Rock Admin Hero Guide

How to save the day, one data block at a time.

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Current Version: McKinley 16.0

Updates for McKinley 16.0

Below is a summary of the updates for this version.

  • Observability gives you system performance insights
  • If a person has a valid signature document on file, that document will not be shown again in Event Registration
  • In the Electronic Signature Document workflow action, the signature document can be set using a workflow attribute
  • Rock now supports Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) for enhanced account security
  • Interaction Intents enhance data insights within Interaction records
  • A new NCOA process which does not use Spark Link has been implemented.

Updates for McKinley 1.0

No updates made.

Updates for McKinley 2.0

Below is a summary of the updates for this version.

  • A DISC personality assessment chapter.
  • Details on background checks.
  • Noted that SmartyStreets is no longer free.

Updates for McKinley 3.0

Below is a summary of the updates for this version.

  • Added more tips when using international phone numbers.
  • Noted that SmartyStreets is no longer free.
  • Added information on Rock's new keyboard shortcuts.
  • Documented new recommended naming conventions for security roles.
  • Noted the change of the Background Check Administrator's application group move to a Security Role.
  • Highlighted the move of the content channel pages from the 'Admin Tools > Communications' to 'Admin Tools > CMS Configuration'
  • Documented the move of the Photo Request page to 'Admin Tools > Communications'.
  • Noted Rock's new custom School Grade feature in the internationalization section.
  • Documented the new Org Chart feature in under the Intranet menu.
  • Filled in some of the missing jobs.

Updates for McKinley 4.0

Below is a summary of the updates for this version.

  • Added information on the new jobs Group Sync and Group Leader Pending Notifications
  • Included the new PIN Authenication service.
  • New Chapter on Merge Documents.
  • Added documentation for several new service jobs.
  • Documented the location editor under Data Integrity.
  • Added information on the new merge request system.
  • Added chapter on Note Types.
  • Added details on the Google and Twitter authentication services.
  • Change the email transport preference to Mailgun from Mandrill.

Updates for McKinley 5.0

Below is a summary of the updates for this version.

  • Added the documentation for the new Event Payment Reminders and Send Group Email jobs.
  • Added the documentation for running multipleservers with Redis.
  • Documented the Email Exceptions Filter global attribute.
  • Described in detail the scoring system for finding duplicate records.
  • Described the new Combine Family Members feature in the Merge Documents chapter.

Updates for McKinley 6.0

Below is a summary of the updates for this version.

  • Noted the move the 'Entity Attributes' page from 'Security' to 'System Settings'
  • Discussed the new 'Category Manager' page (this replaced the 'History Categories' page. It now allows you to manage categories for any entity type.
  • Added the information pulled over from Facebook with authentication.
  • Added Signature Documents section to General Settings chapter.
  • Added Routes and Themes to the CMS Configuration chapter.
  • Removed documentation related to Rock Jobs Scheduler and running Rock as a windows service.

Updates for McKinley 7.0

Below is a summary of the updates for this version.

  • Added Cloning Security Role Groups to the Security Settings chapter
  • Updated SmartyStreets information to reflect free service, API Key housed on Rock servers.
  • Added Database Maintenance/Care and Feeding of Rock section to Jobs chapter.
  • Updated General Setting screenshot.
  • Added Attribute Matrix Template documentation to General Settings chapter.
  • Added Index Rock Site to jobs table in Jobs chapter.
  • Added Communication Queue documentation and screenshot to Communications chapter.
  • Added Person Tokens chapter.
  • Updated Jobs List in Jobs chapter.
  • Added Signature Documents section to General Settings chapter.
  • Added Verify Security block documentation to the Securing Rock chapter.
  • Updated CMS Configuration chapter to include Short Links and Lava Shortcodes information.
  • Updated Communications chapter screenshot and page explanations.
  • Updated Tags section of General Settings chapter to include tag security.
  • Updated Security Settings screenshot.
  • Updated System Setting descriptions to include Universal Search Index Components and Calendar Dimension Settings information.
  • Updated Data Integrity considerations to include suffix matching.
  • Updated BI Analytics job info and manual link in Jobs chapter.
  • Added Interactions chapter and PBX CDR Records section.
  • Added keyboard shortcut info for Mac users in the Getting Comfortable chapter.
  • Added Data Integrity Settings section in Data Integrity chapter.

Updates for McKinley 8.0

Below is a summary of the updates for this version.

  • Added Interactions chapter and PBX CDR Records section.
  • Added keyboard shortcut info for Mac users in the Getting Comfortable chapter.
  • Added information on the new Auth0 external authentication service.
  • Updated Merge Template Detail screenshot in Merge Documents chapter to include security button.
  • Added security settings info for Merge Template Detail block in Merge Documents chapter.
  • Added Process Adult Children job to list of jobs in Jobs chapter.
  • Added Data Integrity Settings section in Data Integrity chapter.
  • Added Person Signal Types section to Security Settings chapter.
  • Updated Jobs list to include Process Group History.
  • Updated the Rock Homepage chapter to include documentation of new homepage layout and sections.
  • Added Checkr documentation to Background Checks chapter.
  • Added CacheManager documentation to CMS Configuration chapter.
  • Added information on how to set up the Google Maps API key.
  • Added information about note approvals, replies and watches

Updates for McKinley 9.0

Below is a summary of the updates for this version.

  • Added Mailgun Configuration Details
  • Added Group Member Schedule Templates to General settings
  • Added Asset Manager to the CMS Configuration
  • Added SMS Pipeline to Communications Page
  • Added "time zone" information to the System Settings section.
  • Added Asset Storage Provider to the System Setting
  • Updated Campus Detail Screen Shot
  • Added "time zone" information to campus detail section
  • Updated "named location" note when adding a new campus
  • Added a Note to the Digital Signatures Chapter
  • Updated Checkr step 1 instructions

Updates for McKinley 10.0

Below is a summary of the updates for this version.

  • Added Status and Type information to the Campuses section
  • Added details to describe single-campus behavior
  • Added Connection Status Changes tool details
  • New chapter with recommendations for 'Things You Should Not Do'

Updates for McKinley 11.0

Below is a summary of the updates for this version.

  • Added the ability to upload documents for any entity type
  • Defined Value attributes can allow adding new values to the list from anywhere the attribute is used
  • Added Campus Team feature, which ties people and their role directly to a campus
  • Individual parts of a physical address can be made required, optional or hidden
  • Added the Phone Number Lookup block, which provides a mobile-friendly alternative to traditional logins for your external site
  • Added more granular controls for File Type caching
  • Added options for considering logins when automatically inactivating/activating person records
  • Added cookie Persistence Length and Database Performance Counter system options

Updates for McKinley 12.0

Below is a summary of the updates for this version.

  • Cache Statistics in the Cache Manager are now turned off by default, and can be manually enabled
  • Added OpenID Connect server feature, enabling Rock to act as an authorization server for OIDC clients
  • Added a new 'Location List' field type for selecting or adding new locations from a configured parent location
  • A new Account Registration block setting lets administrators force the use of an email address as a person's Rock username
  • Added support for Attributes on Notes
  • Businesses can be set to appear in Person Picker search results
  • Campuses can now have Schedules associated with them

Updates for McKinley 13.0

Below is a summary of the updates for this version.

  • A new Group Attendance Reporting job will create and populate person attributes to track group attendance data
  • The Send Communications job has a new setting for sending multiple communications in parallel
  • Data Automation settings for Reactivate and Inactivate now include a check for event registrations
  • New Security Settings restrict merges or other record matching operations in Rock in order to reduce the possibility of an account hijack attempt
  • A new Security Change Audit page has been added to assist when troubleshooting security permission changes

Updates for McKinley 14.0

Below is a summary of the updates for this version.

  • If enabled on the Defined Type, Defined Values can now be assigned categories
  • New IP address geocoding features let you see where people who visit your site are coming from
  • Rock now ships with electronic signature features for use in workflows or event registrations
  • The CSV Import feature lets you import data from an external system into Rock

Updates for McKinley 15.0

Below is a summary of the updates for this version.

  • The Account Registration block now supports asking for person attributes on the form
  • You can securely log in to Rock without a password using Passwordless Authentication
  • Rock Captcha distinguishes humans from bots for security purposes
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We hope that by the time you finish this guide you will not only be able to survive, but thrive in your role as a Rock administrator. Our goal is to make you the hero of your team, the one person everyone goes to for answers. So, what are we waiting for? Let's get started.

Rock Homepage

The Rock homepage is the first screen most of your staff will see, so use that to your advantage. This is a great place for you to add organizational announcements, tips for using Rock and links to common resources. We've provided a great starting template for you to use and edit. Let's walk through some things you can do to make this page a useful resource.

Rock Homepage

Staff Updates

The main area of the homepage is dedicated to staff updates. This is a great place to post news items and announcements for your staff. Learn how to customize this area for your organization in the Customizing Your Rock Homepage section below.


Below the articles in the staff updates section, you'll see the metrics section. This section displays Active Records, Active Families and Active Connection Requests. Learn more about these metrics and how to customize this section in the Configuring Homepage Metrics section below.

Quick Links

The Quick Links section on the right side of the screen is a great place to provide staff with links that your organization uses most often. For example, organizations have used this section to provide links to:

  • The online catalog for ordering office supplies
  • Referral lists for counseling or pastoral needs
  • The organization's webmail site
  • Project management tools like Basecamp or Asana
  • Facility management tools like ServiceU
  • Frequently used forms

You can update the Quick Links section by editing the HTML, which is accessed the same way block settings are accessed.

Tip... Be Careful

When adding links, be careful with the HTML since its format is fairly specific. The best way to avoid mistakes is to simply copy an existing list item (<li>) and change the URL and name. Don't worry, HTML may look complex but changing what's already been done is a great way to start learning. You can do it!

Active Users

Under the quick links section, you'll see blocks listing active individuals on the internal and external websites. This allows you to see staff who are currently working and individuals browsing your website. You can click on a name to view the individual's Person Profile page.

Administrator Checklist

After you first install Rock, you'll see an Administrator's Checklist on the homepage. Don't worry, only Rock administrators can see this block.

This is a list of tasks you'll want to complete before you get too far along in your Rock deployment. Once you've checked all items off the list the block will disappear, but not forever. After an update you may need to add or change certain settings in order to use a new feature, and those steps will be listed in the block. Think of it as an old friend who shows up in your hour of need (not like your old college roommate who only shows up at the worst possible times).

Be Creative

Don't limit yourself to what's provided out of the box, or even the suggestions we give in this guide. We crafted these features just for you, because we want to enable you to take what Rock provides and make it your own. Manage the content on your homepage to reflect the unique needs, resources and vision of your organization.

Customizing Your Rock Homepage

To manage the content of your Rock homepage, go to:

Tools > Content > Internal Communications - Homepage.
Internal Communications - Homepage

You can edit existing content items, or add new items, from the block at the bottom of the page. Doing either will bring you to the Edit Content Channel Item page.

Edit Content Channel Item

Viewing Updates

Content channel updates might not display on the homepage right away. If this happens, it’s because of the block’s Cache Duration setting. If you want to see updates immediately, change the duration to “0” seconds in the block properties.

See our Designing and Building Websites Using Rock guide for more information on working with content channels and content channel items.

Configuring Homepage Metrics

Rock ships with three metrics ready to display on your Rock homepage:

  • Active Records: The number of active person records in the database
  • Active Families: The number of active families in the database
  • Active Connections: The number of active connection requests in the database

We've supplied these metrics—which will automatically update weekly—as a way of getting you started. We encourage you to customize this section and select different metrics by editing the block settings.


The Intranet tab is one area of Rock that will be unique to every organization. Rock ships with a few intranet items already set up, but we encourage you to customize the list. This is a great place to share information with your staff and key volunteers. Your intranet might include items like:

  • Office Information
    • Holiday Schedule
    • Common Links (ordering office supplies, etc.)
    • Referral Lists
  • Staff Phone Lists
  • Human Resources Content
    • Payroll Calendars
    • Timesheet Templates
    • Employee Forms
    • Org Charts
    • Benefits Information
    • Employee Manual
  • Finance Information
    • Chart of Accounts
    • Expense Report Templates
    • Forms (W-9, etc.)
  • IT Resources
    • FAQs
    • How to set up email on mobile devices

Keeping It Up-To-Date

It’s important to know who will be responsible for keeping each area of your intranet up-to-date. It's easy enough to add the information, but there's no point in adding it if you don't have a plan for keeping it updated.

Org Chart

Under the Intranet tab you’ll find an Org Chart page. This is simply a group viewer that's designed to help you develop your own organization chart. It's often helpful to have an org chart in Rock that you can easily reference, like when you’re setting up security. If you don't think you'll need this, you can simply hide it from the navigation by changing the Display When setting to Never under Page Properties. Or you can always just delete it.

Going Deeper

The group type for the Org Chart areas/departments is Organization Unit. Feel free to add additional attributes to groups of this type if it makes sense for your organization.

Getting Comfortable

Hopefully by now you've had some time to poke around Rock - window shopping at all the features. Let's discuss a couple of tips and tricks that will make you feel more at home.

Keyboard Shortcuts

In an effort to speed up your interaction with Rock, we've added several keyboard shortcuts. Let's look at what's available:

  • Alt + Q Quick Search: Sets focus to the search box at the top of the page.
  • Alt + S Save: Presses the save button on the given page.
  • Alt + E Edit: Presses the edit button on the given page.
  • Alt + C Cancel: Presses the cancel button on the given page.
  • Alt + N New: Presses the add button on any grid on the page.
  • Alt + I Edit Individual: On the Person Profile page this allows you to edit the individual's information.
  • Alt + O Edit Family On the Person Profile page this allows you to edit the family's information.
  • Alt + R Refresh Presses the refresh button on the given page.
  • Alt + → Next Presses the Next button on the given page.
  • Alt + ← Previous Presses the Previous button on the given page.

We also have keyboard shortcuts specifically for admin bar functions:

  • Alt + B Block Configuration: Enables the Block Configuration fly-outs.
  • Alt + Z Page Zones: Enables the Page Zones fly-outs.
  • Alt + P Page Properties: Opens the Page Properties modal window.
  • Alt + L Child Pages: Opens the Child Pages modal window.

If you're using a Mac, press Ctrl + Opt (instead of Alt) and the letter key of the shortcut you want to perform.

Learn the Lingo

Why do techies always seem to speak another language? We’ve worked hard to limit the tech babble, but there are a few words we’d like to define to help build a shared vocabulary.


The word "entity" is used to describe the classification unit of different types of data in Rock. For instance, People, Groups, Financial Transactions, Locations and Pages are all entities in Rock. If you’re familiar with databases, entities are very similar to tables. In fact, most entities in Rock have an associated table in the database.

You might be asking, "Why do I need to know this?" For the most part, you don’t have to know a thing about entities to successfully use Rock. You'll see the term in many of the configuration screens so it’s good to know what it is.

Defined Types / Defined Values

Many of the configuration items in Rock are made up of a list of valid values. Think about the Marital Status of a person. While we could have made this a textbox where anyone could type in the marital status of a couple, in today’s world that could be a disaster. You’d probably get a million different answers to that question. Instead, it's better to limit the options to a finite list that makes sense to your organization.

The "valid value" concept is prevalent in numerous areas (Record Status, Phone Types, etc.) Instead of creating separate screens and logic for each of these, we came up with the concept of Defined Types. These are lists made up of values (Defined Values) that you get to configure according to your organization’s needs.

Check out the Defined Types section of the General Settings chapter below for more information.

My Settings

Rock offers several types of personal settings for each logged in individual. To help manage this, Rock has a My Settings page which lives under the Login Status dropdown in the upper right of the internal pages. This page is a one stop shop for personalizing settings and configurations.

My Settings Page
My Settings Page

Change Password

This is where the individual can change their password. Simple enough.

Communication Templates

This page allows the individual to access communication templates they are permitted to edit. You might find it convenient to secure certain templates so only a single person can edit them; they can edit those templates here even if they don't have access to the Communications page on the Admin Tools menu. For more information on templates, check out the Communicating With Rock and Email Template Survival Guide manuals.

Merge Templates

The Merge Templates feature allows you to take a table of data and convert it into a formatted report or set of labels.

This page allows the individual to view, add, edit and delete personal merge templates. Merge Templates are covered in the Merge Documents chapter of this manual. In general, though, templates uploaded here won't be available for use by other people.

Following Settings

Rock's following features allow an individual to be notified of activities in which they are interested.

From here, an individual can customize their Following Settings. You can read more about these features in the Person and Family Field Guide


This page allows the person to view their current following list (the list of people and other items they have chosen to follow). You can read more about these features in the Person and Family Field Guide.

Personal Links

From here you can add, remove or organize your bookmarked pages and sections. We go into detail about Personal Links in the Person and Family Field Guide.

Background Checks

Background checks are an important requirement for most organizations these days. They involve the coordinated efforts of staff, security teams, service providers and other resources. Because of all these points of contact, it can take quite a while for background checks to process.

Using workflows to expedite the process helps prevent delays and maximizes the efficiency of your organization.

Rock seamlessly integrates with two background check providers, Checkr and Protect My Ministry. The procedure is similar for each, but we'll look at them separately beginning with Checkr.

Configuring Checkr

The first option for running background checks on individuals is Checkr. Once configured, Rock will default to using Checkr for background checks. You can easily change this default, however, which we'll look at shortly. First, though, let's look at the steps to set up your Checkr account.

Step 1: Sign-up

The first step in the process is to sign up for a Checkr account. You'll start from your account.

  1. Log in at, and then click on the menu in the top right corner with your picture on it.
  2. Click on "Your Organizations". In the center you'll see the organization(s) with which your account is associated.
  3. Click on the organization you wish to set up with Checkr. Then, beneath the organization logo in the Integrations section, click the "Checkr" option.
  4. Click the Create New Checkr Account button.
  5. Once your account is set up, your organization page in the Rock RMS site will update with an Account ID and Access Token.
Organization Page on
Organization Page on

Step 2: Set Up Webhook Inside Checkr

The next step is to set up a webhook inside Checkr. This tells Checkr where to send updates when background checks are complete. Begin by logging into your Checkr account at, then navigate to:

Account Settings > Developer Settings.
Checkr Account Settings

Type your Rock URL appended with /webhooks/checkr.ashx in the Webhooks URL field, select Live, then click Add. Finish by selecting the subscriptions shown in the above screenshot.

Step 3: Configuration

Now that Checkr is active, it's time to link your account to Rock. From within Rock, access the Checkr screen located at:

Admin Tools > System Settings > Checkr

Enter your Checkr Access Token (from the Rock RMS website) into the field provided. Click Save. The Background Check Types list is automatically downloaded when you enter the access token. If you want to download an updated Background Check Types list, click the Update Packages button.

Checkr Background Checks

Checkr is now active by default in Rock. You can view Checkr's status in the Background Check Providers page in the System Settings under Admin Tools.

Background Check Providers Screen

The Access Token should already be filled in for you at this point, since you provided it on the Checkr configuration page. Pictured below, you can see the Background Check Types list and the Update Packages button mentioned above.

Enabled Background Check Types

Viewing Checkr Requests

You can view all the requests that Checkr has processed in the Checkr page. This list is provided to help you see what's being processed at a high level. As you'll see soon, you can also view the results of a specific background check request from the Workflow and Person Profile pages.

Checkr Requests

Configuring Protect My Ministry

The second option for background checks is Protect My Ministry. Below are the steps for setting up and configuring this provider in Rock.

Step 1: Sign-up

The first step in the process is to sign up for the Protect My Ministry service. To do this, start at the Protect My Ministry page in Rock under:

Admin Tools > System Settings > Protect My Ministry.
Protect My Ministry Start Page

Should you choose to register for a new account, click the Register For An Account button. You'll be taken to the Protect My Ministry website to complete the registration.

Protect My Ministry Registration Page

After completing the registration, come back to the Rock Protect My Ministry page and enter in the username and password you created. You'll then be taken to the Protect My Ministry Detail Page.

Step 2: Configuration

Once you've entered your account information in Rock, you’ll see the details of your account on the Protect My Ministry page.

Protect My Ministry Registration Page


The Result Webhook setting will be populated automatically using your Rock Public Application Root Global Variable. However, this can be changed here if needed by clicking the Edit button. This address must be secured using SSL/TLS (must start with https://).

Know that you can't simply change the http:// to https:// here, though, without having a valid SSL/TLS certificate installed and your web server configured properly. Google is your friend if you need help obtaining and installing a certificate.

You'll now want to configure the packages that are tied to your account. The most popular packages have already been made available to you through the integration. Each package has a brief description that outlines its specific merits.

There are several configuration settings for each package. Let's look at each setting and what it means.

  • Package Name This is the PMM name for the package. It must be an exact match to what's in their system, so please don't change it unless instructed to.
  • County Criminal Default County Depending on your state it may be recommended that you provide a county on your request. If so, this will be the default county to use if one isn't present on the address of the person you're checking. You can check your state’s requirements using this map from PMM.
  • Use Home Address for County Criminal This too will depend on the state in which you live. If your state is recommended for the county search, you'll want to enable this option.
  • State Criminal Default State This is the default state to use when doing a state criminal request. This option is defaulted to the state that's most common in your database, but feel free to change it.
  • Use Home State for Statewide Criminal This setting determines if the state from the address should be sent.
  • MVR Jurisdiction Code This setting determines jurisdiction to use for MVR (Motor Vehicle Records) searches. You can select your area from the list provided. This is only needed for MVR type searches.
  • Use Home State for MVR Search This determines if the state from the home address should be sent for the MVR search. This is only needed for MVR type searches.

While you can add new packages using the settings above, the packages provided should meet all your needs. You may need to edit some of the configurations to meet the recommendations for your state. This decision centers around whether you should be doing a state or county search.

Viewing Protect My Ministry Requests

From the Protect My Ministry page you can also view requests that have been processed. This list allows you to see what's being processed from a high-level perspective. However, it's much easier to see the results of a specific background check request from the Workflow and Person Profile pages. We'll talk about that next.

Protect My Ministry Requests

Background Check Administrators

Background check admins have access to all background check details and the ability to approve or deny them at several points in the process.

Before you start processing, you'll want to configure the person or people who will be included in this security role under Admin Tools > Security > Security Roles > RSR - Background Check Administration.

