are not allowed. If you leave the Password field empty, the password will not be changed. Your password is displayed in cleartext when you enter it. The system does not remember cleartext passwords, and there is no way to retrieve your password. If you forget your password, you must ask the Server Administrator to reset your password for you. If you are the Server Administrator, and have forgotten your password; shame on you.

The Server Administrator will set a minimum password length, and you will be required to enter a password of at least that many characters in length.


Figure 10: Changing The Account Password

Editing Meetings

The BMLT has a very secure and convenient way to limit the scope of Service Body Administrators. Each Administrator is given permission to edit meetings assigned to a particular Service body, and only meetings that the logged-in Service Body Administrator can edit will be returned in meeting searches done on the root server.

Searching For Meetings To Edit

The process begins with a simplified meeting search. This search uses text, as opposed to maps. The text can be a location, and you can select some broad criteria, such as Service body (you are only presented with ones that you have access to), weekday, and time of day that the meeting begins. If you are only authorized for one Service body, then no Service body will be shown.


Figure 11: The Meeting Search Form For A Standard Service Body Administrator

Since Service bodies can be “nested” inside of each other (for example, an RSC Service Body Administrator may be able to edit the meetings for the ASCs within that RSC), it is possible that you may see some checkboxes that allow you to choose meetings from only certain Service bodies:


Figure 12: An RSC Service Body Administrator May See Several Service Bodies

A Server Administrator will see every Service body on the server, so they will have a lot of checkboxes:


Figure 13: The Meeting Search Form For A Server Administrator

Searches on the root server are simpler than those presented to end users. We found that Administrators don’t have much use for map-based searches, but it is still quite possible to search via a location.


Figure 14: Entering A Location Into The Search Text Box

When you press the “Search For Meetings” button, you will receive a list of meetings in the “Edit Meetings” tab:


Figure 15: Location Meeting Search Results

You can also do things like enter a meeting name, or a particular text string that you are searching for:


Figure 16: Doing A Meeting Name Search


Figure 17: Results Of A Meeting Name Search

“Published” and “Unpublished” Meetings

An alternative to deleting a meeting listing for meetings that may be temporarily shut down (for example, seasonal beach meetings, or meetings in search of a new home), is to “unpublish” the meeting. We’ll discuss how this is done a bit later, but “unpublished” meetings will not show up in normal end user meeting searches, while their record is maintained in the database. “Unpublished” meetings show up in the result list with orange backgrounds, so they are easy to spot. You can also choose to have your search return ONLY “unpublished” meetings, or ONLY “published” meetings. This is done via a popup menu just above the “Search For Meetings” button:


Figure 18: Searching For Meetings, Based Upon Their “Published” Status


Figure 19: “Unpublished” Meetings Show Up As Orange Lines In Search Results

Making Changes To Meetings

If you select the “Edit Meetings” tab, and you have not previously done a search, you will be presented with a single button that allows you to create a new meeting. This button will always be available at the top of the “Edit Meetings” tab:


Figure 20: The “Create A New Meeting” Button

Clicking on this button will open an editor with a green background. Use this editor to set up the various meeting fields and parameters. When you press the “Save This As A New Meeting” button, it will create a new meeting, and add it to the list below the “Create A new Meeting” button.


Figure 21: The New Meeting Editor

If you have a list of meetings in response to a meeting search, you can click on any of the meeting names, and an editor will drop down for that meeting. Normal, published meetings will have a blue or white background. Unpublished meetings will have an orange background.


Figure 22: The Standard Meeting Editor


Figure 23: The Unpublished Meeting Editor

The Action Buttons

Along the bottom of the editor screen, there will be 3 buttons (only 2, for the New Meeting Create screen). These are the “action” buttons that either save the meeting, delete it, or cancel the edit (which loses any changes, and collapses the editor screen).

Save Changes

Unless some changes have been made to the meeting, the main action button (“Save The Changes To This Meeting”) will be disabled (Gray, and nothing happens when you click on it). If there are changes to be made, the button will turn white, and have blue text (See Figure 24).

Screen Shot 2013-03-31 at 2.09.55 PM

Figure 24: The Standard “Save Changes” Button (Disabled)
Save Meeting As A Copy

Under the main action button, is a checkbox, labeled “Save This Meeting As A Copy (Creates A New Meeting)”. If you check this, the main action button changes to read “Save This As A New Meeting”. It should be noted that, if you have not made any changes to the meeting, an EXACT copy of the meeting will be created.

