TheocBase vs NW Scheduler

I am used to work with opensource software only, all my machines run linux and open standards. That’s why I feel so comfortable with TheocBase. It is built using open standards.

Now some elders in our congregation are trying to set NW Scheduler as the mandatory standard in our congregation. Since I am the life and ministry meeting overseer and also the public talk coordinator, this would influence my work a little bit :wink:

BTW in contrast to TheocBase, which runs on windows, macos and linux, NW Scheduler is for windows only.

I would appreciate it if there was a comparison, but I can only find comparisons with programs that I don’t know or use. TheocBase seems to be hushed up.

Unfortunately I couldn’t find a suitable section for this question, so I’m placing it in the support section. If this is wrong, I apologize.

I start my comparison with some known facts:

Topic TheocBase NW Scheduler
free :white_check_mark: :no_entry_sign:
windows :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark:
linux :white_check_mark: :no_entry_sign:
macos :white_check_mark: :no_entry_sign:

You can add app for Android and iOS, too!

Sincerely, because this questioning, which makes sense, isn’t important, nor primordial, nor a priority. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s not necessary at all. Nonetheless, this is a strictly personal opinion, and not necessarily that of the team.

(Maybe/surely Gal. 6:4 would be a more relevant indicator)

PS: on a personal level, I’m sure the reason I joined the Theocbase team was because the software is open source; and I help however I can. :wink:

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NW Scheduler it does not conform to the organization’s instructions; the assembly data is encrypted and stored on an unknown server for synchronization. No one knows where this data is stored in the cloud. In contrast, with Theocbase, the encrypted file is placed in the folder where you specify.

Hi Brothers!

I was a user of TheocBase, but our congregation (and entire circuit) swapped to NW Scheduler a few years back, and it was the best decision we ever made. I feel compelled to post here to clear up the half-truths and misconceptions listed above. I must “bear witness to the truth”.

NW Scheduler is far superior to TheocBase in almost every way: Way, way, way more features, more support, easier to use, and their NW Publisher app is wonderful! Our publishers love it!

Although NW Scheduler charges a modest registration fee, we prefer that NW Scheduler is open and upfront about the costs, rather than claiming to be “free” but later soliciting “donations”.

We also prefer the fact that NW Scheduler uses end-to-end encryption, SSL, two-factor authentication, and strong passwords both for data on our local computer, and data in-transit. This is far more secure than Theocbase, which uses an open and unencrypted Database, and then stores data online using Dropbox (which is very insecure). See NW Scheduler Security and Privacy

As for SimonK’s comment that “NW Scheduler it does not conform to the organization’s instructions”, um, that is completely untrue. NW Scheduler security is unmatched by any other software program, and would rival some banks! Many Bethelites in World Headquarters use NW Scheduler, including congregations with the Governing Body. In fact WHQ knows about NW Scheduler and has no objections to it.

We also find it very concerning that TheocBase says: “exporting to other software is not planned, and most certainly never will be.”

Are you aware that software programs are legally and ethically required to let users export their data to a common format (like CSV)? Why would you deliberately lock users into your software and trap their data forever? Territory Helper, KHS, Hourglass, CLM Explorer, NW Scheduler all allow users to export their data. It is both a reasonable and Christian thing to do. It is also very quick and easy to create a data exporter. This would save many brothers lots of time.

Ultimately it is up to each congregation to decide what software to use, but at least we should speak the truth.

Take care my friends!
Michael | New York

Hello everyone.
We have also used Theocbase before and were satisfied. I even supported them once with money and suggested switching the software to paid for. The work must be paid!
Our problem was that each brother used his own solutions. For example: Secretary had TsWin, literature - an Excel, territories other software and so on. With NW Scheduler we have a program for everything. All brothers know this program and are replaceable. If I, as a secretary, have to go to the hospital urgently, another brother can quickly take over my job.


Oh please … I was insulted by email from a nwscheduler marketer that my concerns about lfsa were “myths”. Do you call the facts as “half-truths”, that in some zones like Central Europe it is forbidden by lfsa for the secretary to use other apps than a spreadsheet (like excel) or the official pdf form? A fact which never is replied to by the nwscheduler marketing guys. Instead they dance around some “encryption” which is absolutely standard, when you visit a website (dsa 128bit aka rsa 3072bit, my websites have at least 4092bit).

Is it also a half-truth, that the official website of the nwscheduler company does in fact not use best practice when it comes to security? E.g. using TLS1.0 and TLS1.1? Versions that have been considered extremely unsafe for years, and that no serious sysadmin leaves activated. Ultimately, our organization makes no difference whether the data is encrypted or not. And according to nwscheduler Marketers, only legal committee documents are confidential. Everything else at the nwscheduler company has the status of data that is posted on the bulletin board.