Processing Requests

Several different organizational needs kick off a background check request workflow. For instance, you may be hiring a new staff member, screening a potential volunteer, updating person profile records or transferring someone into a new position. Whatever the reason, it’s usually a staff member who needs to start the request for a background check.

To see if an individual has completed a background check, go to the Person Profile page and look under the Extended Attributes tab.

Staff will be able to see either a Yes or No in the Background Checked field. Background check administrators can see additional fields and have editing privileges.

Background Check Person Attributes
Background Check Person Attributes
1 Background Checked
Simply a "Yes" or "No" to indicate if the person has a background check.
2 Background Check Date
Will have the date the check was completed, if applicable.
3 Background Check Result
Will show either Pass or Fail.
4 Background Check Document
Will have a complete PDF of the background check results, if a check has been completed.
5 Driver's License Number
Will have the license number, if provided.

Make It Quick

If you want greater visibility for Background Checks on your Person Profile page, consider adding a badge to the Badge Bar.

How It Works

Initiating A Request

Background checks can be initiated from an individual’s Person Profile page. Below the person's photo is an Actions button, which you can click to display available actions. Click on the Background Check option. The initial request will save both the person and the requestor, while prompting the requestor to provide any key missing details such as social security number, campus, type, etc.

Just A Double Check

Rock will automatically look for previous background checks for that individual within the last year. If it finds another check within that timeframe, it will notify the requester, who will have to confirm that they want to request another background check before proceeding.


The background check workflow has eight possible activities. Like many other aspects of Rock, it's customizable. You may find that you'd like to configure your background checks a little differently for your organization. For instance, you could add a step to the process after a staff member requests a background check that notifies a volunteer to provide their own social security number.

To review or modify the workflow configuration, go to:

Admin Tools > General Settings > Workflow Configuration > Safety & Security > Background Check.

For more details on workflows in Rock, see Blasting Off With Workflows. A chart of the out of the box workflow is below.

The Lifecycle Of A Request

Background Check Overview
1 Initiate
A staff member will initiate a request.
2 Notify
Individuals in the 'Background Check Administration' security role will be notified of the request and will either Approve or Deny it.
3 Denied
If the request is denied, a notification will be sent to the requestor, who can then update the request and resubmit it or cancel the request.
4 Approved
If the request is approved, it will be submitted to your organization's background check provider to be processed.
5 Results
If the background check comes back as 'Pass', Rock will update the Person Profile page with pass/fail results and a PDF copy of the full report. The requester will also be notified of the completion.
6 Review
If the check comes back with a status other than 'Pass' the workflow will notify the individuals in the 'Background Check Administration' security role to review the results and determine if the background check should be passed or failed. The results will then be emailed to the requester.


With the development of mapping technologies, location has taken on a new importance in our lives. Concepts like proximity, distance and location are common in our everyday lives and our interactions with others. Rock has a very robust location strategy. It’s important that you understand all the possibilities as you set out to implement it in your organization.

Location Descriptors

When you create a location, you can define several location descriptors:

  • Street Address: This is pretty obvious, the street address of the location.
  • Latitude / Longitude Point: The lat/long point is simply the latitude/longitude of the address. You can set this by either providing an address and allowing Rock to convert it to a lat/long using the built-in address standardization service or you can reference the point using Rock’s location picker.
  • Geo-fence: A geo-fence is a virtual perimeter for a real-world geographic area or boundary. Geo-fences are used by Rock to define things like regions for groups and to power features like mobile check-in. Rock allows you to draw these fences right in the address picker.

Types of Locations

There are two types of locations in Rock. Let’s take a look at each and see how they are used by Rock.

Positional Locations

Positional locations describe places you could point to on a map. By themselves they don’t tell you anything about the point, just its location on the map. They only find meaning when they are used by features like Families (to describe where they live) or Groups (where they meet).

Named Locations

Named locations have position and meaning. The meaning comes from giving the position a name. For instance, after install there's a Main Campus location that describes your organization’s campus.

Named locations can also have hierarchy. Think again to your organization’s campus. The campus itself is a location, but it’s also made up of sub-locations like buildings. Buildings have locations too - rooms. Having a hierarchy allows Rock to build rich location contexts into applications like check-in.

Named locations must be setup under Admin Tools > General Settings > Named Locations before they can be used in the application.

Address Standardization and Geocoding

Your attendees' addresses are very valuable, so it's important that they are formatted correctly and validated through the USPS database. Also, in order for these addresses to be used with the latest mapping technologies it's important to convert them into latitude and longitude points through a process called geocoding. Fortunately, Rock makes both of these tasks simple.

As addresses are entered into the system, Rock will automatically send them to an online service to standardize and geocode them. This service will ensure that:

  • Addresses are formatted correctly (e.g., fix upper / lower case issues)
  • Items like Streets, Avenues, West and East are abbreviated correctly
  • Zip+4 is researched and added
  • Latitude and longitude are added to your addresses

Out of the box Rock uses SmartyStreets to provide this service. SmartyStreets is a service for address standardizing and geocoding capabilities. They have also generously granted the Rock community a license to use their service for free. We've built this license directly into the product so there's nothing you need to do to enable this functionality. Just sit back and enjoy quality addresses.

While you don't need to configure anything to enable SmartyStreets, there are settings of which you should be aware:

  • Acceptable DPV Code - This setting determines the acceptable quality match for standardizing an address. You can find all of the options on the SmartyStreets documentation site. The default setting is 'Y,S,D' which is a full or partial match.
  • Acceptable Precisions - This setting is similar to the DPV code but is related to the required precision of the geocoding in order for it to be considered a successful match. You can find more information on the SmartyStreets documentation site. The default setting, 'Zip7,Zip8,Zip9' determines a successful match if the address is matched at Zip+2 (e.g., 85383.23__) or better.

If you'd like to make changes to the services used by Rock, you can under:
Admin Tools > System Settings > Location Services.
There you'll see a list of services that Rock supports. Not every service supports both standardization and geocoding.

Service Name Description Service Type Cost
SmartyStreets SmartyStreets is the default solution because of their high-quality results and free license for the Rock community. Find out more on their website. Address Standardization & Geocoding Free
Bing Microsoft's Bing mapping service provides a free geocoding service. The service does have a few limitations. You can only make a maximum of 5,000 requests a day and 125,000 in a 12-month period. For most organizations, this will be more than enough. We've even built in a daily transaction limit, so you won't have to worry about going over on any given day. This service requires a key. To get your free key, follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to the Bing Maps Portal.
  2. Sign in using a Microsoft Account or create a new account.
  3. With an account set up, you'll need to contact Bing Maps directly to get a Non-Profit key. Reach out to to get in touch with the Bing Maps account team.
  4. After you've obtained your key, it can be added to Rock under Admin Tools > System Settings > Location Services > Bing.

While the Bing service provider isn't a true address standardization component it will do some format cleaning of the addresses you provide. For instance, it will put your addresses in the proper case and fix any minor missing elements. It won't, however, add zip+4 information. It also removes apartment numbers from addresses.

Geocoding Free
StrikeIron StrikeIron provides a paid option for geocoding data. You can find more information on their website. Geocoding Must request a quote

Want Even More Options?

If you have a developer handy, you can even write your own location service provider to add to the list.

Email Configuration

Email is an important part of your communication strategy. Getting it configured in Rock should be one of your first priorities after install.

Like many aspects of Rock, you have choices when it comes to email. We highly recommend using an email service that will provide additional services like bounced mail processing, the ability to track when emails have been opened and when links have been clicked. Rock ships with Mailgun and SendGrid, but others are available in the Rock Shop.

Email Settings

The configuration items you provided during the install can be updated under
Admin Tools > Communications > Communication Transports.
Email is sent from Rock using a communication transport. Think of this as a delivery service. Just as you might pick between sending your package via UPS or FedEx, Rock gives you options when sending out your emails.

CSS Inlining

CSS Inlining of Email Templates is only available if the email Communication Transport supports it. Currently only Mandrill supports CSS Inlining.

Mailgun Email Service

Mailgun is an email delivery service that provides several advanced features. Mailgun is operated by the popular web hosting company Rackspace and is used by numerous online businesses.

Mailgun HTTP

Mailgun HTTP is the quickest and easiest way to send emails. This transport sends the email to Mailgun with their newer HTTP API. Below are the settings Rock needs from your Mailgun account.

Setting Description
Base URL You can view or change the API URL from Mailgun.
Active This setting turns the Mailgun service on or off.
Resource This will be populated with a URL provided by Mailgun.
Domain Enter your organization's domain for email.
API Key The API key is provided to you by Mailgun.
Track Opens If enabled, this setting allows Rock to report whether an email was opened.

Mailgun SMTP

This transport delivers the emails to Mailgun with their SMTP API. Below are the Mailgun SMTP settings in Rock.

Setting Description
SMTP Hostname This is the SMTP host. The default setting will work here in most cases.
API Key The API key is provided to you by Mailgun.
Active This setting turns the Mailgun service on or off.
Domain Login Enter your Mailgun provided username.
Domain Password Enter your Mailgun provided password.
Port Indicate the port on your server that should be used for communications. Ports 587 or 2525 are often used, especially if you're encrypting the sending.
Use SSL Set whether your mail server supports sending emails via an encrypted SSL session.
Track Clicks If enabled, clicks on sent emails will be tracked.


Below are the configuration items that are needed to enable SMTP emails to work. If you're unsure what these values should be, consult with your ISP or your organization’s IT support.

Setting Description
Active This setting turns the SMTP service on or off.
Server Provide the SMTP email server that Rock should use to send the emails through.
Port Indicate the port on your server that should be used for communications. This will typically be port 25 but port 587 is often used if you're encrypting the sending.
Username If your email server requires you to authenticate to relay email, this is where you'll provide the username.
Password When enabling authentication, this will be where you set the password.
Use SSL Set whether your mail server supports sending emails via an encrypted SSL session.

Most organizations will set these values to their established email server, but some very small organizations might not have a central or common server. For example, some might run completely off of a Gmail account. Below is what you would enter for each of these settings.


Using Gmail settings is not a recommended configuration for organizations sending out large bulk emails. We're providing these settings only as a service for small organizations.

  • Server:
  • Port: 587
  • Username: (your Gmail username "")
  • Password: (your Gmail password)
  • Use SSL: True (checked)

Sending bulk email is difficult in today’s age of spam and spam filters. Simply configuring an ISP or Internal Exchange Server isn't enough if you want to ensure all your messages will make it to their intended recipients. To do that, you need to confirm your DNS has proper SPF and Domain Key records and ensure that you're not on any blacklists. Even for the largest organizations, this can be an overwhelming task.

Wherever a problem exists, a new service will be created to help solve it. That has certainly been the case in the area of email deliverability. With the importance of email and the complexity of getting your environment right, it makes sense for most organizations to outsource the sending of their emails. These services specialize in getting it right and the pricing is fairly reasonable. Rock ships with Mailgun and SendGrid transports, but you can check the Rock Shop for integrations with other transports.


Some of these vendors have free accounts that would suffice for many small organizations. Mailgun, as of the time of this writing, has a free starter package that generously gives you 5,000 emails a month for your first month. After that you can pay by the number of emails you send or purchase a different plan. For full details and up-to-date pricing visit their website. In our experience, Mailgun's pricing has been very competitive, and their features are among the best in their class.


We realize that a list of recommended vendors is helpful, but sometimes it can also be overwhelming. If you’re looking for a single recommendation, we’d say start with Mailgun. We use them ourselves for the Rock site and have been very happy with the setup and deliverability to-date.

These services do require some minor changes to your organization’s DNS settings, but they walk you through the process online to make it easier.

Configuring Deliverability Services

While each of the vendors listed above have their own custom API for sending emails, they also allow you to send via SMTP using their servers. Once you get set up, they will provide you with the values needed for the SMTP settings above.

Currently, the only email transport provided by Spark that supports these features is the Mailgun transport. For more information on configuring this transport see the Integrations chapter of the Communicating With Rock guide.

Securing Rock

Many items in Rock can be secured to protect access to sensitive information. While we hope that you find the default security configuration and roles to be a good start, it’s important that you understand how security works so that you’re able to configure it in a way that makes sense for you and your organization.

Security Roles

While you can provide detailed security for every person individually, it's often tedious and problematic. Security roles, on the other hand, are much more flexible and far less prone to error.


We highly recommend learning the Rock pattern for security before making changes or additions. It's always easier to swim downstream than upstream, but you must first know which way the river is flowing before you dive in.

Having a well thought out strategy for security roles is critical. Too simple and individuals might have more rights than they need; too complex and security will be difficult to maintain.

We've worked hard to lay a security foundation that makes sense for you to build on. We strongly recommend you closely review the security roles that ship with Rock before you start setting up your organization’s security. You can find those roles under Admin Tools > Security > Security Roles.


Do you have an existing group whose members also need access to a particular page or item? You can enable any group to also act as a security role. In the group viewer, simply check the group's Security Role property and it will show up in the security role lists.

Elevated Security Levels

Each security role has an Elevated Security Level setting. This setting is used by Rock to calculate a person's Account Protection Profile. There are three Elevated Security Level values to choose from.

  • None: The role has no elevated security. This should be used sparingly, and only for roles that don't grant access to any areas that could expose any part of a person's information.
  • High: The role has a low level of elevated security and doesn't grant access to sensitive areas.
  • Extreme: We recommend using this level for any new roles you create that give access to anything inside Rock. This helps protect staff and volunteers from account hijack attempts and makes it more difficult to perform merges on their records.


Wherever you see the icon you can manage the security of the item being displayed. Clicking the icon will bring up the Security Editor shown below.

Security Editor
The first thing you’ll see is a tabbed list of the security actions available for the item. Typically, these will be View, Edit and Administrate. You'll set permissions for each of these actions.
2Item Permissions
The Item Permissions area is a list of the specific permissions defined for the item. If there are no specific permissions set for this particular item, the list will be empty. In these cases, security is being inherited from its parent. But now we’re jumping ahead...
3Inherited Permissions
Most items don’t have permissions of their own. They inherit their permissions from their parents. For the most part, you’ll only add Item Permissions when you want to increase the security of the item. This is a very powerful concept. It keeps you from having to constantly and consistently tweak the security of each item. It also allows you to change the security of an item and let the change trickle down to all of its children.


The Inherited Permissions list tells you which parent item has set the security. This allows you to easily find the parent and fix any incorrect security.

Setting Permissions

When setting permissions, you'll add either an individual or, more commonly, a security role to the permissions list with either Allow or Deny access. The order of these permissions is very important. The way the system works is that it starts at the top and works its way down the list looking for a matching rule. The first rule that matches the logged in individual will be implemented, either granting or denying access. Crafting the order of these permissions is important.

Let’s look at an example. First, we’ll look at a case where a page should only be viewed by staff members (and not volunteers or other individuals accessing Rock).

Incorrect Permissions:
Name Allow / Deny
All Users Deny
All Staff Allow

The above setup might look correct at first because both roles exist with the proper access. It’s true that staff should have access and other non-staff users should be denied. However, remember that Rock works through security from the top down. Because Staff are also Users, the system will stop at the “All Users | Deny” level and won’t allow access.

Correct Permissions:
Name Allow / Deny
All Staff Allow
All Users Deny

Now the logged in staff person will match on the first rule and be granted access. Processing of the subsequent rule won't occur for this person, so even though the staff person is also in All Users, they will still be granted access. An individual without the All Staff role will cause the system to keep checking down the list, where it will find a match at the All Users level and deny access accordingly.

Verifying Permissions

There may be times when you want to view a quick snapshot of a person's security permissions. You can do this in the Verify Security block, found in
Admin Tools > Security > Inspect Security.

Verify Security Block
Verify Security Block
1 Person
Search for the person whose security permissions you want to view.
2 Entity Type
Select the entity type you want to verify. For example, if you want to view the security on a page, select 'Page'.
3 Entity ID
This field is where you enter the Integer ID or Guid of the entity you want to view. For example, if you want to view the security of the external homepage (which has an Id of '1'), type "1" in this field.
4 Security Permissions
This is the list of security permissions for the person based on the search criteria.
5 Unlock Security
This button allows you to quickly unlock security permissions.

This snapshot view allows you to do a couple of handy things.

First, it allows you to view the source of a person's effective security permissions. If, for example, someone should have access to a particular page or function but doesn't, the Verify Security block allows you to quickly view where the Deny rule is coming from. Keep in mind that the security permissions of particular entities (e.g., pages, groups, etc.) not listed here may cause additional limits to the person's access.

Second, and perhaps more importantly, it allows you to restore your own permissions when you accidentally lock yourself out. Don't be embarrassed; it happens to everyone. The Verify Security block allows you to quickly unlock your access without having to go into the database. Simply click the button.

Rock Captcha

Captcha adds an extra layer of security to certain tasks, helping to ensure the actions are performed by real people and not bots. This secures your online transactions from spam and fraudulent activities. In this chapter we’ll walk you through the simple steps to use Captcha in Rock.

Rock Captcha
Rock Captcha

Using Captcha

There are several blocks that support Captcha, and more may be added in the future. Pictured above is an example workflow entry block with Captcha enabled. Keep in mind that the person will not always need to check that box. Often, the validation occurs behind the scenes and the person won't have to do anything extra. We'll look at different ways to configure this in the next section.

Use of Captcha is optional, though it is turned on by default. You can disable Captcha by accessing the block settings for any block where Captcha is used.

Rock Captcha Block Setting
Rock Captcha Block Setting

Below is a list of blocks that have Captcha support. Please note that this list may expand to include other blocks. If you don't see Captcha on one of these blocks, you may need to switch to the Obsidian version of the block or to a more recent Rock version.

Blocks with Captcha Support:

  • Workflow Entry
  • Transaction Entry v2
  • Utility Payment Entry
  • Account Entry
  • Forgot Username
  • Change Password
  • Family Pre-Registration
  • Registration Entry

Configuring Captcha

You’re going to need a free Cloudflare account to use Captcha in Rock. Luckily the signup process only involves providing an email and creating a password. Once you’re logged in and looking at your dashboard, select Turnstile along the left. You’ll need to click the “Add site” button to get started, then fill out the short form.

Add Site
Add Site

At the end of the process, you’ll see a Site Key and a Secret Key. Keep these handy because they’ll both need to be copied into Rock.

Site Key and Secret Key
Site Key and Secret Key

Back in Rock, navigate to Admin Tools > System Settings > System Configuration Under the UI Settings panel, paste the two Keys.

Add Keys to Rock
Add Keys to Rock

And that’s it! With your keys in place, the Workflow Entry and Transaction Entry v2 blocks will automatically perform a Captcha validation when they’re visited.

Updating Rock

We know how important Rock is to your organization. That’s why we dedicate so many resources to providing you with timely bug fixes and a steady stream of new features. That’s also why we’ve built a sophisticated, yet simple, update process.

The update screen can be found under:
Admin Tools > General Settings > Rock Update.
From this screen your server will initiate a quick check to Rock’s server to see if there are any new updates available. If there are, the updates and their descriptions will be displayed. Once you decide you’re ready, simply click the Install button and Rock will do the rest.


Updates can't be undone, so be sure you have a backup of your system before installing the updates.

Rock Updates

Questions About Updating

Do I have to update to the latest version?
Depending how often you update, you may see several updates available. You don’t necessarily need to update to the latest and greatest version. You can update to any version you wish. Doing so will install all of the previous updates up to that point.
Can I skip a specific update?
No, updates are cumulative. You can't skip over a specific update or patch.

Data Integrity

With data coming into Rock from all directions, it can be a real challenge to keep it all clean, consistent and accurate. To help you out with that, we've built tools that find and fix issues as they arise. You'll find these tools under:

Tools > Data Integrity.

Data Integrity
Data Integrity

Only individuals in the Data Integrity Worker security role will have access to these tools.

Let's look at each one in detail.

Duplicate Finder

The duplicate finder routinely goes through your database looking for records that could be duplicates. When it finds possible matches, it scores them and lists them for you under:

Tools > Data Integrity > Duplicate Finder.

Duplicate List
Duplicate List
1 Confidence
Indicates the likelihood that this is a duplicate record.
2 Account Protection Profile
The Account Protection Profile level assigned to the record. Records with a High or Extreme level may require staff with additional security to perform the merge.
3 Name
The first and last name of the individual.
4 Match Count
The number of possible duplicate records for this person.
5 Modified
The date and time the duplication record was modified. This is another data point to help you determine if a record is a duplicate.
6 Created By
The person (or possibly application) who created the duplicate record. This helps determine how the duplicate may have come into existence and which data point might be more accurate.

Clicking on a row will take you to the duplicate detail screen.

Duplicate Detail
Duplicate Detail

The top row represents the source record, and the rows below represent possible duplicate records. If any of these rows are duplicates, you can select them and select the icon in the grid footer to merge them. Each record has a series of buttons to the right. These buttons perform the actions defined below.

  • Opens the Person Profile page for this individual in a new window.
  • Tells Rock that this record is definitely not a duplicate of the record above.
  • Tells Rock that there's currently no way to be sure if this record is a duplicate of the one above. Selecting this will keep Rock from showing it as a possible duplicate until more information is available. If you're uncertain whether two records are duplicates or not, you can simply decide not to do anything yet. As more data is added to the records, Rock will update the match scores to reflect a more accurate prediction.

Detail-minded admins might be interested in how the percentages are calculated for duplicate records. The out-of-the-box logic compares two records based on a points system. Points are awarded based on the following factors:

  • Email Match (4pts)
  • Partial Name Match (First two characters of the first name plus full last name) (1pt)
  • Full First Name Match (3pts)
  • Full Last Name Match (3pts)
  • Suffix Match (4pts)
  • Cell Phone Match (4pts)
  • Non-Cell Phone Match (2pts)
  • Address Match (2pts)
  • Birthday Match (3pts)
  • Gender Match (1pt)
  • Campus Match (1pt)
  • Marital Status (1pt)

A percentage is then calculated by comparing the number of points scored to the total possible points.


There are several cleanup reports that have been created to help you identify records that need your attention. Feel free to add your own reports here. Each report that ships with Rock is documented below.

Report Name Description
Self-Inactivated Individuals This report lists individuals who have inactivated themselves from the database. This usually comes from using the unsubscribe link at the bottom of bulk emails. You'll want to go through this list occasionally to inactivate the other individuals in their families. You'll also want to read through the inactive reasons to get a pulse on why individuals are leaving the organization.
Pending Individuals When someone registers on the website, their individual record status is set to Pending. This allows you to view the record and determine if it's a duplicate record. Once you go through them all, you'll want to bulk update their statuses to Active.
Individuals with Duplicate Phone Numbers This report finds different individuals who share the same phone number. You can also use this report to identify individuals who have the same phone number listed more than once on their profile.
Individuals with Duplicate Emails Like the duplicate phone numbers report, this report finds different individuals who have the same email address. This may be common, especially for families.


