PDS Connects FAQs
PDS Connects is a useful tool for equipping staff, leaders, members, or visitors to become more involved in your church.
- Does PDS Connects work on a Mac?
Yes, your members and leaders can use PDS Connects from a Mac. However, since some administrative features do not work on a Mac the PDS Connects administrator should use a PC.
- Does PDS Connects use a Microsoft Access database?
No, PDS Connects uses a SQL database.
- Does PDS Connects work with Web browsers on handheld devices like a PDA or SmartPhone?
Yes, it will work with a wireless hand held device for those users who have permission to search for records.
- How do I sign up for PDS Connects?
You can sign up for PDS Connects through the Help Center. Simply follow the on-screen instructions.
- How long does it take to do an upload to PDS Connects? How often should I do it? Can I upload over a modem line?
Generally, upload time takes only minutes. A typical DSL line, takes 3-4 minutes to upload 1000 records with all the data in the records. We recommend you upload at least once per day if you are making changes in your PDS database at the church office. Uploads are possible using a modem line, but this process is slower and is not recommended for large churches.
- I have thousands of church members. Do I have to set up each user myself?
No. There is a link on your website that lets your members sign up for an account without your help. The system is set up so that any member signing up is automatically assigned a Member Login user profile.
- How do I put a link on my church website to PDS Connects?
The system generates a link for your Web site on the Web Links screen under Admin -- Options. Just copy and paste the link to your Web site.
- If I upload records to the PDS Connects server and then change my mind, can I remove the records?
Yes. Each time you run the Synchronize with PDS Connects process you can choose which records to upload using selection criteria. When you upload those selected records all records in PDS Connects are removed and replaced by the new upload.
- Can I only upload select records from PDS, or do I have to upload all of them?
You can choose the records you wish to upload during the Synchronize with PDS Connects process. The selection can be based on most any field in the program. You can use ID numbers, names, statuses, or even user defined keywords.
- If I upload contributions, can other people view them? For example, can other members view them?
Members can only view their own contributions. You determine who can view the data by assigning permissions inside the user profiles.
- If I know another member's name and e-mail address, can I sign in as that member and see their record?
No, when you first sign up, you enter the name and e-mail address. However, an e-mail with the password is sent to the e-mail address of the member who signed up. So, even if you enter another member's name and address, that other member receives the e-mail with his password! For more information about PDS Connects security features, see our security document.
Rights and Permissions
- I don't want any changes made to my PDS data without my approval! How does PDS Connects give me total control?
When you upload your data to the PDS Connects server, you are essentially copying your data to another database. This database is the one members and leaders work with, not your PDS database. When you are ready to approve changes that your members and leaders have made, you simply run the Synchronize with PDS Connects process within Church Office to review the proposed changes and commit them to your PDS database.
- What if I have one leader whom I want to give more permissions than the others. Can I do this?
Yes, you can create as many user profiles as you need, and each profile is fully customizable to fit your organization’s needs.
- Do you have to be an PDS administrator to be an PDS Connects administrator?
No, you can assign administrators in PDS Connects separately from the PDS administrator.
Event Registration and Online Giving
- How do I sign up for online giving?
For more information and to sign up for this solution, see our Online Giving page.
- Does my church have to have PDS Connects to use Event Registration?
Yes, currently you must purchase PDS Connects to use Event Registration. Online event registration with no money transactions involved is free with basic PDS Connects.
- My church wants to use the Event Registration functionality to let people sign up for events, but not pay for them. Can we do that and what does it cost?
Yes, you can just use the Event Registration without accepting payments if you wish. There is no additional cost for this functionality. *Note – Event Registration can only be accessed through PDSConnects and does not currently synchronize with PDS Facility Scheduler or Ministry Scheduler.
- Can my church use the Event Registration part and accept payments, but not use the Online Giving functionality? What does it cost?
Yes, you can do this. This is included as part of your overall payments solution at the same price.
Online Access from Anywhere
- What is the difference between PDS Connects and PDS OnDemand?
While PDS Connects connects your members and leaders to online groups, events, giving and volunteering; PDS OnDemand empowers your staff with anytime, anywhere full access to all your PDS desktop software via the Internet. Empower your office with the ability to work anywhere, anytime with PDS OnDemand or empower your members and leaders to connect and interact by using PDS Connects.