Screen Shot 2013-03-31 at 2.10.23 PM

Figure 25: Save As A Copy Checked
Delete This Meeting

If you want to entirely delete a meeting, then press the “Delete This Meeting” button. If you are logged in as a Server Administrator, you will see a checkbox under this button, labeled “Delete This Meeting Permanently”. This will erase all history of the meeting from the database. Only a Server Administrator will be able to delete a meeting permanently.

Screen Shot 2013-03-31 at 2.10.03 PM

Figure 26: The Delete Button
Cancel The Edit

The third button simply closes the editor screen. If you have made changes, then it will ask if you want to lose those changes.

It should be noted that only one editor screen can be open at a time. If you select another meeting (or click on the “Create A New Meeting” button), then the editor screen will close. Again, if you have made any changes, a confirmation alert will be shown before the screen is closed.

Screen Shot 2013-03-31 at 2.10.12 PM

Figure 27: The Cancel Button

The Editor Tabs

The Edit Screen has 5 tabs (only 4, for the “Create A New Meeting” editor). Each one of these allows you to edit a specific set of meeting data.

The Basic Edit Tab

This Tab contains the fundamental meeting information, such as the meeting name, the start time, the duration and the Service body (NOTE: The Service Body selector may not be available to all Service Body Administrators).


Figure 28: The Basic Meeting Editor Tab
Published Checkbox

If this checkbox is unchecked, then the meeting will be “unpublished,” and will not appear in public meeting searches.

Meeting ID

This is the internal BMLT ID assigned to the meeting.

Meeting Name

This is simply the name of the meeting.


This is selector that allows you to choose which day of the week the meeting gathers.

Meeting Start Time

This allows you to select the time of the day at which the meeting begins.


This allows you to select the duration of the meeting.

The World Committee Code

This code is the code that is provided by NA World Services to correlate the meeting to the one in their database. It is very important for coordinating your database with theirs. You must get this code from NAWS.

The Service Body Selector

This may not be available to most administrators (if you are only authorized to edit meetings for a single Service body, it will not be shown). However, if you are authorized for multiple Service bodies, you can use this to assign the meeting to a different Service body.

The Meeting Email Contact

This is an entirely optional field that allows you to enter an email contact for the meeting. It is never displayed in public searches, but can be viewed by logged-in Observer users (for example, a Helpline worker).

The Location Edit Tab

In the “Location” tab, you enter the information that specified the meeting location. This is things like the address information, location name, as well as extra location information. You also set the map coordinates, here.


Figure 29: The Location Meeting Editor Tab With The Map Closed


Figure 30: The Location Meeting Editor Tab With The Map Open
The Map Disclosure (“Location Map”)

This is a fairly basic disclosure link that opens and closes an interactive map that sets the location coordinates (Longitude and Latitude).

Longitude and Latitude

When the map is closed, there are two fields displayed: “Longitude” and “Latitude”. These specify the the meeting’s exact location on a map. When the map is open, they are hidden (the map sets them).


This is the name of the location (for example: “Bethany Methodist Church” or “Parkway Community Center”).

Extra Info

This is any extra helpful information, like “Cafeteria” or “Enter Behing the Rectory.”

Street Address

This is the street number (like “123 Main Street”).


Optional. In some towns, neighborhood information is useful, like “Cambridge,” or “Brownsville.”

Borough/City Subsection

This is a legal city subsection, like “Brooklyn” or “Shinagawa.”


This is the main municipality name. For example, “New York City” or “Denver”


This is the county, such as “Montgomery,” or “Suffolk.”


This is the state, or province. You should always use the appropriate “shorthand” version, if possible, like “NY” instead of “New York,” or “PA” instead of “Pennsylvania.”

Zip Code/Postal Code

The zip code or postal code for the location.


The nation. Again, you should always use the “shorthand” code, like “USA” or “UK.”

The Map

When the map is open (Figure 29), the Longitude and Latitude fields are hidden, and a button is displayed below the map, called “Set Map to Address.” What this button does, is parse the address information that you have entered, and attempt to set the marker to that location. It’s a good way to test whether or not you have done a good job on entering the address information.

The map is fairly independent of the address information. JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE ENTERED AN ADDRESS, DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE MAP HAS BEEN SET! You need to press that button. Also, you can move the marker around in the map by clicking in the map or dragging the marker around.


Figure 31: Dragging The Marker Around In The Location Map

You can also choose to use a satellite view by choosing that projection in the top right corner menu. This allows you to get very precise in locating the marker (For example, you can place it precisely in front of the door that is entered). You can also use Google Street View to look around the location, and make sure the marker is set correctly.