Workflows can be set up to help automate the process of data integrity. Feel free to add your own. We've outlined the ones that come with Rock below.

Workflow Name Description
DISC Request This drives the DISC assessment request workflow.
Person Data Error This is the workflow that's accessed from the Actions list of the Person Profile page.
Photo Request This drives the photo request workflow.
Request Assessment This is the workflow that's accessed from the Actions list of the Person Profile page.

See our Blasting Off With Workflows guide for more information.

Location Editor

The location editor allows you to edit and clean locations in your database. Because there are so many locations in your database (think every address) the list will only show items that match the filters you provide. A common use for this page is to edit the geocoding for a specific address. There's a helpful filter to show you addresses that are not geocoded.

Location List
Location List

You can select an address to view or edit its details.

Location Editor
Location Editor

Photo Requests

When new photos are submitted by your organization's members they will be displayed here. This allows you to review the photos and ensure that they are appropriate. You can read more about this process in the Person and Family Field Guide.

Merge Requests

If a staff member without the needed security tries to merge person records, then a merge request will be created and listed here. By default, you won't have security access until you're listed on the Merge People page with read rights.

Data Automation

Rock ships with a powerful Data Automation job that automatically updates person and family records. This makes things a lot easier for you. The job settings are configured here on the Data Automation page, located at:

Tools > Data Integrity > Data Automation.

Data Automation Settings
Data Automation Settings
The Data Automation job uses these settings to update person and family records in the following ways:
  • Reactivating individuals who are currently inactive
  • Inactivating individuals who are currently active
  • Updating which campuses families are associated with
  • Moving adult children to their own families
  • Updating Connection Status values
  • Updating Family Status values

Updates are made to records when the Data Automation job runs. By default, the job is configured to run every Tuesday morning, but you can change that time to what works best for your organization. Also, note that the job is active by default, but the data automation types listed above are all disabled. The updates will run automatically once the settings are enabled.

OK, now that you have an overview of the job, let's take a closer look at the different types of data automation included in the Data Automation Settings screen.

Reactivate People

When the Reactivate People option is enabled, every person in the database who matches any of the following criteria (according to your selections) will have their record status updated from 'Inactive' to 'Active'.

  • Any family member has made a contribution in the last: If any family member in any of the person's families has made a contribution during the selected time period.
  • Any family member has attended a group that is considered a service in the last: If there's an attendance record associated with any family members in any of the person's families, and if the attendance is for a group of a type with the Weekend Service option set to 'true'.
  • Any family member has registered for any event in the last: If any family member in any of the person's families has registered for an event during the selected time period.
  • Any family member has attended a group of this type in the last: If there's an attendance record associated with any family member in any of the person's families, and if the attendance is for a group that's of any of the selected types.
  • Any family member has logged into Rock in the last: If any family member in any of the person's families has logged into Rock within the provided time period.
  • Any family member has submitted a prayer request in the last: If a prayer request has been submitted by any family member in any of the person's families during the selected time period.
  • Any family member has a new value for any of the following person attributes in the last: If any of the selected person attributes have an updated value for any family member in any of the person's families during the selected time period. The person attributes are based on the ModifiedDateTime of the attribute value. You can choose to ignore specific attributes by adding the Key of the attribute to the Data Automation Ignored Person Attributes Defined Type.
  • Any family member has an interaction of the following type in the last: If there's an interaction record for any of the selected types for any family member in any of the person's families during the selected time period.
  • The person is in a specified data view: If the person is included in the selected data view.
  • Exclude any person in a specified data view: This option acts as an override. Even if a person meets any of the previous criteria, if they are included in this data view, their record won't be updated.

When the Reactivate People automation runs, the Inactive Reason and Inactive Note fields for each person are cleared.

Allow Automated Reactivation

There may be scenarios where you don't want certain people reactivated even if they meet the conditions you've configured. For instance, someone might have given in the last 90 days but has recently told you they've moved or will no longer be attending. For cases like these you can set Allow Automated Reactivation to "No" for certain inactive reasons (e.g., Moved, No Longer Attending) in the Inactive Record Reason Defined Type under Admin Tools > General Settings > Defined Types > Inactive Record Reason. This will prevent automatic reactivation for any people with the given inactive reason.

Inactivate People

When the Inactivate People option is enabled, every person in the database who matches all of the following criteria (according to your selections) will have their record status updated from 'Active' to 'Inactive'. Each person who's inactivated will also be inactivated in most of the groups to which they belong, including security roles. Once these people have been inactivated in their groups, there's no process to revert that change.

  • The number of days that the records must be older to get considered for Inactivate process: This setting helps ensure that brand new individuals aren’t made inactive only because they haven’t had a chance to engage in any activities yet.
  • No family member has made a contribution in the last: If no contributions have been made by any family members in any of the person's families during the selected time period.
  • No family member has attended any group type that takes attendance in the last: If there are no attendance records associated with any family members in any of the person's families. Any specific group types whose attendance should be ignored by the automated process can be specified in the Ignore any attendance in the following group types field.
  • No family member has registered for any event in the last: If there are no event registrations for any family member in any of the person's families within the provided time period.
  • No family member has logged into Rock in the last: If there are no Rock logins for any family member in any of the person's families within the provided time period.
  • No family member has submitted a prayer request in the last: If no prayer requests have been submitted by any family members in any of the person's families during the selected time period.
  • No family member has a person attribute value updated in the last: If no person attribute values have been updated for any family member in any of the person's families during the selected time period. The person attributes are based on the ModifiedDateTime of the attribute value. Specific attributes you want the automated process to ignore can be selected in the Ignore any updates to the following attributes field.
  • No family member has an interaction of the following type in the last: If there are no interaction records for any of the selected types for any family member in any of the person's families during the selected time period.
  • The person is not in the following data view: If the person isn't included in the selected data view. This option can be used to make sure that certain people, such as staff members, are never inactivated.

When the Inactivate People automation runs, the Inactive Reason for each inactivated person is updated to 'No Activity' and the Inactive Note field is updated to 'Inactivated by the Data Automation Job on mm/dd/yyyy'.

Any person who's inactivated will also be inactivated in all of the groups they belong to, except for those that have a group type with the Don't Inactivate Members option selected.

A Note of Caution

Enabling the Inactivate People automation could have pretty significant ramifications if the options aren't configured correctly. For example, if only one criterion is selected, everyone who doesn't meet that one criterion will be inactivated. For this reason, it's best to select all of the criteria so a person has to match all of the options in order to be inactivated.

Update Family Campus

The Update Family Campus option is available only if you have more than one campus.

When the Update Family Campus option is enabled, the attendance for every family will be evaluated. If the family is attending or giving to a campus other than the one that's currently configured for the family, the campus for the family will be updated. Let's look at how this works.

First, the Data Automation job evaluates the attendance records at a specific location for all members of the family in question to determine if that location has the greatest number of attendance records for the family. Next, the job looks at all of the contributions to campus-specific accounts made by members of the family, to determine if that campus has the greatest number of contributions. Finally, the job uses the following settings to help determine if the campus should be updated:

  • Calculate campus based on the most family attendance to a campus-specific location in the last: Determines how far back attendance records should be evaluated. You can optionally exclude specific schedules from being used in this determination. You can also specify how many times a person should attend a campus before having their family campus updated.
  • Calculate campus based on the most family giving to a campus-specific account in the last: Determines how far back transaction records should be evaluated.
  • If the calculated campus for most attendance and most giving are different: Determines which campus to use if the campus to which the family gives the most isn't the same campus the family attends the most.
  • Ignore any family that has had a campus update in the last: If the campus for a family has been updated within the selected number of days, the DataAutomation job will ignore the family.
  • Ignore any update that would change campus: There may be scenarios where a family attends or gives to a campus other than the one with which they are associated. Exclusions can be added in this field to make the DataAutomation job ignore any specific campus changes based on attendance and/or giving.

Move Adult Children

When the Move Adult Children option is enabled, the DataAutomation job processes people who have a child role in one or more families, but also are of an "adult" age. The default adult age in Rock is 18. The job processes one person (not a group member) at a time. For each person, the job looks at all of the families that person belongs to and their role in each family.

  • If the person is already an adult in any family, then they won't be added to any additional families, but they will be removed from all families where they are a child.
  • If they are currently not an adult in any family, the job checks if they are the only person in any of their families.
    • If they are in a family by themselves, the person will only be updated as an adult in that family and the job will remove them from any other family where they are a child.
    • If they are not an adult in any family and are not the sole member of any family, a new family will be added, and the person will be added to that family as an adult. The person will also be removed from all other families where they are a child.

The job considers the following options:

  • Should children only be moved if they have graduated?: If this option is checked, the job will first look at the graduation year for each person considered. If they don't have a graduation year, they won't be moved. If they have a graduation year in the future (according to the Grade Transition Date and the person's graduation year), they won't be moved.
  • The age a child should be considered an adult: The age to consider a child an adult. The default setting is '18'.
  • An optional known relationship that should be added between the new adult and their parent(s): You can add an optional relationship for the other adults in the original family to have with the updated person. The recommended setting, if you use this, is "Parent".
  • An optional known relationship that should be added between the new adult and their sibling(s): You can add an optional relationship for the siblings in the original family to have with the updated person. The recommended setting, if you use this, is "Sibling".
  • Should the new adult's home address be the same as their current family?: Check this box if the updated person's new family address should be the same as the Home address of the original family. The checkbox is selected by default.
  • If the new adult does not have a home phone, should they use same number as their parent?: Check this box if the updated person's Home phone number should be the same as the Home phone number of the original family. The checkbox is selected by default.
  • The workflow type(s) to launch for each person that is processed: Indicate any optional workflows that should be triggered for each person who's updated. The updated person will be set as the workflow's Entity. If the workflow has an OldFamily and/or NewFamily attribute, the job will set those attributes to the old/new family for the person.
  • The maximum number of records that should be processed at a time: Set the maximum number of people to process on each run of the Data Automation job. The default setting is '200'.

The job also considers the "Lock as Child" option in the Edit Person Advanced Settings. If this option is selected on the person, they won't be made an adult by this job.

Update Connection Status

When the Update Connection Status option is enabled, you can update connection status values based on one or more Data Views. The status is set to one of the values listed below if the person meets the conditions of the data view.

  • Member
  • Attendee
  • Visitor
  • Participant
  • Prospect

Update Family Status

When the Update Family Status option is enabled, you can update family status values based on one or more Data Views. The status is set to either Participant or Unknown if the family meets the conditions of the data view.

General Settings - Gender AutoFill Confidence

Included in the General Settings section of the Data Integrity Screen is an optional DataAutomation task to autofill gender. This task looks for individuals with an unknown gender and attempts to set the correct gender based on the person's first name. The process uses the minimum confidence level (think of this as an accuracy rate) entered in the Gender AutoFill Confidence field to automatically set blank genders while running the Data Automation service job. If the number is set to 0, genders won't be automatically determined. If the number is set to 99.9% (the default setting), only names with genders matching that 99.9% confidence level will be determined. If the individual is a child, the job checks the likely match for gender against the minimum confidence level. If the likelihood of finding a match is greater than the confidence level, the gender is updated. Otherwise, it's left unknown. Adults won't autofill with a gender that's already taken by another adult in the same family.

National Change of Address

The National Change of Address (NCOA) list is a database that the United States Postal Service maintains to reroute your mail to a new address when you move. In other words, it’s a big list of official address changes.

What does that mean for your organization? As you’ve probably experienced, people aren’t always very diligent about letting you know when they move. Even if you notice someone has been absent, it could be that they’re on vacation or have had a change to their work schedule.

Whatever the circumstances may be, as a Rock admin you want to ensure your data is clean and up to date. The NCOA service helps you do that by comparing addresses in your system with their list of address changes.

NCOA Processing

To get your addresses updated and formatted you'll need to go to Tools > Data Integrity > NCOA. If this is your first time there won’t be any data there, but either way you’ll need to click the Process NCOA button near the top-right.

Access Processing
Access Processing

You’ll arrive at the page pictured below. This is where you create a file of people and addresses to send to NCOA. This is also where you’ll upload the results of NCOA’s processing back into Rock, which we'll see later.

Rock NCOA Processing
Rock NCOA Processing
1 TrueNCOA Registration
Click this link to sign up with TrueNCOA if you haven’t already. This step is required before you proceed.
2 Step 1: NCOA Export Tool
You’ll need to have a Data View that returns people in-hand before you can complete the first step. Once you’ve selected your data view, simply click Export File at the bottom of the panel. This will generate a file containing the people in your Data View.
3 Step 2: NCOA Results Uploader
This is where you’ll upload the processed file from TrueNCOA. We’ll circle back to this at the end.

After you’ve selected a Data View and clicked Export File, you’ll see a message at the bottom of the screen with a link to TrueNCOA, where the process will continue.

Record Minimum

If fewer than 100 records are returned by your Data View, you won’t be able to proceed with the export.

If you’re curious, the file Rock produces contains the columns listed below. You don’t need to know this, but it is what you should expect to see if you open the file.

  1. PersonId
  2. PersonAliasId
  3. FamilyId
  4. LocationId
  5. FirstName
  6. LastName
  7. Address Line 1
  8. Address Line 2
  9. City
  10. State
  11. PostalCode
  12. Country

Once you’re in TrueNCOA, you’ll need to upload the file that you just downloaded from Rock. TrueNCOA gives you options for how to upload the data and shows previous files if any exist.

See the Process in Action

Check out this video from TrueNCOA that walks you through the process you’ll need follow.

When the file upload completes, you’ll see a preview of the data that will be processed. Click the Continue button to proceed. Your next step will be to set the mapping. This takes the fields from Rock and maps them to corresponding fields in TrueNCOA where applicable. If there isn’t a direct equivalent, select Pass-Through as pictured below.

NCOA Field Mapping
NCOA Field Mapping

Updating the Field Mapping

Your mapping should pretty much look identical to what's pictured above. The default mapping that TrueNCOA provides will need to be changed in most cases.

When the mapping is completed, you’ll proceed to the next page to confirm everything looks good, or to go back and make corrections if needed. Once you’ve confirmed you’re ready, click the Continue button near the top of the page to proceed.

The processing of the file may take a little while, especially if the file contains many thousands of records. You may need to wait several minutes for completion. Once it’s done, you’ll see a page like the one pictured below. This is where you’ll click the Export button to start the process of getting your results out of NCOA to load back into Rock.

NCOA Export File
NCOA Export File

Click Export, then click Purchase & Download when that option appears. You may be asked to confirm that you’re certain you want to proceed. The export process can take several minutes, especially with larger files, so don’t be surprised if you have to wait.

When the export is finished, you’ll see a button to Download the file. If the download doesn’t start or you don’t see that button, click the Home icon in the top-left corner, where you can see your list of files, including the one that was just exported. Click the file name under Export Files then click the Download button pictured below.

NCOA Download Export File
NCOA Download Export File

Next, you’ll take that file and import it into Rock, from the same NCOA Processing page we saw earlier. Upload the file from TrueNCOA as part of the “Step 2” process. You have some options to work with, but they’re pretty intuitive and you can use the blue info icons to clarify their purpose if needed.

Don't forget!

If someone is inactivated by this process because of a move, they can be automatically re-activated by the Reactivate People portion of the Data Automation job we covered above.

NCOA Import Into Rock
NCOA Import Into Rock

After the file has been processed you can look at the results from the Tools > Data Integrity > NCOA page where we started. This page will list every family whose address was checked, so it can get very long very quickly. Be sure to use the Filter Options to narrow the list to only the records you want to see.

NCOA Results Page
NCOA Results Page

Additional Information

You won't need this since we handle everything behind the scenes for you, but if you want more details on the process you can check out the below guides from TrueNCOA:

  1. TrueNCOA Input File Guide
  2. TrueNCOA Output File Guide

Connection Status Changes

As the name implies, the Connection Status Changes tool lets you see (you guessed it!) changes in connection statuses. Since we’re already clear on its purpose, let’s dive right in and take a look at how to use it:

Connection Status Changes
Connection Status Changes
1 Date Range
You can narrow the results to status changes that occurred within a time period you choose. You can also leave the Date Range blank to view changes on any date.
2 Campus
Only people from the selected campus will be shown in the results. You can leave it blank to show individuals from all campuses. This is disabled if you have only one campus.
3 Original Status
If selected, only changes from this status will be shown in the results. This can be left blank to view changes from any status.
4 Updated Status
If selected, only changes to this status will be shown in the results. This can be left blank to view changes to any status.
5 Apply
Use this button to apply the above selections to the results.
6 Results
Individuals who match all criteria provided are listed here after clicking the Apply button.


With Interactions, you gain insight into every interaction between people and Rock, capturing every click, every email opened, and every page viewed. Located at Tools > Interactions, this feature offers a comprehensive view of website engagements. Dive into the specifics of each interaction (date, time, browser, operating system, etc.) to easily analyze people’s journeys through Rock. With this wealth of data, administrators are equipped for robust reporting, analytics, strategic planning, and informed web design decisions. And stay tuned, because we regularly add functionalities to empower your analysis further.

Interaction Channels

We’ll start by talking about Interaction Channels. Interaction Channels organize interaction data, distinguishing between various types. For example, channels include Rock RMS (your internal site) and Rock Check-in. Each channel is associated with a Medium Type which further classifies it.

Interaction Channels
Interaction Channels
1 Filter Options
Here you can choose to see only channels with a certain Medium Type, or you can choose to include inactive channels in the list.
2 Interaction Channels
This is simply the list of interaction channels. We think Rock comes with the channels you’ll need, but it is possible to add new ones to the list with help from a developer.
3 Interaction Medium Type
As noted above, this is the type of medium that’s associated with a channel. Most channels have a medium of “Website” (someone visiting one of your sites) or System Events (events that occur within Rock).

Interaction Sessions

Interaction Channels with a Website medium contain data on sessions. A session usually kicks off when someone logs in and wraps up when they log out, catching all their actions in between. You've got loads of info about your site's traffic at your fingertips.

Interaction Sessions
Interaction Sessions
1 Interaction Channel
This is where you would go to make changes to the Interaction Channel itself. Generally, you won’t make any changes here.
2 Interactions Session List
All of the sessions that Rock has captured are listed below this header. Here you can also filter by Person (the person who visited your site) or by the date of the interaction.
3 Session Data
As you can see, a variety of data points are provided to you, including the length of the session, the name of the person, and what sort of technology they were using to access the site.
4 Visited Pages
In this case, below each Session Data header, we see the list of pages that the person visited, in the order in which they visited them. Clicking on any item in this list will bring you to that page.

Usually, when relevant, clicking on a visited page not only directs you to the page but also to the exact item the person was viewing. For example, if someone accessed a specific group in the Group Viewer, clicking the “Group Viewer” link would take you directly to that group.

Interaction Components

Many Interaction Channels have Components instead of Sessions. Let’s look at an example component.

Pictured below is the Prayer Events channel. This keeps tabs on when someone prays for a request (not when a request is submitted). Under the “Components” heading, you'll see two entries, one for each person. These are the people who submitted a prayer request.

Interaction Components
Interaction Components

Clicking on any component row provides details about the component. In the screenshot below, you can view who was prayed for, the content of the prayer request, and a summary of the interaction (i.e., prayer session). From this, we can see that the person praying did so from the external website.

Component Detail
Component Detail

Finally, clicking on the interaction reveals its associated details. In this instance, we find that it was Alisha who prayed for Ted Decker from the external website.

Interaction Detail
Interaction Detail

The same types of structures described above apply to other interaction channels. They simply capture different things from different places.

Interaction Intents

Interactions offer valuable insights, but what if you want to delve deeper into understanding why people engage with your content? Enter Interaction Intents. With Interaction Intents, you can tag specific elements within Rock, such as pages and content items, enhancing the data gathered by interactions with those elements. By associating interactions with meaningful intents, you unlock the possibilities that come from knowing why a person visited a page or what they saw while there.

Interaction Intents
Interaction Intents

To start, let’s delve into customizing your list of Interaction Intents.

In Rock, there’s a Defined Type called Interaction Intent which contains the different Intents. Initially, you'll find the predefined values. By adding your own intents, you expand the functionality of Interactions, ensuring it aligns with your ministry goals and priorities.

Interaction Intent List
Interaction Intent List

With your list of intents ready, you can assign them to Content Channel Items and Pages in Rock. Note, you can record intent data outside of these areas using Lava. We'll touch on that later.

Content Chanel Items

Navigate to Admin Tools > CMS Configuration > Content Channels and select the channel containing the items you want to associate with an Intent. As pictured below, all you need to do is select the Intents from the list.

Content Channel Item Intent
Content Channel Item Intent

Just don’t forget, the block where the item is being viewed needs to have interaction logging enabled.

Enable Interaction Logging
Enable Interaction Logging

Intents on Pages

You can also add Intents to pages. This works the same way, you’ll just head to Admin Tools > CMS Configuration > Pages and edit the desired page. You can add Intents under the Advanced Settings panel, as pictured below.

Add Intent to Page
Add Intent to Page

Logging Intent Interactions with Lava

We didn’t want to limit how and when Interaction Intents get recorded. So, we have a Lava command that will let you log an intent interaction anywhere Lava can be used. For full details and instructions, check out our Lava documentation.

Interaction Intent Write
Interaction Intent Write

Reporting on Intents

Let’s get your hands on this data! Rock ships with a Data View filter specifically for Interaction Intents. Simply select your desired intent(s), specify the frequency of the person’s interactions, and set date criteria. That’s all it takes to effortlessly identify and analyze member engagement based on their interactions with your website’s content. For more information on working with Data Views in general, check out our Taking Off With Reporting manual.

Interaction Intent Data View
Interaction Intent Data View

PBX CDR Records

Some of the interaction channels, such as Wi-Fi Presence and PBX CDR Records, need to be configured to be available to your organization. Let's take a closer look at one of those channels—PBX CDR Records—in this section.