Is it a half-truth that this company doesn’t act as selflessly as it tries to convey? With “over one million publishers” using the mobile app, they make at least $ 300’000 per year (rather more). This also explains why this company can afford such aggressive marketing.

They distort the facts by claiming that the data (even confidential ones) is only “a little bit online”. Do you want me to tell you an open secret? There is only online or offline. There is no such thing as “a little bit online”.

Every time a publisher sends his report to the secretary, sfla23 and slfa25 are breached (at least in Central European Zone) because there is no magic connection to the harddisk of the secretary. Instead the confidential data is stored on a sync server until the secretary synchronizes. And we cannot proof (since it is closed-source), that the data on the sync servers really is removed afterwards. This, I assume is nwschedulers definition of “just a little bit online”.

TheocBase says: “exporting to other software is not planned, and most certainly never will be.”

Yeah, TheocBase is opensource and uses open standards. So what do you need to export, since all the content already exists in an exported-like form?

Ultimately it is up to each congregation to decide what software to use, but at least we should speak the truth.

In reality, your statement means in certain zones that it is up to the congregation to determine whether to ignore certain paragraphs from lfsa.

Imagine the following statement: We would have liked to give you the privilege of supporting the lecture planner, but unfortunately you do not use Windows or the nwscheduler program. Therefore, unfortunately we cannot give you this privilege.

There is no such thing in our organization.

Our problem was that each brother used his own solutions

Why should that be a problem? If I want, as a lecture planner I can also organize the lectures with paper and pencil. There is absolutely no legal basis for prohibiting me from doing this.

All brothers know this program and are replaceable

All brothers except those who unfortunately don’t use Windows or don’t want to install the nwscheduler program. As I already wrote in another answer, there is no such thing in our organization.

I’d like to add, that TheocBase has no confidential data. So storing it on something like Dropbox is not prohibited. Although I do not use the Dropbox function, this is statement is nothing than a distraction or a failed whataboutism.

Thanks for the post that raises some interesting issues.

I have been involved with TheocBase for only some weeks to help with the new 2024 workbook as a programmer and IT supporter. Because I’m new I will not comment on the many issues, but they are noted at brought to attention the developer-team.

To clarify: A small team of developers are working on an update on there spare time:

The following information is not from me but from our circuit overseer. In principle, the use of such an app is not advisable for several reasons. The app provides too many features that are explicitly and consciously not permitted by the faithful slave. The programmers seem to be “brothers” who deliberately disregard these instructions and provide tools to servants that are not in harmony with many procedures from the sfl and sfla.

  • As you have recognized from sfla 20:2, the faithful slave does not allow the use of the app for lecture planning. This is exactly what the company advertises on its website. Whether sfla 20:2 directly applies to tasks in the LuDZ is not explicitly stated in the instructions. The consent of the publishers is necessary for the use of this app, and the S-290 may not apply. I wonder: Are we forcing publishers to use this specific app through this process?
  • The app allows the recording of the congregation’s preaching activity (reports and the option to indicate whether one was active or not), which is expressly not allowed. Therefore, the Service Department advises against using the app. Publishers should also not submit reports via the app themselves. It is the responsibility of the group overseer or secretary to take care of and collect reports (sfl 7:2.9; 4:2.3). Also, using the app for the disaster list is not entirely compatible with the instructions in sfl 26:2.1-3.
  • The Legal Department also advises against using the app for another reason: Excluded and apostate individuals in the US have repeatedly attempted to maintain contact with the congregation or even harm the congregation through self-programmed (administrative) apps. Even if the developers claim to be brothers, we have no way to verify this (Ps. 26:4). Even if the phenomenon is not widespread among us, the principle in Prov. 22:3 applies.

Yeah, right!
According to the NW Scheduler company website, 128bit dsa is used for encryption. This corresponds to approximately 3072bit rsa and is therefore the normal standard for your mother’s hairdresser’s website. Reputable banks ensure that insecure protocols such as TLS 1.0 and 1.1 are disabled on their website. Your remark “Security is unmatched” is therefore nothing more than meaningless marketing.

Wow, I am shocked at the hatred, lies and insistence that personal opinions are correct. I don’t see comments that are “in every way recommending ourselves as God’s ministers”, but rather comments that are “not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce”.

I am leaving these forums permanently and suggest others do the same.

If you want to read love, not hatred, see New World Scheduler Reviews and Testimonials

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Alternatives to TheocBase
Concerning different solutions like TheocBase, it’s the situation as the case with your computer OS. You have multiple options. When choosing between Windows, Mac or Linux you should consider your specific needs to make an informed decision that aligns with your preferences and requirements.

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