Figure 32: Selecting Map Or Satellite View


Figure 33: Map Displayed As Satellite


Figure 34: Using Satellite View To Precisely Place The Marker
The Format Tab

This tab allows you to determine exactly which formats are to be associated with the meeting. The formats are displayed as a grid of checkboxes, with the format codes. Check the formats that apply to the meeting.


Figure 35: The Format Tab
The “Other” Tab

This tab contains a bunch of fields that don’t fit into the previous tab categories. It can change, depending on how your Server Administrator has set up the server.


Figure 36: The Other Tab
The “History” Tab

This tab displays the last few changes that were made to the meeting. In future versions, we may introduce a “rollback” feature, but this is only informational, at this time.


Figure 37: The History Tab

Saving Changes

If you have made any changes, the “Save The Changes to This Meeting” button will become enabled. Clicking on it will immediately apply the changes. If you close the editor while this button is active, you will get an alert, asking if you are sure that you want to lose the changes. Saying “No” will simply cancel the editor close.


Figure 38: Confirmation For Changed Meeting

If you have checked the “Save This Meeting As A Copy” checkbox, then the text of the save action button will change to “Save This As A New Meeting,” and pressing it will create a new meeting.


Figure 39: Save The Meeting As A Copy

Editing Service Bodies

Service Body Administrators that are the Primary Administrator for a Service body can actually make some changes to that Service body. The Server Administrator can change pretty much everything, but regular Service Body Administrators are more limited. Figure 40 shows what a normal Service Body Administrator would see if they opened the Service Body Administration section. Figure 41 shows what a Server Administrator will see. Figure 43 shows a “Create A New Service Body” screen, which is only available to the Server Administrator (Figure 44).

Most Service Body Administrators will be responsible for only one Service body, so there will not be a popup menu at the top of the screen (Figure 40). However, some Service Body Administrators may be responsible for a Service body that “contains” other Service bodies (like an RSC), or they may be assigned as the Primary Administrator to more than one Service body. In these cases, there will be a popup menu at the top of the screen that will allow you to choose which Service body to edit (Figure 42).


Figure 40: The Normal Service Body Administration Screen


Figure 41: The Server Administrator Service Body Administration Screen


Figure 42: Selecting A Service Body To Edit


Figure 43: The Server Administrator Create A New Service Body Screen


Figure 44: Selecting “Create A New Service Body” From The Popup Menu

ID (Read-Only for All Users)

This is simply the BMLT-assigned internal ID for this Service body.

Primary Admin (Read-Only for Normal Users, Editable for the Server Administrator)

This is the user that is principally responsible for this Service body (usually you).

Service Body Type (Only Available for the Server Administrator)

This is simply what type of Service body this is. It is not actually used anywhere.

Service Body Parent (Only Available for the Server Administrator)

Service bodies can be “contained” within other Service bodies. The Server Administrator can “give” this Service body to another Service body. If this is done, then the Primary Administrator for the “parent” will also be able to edit this Service body, and any editors assigned to the “parent” will be able edit meetings that “belong” to this Service body (but will not be able to edit the Service body itself).


The name of the Service body.


A brief description of the Service body. This is currently not used, but it will be, soon.

Contact Email

This is also not currently used, but will be, soon. This will be an email address that will receive communications about the meetings that “belong” to this Service body. If no email is provided, then the “parent” Service body’s contact will be used.

Web Site URL

This is the URL of the Service body’s Web site.

World Committee Code

This is the Committee Code (World ID) assigned by NAWS for this Service body.

Full Meeting List Editors

This is a list of checkboxes of Service Body Administrator users. If a checkbox is checked, then that user will have edit rights to the meetings that “belong” to this Service body, and to any “child” Service bodies that have this as a “parent.” You do not have to check the Primary Administrator (that is already assumed). It is also possible that some of these other users may already have admin rights, assigned by a “parent” Service body. In future releases, we’ll make this relationship more obvious.


These are users that are classified as “Observer” users. They cannot edit anything, but can do meeting searches while logged in, and see “hidden” fields.

This link will download a file in CSV (Comma-Separated Values) format that is accepted by NAWS as a format that they can use to automatically synchronize their database with yours.

Editing Users

This functionality is only available to the Server Administrator.

The Server Administrator can edit, create and delete users for the site. Because of security concerns, the Server Administrator is the only user able to affect other users (Each user is able to make basic changes to their own account).