A PBX, short for Private Branch Exchange, functions as a telephone system within an organization. It routes calls between individuals on local lines and enables sharing of external phone lines. Essentially, it facilitates communication within your organization. PBX CDR Records downloads call detail records for these calls, storing them in interaction tables. This data is invaluable for mapping real-life relationships within your organization and enabling click-to-call technology, where Rock handles your calls with a simple click.

You'll need a plug-in to let Rock talk to your phone system. You can write your own, or you can use one of the plugins available in the Rock Shop, such as Digium Switchvox. Additional PBX plugins will be added as this technology becomes more widely used.

IP Address Geocoding

Similar to how Rock works with email services or address standardization services, Rock includes a component that will let you subscribe to a service that can perform geocoding on IP addresses. This will take an IP address and give you a physical location for it. Why would you want that? Well, there are a wealth of IP address data in your Interaction's InteractionSession table that you could use to "see" where your visitors are coming from. For instance, you can get the person's IP address, the country, the Internet Service Provider and more, as detailed in the chart below.

To start geocoding IP addresses, you'll need to subscribe to an IP address geocoding service. Currently only Ipregistry is supported. To get started with Ipregistry, consider using our affiliate link to help earn Spark free lookups, while not costing you anything extra.

We've looked around, and Ipregistry is among the best in the industry and is one of the cheaper options because you only pay for what you use. They even have features available to help you set spending limits. Their system uses credits, and Rock helps you save credits by checking for existing IP addresses that were already geocoded in the last 90 days, so they're not needlessly sent again. After 90 days we'll check again to make sure everything is accurate and updated. The 90-day time period is not configurable.

Budgeting for Geocoding

After you've done the initial geocoding of the IP addresses that are already in your system, you can expect 7% of your page views will need to be geocoded. So, if you get 15,000 page views a day, expect to need around 1,050 geocodes a day. Each geocode costs around $0.0001, so that's about 10 cents a day.

Once you're subscribed to the service, you'll need to configure the IP Address Location Service component located at Admin Tools > System Settings > IP Address Location Service. The setup here is pretty simple, just provide the API Key from Ipregistry and make it Active.

With your configuration in place, Rock's Populate Interaction Session Data job can start using it to sift through your interaction records to populate any missing details in the InteractionSessionLocation table. Below are some of the properties available on this table.

Property Description Example
CountryCode This is a two-letter code that represents a country. US = United States
CA = Canada
MX = Mexico
GeoPoint The geopoint is the geographical location (latitude/longitude) associated with the IP address, telling you where visitors to your site are coming from. -121.88996 37.33262
31.1326 -26.31511
9.49101 51.29926
ISP This is the Internet Service Provider that the visitor to your site is using. Verizon Business
Google LLC
AT&T Corp.
Location For the United States, the location will be the city and the state associated with the IP address. For other countries you may see a region, province or country. Sun City, Arizona
London, England
Sydney, New South Wales
PostalCode This will be the zip code for visitors from the United States. For other countries you may see different types of codes. Some locations will not have a PostalCode. 85029
114 46
RegionCode For the United States, this will be the abbreviation for the state the person is in. In other countries this code may represent a region, province or country. AZ = Arizona
EN = England
QC = Quebec

Check Your Site Settings

In order for this to work, be sure Log Page Views and Enable Page View Geo Tracking are both enabled for your site in the site's Advanced Settings under Admin Tools > CMS Configuration > Sites. You'll need to enable these for each site you want to do this for.

As noted above, the Populate Interaction Session Data job is what goes through IP addresses in your system and geocodes them through Ipregistry. Let's take a look at this job's settings.

Populate Interaction Session Data
Populate Interaction Session Data
1 IP Address Geocoding Component
Here you'll select the service that takes your IP addresses and geocodes them. If this is left blank, then Rock will use the first Active component/service it finds.
2 Lookback Maximum (days)
By default, only IP addresses that have been logged in the past 30 days are processed by the job. You can set this to look back much further, but remember you'll have to pay for all that data.
3 Max Records To Process Per Run
This is the number of IP addresses to process on each run of the job. This could reflect any number of interactions, because several different interactions could have the same IP address. The job will not reprocess IP addresses that have already been processed within the past 90 days.

Currently, the only place you'll see this data will be in Media Analytics. Otherwise, to use this data you'll need to do a little coding and reference the InteractionSessionLocation table.


"You can't manage what you can't measure."

-Peter Drucker

Ask any ministry leader and they’ll tell you how crucial it is to understand the makeup of your congregation. The Insights feature gives you a powerful tool to do just that. With easy-to-read graphs and statistics, you can gain valuable insights (see why we called it that?) into the completeness of your church’s data and the demographics of your congregation.

But it's not just about collecting data. Insights are used to make informed, data-driven decisions about how to best serve your congregation. For instance, if you notice that there is a disproportionate number of men versus women, you can develop specific outreach programs to attract more women to your church. Or you might notice that you’re not collecting enough of the right types of information. Either way, Insights help you target areas of potential growth.

To access Insights, navigate to Tools > Insights.


Each of these items has a corresponding metric under the Insights Metrics category. Having this data in metrics means you can see changes over time.

General Settings

To make Rock a configurable and flexible tool, we’ve added a lot of settings you can tweak to make it work for your organization. While these settings may seem intimidating at first, once you learn more about them, you’ll become more and more comfortable. Let’s look at each of the major configuration sections and we’ll briefly explain what each one does. All of these areas can be found under the Admin Tools menu item.

General Settings

Rock Update

Updates are one of Rock’s best features. Many systems require tedious software updates only the vendor can complete. Not so with Rock. When an update is made available, all you need to do is visit this screen to check the details. When you’re ready, simply click the Install button. Rock will then download and install the updates for you. How easy is that?!

Global Attributes

Global attributes (Admin Tools > General Settings > Global Attributes) are the basic configuration settings that are used to customize Rock. Each has a default value that you can override. Many of these are set up during the installation process. Below is a list of some of the core settings and descriptions.

Setting Description
Organization Name The name of the organization that's running Rock. This was set for you during the install, but you can modify it at any time.
Organization Abbreviation There will be times when you want to refer to your organization in a less formal manner. Enter an Organization Abbreviation to provide this value.
Organization Address The primary address of the organization. If you're a multi-site organization, this should be the address of your central team location. Each of your campuses will have its own address elsewhere.
Organization Email The default email bucket for the organization. This will be the default address used in the From field of bulk emails. This is commonly
Organization Phone The primary phone number for the organization.
Organization Website The primary website for the organization.
Public Application Root Many times, this will be the address of your external website, if it's hosted on Rock. It's the address that will be used in links that are sent out to the public, such as If your organization's primary website isn't hosted on Rock, it's important that this setting remain the public address of the Rock server (not your organization's primary website) as this setting is used for providing linkbacks for things like images and webhooks.
Internal Application Root Similar to the Public Application Root setting above, this is the address of the internal Rock website. It will be used to construct links on the internal site. Many organizations configure their DNS to be
Update Server URL This is the address that Rock uses to look for updates. It should not be changed.
Google API Key Rock uses Google Maps for many of its features. This requires what's known as an API key to use the maps. While there was a setup step in the post-install checklist, you can change this key at any time. See below for details on setting up this key.
Google ReCaptcha Site Key This is one of the two API keys needed to use ReCaptcha in Rock. To obtain this key, go to and click “v3 Admin Console” near the top of the page. You’ll need to log in with a Google account. Select reCAPTCHA v2 as the reCAPTCHA Type and complete the rest of the form. Upon submission, you’ll be provided with your Site Key and Secret Key.
Google ReCaptcha Secret Key This is one of the two API keys needed to use ReCaptcha in Rock. See the above entry for directions on obtaining this key.
Email Exceptions List "Exceptions" is a technical term for errors. This setting is a list of email addresses that should receive an email when these errors occur. Keep in mind that errors do happen, and don’t worry if you get a notification email occasionally. Rock also keeps a list of every exception in the database, so you don’t need to keep these emails. Just think of them as an FYI.
Email Exceptions Filter Oftentimes exceptions will occur when search indexes (like Google or Bing) scan your site and reference pages incorrectly. While these exceptions will always get logged, you can use this setting to prevent a notification email from being sent for these (and any other) types of exceptions. When any exception occurs, Rock will evaluate the client's HTTP Server variables for any variable you specify in the Key. If that server variable exists, and its value contains what you entered in the Value, the notification won't be sent. In addition to server variable names, if you use a key of 'Type', 'Source', 'Message' or 'StackTrace', Rock will check to see if the current exception's values for those keys contain what you entered for the value and if so, the notification won't be sent.
Grade Transition Date The date your organization uses to promote kids to the next grade level. Grades are calculated in Rock based on the future graduation date from the 12th grade. This date is used to update the grade each year. While the default date of 6/1 will probably work for most organizations, you can modify it to match the needs of your community.
Email Header / Email Footer The HTML that makes up the header and footer for emails that are sent from Rock. These settings are only used for system communications. You can create multiple different email templates to use in Rock. See the Communicating With Rock guide for more information on best practices in email templates.
Email Header Logo This is the logo that should be used in the email header. If the logo displays as a broken link, be sure to check that your Public Application Root setting is correct since this is used to help generate the link to the logo.
Password Regular Expression A secure password means different things to different people. By default, all passwords in Rock need to be at least six characters long and can only contain letters and/or numbers. If you like to require passwords to include special characters and/or mixed case letters, you can provide a regular expression that all passwords are required to match.
Password Rules Friendly Description When you change the regular expression required for passwords, you’ll want to change the description of the password requirements that people see on the website. Use this setting to describe what a valid password must contain.
Job Pulse This isn't really a setting; it continuously displays the date and time that jobs last ran. You can use this to confirm that jobs are running correctly.
Log 404s As Exceptions This tells Rock whether File Not Found errors (404s) should be treated as exceptions. For the most part, you'll want to leave this off. You can enable it if you’d like to find all of the broken links on your website.
Preferred Email Link Type This setting is used to configure the type of email links you'd like Rock to use. 'New Communication' will cause Rock to link to the New Communication page, while 'Mailto' will configure Rock to use a mailto tag which will take the individual to their configured mail client.
Lava Support Level This setting allows you to choose your support level for old Lava syntax. In short, you can either allow legacy Lava or not. Generally, and especially for organizations new to Rock, this should be set to "NoLegacy".

Editing A Global Attribute

You can click the row to edit the attribute's value. This is the standard way to, for example, change your organization’s phone number or enable auditing.

You’ll also notice a icon for each row. While clicking the row will let you edit the attribute’s value, clicking allows you to update the attribute itself. Typically, there won’t be any reason to do this.

Creating a Google Maps API Key

Let’s take a moment to look more closely at the “Google API Key” global attribute. We’re giving this particular attribute a lot of attention because there are several steps involved with setting it up correctly.

Rock's Group Viewer can display a static map showing a group's location, but to do so it requires you to set up a Google Maps API Key and activate the Google Maps JavaScript and Static APIs. Below are the steps you’ll need to get started.


Google provides a large number of free credits each month, so you shouldn’t be charged for using maps in Rock.

  1. Go to the Google Maps Platform welcome page then click Get Started.
  2. You'll need to log in with a Google account.
  3. If prompted, provide the requested account information:
    Account Information
  4. If prompted, provide the requested payment information. Your card will not be charged unless you manually upgrade to a paid account.
    Payment Information Verification
  5. Answer the provided questions according to your organization.
    Google Maps Platform Questions
  6. Click the copy button next to the API key to copy it to your clipboard.
    Copy API Key
  7. In Rock, on the Global Attributes page (Admin Tools > General Settings > Global Attributes) click the "Google API Key" row to edit and add the key value.

Protect Your API Key

After obtaining your key, you may optionally choose to implement a restriction type, to limit where the API key works. For instance, you might choose HTTP referrers and provide your website as* to limit its use to only your website. If you're not sure what to choose we recommend consulting with your IT department.

Back in Google, navigate to the "dashboard" on the API manager and click on the button labeled "ENABLE API". This brings you to a page listing all the available API's. Under the Google Maps API click on the JavaScript API. Then you'll choose your project, and once that's loaded, you'll select the "ENABLE" button near the top center of the page. You'll also need to enable the Static API for static maps used by blocks like Group Finder.

Defined Types

Defined Types are settings that are specific to a certain feature. In the list, you’ll find settings for Check-in, Giving, Marketing Campaigns, Metrics and People. Each of these will be discussed more in sections relevant to each feature, but let’s look quickly at how you can edit these settings.

Each Defined Type can have multiple values (cleverly called Defined Values). To edit the values for a Defined Type, simply click on the item in the grid you want to edit. You'll then be taken to a new screen where you can edit its values.

A basic example is the “Ability Level” Defined Type. There are three ability levels that can be used in the system (Infant, Crawling or Walking, or Potty Trained) and each is set up as a Defined Value within the Defined Type.

Defined Value Categories

Each Defined Type has an option that allows you to categorize its Defined Values. For instance, if you're using a person attribute of type Categorized Defined Value then this lets you find and select a Defined Value based on its category, without having to go through the full list of all available Defined Values. The categories are maintained within the Defined Type itself if Enable Categorized Values is enabled, as pictured below. Each category can have child categories if needed.

Defined Value Categories
Defined Value Categories

Keep in mind that when a Defined Value doesn't have a category, it will always be available. If a Defined Value has a category in cases where there are child categories beneath it, it will appear in the list when looking at the child categories.

Group Types

The Group Types screen is used to add new types of groups and to modify those that already exist. These settings are discussed in detail in the Rock Your Groups guide.


If your organization has several sites, you can manage them here. Check out the Campuses chapter to see the various options available to you.


Tags allow you to categorize any entity (person, content channel, etc.) into groupings based on a descriptive label. The default entity is Person, but you can change it to any entity you want. The possibilities here are endless, and the results can be super beneficial to your organization.

Tags are discussed in detail in the Person and Family Field Guide.

As an administrator, you'll be responsible for the classification of organizational and personal tags. Only administrators can create an organizational tag and convert a personal tag to an organizational tag. Only those with tagging rights can add security to tags.

Create A New Organizational Tag

To create a new organizational tag, first be sure that your filter settings are set to view only organizational tags. Once this is set, simply click the button in the footer of the grid.

Converting A Personal Tag to An Organizational Tag

Before converting the tag, be sure that the filter for the tag list is set to show only personal tags. Next, find the tag you want to convert and click its row on the grid. You'll then be taken to the edit screen where you can convert it to an organizational tag.

Securing Tags

Organizational tags can be secured, which limits who can see them. Tagging rights are based on security configuration, and this advanced usage is typically done by administrators. You can add security to a tag by clicking on the button in that tag's detail screen, located at Admin Tools > General Settings > Tags. For more information about security configuration, see the Securing Rock chapter.

Workflow Configuration

Rock is built on top of a powerful workflow engine. These workflows can be configured using the screens found in this section. Creating and configuring workflows is covered in the Blasting Off With Workflows guide.

Workflow Triggers

You can configure a workflow to be launched whenever an entity record is changed or deleted. See the Blasting Off With Workflows guide for more information on configuring workflow triggers.

File Types

Rock can be made to store and manage several different types of files. These include things like images for marketing campaigns, label templates for check-in and the pictures of individuals that display on the Person Profile page. These files can be saved in different storage types. The two main storage types are:

  • Database: The files are stored as BLOBs (Binary Large OBjects) in the database. Database storage is a good solution for items that you’d like backed up with your data. Database storage is also a bit more secure since the files are stored in an additional layer of security in the database.
  • File System: Files using this storage type are stored on the webserver’s file system. They are securely stored in a directory that can't be directly linked to. This storage type is best for large files that might eat up your valuable database storage space.
File Type Settings
File Type Settings

Each file type is assigned a storage type to use. You also have the ability to cache files of this type and set a Cacheability Type. Caching is especially useful when using storage types other than the file system since they tend to be a bit slower. Enabling the cache will store a cached version on the server file system to improve speed. Caching is also very useful when working with images. Rock can size images on the fly, which is very powerful, but it can impact performance, especially with large source images. When caching is enabled, though, the resized image is cached, so the resize isn't required in the future until the image is updated.

Named Locations

This configuration screen allows you to define specific locations with a name. You'll want to use this to define your campuses, buildings and rooms. These Named Locations can then be used with configuring groups, check-in, etc.


The Devices page is used to manage devices that interact with Rock in some way. Today this is primarily used to help manage check-in kiosks and label printers, but in the future, we hope to add support for all types of devices.


Several features require the configuration of repeating schedules. For instance, check-in needs to know your organization’s schedules to be able to configure the time check-in should start. These screens allow you to create those schedules.

Attribute Categories

Everything stored in Rock can have attributes added to it. For example, we can add numerous attributes to a person according to what's important to your organization. In an effort to keep this from becoming unmanageable, you can group your attributes into categories. These screens help define these categories and provide some basic configuration for each.

The first step in adding a category is to filter by the data entity you wish to work with. The default, and most often used, is Person. For each category you can provide a description and give it an icon to use on the Rock screens.

Prayer Categories

The prayer features use categories to help organize and classify prayer requests. See the Raising Up With Prayer guide for more information on configuring prayer features.

Person Attributes

This screen allows you to manage the person attributes you've configured in the system. See our Person and Family Field Guide for more information.


Badges are simple icons that express details about a person’s involvement or activity with your organization. Examples of badges would be baptism or attendance rate. You can view badges in places like the Person Profile or in Connection Requests. See our Person and Family Field Guide for more information.

Merge Templates

This is where you'll manage the systemwide merge templates. You can find out more about merge templates in the Merge Documents chapter of this guide.

Group Requirement Types

This page allows you to manage the group requirements for your organization. You can learn more about group requirements in the Rock Your Groups guide.

Signature Documents

This page allows you to house templates for documents that require signatures, such as registration forms. Click the button to add a new document. You can learn more about electronic signatures in the Electronic Signatures chapter of this guide.

Universal Search Control Panel

This screen allows you to configure the Universal Search settings. To learn more about Universal Search, see the Universal Search manual.

Attribute Matrix Templates

The Attribute Matrix Templates screen allows you to create a dynamic layout of multiple field types of your choosing. Like a spreadsheet, the matrix is made up of rows and columns. You can use Lava to customize the fields, but what's provided out of the box will likely fit most of your needs. Keep in mind that attribute matrix templates aren't reportable (yet), but this powerful tool allows you to dynamically populate pages with just about any information you want. For example, you can create a matrix of phone number attributes, then customize a page to display those numbers on the fly.

Creating an attribute matrix is a two-step process. First, create your template in the Attribute Matrix Templates screen, then configure the page to display the matrix. You can learn more about page customization in the Designing and Building Websites Using Rock guide.

Tag Categories

This screen allows you to view and configure tag categories. To learn more about tags, see the Tags chapter of the Person & Family Field Guide.

Archived Groups

This screen allows you to view groups that have been archived and allows you to unarchive them. To learn more, see the Rock Your Groups manual.

Group Member Schedule Templates

This allows you to add or modify group member volunteer/serving schedule preferences. Examples include every week, every other week, etc. To learn more, see the Rock Your Groups manual.

Document Types

Use the Document Types page to manage documents for use by any entity. This block provides a summary of the document types, the file type and the associated entity type.

See the Entity Documents chapter for full details.

CMS Configuration

Rock is built on top of a very powerful Content Management System (CMS). A detailed review of Rock’s CMS tools is outside the scope of this guide, but we do want to provide you with a high-level overview of these settings. For full details on any of these configuration settings, check out the Designing and Building Websites Using Rock guide.

CMS Settings
CMS Settings


The routes section lists all the routes, or URL page names, in use for both the internal and external pages of your site. Some routes come preconfigured in Rock. The ability to edit these system routes is limited, but custom routes you create are fully editable.


The sites section lists your Rock websites. Rock initially comes configured with several different sites for different purposes. Below are a few:

  • Rock Internal: The internal site used by the organization’s staff to manage people, groups and the system in general.
  • External Website: The primary portal for those outside the organization.
  • Check-in: The site that's used for the check-in system.

You can add as many sites as you wish. For instance, the site that Spark Development Network uses to manage Rock has all of the sites above plus two additional ones. One hosts the Spark site ( and the other hosts the Rock site ( Notice that each site looks different and unique from the outside but shares a common set of data and configuration.

Block Types

Every page in Rock is made up of several blocks. These blocks are the core unit of functionality. For the most part, anything you see on a page is a part of one block or another. The Block Types page lists all the types of blocks available.


While most of the configuration for a page can be completed directly on the page itself, there are times when it’s difficult to navigate to a supporting page if it isn’t shown in the main navigation. This screen lists all the pages defined in Rock in a simple tree display to help you get where you’re going. New pages can also be added here.

Content Channel Types

Rock's dynamic content capabilities are a cornerstone of its content management system (CMS) feature set. The Content Channel Types page is where you'll define the data structures for dynamic content.

Content Channels

The Content Channels represent the actual data that's defined for use by the CMS tools.

File Manager

The File Manager allows individuals to upload files and manage directories on your Rock host server.


Rock comes preconfigured with several themes, all of which you can customize using the Theme Styler. You can also get creative, though, and design your own. All themes, both system and custom, will be listed here, and you can access the Theme Styler for each from this page.

Short Links

You can create short links for the internal and external pages of your site either from this screen, or by clicking the button in the admin tool bar. All of your short links will be listed here.

Lava Shortcodes

Shortcodes are a way to make Lava simpler and easier to read. They allow you to use a simple Lava tag in place of a complex template written by a Lava specialist, which means you can do some really powerful things without having to know exactly how everything works. Rock comes with some Lava shortcodes preconfigured, but you can create your own. All of your shortcodes will be listed on this screen. To read more about shortcodes and how to author them, see the The Long & Short on Shortcodes manual and the Lava guide.

Font Awesome Settings

Font Awesome is the easiest way to add icons throughout Rock. There's a free version already linked to Rock that's ready and available for use. You can optionally upgrade to a Pro version for more icons.

Cache Manager

The Cache Manager lets you manage the information cached on your Rock server(s) through the use of cache tags. Cache tags work a bit like personal and organizational tags, except in this case you're tagging types of information. Using the Cache Manager, you can tell Rock to clear the cache of information based on those tags. There are two sides when it comes to configuring and using the Cache Manager: the more user-friendly web person side, and the more technical, IT person side. Let's look at the web person side first.

Clear Cache by Tag

From the Cache Manager screen, you can add and view cache tags, clear the cache by cache tag, view cache statistics, and clear the cache by type.

