The Basic Meeting List Toolbox

New NAWS Format Synchronizing


In the new Version 2.2 release of the Root Server, we have added an important new capability.

This is the capability to match your formats on your BMLT server to those used by NA World Services (NAWS).


The issue is that World uses a different format system than the BMLT. Another issue is that implementors of the BMLT will often change the default set of formats to meet their own needs.

This has made it difficult to match formats between BMLT instances, and NAWS, when using the BMLT World Services Synchronization Feature.

In previous versions, we had a “hard-coded” system, where specific BMLT formats were matched to specific NAWS formats. As long as the BMLT instance used the default set of formats for their server, all was well.

However, if they changed the formats, they would send incorrect formats to NAWS.


What has been introduced in version 2.2.0 of the Root Server, is a new popup menu that has been added to each format (See Figure 1). This allows you to match the format to the corresponding NAWS format.

Main Format Editor, With New Popup

Figure 1: The New Popup Menu

This popup menu contains the choices that NAWS offers for formats (See Figure 2).

The New Popup

Figure 2: The New Popup Menu (Expanded)

NOTE: The current (old) formats will have “None” as the choice for all these formats. If you are using the unmodified default formats supplied with the BMLT Root Server, then you can apply this SQL file to your database, and it will replace them with ones that have the default matching.

NAWS will show UP TO five (5) formats per meeting. “Open/Closed” and “Wheelchair Accessible” are not considered formats to NAWS. They list these separately. So that means that you can have the meeting use the “O”/”C” and “WC” codes (in the default English version), and an additional five codes.

If you select “None” as a choice, then the format will not be reflected in the dump sent to NAWS. It will have no effect on the format as presented via the various BMLT satellites.


In the past, we have not been able to accommodate Service bodies that chose to edit and change their formats, when it came time to synchronize their database with NAWS. This feature will address that.

Only the Server Administrator will see this new feature. The Server Administrator is the only account with the ability to edit formats.

We have provided a simple SQL file for MySQL, that will replace the default set of formats with the same ones, but with the “worldid_mixed” field set to the default format mapping. Only someone with Control Panel access to the server should use this. However, it can save a great deal of time. The usual caveats apply. BACK UP YOUR DATABASE BEFORE APPLYING THIS.

Backups are goooood…

Everybody regularly backs up their databases and sites, right? If you don’t, then I STRONGLY advise you to start.

This reflects the way we think, at BMLT Central. We Serve The Groups. It was actually quite difficult to add this feature, but it would have been entirely inappropriate for us to insist that only BMLT installations that use the default formats are able to synchronize with NAWS. NAWS Synchronization is incredibly important, as many folks use the NAWS NA Meeting Locator, and the new mobile app (iPhone Version / Android Version). People’s lives, are, quite literally, at stake, and it is incumbent upon us all to ensure that we are doing all that we can to save lives and help people to find NA meetings.