Selecting Existing Users To Edit

When the User Administration section is opened, the window will have a popup at the top of the section. This popup will list all the current users, and will also have a “Create New User” choice at the bottom.


Figure 45: Selecting A User To Edit

When you select a user to edit, the screen will set itself up with that user’s information. You can then edit the user information.


Figure 46: The Basic User Editor

User ID

This is an internal ID that is assigned by the BMLT. It cannot be changed.

User Login

This is the string used by the user as their “Login ID.” It is not displayed anywhere.

User Name

This is the displayed user name. It should not be too long.


This is a more detailed description of the user.


The user’s email address. This isn’t really used anywhere, but is information that the Server Administrator should have.

Change Password To

This allows the password to be changed. It is entered and displayed in cleartext, because masking passwords is actually a bad idea. However, once the password is stored on the server, it is a one-way encryption (meaning that it can never be retrieved).

If you leave this blank, the password will not be changed.

Saving Changes

Like all the other editors, the “Save” button will only become enabled if the user information has actually been changed. If so, the user information HAS NOT been changed on the server, until this button has been pressed, and confirmation of a successful change is displayed (and the button becomes disabled).

Deleting Users

The Server Administrator can delete users with the center (red) button. They can choose to make the delete “permanent” (all records of the user’s existence are removed from the server). A confirmation dialog is displayed before the delete is done.


Figure 47: The Various Types of User

Creating New Users

You can create a new user. The only difference in this screen, is that there is no “Delete” button, as you cannot delete a user that does not yet exist. Once the user is created, the screen changes to that user’s editing screen.


Figure 48: The Create New User Screen

Editing Formats

This functionality is only available to the Server Administrator.

We keep formats in a manner that allows them to be displayed differently, in different languages.


DO NOT RE-USE FORMAT SLOTS! Always create new formats, if none of the ones available will work. Additionally, if you want these formats to be added to the standard BMLT server, then you need to send us a dump of your format table (usually “na_comdef_formats”), so they can be added to the standard install.

However, please do your best to re-use the format codes provided. If you don’t like the wording of the format, or you wish to change the key used, then it is no problem, as long as the purpose/meaning of the format is the same.

This is because we are working towards a common data exchange system for the BMLT (we already have a rather simple one, with the NAWS export).


Figure 49: The Basic Format Editor

When you first open the Format Editor, you will see a long list of formats. Each format has a line for each language supported by the server. It is possible that there will not be a translation for a particular format in a particular language, and that line may not have text in it.

Each format line will have the format ID number in the upper left. This is used to ensure that the proper format is associated with the proper text. You will not use this.

Next, the language label for the editable fields. The server’s native language will be the first line. Each language is rendered in their own language name, and in their own text system.

The next field is the “Key.” This is the one- or two-letter “key” that is associated with a format (It is quite possible to have more than 2 letters, but that is not advised, as these are usually used where space is at a premium).

The field after that, is where a very short name for the format is entered. This should be only a couple of words, as it is used in places where there is little extra space.

Following that, is a field that allows you to enter a detailed description of that format.

The right side of each format line has a “Change This Format” button. Like the other editors, this will only be active if there has been a change to the format. Pressing this button immediately saves the format changes. It will only save the changes to the format on its line. Changes to other formats will not be saved.

Under that, is a “Delete This Format” button. That will immediately delete the entire format, in all languages. Because of the way in which we are building a library of common formats, it’s actually not advisable to use this button, but, as the server administrator, you should have the ability to do this.

Creating New Formats

At the bottom of the format list, is a button called “Create New Format.” If you click on this, a screen appears, that allows you to create an entire new format. As mentioned above, this is the way that you should add formats not handled in the default set, but you should also hesitate to do so.


Figure 50: The Create Format Screen

Observer Meeting Search

Observers cannot edit meetings, but they can see hidden fields. As noted above in Figure 4, when an Observer logs in, they will see a “Meeting Search” link. Clicking on that, will bring up a standard meeting search, as shown in Figure 51.


Figure 51: The Observer Meeting Search

The only real difference between an Observer’s meeting search, and a standard one, is that the meeting details will now show the contents of hidden fields, as shown in Figure 52. The hidden fields are surrounded by a pink box. These fields cannot be seen by non logged-in users. They will only be displayed for logged-in users that have permission to view these fields for the meeting. Also, if a meeting has no hidden fields, then there is nothing to see.


Figure 52: The Pink Area Shows Hidden Fields