Cache Manager Screen
Cache Manager

The complete list of cache tags, as well as their descriptions and number of items (called Linked Keys) currently cached by each tag are listed in the Cache Tags section of the screen. To clear cached items by a particular tag, click the button for that tag. Clearing the tagged items from the cache won't change the associated linked key number.

Add Cache Tags

Click the button to add a new cache tag. Tag names must be all lowercase with no spaces. Once created, they are stored as a defined value of the Cache Tag Defined Type and can't be deleted.

Add Cache Tag
Cache Manager Add Tag

Current Cache Statistics

The Cache Statistics section of the screen displays the statistics for the cache type selected in the Cache Types field. Here's a breakdown of the stats provided:

  • Hits – The number of times something was looked for and found in the cache.
  • Misses – The number of times something was looked for but not found in the cache.
  • Adds – The number of items added to the cache.
  • Gets – The number of cache requests (i.e., the total number of hits and misses).
  • Clears – The number of times a clear was performed on the cache.

Because these statistics aren't used very frequently, they're turned off by default. This helps improve overall system performance. You can choose to Enable Statistics using the checkbox near the top of the page. Keep in mind that enabling statistics causes Rock to restart, so it’s best to do this when there isn’t much activity on your site.

Clearing Cache by Type

You can clear the cache of the item types specified in the Cache Types field by clicking the Clear Cache button.

Asset Manager

The Asset Manager allows you to browse and manage assets in the provider.

Content Component Templates

Out of the box, Rock comes with three preconfigured content component templates. Use Lava to create your own.

Content Channel Item Attribute Categories

Use this page to add or modify categories for content channel item attributes. You can edit the name, description, icon or highlight color.

Persisted Datasets

With Persisted Datasets you can shape data for speed and reuse demanding queries without worrying about performance. For all the details, see the Designing and Building Websites Using Rock guide.

Content Channel Categories

Content Channel Categories let you group and organize your content channels according to how they're used. This page is where those categories can be configured. A content channel can be in more than one category if it's needed in different areas. See the Designing and Building Websites Using Rock guide for more information.

Media Accounts

From here you can manage your media accounts and view analytics for individual media elements. For full details see the Digital Media chapter below.

Shared Links

This is where you can create and maintain bookmark links that are accessible by others in your organization. These shared links appear with a person's Personal Links. For full details check out the Person and Family Field Guide.

Personalization Segments

Content on your Rock website can be personalized to the person viewing it. Personalization Segments let you filter content based on something about the person or based on a person's actions. See the Designing and Building Websites Using Rock guide for more information.

Request Filters

Content on your Rock website can be personalized to the person viewing it. Request Filters relate to the technical characteristics of the visitor's browsing session. You could use a request filter to show content only if the person is on a mobile device, or if they're coming from a certain IP address. See the Designing and Building Websites Using Rock guide for more information.


Due to the sensitive nature of the data in Rock, it's important that you secure it wisely. This next section displays configurations specific to customizing the security of Rock.


User Accounts

While you can find a specific user’s accounts on their Person Profile page, you can see a list of all user accounts on these screens. This helps determine which person is tied to a specific account and allows you to monitor general login activity.

Security Roles

Security roles are used to lock down features and data in Rock. While you can configure Rock at the user level (allow and deny specific users), it's much easier to assign people to roles and then build security around those groups. This adds consistency to your security model, which leads to fewer mistakes. The security role pages allow you to manage your roles and to add individuals to them.

It's important that you think strategically as you create security roles for your organization. A little planning in the beginning can prevent a jumbled mess of roles in the end. You’ll also want to think about a naming scheme for your roles. While it sounds trivial, a good naming convention can significantly reduce confusion. We suggest using a naming convention of:
prefix – area action (RSR – Prayer Administration)

We've added helpful prefixes for you to use:

  • RSR – This stands for 'Resource Role'. Roles with this prefix are used to secure various 'Resources' in Rock.
  • APP – These roles are used to secure various applications that use Rock. For example, Rock ships with a role of 'APP – Check-in Devices' that's used to provide security to the check-in site.
  • WEB – You'll quickly find the need to add several new roles that allow your staff and volunteers to edit parts of the website. Adding the 'WEB' prefix to these roles allows you to group these roles together.
  • GROUP – While not technically a prefix, Rock will dynamically add this prefix for you when it lists groups that, while not a 'Security Role' group type, are marked to be considered a 'Security Role'.

Feel free to add new prefixes that make sense to your organization.

REST Controllers

One way you can build applications that extend Rock is through a technology called REST (REpresentational State Transfer, If this seems Greek to you, don’t worry. Most developers are familiar with it. The screens in this area help document all of the REST APIs that are available to you. From these screens you can also manage REST API security to ensure only authorized applications can access the data.

Audit Information

Most changes to the Rock database are tracked in a special audit table. The information in these tables is presented in the screens of this section. This is a helpful tool for you to see what changes are being made and by whom. You can also use these logs to write custom SQL reports or create custom jobs that take action after certain changes.

Entity Administration

Entities are specific types of data. A person is a type of entity. So is a group, an email communication and a financial transaction. For those of you familiar with databases, an entity is like a table in your database. In fact, many entities do have a corresponding table in the database. These sets of screens allow you to view and configure the entities in Rock.

There are only two configuration items that you need to worry about. The first is whether the entity is "common." Common entities are shown at the top of the list when you need to select from a list of entities. We've preconfigured Groups and People to be common, but you may wish to add more (especially if you start adding custom entities of your own).

The second configuration item you’ll want to note is related to security. You can also add security to entities to help protect the data they contain. For instance, we've configured the Financial Transactions entity to only be viewable by those in the finance security roles. This is especially useful when it comes to using the reporting features of Rock. The security you define here will be used by the reporting engine to ensure that only authorized individuals can access sensitive data.

Authentication Services

Rock can be configured to allow several types of authentication during the login process. The available options out of the box are:

  • Auth0: Auth0 provides authentication and authorization as a service. For full details, see the Auth0 Integration section.
  • Database: This is the most common authentication type for most organizations. This stores the user's username and password in the database. The user's password is stored in a one-way encrypted format so it can't be retrieved by any means.
  • Active Directory: If your organization uses a Microsoft Active Directory for network logins, Rock can use it to authenticate your staff. To enable this service, you'll first need to activate it and provide the address of a Domain Controller server along with the Domain Name of your network. Then, you'll then be able to configure Active Directory logins for your staff under the Security tab on their Person Profile pages.
  • PIN Authentication: This authentication service is primarily used in the Check-in Manager to provide a quick way to authenticate on touch devices. This authentication only requires a username made up of numbers.
  • Facebook: You can also enable the use of an individual's Facebook account as authentication to Rock. This makes their life a little easier because they have one less password to remember. In order to enable this, you'll need to configure a Facebook application.
  • Google: This authentication provider allows guests to use their Google account with Rock.
  • Twitter: As you can probably guess... yes, you can use Twitter as an authentication source.
  • OidcClient: OpenID Connect (OIDC) is an open standard for verifying the identity of an individual in one system based on the authentication performed by another system. In this case, Rock would be the Client, allowing people to log in to Rock using credentials from another system. For more information on using Rock as an OIDC Server see the OpenID Connect chapter of this guide.

Implementing Authentication

Once you implement a new authentication service, you'll need to enable it on each login page where you want it used.


When writing applications that use Rock's REST API, you'll need to use keys for authentication. These keys can be set up and configured here. See Rock's developer documentation for more information on using REST keys in your applications.


Writing secure web applications requires that all domains that use your server's REST API be authorized using Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS). You can define these allowed domains here.

Inspect Security

The Inspect Security page does just what the name implies: allows you to quickly verify a person's security settings. It also allows admins to "pop the trunk" on their own security settings when they lock themselves out of Rock. (It happens sometimes.) To read more about verifying permissions, see the Securing Rock chapter of this manual.

Person Signal Types

Signals are discreet flags that can be assigned to a person to bring attention to a sensitive or private matter. As with most aspects of Rock, signals are highly customizable. They can be used to flag anything from security concerns to high-level lay leads and everything in between. Check out the Person Signal Types chapter of the Person & Family Field Guide to learn more about this powerful feature.

OpenID Connect Clients

When you're using Rock's OpenID Connect server feature, this is where you'll go to add your clients. We cover this area in detail in the OpenID Connect chapter below.

Security Settings

From the Security Settings page you can manage how people with different Account Protection Profiles are handled by Rock.

These settings are in place to help avoid account hijack attempts, and to avoid someone logging in as someone else by using things like a tokenized link in an email or Rock's impersonation feature. For instance, people with higher Protection Profile levels will have duplicate records created whenever a check for an existing record would otherwise be performed, like when filling out an online form. This helps ensure the existing account is secured and protected against malicious activities. We know duplicates stink, but you can't come down to zero duplicates and have good security.

As described below, there are also protections around who can merge certain duplicate records when they're created. If an account has a Protection Profile of High or Extreme, then the person doing the merge will need the specified security role to combine the records. To protect these accounts, the roles you assign should be ones that are limited to a small number of trusted and trained people.

Security Settings
Security Settings
1 Disable Duplicate Checking
Out of the box, duplicate checking is only enabled for Low Protection Profiles. To ensure optimal security, we strongly recommend keeping the default settings in place.
2 Allow Merges - High
Only people in the security role specified here will be able to merge records where at least one of the records has an Account Protection Profile of High.
3 Allow Merges - Extreme
This is similar to the above setting but applies when one or more of the records being merged has an Account Protection Profile of Extreme.
4 Disable Personal Tokens
People with the selected Account Protection Profiles can't be impersonated and can't use tokens to authenticate into Rock. This will also affect mobile onboarding, as people with Protection Profile levels selected here will not be able to be onboarded.

Security Change Audit

This page was designed to assist when troubleshooting security permission changes. Keep in mind that this tracks changes to item permissions, not changes to an individual's security. For instance, granting the role "RSR - Staff Worker" permission to view a page would appear in the audit log. Adding the role "RSR - Rock Administration" to Ted Decker's account would not appear in the audit log. However, an addition to the log would be made if Ted Decker were granted access as an individual (using Add User instead of Add Role) to the list of an item's permissions.

Security Change Audit
Security Change Audit

Cloning Security Role Groups

We’ll wrap up our Security chapter by circling back to the Security Roles page we reviewed earlier. To save you time (and possibly a headache), you can access the Security Roles page to clone security role groups. Cloning allows you to make a copy of an existing group along with all of its security configuration. Group members are not copied over to the new group.

Clone Security Role Group

Cloning groups is a quick and easy process. Simply choose the group you want to clone in the Security Roles Group List and click the button. The word “Copy” will be appended to the name of the new group. Click the Edit button to change the name and description of the group, and to make any further changes to the group’s settings. Then click Save. When you return to the Group List, the newly-cloned group will be listed among the other security roles.


These settings help Rock use powerful tools to communicate with your attendees. While each tool is covered below, additional information can be found in the Communicating With Rock guide.


Communication Templates

You'll find over time that you often send the same types of emails and SMS messages over and over. When you see this pattern consider making a communication template to help simplify these tasks and improve consistency.

System Communications

System Communications (formerly known as "System Emails") are communication templates that are used by Rock to send very specific messages. Typically, these are automated communications, such as the message someone receives when they've forgotten their password and requested to reset it.

System Communications can be used with either emails or SMS messaging. While Rock sets these up to look professional from the start, you may want to modify them to match your organization's branding. You can edit these communications under Admin Tools > Communications > System Communications.

Communication Mediums

When you send a new communication from People > New Communication or from the bottom of any grid that contains a list of people, you can select to send either an SMS message or an email. Both of those are communication mediums. You can configure the settings for each medium from the Communication Mediums page. This is where you can set the Email transport to use normal SMTP or a bulk delivery service like SendGrid. This is also where you can configure the SMS medium to use Twilio to send text messages.

Communication Transports

We mentioned services like SendGrid, Twilio and SMTP in the Communications Mediums section. These delivery options are called transports. They take the message contents and make sure that they get to the recipients. Each transport has a set of configuration options specific to its needs. For example, the Twilio transport requires an account SID and a token to tie into your account.

Don't Forget...

If you activate a new transport, you must then navigate to Admin Tools > Communications > Communication Mediums to set it as the Transport Container for a Communication Medium.

Like channels, new transports can easily be added over time, from either the core Rock team or third parties.

SMS Phone Numbers

This menu item is a hotlink to the SMS Phone Numbers defined type. This defined type helps you configure the SMS environment. See the Communicating With Rock guide for more information on SMS.

Safe Sender Domains

This menu item is a hotlink to the Safe Sender Domains defined type. This defines the domains that can be used to send emails. If an email communication is created with a From address that isn't from one of these domains, the Organization Email global attribute value will be used instead and the original value will be used as the Reply To address. This helps reduce the likelihood of communications being rejected by the receiving email servers.

Send Photo Requests

These pages allow you to send and administrate requests for photos from your community. You can find detailed instructions for these tools in the Person and Family Field Guide.

System Communication Categories

This page allows you to create and manage categories (e.g., Event Registration, Groups) for your system communications.

Communication Queue


The Communication Queue is where communications that are pending approval or have failed to be sent are stored. Ideally, you'll never see anything listed here but, if you do, you’ll know something elsewhere in the system needs attention.

While the Communication Queue doesn't require any configuration, the Send Communication job settings will affect what may end up in the queue. By default, the Send Communication job waits 30 minutes before sending any new communication to prevent any sending overlap for communications requiring approval.

Also, you can use the Communication Queue Alert job to send an email notice to specified recipients when a communication is sent to the Communication Queue. This helps to ensure the queue is being monitored regularly.

The Send Communication and Communication Queue Alert jobs can be configured by going to Admin Tools > System Settings > Jobs Administration.

Communication List Categories

The Communication List Categories page is where you can view, edit and create new categories for use with communication lists. Communication list categories can be used for a number of powerful functions, from segmenting communication lists to allowing communication recipients to subscribe and unsubscribe from lists. To learn more about communication list categories, see the Communicating With Rock manual.

Communication Lists

This page allows you to view, modify and add communication lists to be used with the Communication Wizard. To learn more about communication lists and sending communications, check out the Communicating With Rock manual.

Communication Template Categories

This page allows you to view, modify and add communication template categories. To learn more about communication templates, check out the Communicating With Rock manual.

SMS Pipeline

This is where you'll configure your SMS phone numbers with the necessary actions used by your organization. Check out the Communicating With Rock manual for more details.

Nameless People

If you receive SMS messages from phone numbers Rock doesn't recognize, the number becomes associated with a Nameless Person record. This page is where you can view these phone numbers and link them to a person in your system. For more information check out the Communicating With Rock guide.

Communications Settings

This page is used to specify the template you want to use for approver notification emails. By default, the Communication Approval Email template that ships with Rock is selected. For details see the Communicating With Rock guide.


Rock's check-in system is very powerful. With that power comes several configuration options. This section of the administrative tools groups all of the check-in configuration into one place.

Check-in Settings

Check-in Configuration

These screens help manage the setup of your check-in configurations. These settings are discussed in detail in the Checking-out Check-in guide.

Named Locations

This configuration screen allows you to define specific locations with a name. You'll want to use this to define your campuses, buildings and rooms. These Named Locations can then be used with configuring groups, check-in, etc.

The Named Locations page can alternatively be accessed from Admin Tools > General Settings > Named Locations.


Several features require the configuration of repeating schedules. For instance, check-in needs to know your organization’s schedules to be able to configure the time check-in should start. These screens allow you to create those schedules.

The Schedules page is also available under Admin Tools > General Settings > Schedules.


The devices screens are used to manage devices that interact with Rock in some way. Today this is primarily used to help manage check-in kiosks and printers but in the future we hope to add support for all types of devices.

The list of devices is also available under Admin Tools > General Settings > Devices.

Check-in Labels

The check-in process can be configured to use several formats of printed labels. These labels and their configuration are managed using these screens. The Checking-out Check-in guide also covers the creation and configuration of these labels.

Ability Levels

This is a short-cut link to the Ability Levels defined type. Ability Levels are used to classify developmental stages. Ability Levels can also be accessed under Admin Tools > General Settings > Defined Types > Ability Levels.

Label Merge Fields

This is a short-cut link to the Label Merge Fields defined type. Label Merge Fields are used to find and print data for labels. This defined type is also available under Admin Tools > General Settings > Defined Types > Label Merge Fields.

Search Type

This is a short-cut link to the Search Type defined type. Search Type are the ways to search for a family (e.g., phone, name, etc.) in check-in. You can also manage this defined type from Admin Tools > General Settings > Defined Types > Search Type.

Merge Documents

Hopefully by now you've had a chance to play with "Lava", Rock's templating engine. To know Lava is to love Lava. Much of the time Lava is used to format many of the pages in Rock. But what if you wanted to use Lava to format documents? Well, that's exactly what merge documents do.

Rock ships with two different merge document formats: Word and HTML. The HTML format is pretty simple—just create a new HTML file and embed Lava much like you do elsewhere in Rock. The Word format makes it super simple to achieve amazing results. Let's take a look at the output from a few sample documents to see what's possible.

Merge Documents

Let's look at how you manage and use merge docs. Then we'll dive deeper into how to create and format them.

Using a Merge Document

You'll notice at the bottom of most grids there's a button. Pressing this button will take the contents of the grid and make it available to import into a merge document.

Merge Document Page
1 Count
Shows you how many records will be merged into the document.
2 Show Data Rows
Shows the first 15 records that will be used for the merge.
3 Show Merge Fields
This is a cheat sheet of sorts to help you create a merge document for the data provided.
4 Combine Family Members
When checked, family members will be combined into a single row instead of one row per person. For example, when using {{ Row.NickName }} Ted Decker and Cindy Decker would be combined into 'Ted & Cindy'.
5 Merge Template
The template to use for the merge document.
6 Merge
This button will initiate the merge process.

That’s it! Pretty easy, no?

Administrating Merge Templates

Merge documents are created from templates. Some merge templates will be used by everyone; others, though, can be limited to a specific role or person. To help keep the list of merge documents from getting out of hand, we’ve created the ability to classify templates as either global or personal.

Global Merge Templates

You can set up a list of merge templates that are accessible to everyone in the database under Admin Tools > General Settings > Merge Templates.

Global Templates

Security can be added to templates on the Merge Template Detail block. Security settings are enforced whenever a merge document is created.

Personal Merge Templates

You can set up a merge document for your personal use on your My Settings page (found under the dropdown in the upper-right corner of the screen).

Personal Templates

From this screen you’ll see your own personal templates. You can also access Global templates by updating the block's settings.

Creating a Merge Document

As mentioned previously, Rock currently supports two different merge document formats: HTML and Word. Below we cover how to create a merge document for each format.


The most common document format is Word. Creating these documents is actually pretty simple. Before we jump in it's important to talk about the two strategies for merging using Word.

The first strategy is to create a Word document where the whole document acts as a template for each record. This is most common for things like letters.

Sample Merge Letter Template

With this type of document, you can simply open Word, type your letter and then add in the Lava where you want the dynamic text to show. Note that you have access to most of Lava's capabilities in Word. So, things like {{ 'Now' | Date:' MMMM d, yyyy ' }} will place in the current date and time.

The second merge document strategy is for occasions when you want more than one record to be displayed on a single page. This is often the case for tasks like creating mailing labels. When creating these types of documents add a {%Next%} code to move to the next record in the list.

Sample Merge Label Template

Rock will automatically figure out what strategy your document is using so there's no extra configuration.


You might be wondering, "Why would I ever want to use HTML for a merge document?" At first blush it does seem a little odd. HTML, however, is a great tool for incorporating rich media into a format that can easily be printed. It’s often the best choice when you need to print a report that requires showing maps (easy to display using Google's static map API) or person photos (links to their photo in Rock).

Below is a quick example of some HTML/Lava that will present a list of people with their photos (this assumes that the merge document is passed a list of people).

Output of HTML Template

1   <html>
2       <head>
3   		<title>Group Roster</title>
4   		<link rel="stylesheet" href="">
5    	</head>
7    	<body>
8    	    <div class="container" style="margin-top: 100px">
9    			<div class="row">
11    				{% for row in Rows %}
12    					<div class="col-xs-6 clearfix" style="margin-bottom: 24px; min-height: 200px;">
13   						<div class="pull-left" style="margin-right: 24px; width:20%;">
14    							<img src="{{ 'Global' | Attribute:'PublicApplicationRoot' }}{{ row.PhotoUrl }}" style="width: 100%; border-radius: 100px;" />
15    						</div>
16    						<div class="pull-left">
17    							<h1>{{ row.FullName }}</h1>
18    							{{ row.Email }} <br />
19    							{% for phone in row.PhoneNumbers %}
20    								{{ phone.NumberFormatted }} <small>{{ phone.NumberTypeValue.Value }}</small> <br />
21    							{% endfor %}
22    						</div>
23   					</div>
24    				{% endfor %}
26    			</div>
27    		</div>
28    	</body>
29  </html>

Note a few things in the code:

  • Line 4: We link out to a hosted version of the Bootstrap CSS file. This provides an easy way to get a default set of styles.
  • Line 11: Now we simply run through each of the rows that were passed to us.
  • Line 14: Inserting a photo is simple! The PhotoUrl property for a person even returns a generic image if the person doesn’t have a photo.

As you can see, creating HTML merge documents is easy. Here are a few additional tips:

  • Adding map images to your merge documents is also fairly simple. Use the following links for more information:
  • HTML merge documents are usually printed. While most people think of HTML as an online-only file format, it actually does have several print capabilities like page breaks. Here are a few links to point you in the right direction:

Cloud Flare

Enabling Scrape Shield with Cloud Flare will block email addresses in HTML merge documents. If you're using this service, it will need to be disabled.

Lava Tips With Merge Documents

For the most part your mad Lava skills will all work with Merge Templates. There are a couple of tricks, though, that we'll outline below.

  • While merge templates can be used on any entity type, they'll most often be used on people. To help make your templates work with as many 'grids' of people data as possible we convert group member entities to people.
  • Should you need access to the group member data (e.g., group member attributes) you can use the GroupMember property on the person like: {{ Row.GroupMember | Attribute:'attributekey' }}

Power Tools

Tools that are not used very often, or that need to be used with caution, can be found in the Power Tools area.

Power Tools
Power Tools

SQL Command

The SQL Command page is very powerful and should therefore be used with great caution. Rock is built on top of Microsoft’s SQL Server database. While for most people this is a detail they don’t need to know, at times administrators may want to use SQL to get direct access to their data.

The SQL Command block allows you to write SQL statements and have them executed directly in the database. When used with a SELECT command, the results of your query will be displayed in a grid below the command.


Whatever SQL command you type in this box will be run on your database. Treat it as a loaded gun. Both DELETE and UPDATE commands will run, regardless of the Selection Query? setting. If you're unsure of SQL, you might stay away from this page.

SQL Query

You can also enter UPDATE and DELETE commands if you wish. To see the results of these commands, you’ll need to flip the Selection Query? toggle.

External Applications

We've worked hard to make as much of Rock available through a web interface as possible. Some functionality, though, requires interaction with devices, like check scanners, that don’t work through today’s web browsers. Other times there are situations, like creating giving statements, where the processing of a request could take a while to complete. In these cases, we’ve developed Windows applications to run on your desktop. These applications can be downloaded from the links provided in this section.

Sample Data

Whether you’re just starting out with Rock or setting up a training environment to share your expertise with others, it's helpful to have some sample data to play with. The Sample Data block is a one-step way to import a consistent set of sample data. You'll recognize many of the names from the examples in the Rock documentation. Feel free to run the import repeatedly to keep time-sensitive data like attendance current.


We do not recommend that you import this sample data into your production database. This will cause fictitious data to appear in unexpected places like reports.

Model Map

The Model Map is used to access a complete list of every property an entity has. Feel free to explore this area, but keep in mind it's pretty much only used by developers.

API Docs

This area shows you all entities that have REST endpoints you can use with your custom code. Like the Model Map, as an admin you should be aware that this page exists, but it’s really for developers to use.

Power BI Registration

Business Intelligence (BI) is a buzz term for tools that allow you to quickly analyze data and present actionable information to leaders. The Power BI Registration page is where you’ll go to set up and register your Power BI account. If you want to learn more about BI, start with our Business Intelligence manual.

Workflow Import/Export

This tool allows you to share workflows with individuals outside your organization, and to import workflows created by other organizations. There’s a whole chapter dedicated to this feature in the Blasting Off With Workflows guide.

CSV Import

Do you have data from another system that you want to get into Rock in an automated way? If so, the CSV Import feature is just what you need. This feature lets you add data to Rock from a CSV file. Currently only Person data can be imported this way. In most cases you would use this to import Person data from an external system, such as a previous ChMS. This is a quick and efficient tool, with features that help you troubleshoot problems with your import if any errors are encountered.

Preparing the Import

The first steps in Rock are pretty straightforward. You'll select a Data Type (which will be "People") and then a short description of where the data is coming from. Then you can upload your CSV file and start your import.

Initial Setup
Initial Setup
1 Data Type
For now, this will be "People", but additional data types may be added in the future.
2 Source Description
You'll want to give a name to the batch of records that you're importing, indicating where these records came from. You don't need to know this but, for those who are curious, the Source Description you provide here gets used as the ForeignKey on the person records that are imported.
3 CSV File
This is where you'll upload the CSV file containing the person records that you want to import into Rock. In most cases the CSV will be created from an external system or former ChMS.
4 Allow Updating Existing Matched Records
The process can not only import records, but it can update existing records as well. If the process finds a matching person based on matching first name, last name and email, then that person's data will be updated.

Keep in mind that the person's data in Rock can be updated to a blank value. For instance, if the person has a Home Phone in Rock but doesn't have a Home Phone in the file you're uploading, the person's Home Phone will be removed from Rock. This scenario would only apply if Home Phone is part of the data you're importing.
5 Start
Once all of the above pieces are in place, hit the Start button to proceed to the next step, which we'll describe below.
6 Field Information
This information will help guide you when it comes to creating your CSV file. At a minimum, you'll want to ensure that all of the Required Fields are present as columns in your CSV file. Note that you can import additional fields as person attributes, if you have those attributes created already in Rock. We'll touch on this more below.

Note that the steps above only apply to your very first import. As pictured below, the process will be slightly different if you've done an import already.

Previous Source Descriptions
Previous Source Descriptions
1 Previous Source Descriptions
Here you'll see a list of previous sources from which you've imported in the past. You'll select one of these when you want to run the import from the same source. For instance, after your first import you may need to make adjustments to the data in the CSV file and import it again.
2 Add Additional Source Description
Click this link to add a new Previous Source Description. You would only need to do this if you're importing from a different source than prior imports.

Field Mapping

The next step in the process is to map the columns in your CSV file to fields in Rock. As pictured below, each column in your CSV file will be listed on the screen, with a drop-down menu underneath it. All you need to do is pick the field in Rock that corresponds with the column in your file. For instance, if your file has a first_name column then you would pick "First Name" as the field in Rock that it should map to.

Field Mapping
Field Mapping
1 Record Count
A count of the records that are going to be imported is displayed for reference. If this isn't the number you're expecting, you might want to check out your CSV file and confirm it contains what you need.
2 Field Mapping
This is a simple but very important step in the process. As noted on the page, the selections you make here can't be undone after the import. For instance, if you accidentally mapped an external last name column to the "First Name" field in Rock, you're stuck with last names being first names. Be careful, take your time, and double-check your work before proceeding.

After all of the mapping has been completed click the Import button at the bottom of the page to start the import.

Final Steps

After clicking Import as described above, Rock will arrange and import your data. If everything went well, you'll see a success message as pictured below.

Import Success
Import Success

There may be cases where the data doesn't import smoothly into Rock. If that happens, Rock will give you a new CSV file that contains the errors that were encountered. Click the Download CSV File With the Errors button to get this file. The file will contain a column named "CSV Import Errors" which will give you details on the issue that was encountered. The best part is, you can take that error file, make your edits directly inside it, and then re-import it as-is. This lets you re-process only the records that hit an error.

Import Error
Import Error

If a person record is successfully found or created in Rock, but if that record hit an error during the import, a special note will be added to the person's record. In the example pictured below, the import process encountered an error with the person's Gender. This alerts people who are viewing the profile to potentially incorrect or missing data, prompting them to update the record if the correct values are known.

Import Error Person Note
Import Error Person Note

System Settings

While system settings are rarely modified, understanding them will give you better insight into how Rock works and what's possible.

System Settings
System Settings

Location Services

Knowing the locations of those who engage with your organization can be very powerful. In order to do this, you need to be able to convert a person's address (3120 W Cholla St Phoenix, AZ 85029) to a latitude / longitude point (33.590795 , -112.126459). To do that, you’ll need to run your addresses through a geocoding process. Rock will handle all of the work; all you need to do is provide a geocoding service to handle the requests. Rock has a couple of services for you to pick from. More information on geocoding can be found in the Locations chapter of this document.

Like the geocoding services, you can also send your addresses through a standardization process. These processes can fix the following for your addresses:

  • Fill in any missing items (555 W Main to 555 W Main St)
  • Fix any case issues (555 w main st to 555 W Main St)
  • Standardize elements (555 West Main Street to 555 W Main St)
  • Append Zip+4 info (85383 to 85383-3622)

The standardization process helps increase the quality of the addresses in your database. More information on address standardization can be found in the Locations chapter.

Entity Attributes

We’ve already discussed how attributes can be attached to common entities like people or groups. By now you know about those attributes and the power they bring to Rock. But that's only the tip of the iceberg. From the Entity Attributes page, you can add attributes to any entity that exists in Rock.

Sometimes you won't want the attribute applied everywhere the entity exists. For instance, you might want a group attribute to apply only to groups of a certain type. You can narrow the scope of the attribute using the Qualifier Field and Qualifier Value fields. Using these fields, the attribute pictured below will only be attached to Connection Request Activity entities within the "Children's" connection opportunity. Rock's Model Map can help you identify what properties you can use as qualifier fields.

Entity Attributes
Entity Attributes

Although there's a dedicated page for this, you can also create Global Attributes from the Entity Attributes page. For the most part, you shouldn't need to do this unless you're writing your own code to run inside Rock. To add a Global Attribute, simply create a new entity attribute that isn't tied to any entity.

Adding New Options from Attributes

When adding an attribute with a Field Type of "Defined Value" you'll be given the option to Allow Adding New Values. If enabled, this lets you add to the Defined Type's list of values from anywhere the attribute is accessed.

The same concept applies to attributes with a Field Type of "Location List", which has the option to Allow Adding New Locations.

Search Services

Rock’s Smart Search box at the top of every page allows you to search for people and groups using various criteria like name, phone and email. These screens allow you to manage those search types. For the most part you’ll want to leave them set as-is, but you can inactivate one if you find it isn't helpful. A key concept is that you can write your own search services with some custom coding. If you do, they will appear on this list for you to enable and configure.

Jobs Administration

While much of Rock works through the interaction of individuals within the system, there are times when you’ll want to run functionality in the background. For example, you may want to run a process to clean up or update data in the system in an automated fashion. These background tasks are called Jobs and can be managed and scheduled through the screens in this area. See the Jobs chapter for additional details.

Data Filters

Data Filters are an integral part of Rock’s reporting strategy. Hopefully you’ve already read about them in the Taking Off With Reporting guide. At a high level, data filters allow you to narrow down your view of data by providing specific criteria. These filters can be enabled, disabled and secured in this set of screens. Like many things in Rock, you can develop your own Data Filters that can be managed here.

Data Transformations

Once you’ve filtered your data, you can add a transformation to it before it's displayed. Say you've filtered to see only children who have attended twice in the last two months, but you really want to display information about the parents of these children. A transformation (in this case the Person Parent Transformation) would convert the child data to parent data. You can manage these transformations here. Just like with filters, you can also develop your own transformations.

Data Selects

Data selects are used in reporting. When you create a report, you provide it with a data view to act as a filter. You also add columns to your report. Many of these columns will be attributes of the person or group. You can also choose to add some powerful dynamic columns. These dynamic columns are managed and secured from this screen.

File Storage Providers

In the File Types section we discussed file storage providers. These providers help Rock manage the saving and retrieving of files to different storage media. The two default storage types are Database and File System, but others like Amazon, Cloudinary, Azure or Google can be used. Under the File System configuration, you can change the default location for file storage. For the most part, you can leave these settings as you found them.

Exception List

Despite all of our work to eliminate bugs, some will sneak by us. Exceptions, also known as errors, can occur as a result of software bugs or when blocks and pages are misconfigured. While you can set these errors to be emailed to you (see Admin Tools > General Settings > Global Attributes > Email Exceptions List), you can also view the history of these errors here.

Exceptions are sorted chronologically. Instead of showing you every error in a large list, we've grouped them by type. This helps you determine how often an error is occurring.

Protect My Ministry

Rock provides a seamless integration with Protect My Ministry to provide reliable background checks for your organization. See the Background Checks chapter for specifics on this integration.


Checkr provides modern and compliant background checks for use with Rock. With your Checkr token from you’ll be able to initiate background checks using Checkr’s scalable, cost-effective and rapid screening solutions. See the Background Checks chapter for specifics on this integration.

Financial Gateways

Financial gateways allow Rock to move money from individuals’ accounts to the organization. Information on these gateways and their configuration is provided in detail in the Rock Solid Finances guide.

Background Check Providers

These screens allow you to configure different background check providers. You can read more about Rock's background check features in the Background Checks chapter.

Category Manager

The Category Manager allows you to add categories for any entity type in Rock. Think of it as your one stop shop for any category. To help simplify the process be sure to use the entity type filter.

System Configuration

This screen allows you to change some technical configuration settings in Rock. For the most part you should never need to worry about these settings, but we've provided this page to help you change them if needed.


Changing these settings will cause Rock to restart. This means that all sites will be unavailable for a few minutes during the restart. Use caution when changing these settings.

General Configuration
General Configuration
1 Enable Multiple Time Zone Support
Out of the box Rock assumes that all campuses are in the same time zone. There's typically not a big impact when they’re different, except for check-in. Enable this option to ensure check-in works as expected across different time zones.
2 Always Show Businesses in Person Picker
If this is enabled then businesses will appear in the search results when you're using any Person Picker in Rock. That means if you search for 'Decker' you'll see Ted and his family, but you'll also see the 'Decker & Sons Plumbing' business returned.
3 PDF External Render Endpoint
If you're running Web Services on Azure, or if you're running Rock in an environment that does not support running Puppeteer/Chrome on the server, you'll need a third-party service to handle PDF generation. This is where you'll specify the endpoint for this service.
4 Enable Keep Alive
Enable this setting to have Rock poll itself to keep it "alive" during times of inactivity. This setting is not needed if your AppPool's Idle Time-out is set to 0 (Highly Recommended).
5 Visitor Cookie Persistence Length
This is simply the number of days a visitor cookie persists. This is used by features like Personalization.
6 Personalization Segment Cookie Affinity Duration
This controls how old the ROCK_SEGMENT_FILTERS cookie can be before it needs to get refreshed from the database. This only impacts Personalization features.
UI Settings
UI Settings
1 Race Label
Some blocks, like Family Pre-Registration give you the option of collecting race and ethnicity information for a person (off by default). Here you can change the name of "race" to something else.
2 Ethnicity Label
This is the same as the above setting but applies to ethnicity.
3 Captcha Site Key
If you're using Captcha, this is where you'll put the Site Key from Cloudflare. See the Rock Captcha chapter for details.
4 Captcha Secret Key
This is the same as the above setting, but applies to the Secret Key.
5 SMS Opt-In Message
The message you put here will be seen on certain blocks (e.g., Family Pre-Registration) when a person is prompted to provide a mobile phone number if the SMS Opt-in feature is enabled for that block.


Configuring Observability can be found in the Observability Chapter.

Experimental Settings
Experimental Settings
1 Starting Day of Week
By default, a week in Rock starts on Monday and ends on Sunday. It is possible, but not necessarily advised, to choose a day other than Monday to start the week. As noted on the page, this will impact things like SundayDate calculations.
2 Security Grant Token Duration
This is simply the default length of time for which a security grant token is valid. Note that this is not the same as the Person Token Expire Minutes Global Attribute, which gets used with the PersonTokenCreate Lava filter.
3 Revoke Grants
With the click of a single button you can revoke all security grant tokens that have been issued.
Web.Config Settings
Web.Config Settings
1 Time Zone
When you were installing Rock you should have set your time zone. If you need to change it, you can do that here.
2 Enable Run Jobs In IIS Context
By default, Rock’s job engine runs on the webserver. This setting allows you to disable this in order to run jobs as a Windows Agent. See the Jobs chapter for more information on this topic.
3 Max Upload File Size
For security reasons, webservers limit the maximum file size that can be uploaded. This helps to limit the impact of denial of service attacks. Rock has set the default value to 100 MB. If you need more, you can update the size here.
4 Login Cookie Persistence Length
Use this setting to override the authentication cookie length. The value you set will become the default for things like the REST API. This will impact how frequently a person needs to authenticate, so try to strike a balance between convenience and security.
5 Enable Database Performance Counters
This setting should remain disabled unless you're actively troubleshooting a system performance issue. When enabled, and after the system restarts, Rock will start collecting data about the usage of your database "connection pool". Rock ships with a set of Metrics you can use to see the results of this data collection. These metrics can be accessed in Rock under Tools > Metrics | Hosting Metrics and will provide the information described below:

  • Number Of Active Connections - The number of active connections that are currently in use. This number will naturally jump up and down during the day.
  • Number Of Free Connections - The number of open connections available for use. This number will decrease as the number of active connections increases.
  • Hard Connects Per Second - This is a count of how many connections are being opened explicitly each second. You might expect this number to rise when first starting Rock or when there aren’t enough available connections in the connection pool.
  • Soft Connects Per Second - The number of connections being obtained from the connection pool per second. Note, it's possible for this number to be larger than the number of connections in your pool because most connections are used for only fractions of a second.
6 Azure SignalR Endpoint
Once you’re signed up with Azure you'll add your SignalR Endpoint here. This is used by Rock's Real-Time Engine.
7 Azure SignalR AccessKey
This is the same as the above setting, but for the AccessKey.
8 Observability Service Name
If you have Observability enabled, this is where you'll put the service name.
Family Rules
Family Rules
1 Bible Strict Spouse
This feature enables churches to configure Rock by allowing or disallowing the entry of spouses with the same gender.

Application Groups

Application groups are, as the name suggests, groups that are used by the Rock application. This way, Rock can refer to the members of a group instead of running through complex logic to identify certain individuals. These groups are listed here for administrator access.

Merge Template Types

Rock allows you to have several different merge template types (think 'HTML', 'Word', etc.) You can manage these provider types with these screens.

Note Types Settings

Rock allows any entity type (People, Financial Batches, Prayer Requests, etc.) to have notes attached to it. In fact, you can even have different types of notes on a single entity. These screens allow you to set up this powerful feature. You can read more about these features in the Note Types chapter of this manual.

Following Events

This section allows you to define new Following Events. You can read more about these features in the Person and Family Field Guide

Following Suggestions

This section allows you to define new Following Suggestions. You can read more about these features in the Person and Family Field Guide

Universal Search Index Components

This page is used to view and maintain the available Universal Search Index Components. Universal Search allows you to search multiple types of data at once in a full-text manner. In a sense, it's like Google for Rock. To learn the ins and outs of Universal Search, check out the Universal Search guide.

Calendar Dimension Settings

These settings are used to support Rock’s Business Intelligence (BI) features. In short, these settings relate to date-based information that may be impacted by your organization’s fiscal year. Check out the Business Intelligence guide for full details.

Phone Systems

This page is part of the framework for linking Rock to PBX phone systems. The features added here allow for plug-ins to be created for specific phone systems to allow for features such as creating interactions from call detail records and click to call.

Note Watches

Here, administrators can see everyone who's watching a note, and can add new "watches". See the Watching Notes section for full details.

Spark Data Settings and NCOA

Looking for Spark Data?

Spark Data is no longer being used as of Rock v16.6. If you’re on an older version of Rock or need to see the NCOA process that existed previously, it can be found in a prior documentation version here.

The current NCOA process is documented in the Data Integrity chapter.

Asset Storage Providers

An asset storage provider basically refers to storage space in the cloud for things like pictures or videos that are used by your website. Check out the Designing and Building Websites Using Rock guide for more information on configuring the asset manager.

Assessment Types

Rock ships with Assessment Types already configured and ready to use for each available assessment. Generally, you won't need to change these settings, but you may want to adjust the Minimum Days to Re-take or Requires Request options.

  • Minimum Days to Re-take: The minimum number of days after the test has been taken before it can be taken again by the same person.
  • Requires Request: If enabled, a person is required to receive a request before the assessment can be taken.

Our Assessments guide has all the details you'll need on each of Rock's assessments.

Rock Logs

Rock provides a simple, easy to use logging tool. Most of the time you won't need this but having logs can be helpful when troubleshooting or researching. The Rock Log is similar to the Exception List, except you can track more than just errors.

Logs are turned off by default, and typically should only be turned on if there is a specific need. To enable Rock logging, simply select the Verbosity Level and the domain or domains you want to output. You have the following choices for the Verbosity Level:

  • Off: No logging should be performed.
  • Fatal: Very severe error events that will presumably lead Rock to abort.
  • Error: Error events that might still allow Rock to continue running.
  • Warning: Potentially harmful situations.
  • Info: Defines the default set of levels recognized by the system.
  • Debug: Fine-grained informational events that are most useful for debugging Rock.
  • All: Log everything.

Message Bus

Larger organizations may have more than one Rock server. A Web Farm allows multiple servers to talk to each other. They talk to each other over what's known as a Message Bus. The Message Bus can talk to external systems in a two-way conversation. This gets complex and you'll need a developer to set that up, but it unlocks a lot of capabilities within Rock.

Two bus services are currently supported by Rock. They are:

  1. Azure Message Bus
  2. Rabbit MQ

To set up the Message Bus, navigate to the Message Bus page under System Settings and click the Configure Transports button. Then click on the transport you want to use, make it active and provide the needed details from either the Azure Service Bus server or the Rabbit MQ server. Ensure only one transport is active by inactivating any you're not using.

Web Farm

Large organizations soon reach the point where a single server will no longer be able to support peak loads. When this happens, the need for a server cluster, or Web Farm, becomes evident. From the Web Farm page, you can view or edit your Web Farm settings, nodes and a log of certain activities. Benefits of using the Rock Web Farm include:

  • It's a more reliable form of cache invalidation
  • Takes less resources than the Redis backplane
  • Allows the nodes of the cluster to better work together
  • Shows basic alerts and server health metrics
  • Will allow for more robust clustering features in the future

For full details on Rock's Web Farm feature see our Hyper Scaling Rock guide.

IP Address Location Service

This is where you'll configure the service (like that takes IP addresses in your system and geocodes them, telling you where people who visit your site are coming from. See the Interactions chapter above for more details.

Entity Documents

Want to track documents for a person or group? The Entity Documents feature lets you add documents just about anywhere in Rock. You can even add multiple documents of the same type to the same entity, quickly and easily.

If you want to cut to the chase and see what adding a document for a person looks like, we have an example in our Person and Family Field Guide. In this chapter we're going to dive straight into the configuration, and then see how that configuration can be used to add documents to other types of entities in Rock.

Configuring Entity Documents

The first step is to define what types of documents you can add to entities. Navigate to Admin Tools > General Settings > Document Types to manage the types of documents that can be stored for each entity. Pictured below, you can see we've already configured three types of documents, all for people.

Document Type List Block
Document Type List Block

You might be wondering why we didn't mix it up a little and show you some example document types for other entities besides people. We're starting with the Person entity on purpose, and you'll see why in a bit.

Click on any row to manage details about a document type or click on the button to add a new document type.

Add New Document Type
Add New Document Type
1 Name
Provide a descriptive name for the document type.
2 File Type
Each document type must be associated with a file type. See the File Types section above for more details.
3 Entity Type
Select the entity type for this document type. Document types can be associated with people, groups or any other entity.
4 Is Image
Select this checkbox if the document is an image.
5 Manually Selectable
Check this box if the document type can be manually added to an entity (e.g., by a staff person or volunteer).
6 Icon CSS Class
This setting allows you to enter the CSS class for the icon you wish to use. When using Font Awesome, you should use the syntax fa fa-[icon name].
7 Max Documents Per Entity
With this setting you can limit the number of documents of this type that can be added to the entity.
8 Advanced Settings
Click this link to show or hide the Advanced Settings fields described below.
9 Entity Qualifier Column
If you want the document type to only apply to specific entities of the specified Entity Type, then you can provide a column to filter on for that entity. For example, if you would like the documents to be specific to a group of a certain type then you would enter 'GroupTypeId' here.
10 Entity Qualifier Value
After you provide an Entity Qualifier Column, you’ll need to also provide a value here. In the example of groups of a certain type, the Entity Qualifier Value would be the Group Type Id value (e.g., 12) for the desired group type.
11 Default Document Name Template
Use this field to provide default text that will automatically be populated in the Document Name field when adding a document of this type to an entity.

Person documents are the easiest to configure because all you need to do is define your document types as described above. Rock ships with everything else you'll need to start adding documents to people right away. See the Person and Family Field Guide for an example.

Setting up documents for other types of entities is still pretty easy, but there's an extra step or two you'll need to take. We'll show you what you need in the next section below.

Adding the Documents Block

In the above section we described how to configure types of documents. That's all you need for Person documents because the Person Profile page ships with a dedicated tab for managing documents. However, for entity types other than Person, there's a little more to it. In this section we'll show you what else needs to be done, using the Group entity as an example.

First, you still need to set up a document type as described in the prior section above. In this case, we'll add one with an Entity Type of Group.

Document Type Detail - Group
Document Type Detail - Group

Now that we have a document type that we can use with groups, we need a way to actually manage those documents. This is where the Documents block comes in.

Because we're working with groups in this example, we’ll add the Documents block to the Group Viewer page in Rock. You can do this from the Group Viewer page by using the admin toolbar to edit the page’s zones.

Pictured below, we’ll add the Documents block to the Main page zone by clicking the button to add a row.

Add Block to Main Zone
Add Block to Main Zone

Adding the block is easy. As pictured below, simply provide a name and select Documents as the Type. Click Save and then Done to finish.

Add Group Documents Block
Add Group Documents Block

When you first add the Documents block to a page, there’s a good chance you’ll see a warning message telling you to “configure a valid context entity” for the block. That just means you need to let the Documents block know what kind of entity it’s working with.

To do that, we’ll use the admin toolbar again to access the settings for the Documents block. In this example you’ll need to provide an Entity Type of "Group" to ensure the block works with groups. While we're here, there are some other block settings you might want to be aware of, as described below.

Documents Block Settings
Documents Block Settings
1 Name
Provide the block with a descriptive name.
2 Heading Title
A title will appear at the top of the block if one is provided, otherwise the block will have no title in the heading.
3 Heading Icon CSS Class
You can optionally assign an icon that will display in the block’s heading.
4 Document Types
If you want the block to only work with documents of certain types, you can list those types here. In the example pictured above, only “Meeting Information” documents will be accessible from the block.
5 Show Security Button
Showing the security button allows you to manage security access for each document.
6 Entity Type
This is where you tell the block what type of entity it’s working with. In this example we’re only interested in group documents, so “Group” has been selected.

The Documents block is now ready to start handling documents for groups. We'll walk through what that looks like in the next section below.

Managing Entity Documents

With the new block added, we can start adding documents to our groups. Start by clicking the icon in the Documents block to add your first document as shown below.

Add a New Document
Add a New Document
1 Document Type
Select the type of document that you want to add. The available items are controlled by the document type’s configuration and by block settings.
2 Document Name
If configured for the document type, a default name may be pre-populated here. Otherwise, it will be blank. You can provide your own name or edit the default name.
3 Description
You can optionally add a description to provide specific details related to this document.
4 Add Document
This is where you attach the actual document for this entry.

After you add one or more documents for the group (or the entity you're working with) there are several ways to manage those documents from the block. In the example below, we've added two documents that we can now manage.

Manage Documents
Manage Documents - Group Viewer
1 Document Type Filter
Use this drop-down menu to filter the document types that are shown below, or to show all document types.
2 Document Information
A summary of information for each document is shown for reference.
3 Document Icon
You can hover over this icon with your mouse to view the document’s Description if one was provided.
4 Download
Click this icon to download a copy of the document.
5 Security
Security settings can be applied to the document itself, allowing you to have different restrictions for different documents. This icon will only appear if it’s enabled in the block settings.
6 Delete
Click this icon to delete documents from the list. This action cannot be undone, so use caution when deleting documents.

We've been using groups in the above examples, but don't forget that the Documents block works with any entity in Rock.

Adding Documents Using Workflows

The Entity Document Add workflow action lets you add documents to any entity using a workflow. There are a few things to keep in mind when you’re doing this.

As described in the sections above, each Document Type is associated with both an entity and a File Type. This means your workflow might get tripped up if it’s working with the wrong type of entity or with a file that doesn’t align with the File Type configuration.

For instance, if the Document Type is configured for the Group entity, and if your workflow is trying to add a document for a Person, it won’t work. The workflow entity and the Document Type entity must match or else you’ll get an error.

Similarly, the document you’re trying to add needs to conform to the File Type configuration for the File Type that’s associated with the Document Type you’re using. This will probably only be a concern if the File Type configuration has Preferred File Settings that are required.

Lastly, don’t be surprised if you’re able to add a document in cases where you think you shouldn’t be able to. For instance, the Media File File Type that ships with Rock is intended to be used for audio or video files but there’s nothing stopping you from adding a Word document using that File Type.


Many organizations operate out of more than one location. While there are many terms for these "sites" we've chosen to call them campuses within Rock.

Single Campus

Generally, the display and selection of campus information throughout Rock will be hidden if you have only one campus. If a campus value is required by a particular block, then the single campus you have configured is automatically used (otherwise it’s left blank).

Managing Your Campuses

You can create or maintain campuses from Admin Tools > General Settings > Campuses. There you'll see a list of campuses that you can manage or add to. Selecting a campus will bring up the campus details screen.


Before adding a new campus, you must first add its address under Admin Tools > General Settings > Named Locations.

Campus Details Screen
Campus Details
1 Name
Even if you only have one campus, choose a name that will still make sense if you ever expand. A simple name like "Main" or "West" typically works well.
2 Active
As you bring new campuses online, you may want to add them as inactive until you have time to configure them and prepare for the announcement.
3 Description
You can use this field to provide a description for your campus. This might be something you display to your website guests.
4 Status
Sometimes there are pending campuses that are not yet open that you want to begin configuring, or which are now closed but important to keep for record-keeping. Campus statuses use the Campus Status defined type.
5 Type
You may want to easily differentiate between different types of campuses – whether Physical, Online or some other type. Campus types use the Campus Type defined type.
6 Code
When you grow beyond two or three sites, it's common to develop a shorter naming convention to help you refer to a campus. For example, if your campus is named “Main Campus” then you might choose “MAIN” as a short code.
The web address for the campus.
8 Time Zone
You’ll see this if you’ve enabled support for multiple time zones in the System Settings. You can leave this blank if campus time zones are all the same.
9 Campus Leader
Here you can optionally indicate the person who's in charge of running the campus.
10 Service Times
Here you can list the days and times that this campus offers services.
11 Contact Information
If the campus has its own phone number, you can provide it here. You must provide a location, which is why you have to set up the location before you add a campus.
12 Campus Schedules
Here you can associate Schedules directly with the campus. This can be done for reference, but also can be used by blocks like Service Metrics Entry.
13 Campus Topics
Here you can associate an email address with a campus topic. The Topic Type is a defined value. This can be used to send notifications of Rock form submissions.

Campus Status & Campus Type

A lot of the setup for Campuses is pretty straightforward, but there are some important points you'll want to keep in mind about the Status and Type fields.

Rock ships with three Campus Status values (Closed, Open and Pending) and two Campus Type values (Physical and Online). These are ready for you to use out of the box as Defined Types. However, these values can't be deleted through Rock and shouldn't be deleted by other means. That said, how you use them is entirely up to you. If needed, you can add new values to the Defined Types lists or change the names of the existing values.


Even if the Type is "Online" you're still required to have a Location value. As with any campus, the Location Type assigned to the Location you choose must be "Campus". If you’re not sure what Location to use for an online campus, best practice is to choose the one most closely associated with the website.

Upgrading Rock?

If you’re upgrading Rock from an older version that doesn't have Status and Type configuration, then your existing campuses will have these values automatically assigned. Any active campus will get a Status of Open and an inactive campus will get a Status of Pending. The assigned Type will be Physical for all campuses, except Online will be assigned if the name of the campus has "online" or "on-line" in it.

Campus Teams

Associating people with a campus helps you easily identify key staff, and their roles, at that campus. This is accomplished using the Campus Team system group type. Each campus functions like a group, with its own members and roles.

Campus Team
Campus Team

Adding a person to a campus is just like adding members to other types of groups. Click the button on the grid to add new members and define their role at the campus.

Add Campus Team Member
Add Campus Team Member

Teams for your campus can be created with either single-campus or multi-campus setups.

Adding Attributes to Campuses

You can add attributes to your campuses to track information about them beyond the settings described above. To do that, just follow these steps:

  1. Go to Admin Tools > System Settings > Entity Attributes.
  2. Click the button to add a new attribute.
  3. Select the Entity Type of "Campus" and set up the attribute information. You don't need to add a value for the Qualifier Field or Qualifier Value fields.
  4. After clicking Save, you can configure security for the attribute if needed.
  5. You'll now be able to set a value for this attribute in the Campus Details page described above.


Jobs allow you to run a sequence of code on a defined schedule. A good example of this is the Rock Cleanup job that comes configured to run every day at 1:00 am. This job runs through a series of clean-up steps (like trimming the Audit Log) to help keep the Rock database clean and tidy.

Below is a list of jobs that ship with Rock.

Name Description Default Schedule
Auto Open Locations Related to check-in, this job will automatically reopen rooms that have been closed. This allows closed rooms for one service to be open for the next service. You can select a Parent Location to limit which rooms are opened. You can also set a Re-open Period which indicates how long the job should wait after a room is closed before opening it. This job only works for Locations that are of type Room. None
Calculate Family Analytics This job populates Rock's family analytics. See our Person and Family Field Guide for more information. At 8:00 pm, only on Tuesday
Calculate Group Requirements This job processes group requirements defined in the system. You can read more about this in the Rock Your Groups manual. Every day at 3:00 am
Calculate Metrics This job runs any metrics with a defined schedule. You can read more about this in the Taking Off With Reporting manual. Every 15 minutes
Calculate Person Duplicates This Run SQL job scours your Rock database on a nightly basis looking for possible duplicates. Those that are found are listed under Rock's data integrity tools. You can read more about these tools in the Data Integrity chapter. Every day at 3:00 am
Calculate Person Signals Re-calculates all person signals to ensure that the top-most signal is still the current one. To learn more about signals, see the Person Signal Types section. Every day at 3:15 am
Campaign Manager Handles the processing of all configured connection campaigns, creating new connection requests and assigning them to connectors as needed. Every day at 7:00 am
Charge Future Transactions Charge future transactions where the FutureProcessingDateTime is now or has passed. Every 10 minutes
Collect Hosting Metrics This job can only be activated by navigating to Admin Tools > System Settings > System Configuration > Web.Config Settings and toggling the Enable Database Performance Counters setting. This job will collect metrics related to the usage of resources like the database connection pool. See the System Configuration section for details. Every five minutes
Communication Queue Alert Sends an email to a list of recipients when there are communications that have been queued to send for longer than a specified time period. See our Communicating With Rock guide for more information on working with communications in Rock. Every 15 minutes
Complete Workflows Closes all the Workflows of the configured type that are older than a certain number of minutes. You can read more about this in the Blasting Off With Workflows manual. None
Connection Requests Automation If you have any Status Automation rules configured on a Connection Type, this job will process them and make updates as needed. For more details see the Engagement guide. Every day at 11:00 pm
Connection Request Workflow Triggers Connection Request workflows that are triggered by Future Follow-up Date Reached are launched by this job. The job also changes the state of these requests from Future Follow Up to Active and adds a "Future Follow-up Complete" action.

By default, the Number of Days to Look Back setting is set to '1'. This means if the job is run today, it will launch workflows and change states for connection requests where the Future Follow Up date was yesterday.
Every day at 7:00 am
Content Channel Item Self Update This job helps automate showing or hiding certain content channel items. For full details see the Designing and Building Websites Using Rock guide. None
Data Automation Updates person and family information based on Data Integrity settings. To learn more about Data Integrity settings, see the Data Integrity chapter. Every Tuesday at 4:00 am
Database Maintenance Performs routine SQL Server database maintenance. See the Care and Feeding of Rock section for more information. None
Data View to Workflow Starts a workflow for each entity in a specified Data View. None
Get Scheduled Payments This job downloads transactions from the payment gateway for any scheduled transactions. You can read more about this in the Rock Solid Finances manual. None
Giving Automation This job updates giving classification attributes and Giving Journey stages. It also creates giving alerts. For more information check out the Rock Solid Finances guide. Every day at 10:00 pm
Group Attendance Reporting This job will create new Person attributes to track a person's First Attended Date, Last Attended Date, Times Attended in Last 12 Months and/or Times Attended in Last 16 Weeks for groups specified by a Data View. These attributes can be manually assigned categories and security as needed. This job considers all attendance in the specified groups, regardless of whether the person is currently an active member of the group. For more information see our Rock Your Groups guide. None
Group Leader Absence Notifications This job sends an email to group leaders in the specified group type with a list of group members who haven't attended group meeting occurrences a specified number of times. See our Rock Your Groups guide for more information. None
Group Leader Pending Notifications This job sends out emails to group leaders with pending notifications. You can read more about this in the Rock Your Groups manual. None
Group Sync This job syncs any configured groups. You can read more about this in the Rock Your Groups manual. None
Index Entities (Universal Search Re-Index) Re-indexes the selected entity types in Universal Search. See our Universal Search guide for more information. Every day at 5:00 am
Index Rock Site Configures Rock to index a specified site. Includes the option to set login credentials to allow indexing of password-protected pages. None
Job Pulse Runs continuously to help monitor the jobs engine. Don't disable this job. Every 30 seconds
Launch Workflow Will start a new workflow of the type selected in the configuration. None
Location Services Verify Attempts to standardize and geocode addresses that haven't been verified yet. It also attempts to re-verify addresses that failed in the past after a given wait period. Every day at 3:00 am
PBX CDR Download This job downloads CDR information for the specified PBX component. None
Populate Interaction Session Data If you've configured an IP address geocoding service and if you have Log Page Views and Enable Page View Geo Tracking enabled for your site, this job will geocode new InteractionSessionLocation records or link existing records to InteractionSession records. See the Interactions chapter for more details. Every 10 minutes
Process BI Analytics This job takes care of schema changes (dynamic Attribute Value Fields) and data updates to Person analytic tables. To read more about BI and Rock, see the Business Intelligence guide. Every day at 5:00 am
Process Elevated Security This job calculates each person's Account Protection Profile level. Every day at 3:15 am
Process Group History Updates group history for enabled group types. To learn more about group history, see the Group History chapter of the Rock Your Groups manual. Every day at 3:30 am
Process Workflows Looks at all active workflows and runs the activities of those that are active. Every 10 minutes
Rock Cleanup Runs a series of cleanup steps to manage the Rock database. You can change the settings for many of the steps, but we recommend keeping the defaults in most cases. For instance, you may want to enable Fix Attendance Records Never Marked Present if you're using Presence with Check-in. Every day at 1:00 am
Run SQL This job simply runs a SQL script on a given schedule. This is helpful if you’d like to automate the changing of data on a certain schedule. None
Send Assessment Reminders Sends reminders to persons with pending assessments if the created date/time is less than the calculated cutoff date and the last reminder date is greater than the calculated reminder date. See our Assessments guide for more information. Every day at 8:00 am
Send Attendance Reminders for Group Type This job is used to remind group leaders to take attendance for the groups they lead, for groups of the specified type. You can read more about this job in the Rock Your Groups manual. Every day at 4:00 pm for the Small Group group type.
Send Birthday Email Sends an email to people in the database who have a birthday on that day. None
Send Communications Sends out queued communications. Communications can be sent in serial or in parallel according to the Parallel Communications setting. We don't recommend changing the number of allowed parallel communications without careful analysis of your bandwidth usage and limits.

See the Communicating With Rock guide for more information on working with communications in Rock.
Every 10 minutes
Send Credit Card Expiration Notices Notifies (by email) anyone with a scheduled credit card transaction that expires in the following month. It can also be configured to launch a custom workflow. You can read more about this in the Rock Solid Finances manual. First of every month at 7:30 am
Send Data View Email This job will send a System Communication of your choosing to the list of people returned by the selected Data View. None
Send Following Events The Send Following Event Notification job sends out emails to specified individuals when following events occur. When you add a Following Event of the "Person Note Added" Following Event type, this job will take longer the first time it runs.  This initial run establishes "Last Notified" dates for followed people and their notes. At 7:00 am, Monday through Friday
Send Following Suggestions The Send Following Suggestion Notification job calculates and sends following suggestions to people who are eligible for following. At 3:00 pm, Monday through Friday
Send Group Attendance Digest This job sends an email containing a summary of attendance data for certain groups. The groups must be structured a specific way for this job to work, so be sure to check out the Group Attendance Digest section of our Rock Your Groups guide for configuration instructions. None
Send Group Attendance Reminders This job is used to remind group leaders to take attendance for the groups they lead, for groups of any type where the Send Attendance Reminder option is enabled. You can read more about this job in the Rock Your Groups manual. Every 15 minutes
Send Group Email Sends out an email to the selected group's active members using the template you choose, with an option to include members of descendant groups. If a person is a member of multiple groups in the tree, they will receive an email for each group. This job works well for sending automated group email reminders. None
Send Group Requirements Notification Sends out reminders to group leaders when group members don't meet all requirements. You can read more about this in the Rock Your Groups manual. None
Send Group Schedule Notifications Sends Group Scheduling Confirmation and Reminder emails to people that haven't been notified yet. See our Rock Your Groups guide for more information. Every day at 4:00 pm
Send Note Notifications Sends out digest notifications of notes which have been added as a reply to watched notes, as well as notes which were added and require approval prior to being displayed. Every two hours
Send Prayer Comments Sends comments added to prayer requests to the requestor. See our Raising Up With Prayer guide for more information. None
Send Registration Payment Reminders The Event Payment Reminders job sends out payment reminders to the registration contacts when a balance is due. See the Event and Calendar Guide for more information. None
Send Registration Reminders Sends out reminders to registrants of upcoming events. You can read more about event registrations in the Event and Calendar Guide. Every hour
Send RSVP Reminders Sends a reminder to people who have accepted an RSVP invitation. None
Spark Link This job fetches Rock notifications from the Spark Development Network. At 57 minutes past the hour, every seven hours
Steps Automation When this job runs, new steps are created and completed for people in a Data View. The Data View is added to the Step Type configuration, so each Step Type may use a different Data View. This job respects the 'Allow Multiple' and 'Prerequisite Steps' configuration options of each Step Type. Every day at 4:00 am
Sync Media Synchronizes media content from configured Media Accounts. This is how new Media Elements and folders are added to Rock after you've uploaded new content to your video provider. At 15 minutes past the hour, every two hours
Update Persisted Datasets This job will update the persisted data in any Persisted Datasets that need to be refreshed. None
Update Persisted Dataviews Runs Data Views marked as "persisted" and caches the results for much quicker data lookups. Every minute
Update Personalization Data Updates the list of people in personalization segments. You can read more about personalization and personalization segments in our Designing and Building Websites Using Rock manual. Every day at 1:20 am


You can code your own jobs if you have access to a developer.

Configuring a Job

You can maintain current jobs or add new jobs under Admin Tools > System Settings > Jobs Administration.
There you'll see a list of currently configured jobs. You can click a job to modify the configuration or click the Add button in the grid footer to create a new job.

Jobs List

Clicking on an existing job, or adding a new job, will bring you to the page pictured below.

Adding A New Job
Provide a concise description of what the job is doing.
Mark the job as active or inactive. Only some of the jobs that ship with Rock are active by default, so it’s a good idea to check these statuses to make sure everything you need is active.
Provide details about what the job does and any background criteria that you may want to know in the future.
4Notification Status
This defines when a notification email should be sent. Options are:
  • Success – when a job finishes successfully
  • Error – when a job encounters an error
  • All – for both Success and Error
  • None – never
5Cron Expression
Cron expressions are a concise schedule pattern that defines when the job is run. They can be difficult to write without help. We recommend using the website to assist you in creating these expressions.
6Notification Emails
This is a comma-separated list of emails for the job; used when a notification needs to be sent.
7Job History Count
On the Jobs Administration page, you can view the history of runs for each job by clicking the icon. By default, this is limited to the last 500 occurrences, but you can adjust how much history to retain here.
8Job Type
Select the type of job to run.
9Job Settings
Each job type will have its own set of configuration items. In the example pictured above, the RunSQL job defines the SQL statement that you want to run when the job executes.

No Need to Restart

When you add or modify a job there's no need to restart your website. Changes will be automatically updated within a few minutes.

Pause Jobs

There will be times when you'll need to temporarily stop running a job. Instead of deleting the job and re-creating it later, simply inactivate the job until you’re ready to run it again.

Care and Feeding of Rock

Just like car engines, sometimes databases get messy and need a tune up. Rock comes with the Database Maintenance job configured to do just that. Running on a schedule, this job rebuilds database indexes that need tuning. Because this job comes ready out of the box, you don't need to do any configuring. You can view the details and configuration options, though, by opening the Database Maintenance job from the Jobs List, located at Admin Tools > System Settings > Jobs Administration.

Database Maintenance Job Detail

Note Types

You've probably seen Rock's notes features in use on the Person Profile page and also with the workflow features. What most people don't know is that notes can do much more than you think. Rock allows any entity type (People, Financial Batches, Prayer Requests, etc.) to have notes attached to them. In fact, it even goes further to allow different types of notes on a single entity.

Adding Notes to a New Entity

Let's say your finance team asks you to be able to enter notes on batches. Your first response might be that you'll have to find a developer to add that functionality. That in itself is a pretty cool option...right? The fact that you have a system that you can extend to meet any! But in this case, you can play the part of the hero (that's the name of this guide, remember?) and configure it yourself.

Any entity detail page is a candidate for adding notes. Looking at the address for the page will tell you which entity you can attach the note on. For example, if the address has BatchId=X then the note can be on the batch entity. Let's walk through the steps of adding notes to the Finance > Batches > Batch Detail page.

  1. Once you’re on the batch detail page, add a new Core > Note block to the main zone (see the Designing and Building Websites Using Rock guide for details).
  2. Edit the block settings of this new block. There are several possible configurations so look through the list. The key, however, is setting the Context Entity Type to be Financial Batch.
  3. Reload the page for the block settings to be enabled. You should now see an empty note block.
  4. The last step is to add the note type under Admin Tools > System Settings > Note Types. You can add a note type from the bottom of the grid. Be sure to set the entity to Financial Batch.

After following these steps your batch screen should look something like the one pictured below, with a shiny new place to put notes at the bottom of the page.

Batches Note Type
Adding Notes to Batches

Adding Multiple Note Types to a Single Entity

When you add a note to a person on the Person Profile page, you're adding a generic Person Note to the person entity. What if you wanted to be able to add a new type of note to a person? Say for instance your organization has a hospital visitation team and they want to have their own notes that stand out from the default ones. Developer needed...? Nope! You got this. Let's walk through the steps of adding this new Hospital Visitation note type.

The first step is to add the new note type under Admin Tools > System Settings > Note Types. From the bottom of the grid select the Add button and the Add Note Type page will be displayed.

Adding a Note Type
Adding a Note Type
1 Name
Provide the name of the note type that will be used in the various input screens.
2 Entity Type
Select the type of object/entity the note is for. In this case the note is for an individual, so we'll select Person.
3 Icon CSS Class
This is the icon to display next to the note.
4 Colors
These color options allow you to control the look of your new note. You can use hex colors (such as #0000FF for blue) or use the color picker to use a color wheel to choose a color for each of the three parts of the note: the background color, the font color of the note text and the border color around the note.
5 User Selectable
This flag enables the note type to be selected from the note entry screen. There are times when you won't want a certain type of note to be selected through the user interface. Other note types may only be added through workflows or custom code.
6 Requires Approvals
Check this box if you would like someone to have to approve notes before they show up. For instance, you could use notes to allow people to leave comments on your blog. If you wanted these comments to require approval before they show up on your external site page, you would check this box. Any person or role with "Approve" access on the note type's security will be able to approve or deny notes.
7 Send Approval Notifications
If you require notes to be approved before they show up, you may want to notify someone that there has been a new note which they need to review. You can designate the person or role to receive these notifications by granting them "Approve" access in the note type's security settings.
8 Allows Watching
This option will allow people to get a notification when a reply is made to a note; see the Watching Notes section for more details.
9 Auto Watch Authors
This option will automatically notify the person who added a note if someone replies to their note. See the Watching Notes section for more details.
10 Allow Replies
If you would like people to be able to reply to notes with a note of their own, check this box. You'll be prompted for how many "replies of replies" are permitted.
11 Allows Attachments
Select this box to enable adding attachments to your notes. Keep in mind that this allows attachments, but there may not be a user interface for uploading attachments in some places.
12 Approval URL Template
If you want to provide an alternate page for your note approver to review notes, you can provide that address here. Otherwise, it will take them to the page where the note was added (and scroll to the note itself).

Once your new note type has been defined it's ready to be used. At this point you may consider adding security to it to control who has access to view and edit these notes.

Security for Notes

It's important to understand who will be able to see or edit notes. Below is a full breakdown of what you can expect.

  • Private: Private notes are only viewable by the creator. No one else, no matter what their permissions are, can see them.
  • Approve: The Approve security verb lets you approve notes. You can view any notes for which you have Approve permission.
  • View: You can view a note if you have View security to the note itself. You can also view notes you have created or modified in the past. Lastly, you can view a note if you have rights based off of the Note Type.
  • Edit: Edit access gives you rights to add a new note and to edit notes that you have created. Edit access DOES NOT give you rights to edit notes that were created by someone else.
  • Administrate: Administrate permission will let you edit notes, including notes you did not create.

Watching Notes

You can specify whether a note type Allows Watching. If it does, anyone who can view a note can choose to “watch” it. This means they will automatically be notified if the note gets any replies. You can also specify whether authors will automatically watch their own notes.

But that's not all! There's a page in System Settings called "Note Watches". Here, administrators can see everyone who's watching a note, but you can also add new "watches".

New Note Watch
New Note Watch

You can select either a single person or all members of a group to watch the notes you specify, by selecting them in either the Watcher Person or the Watcher Group fields.

Next, we can specify a specific person to watch by picking them as the Watching Person, or we can instead choose a note type to watch. If you want to get very specific, you can select both a person and a note type to watch; that will serve to only notify people of that type of note when it's added to that specific person.

You can also create exclusions to the note watch by creating a new note watch and un-checking the Watching option. For instance, if you wanted a group of your staff to be notified whenever a communication type note is added to anyone, you would set that up as normal using the process described above. But maybe you don't want them to know when someone said they contacted your senior pastor. In that case, you'd add a second note watch and select your staff group as the Watcher Group, but un-check Watching and specify your senior pastor as the Watching Person. Now your staff group won't be notified of any notes added to your senior pastor's profile, but they'll still be notified of all other communication type notes added to other people.

Exceptions to the Rule

In the above example, if the Note Watch that caused your staff to get notifications of all communication notes had Allow Override un-checked, the second rule with "Watching" un-checked would no longer apply to the first rule. Use this option if there's a watching rule you want to be really sure won't get turned off by another rule.

All note notifications use the Note Watch Notification System Communications template, so edit that template if you'd like. You can specify additional recipients of all notifications by adding them to the To field in the template, or on the Send Note Notifications job itself. Note notifications will always be sent as a digest, rather than sending one email for every single watched note reply, which could quickly overwhelm your inbox.

Note Attributes

You can add attributes to the Note entity to track additional details about the note or to help with automation and data tracking.

Attribute for Person Note
Attribute for Person Note

In almost all cases you'll want to configure the attribute to only show for certain types of Notes. As pictured below, you can specify a Note Type Id to make sure the attribute only applies to the notes you want.

Entity Attribute for Person Note
Entity Attribute for Person Note

For more information on setting up attributes for entities like Notes, see the Entity Attributes section of this guide.

Electronic Signatures

Many events and activities require waivers and releases to be signed by participants. Rock allows you to easily gather these signatures electronically without the need for a third party service. The requirement of a signed document can be added to a registration or a workflow. We'll cover how to configure these, and then we'll walk you through the configuration of the electronic signatures environment.

In Workflows
In Workflows
In Event Registration
In Event Registration

Anatomy of an Electronic Signature

Before we jump in to see electronic signatures in action, let's look at what makes up an electronic signature in Rock.

  • Signing Document: The person electronically signs a document, which is based on a template. Each electronic signature will produce a signed document.
  • Applies To: Since the documents that go out for signatures can often be for minors, Rock distinguishes between the person to whom the document applies and the person who needs to sign the document. In the case of a camp waiver, the Applies To field would be the child going to camp.
  • Assigned To: The Assigned To field represents the person who has been assigned to sign the document. In the camp example, this would be the parent or person who completed the registration.
  • Signed By: This represents the person who electronically signed the document. This will be the same person that the document was Assigned To. Continuing with the camp example, this would be the parent or person who completed the registration.

Electronic Signatures and Workflows

Often, you'll want to have someone electronically sign a document as part of a workflow. This is super easy because there's a Workflow Action Type designed just for that. The Electronic Signature action type will present the person with a document to sign from within the workflow, similar to a workflow form.

Electronic Signature Workflow Action
Electronic Signature Workflow Action
1 Signature Document Template
Select the template for the document the person will be asked to sign. This is where crafting a clear and concise name for your template pays off. Note, if you define the template here then the next field below will be ignored.
2 Select Signature Document
Here you can provide either a Signature Document Template's ID, or its GUID. Or you can use a workflow attribute to assign the document type. This allows you to have multiple signature documents in the same workflow. This area of the setup will be ignored if you specified a Signature Document Template in the field above.
3 Applies to Person
You can set an attribute of type Person to indicate who the document applies to. In the case of a parent filling out a form for their child, the child would be the person the document applies to.
4 Assigned To Person
This is the person who is responsible for signing the form. In the case of a parent filling out a form for their child, this would be the parent.
5 Signed by Person
Select the Person attribute that represents the person who actually signed the document. If the person is logged in, then they will be assigned as the Signed by Person regardless of the value of this attribute.
6 Signature Document
This is the attribute that holds the signature document itself. This attribute should be of type Binary File and should use a File Type of Digitally Signed Documents.
7 Signature Document Name
This Lava-enabled field lets you set the name of the document that gets created using this action. In this example we're using the names of the Signed by Person and the Applies to Person to dynamically generate the name of the document.

After the electronic signature is captured, the person is asked to provide an email address so they can be sent a copy of the document for their records.

Electronic Signatures and Event Registrations

Electronic signatures often come in handy for event registrations. When someone signs up for an event, they can easily sign the form or waiver electronically. The neat thing? If, say, Cindy Decker is registering Noah Decker for an activity that requires "Release Form A," and Noah already has a valid signed "Release Form A," we won't make them sign it again. Rock's standard person matching logic helps us figure out if the person matches someone in Rock who has already signed the document. Easy and efficient!

Obsidian Registration Entry

For your electronic signatures to work with event registrations, you must use the Obsidian version of the Registration Entry block on your external website. Similarly, if you try to use the Obsidian version of the block with a legacy signature document, your registration process will break. Stick with the most up-to-date block and Electronic Signature Document features to keep things running smoothly.

You can define the signature document that's required for an event registration on the registration's template. You can find this under Tools > Event Registration and then by editing the registration template you wish to configure. Under the Details panel select the signature document you want to use by picking one from the Required Signature Document list.

The logic for determining the Assigned To and Applies To is as follows:

  1. Applies To: Will always be the registrant of the registration. Each registrant will have their own form that needs to be signed.
  2. Assigned To: This is a bit more complex. If the registrant is an adult, then the Assigned To will be the registrant. If the registrant is a child, the Assigned To will be the person completing the registration.

Adults and Children

Because the signature logic distinguishes between adults and children, you may want to include a required Birthdate field on your registration form.

You can monitor the results of the electronic signature from the registration instance under the Registrants tab. From this screen you can see the completed documents.

Registration Signature Document Example
Registration Signature Document Example

After the electronic signature is captured, the person is asked to provide an email address so they can be sent a copy of the document for their records.

Required Login

We recommend that you require logging in if you want to include the current person's name in the text portion of signature document. This is because the "typed name" won't otherwise be known until after it's signed.

Setting Up Electronic Signatures

Now that you've seen what electronic signatures can do, let's look at how to set them up.

Your first step in gathering electronic signatures will be to create a Document Template by navigating to Admin Tools > General Settings > Signature Documents. The template will be used to generate the individual documents a person will sign. Out of the box, Rock ships with an example Photo Release template and a Field Trip Release template. You can use these templates as a reference for creating your own.

Signature Input Type

As described below, we very strongly recommend using a Typed signature and not a Drawn signature. Both are equally valid in terms of legal representation, however a drawn signature is considered Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and storing it in Rock may have additional legal consequences.

Signature Document Template
Signature Document Template
1 Name
Be sure the name of the document is clear and concise. This name will appear elsewhere in Rock when you need to select a template to use. The name is also included in the Electronic Signature Receipt System Communication.
2 Description
A good description can help avoid problems or confusion in the future. In this example it's made clear in the description that the template needs to be provided with the SignedByPerson and the AppliesToPerson.
3 Document Term
Out of the box the Document Term is used by the Electronic Signature Receipt System Communication. The Document Term appears after the name of the Signature Document in the communication. You'll also see it in other places, like during event registration when the person is asked to "Please Sign the [Document Term] for [Person]".
4 Signature Input Type
Here you can select whether the signature should be Typed (the person types their name) or Drawn (the person uses a mouse or finger to draw a signature). Because a drawn signature is considered Personally Identifiable Information, we strongly recommend using Typed.
5 File Type
The signed document will be stored in Rock, and this setting determines which type of file it will be stored as. In most cases this will probably be set to Digitally Signed Documents, but you can use other file types if needed.
6 Completion Email Template
This is where you'll select which System Communication should be used to send a copy of the signed document to the person who signed it (technically the SignedByPerson). The Electronic Signature Receipt that ships with Rock was created for this purpose.
7 Template Tips
Click here to display some helpful tips for creating your own template. Just remember the attribute keys in this template will need to match the attribute keys you have configured in your workflow or event registration.
8 Lava Template
The template provided here will become the body of the document that the person is being asked to sign. In other words, this is where you'll design your document. You might notice in the Photo Release example that there are Lava merge fields that reference workflow attributes. That's because this template is designed to be used with the Electronic Signature workflow action type.

The legacy method of setting up a Signature Document (using a third-party provider like SignNow) can still be accessed from the page above. Simply edit the block settings and set Show Legacy Signature Providers to "Yes". Keep in mind that support for these signature providers is ending, so you need to transition your documents now if you haven't already. For instance, the Registration Entry block (Obsidian) does not work with the legacy documents.

PDF Generation

After a document has been signed, a PDF is created that contains the body of the document and the person's signature. This is done so the person can be sent a PDF copy of the document after signing. In most cases Rock will handle this for you automatically. However, some organizations may need to use an external service for PDF generation.

If you're running Web Services on Azure, or if you're running Rock in an environment that does not support running Puppeteer/Chrome on the server, you'll need a third-party service to handle PDF generation. We recommend Once you're signed up, all you need to do is add a PDF External Render Endpoint to your System Settings under Admin Tools > System Settings > System Configuration as pictured below.

PDF External Render Endpoint
PDF External Render Endpoint

Managing Signature Documents

OK, so now we've seen how to create electronic signature templates and how to use them in workflows and event registrations to gather signatures. Let's wrap it up by looking at how you can view these documents.

To view signed documents, navigate to Admin Tools > General Settings > Signature Documents and select the document template you wish to view.

Managing Documents
Managing Documents
1 Document Template Detail
From here you can edit the template details.
2 Documents
This is a list of signature documents for the template. Note that the name of the document is a combination of the source and the person's name. The source in this case is the registration instance name.
3 Signed Document
Clicking on a row will show you details about the signed document, and lets you resend the completion email. You can also click the document icon to see the signed document.

External Authentication Services

Rock allows individuals to log in using several different authentication services. The only one active after an install, however, is the Rock database provider. This provider gives individuals their own Rock username and password. For many organizations this will be the default service they’ll use for authenticating an individual, as no additional configuration is required to enable it. Each of the additional services is discussed in more detail below.

Active Directory

Many organizations already have a Microsoft Active Directory (AD) infrastructure in place for their employees to log into the network, email and other resources. Rock can use this as an additional authentication source once configured.

You can set up Rock to use your Active Directory under
Admin Tools > Security > Authentication Services > Active Directory

Active Directory Setup
AD Settings
Be sure to activate the security service by selecting Yes.
Provide the server name of one of your Active Directory Domain Controllers.
Configure the AD Domain on the server to authenticate to.

Once the service is configured, you're ready to create logins in Rock. Active Directory logins can't use the normal Rock registration process. Instead, you must add the login manually to the user on the Person Profile page.

Facebook Authentication

Password fatigue is a common problem with sites that require registration. In fact, a recent study found that 92% of shoppers abandon a website rather than go through the process of recovering a lost or forgotten password! However, if the website has a social media login option, they are 65% more likely to return. The same study showed that a majority of individuals prefer Facebook as their credential of choice. Luckily setting up a Rock website to use Facebook authentication is quick and easy.

Step 1: Create a Facebook App

Before you can add a Facebook login, your organization will need a Facebook "App". Visit the Facebook Developer website ( to see the Apps that have been configured for your Facebook account. You'll need to designate someone’s personal Facebook account in your organization to use as the 'admin', but you can choose an organization’s email to be the contact email when setting this up. If you don't already have an App, follow these steps in the Facebook site to add one:

  1. At the top of the screen click the Register Now button. This will begin the quick start setup.
  2. You might need to verify your account with a phone number and provide some additional personal information.
  3. Click the Create First App button.
  4. You'll be presented with a screen asking for a Display Name and Contact Email for your app. Once you've entered a name and email, click Create App ID.
  5. You'll then have to go through a "captcha" step, just to make sure you're not a robot.
  6. The next screen will be the Product Setup screen. Click the Set Up button for "Facebook Login".
  7. Next, choose the "WWW" Web option.
  8. On the "Tell Us about Your Website" panel, enter in your site URL and click Save and then Continue.
  9. You can then just keep clicking Next to continue past the "Set Up the Facebook SDK for JavaScript", "Check Login Status", "Add the Facebook Login Button" and "Next Step" panels. Rock takes care of all these things for you.
  10. Now that you've navigated through all the panels under the "Web" setup, over in the left sidebar under Products, under "Facebook Login", click the Settings option.
  11. In the Client OAuth Settings section, enter the URL for your site in the "Valid OAuth redirect URIs" field. You need to include the port your website runs on (default is 80) such as Currently, Facebook has Force HTTPS enabled by default. As of October 6, 2018, this is required. Port 443 will need to be used instead of 80. You'll also need to add the page that has the Facebook login button onto the end of the domain (i.e., or (Note: Only the Web OAuth Login needs to be enabled in this section. You can turn off the 'Client OAuth Login' option). Click Save Changes when you're finished.
  12. Now, back in the left sidebar, click the "Settings" option (not the "Settings" option under Facebook Login, but the main "Settings" section above). From the "Basic" screen, note the "App ID" and "App Secret" values. You'll need these two values when configuring Rock.
  13. Before you make your app public, Facebook recommends submitting any additional features or permissions for App Review -- user_friends is one such feature that will need to be submitted if you would like to use the Facebook Friend Known Relationship within Rock.
  14. To submit an item for approval, click App Review on the left-hand menu and then click “Permissions and Features”.
  15. A new page will present you with a list of available Permissions and Features. Permissions you can submit. Scroll down to user_friends and click the Request button.
  16. Click the “Continue” link that appears in place of the Request button.
  17. You'll be redirected to a Request for App Review page. You may need to add Business Verification.
  18. Click each section on the page to provide the requested details according to the instructions provided.
  19. Provide "App Verification Details" by describing how a person can test the integration. An example template is provided.
  20. For "Requested Permissions and Features" you’ll need to tell Facebook how you'll use the desired permission. You'll also need to upload a screencast demonstrating how the permission is being used. For user_friends, for example, we did a quick 10 second screencast showing a Facebook Friend Known Relationship in the Known Relationship block on the person profile page (essentially just scrolling down the page and highlighting the known relationship). You’ll need to do this for each requested permission.
  21. For "Complete App Settings" you’ll need to provide several configuration pieces. Add an icon for your app, and provide the URL to your privacy policy for the app. Then, select the appropriate “Business Use” (probably “Support my own business”). Lastly, you’ll need to select an App Category from the list provided.
  22. After all of the steps on the Request for App Review page have been completed, you can click the Submit for Review button at the bottom of the page.

Step 2: Configure Rock

Now that you have a Facebook App, you can start configuring Rock to use the Facebook authentication. Follow these steps:

  1. Activate the Facebook Authentication Service by navigating to the
    Admin Tools > Security > Authentication Services > Facebook page.
    Enter the Facebook "App Id" and "App Secret" that you saved from the previous steps, and make sure that the service is Active. Save your changes.
  2. Now enable the Facebook login on any of your login pages by updating the block settings of the login control to enable the "Facebook" external service provider. Having this block setting allows you to decide which of your sites allow Facebook to be used (some organizations may prefer not to allow Facebook to be used to login to their internal Rock site). Also make sure the "Redirect Page" setting is pointed to the default home page for your site. Once enabled, your login screen will now have an additional button to allow individuals to login using their Facebook account.
    Login Screen
    Login Screen

Now that you've enabled Facebook login, when someone logs in using Facebook, they will see a screen similar to the one below that links their Facebook account to your server.

Facebook Account Link Page
Facebook Login

When an individual's Facebook account is used for the first time Rock will apply the following logic to attempt to match the Facebook account to a Rock record.

  1. If a person record can be found with the same First Name, Last Name and Email, the login is attached to this record. As an extra bonus, if no photo exists in Rock for this person their photo from Facebook will be added to their record in Rock.
  2. If an exact match can't be made, a new record is created in Rock using the information from their Facebook account. The record status of this new individual is set to "Pending" so they will show up under the "Pending Individuals" report Tools > Reports | Organization > Data Integrity > Pending Individuals.

When a new person record is created as a result of a Facebook login, we'll pull the following information from Facebook:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Email
  • Gender

Whenever they log in, we'll also do the following:

  1. If the person doesn't have a photo in Rock and they do in Facebook, their Facebook photo will be added to Rock.
  2. Their Facebook Media Link will be updated.
  3. Any of their friends that have also logged into Rock using Facebook will be added as a Facebook Friend known relationship.

Google Authentication

With the popularity of Gmail, Google authentication is an attractive alternative for many guests. Below are the steps necessary for Rock to use your guests' Google passwords for authentication.

  1. Visit and create a new project for your organization. If you already have a Google Maps API key, then you'll want to use that project.
  2. On the left hand of the screen expand the APIs and auth menu, click on Credentials, and at the top of the screen click on OAuth consent screen.
  3. Fill out this screen with your organization’s information. The information given here will be presented to your users when they sign in for the first time. A preview of the screen your users will see should be on the righthand side of your screen. You’ll want to include branding that your users will recognize and trust.
  4. At the top of the screen click on the Credentials tab then click on the Add Credentials dropdown, select OAuth 2.0 client ID, and then select Web Application.
  5. Under Authorized redirect URLs, you'll need to place the full URL of all the login pages you configure to use Google authentication. For example, for the internal site. When you've finished adding URLs click Create.
  6. You should be presented with a Client ID and a Client Secret. Note these values and add them to the Google service configuration under Admin Tools > Security > Authentication Services > Google.

Twitter Authentication

Rounding out the list of popular sites to use for authentication, we also support Twitter. The directions below will get you up and running quickly.

  1. Visit and create a new app for your organization.
  2. Give your app a name and a description. This will appear to your users, so make it recognizable. Also put in your organization's forward-facing website URL, and in the callback URL field put the URL for your primary login page. This will be overridden but the callback URL field needs to have a value for the authentication service to work (for example: Click Create.
  3. Navigate to the Keys and Access Tokens tab at the top and note the Consumer Key and Consumer Secret values. Add these to the Twitter service configuration under:
    Admin Tools > Security > Authentication Services > Twitter.
  4. In order for your application to connect Rock user accounts to Twitter accounts, you need to request elevated permission for your application to access email information associated with Twitter accounts. You can do this via this link and select the I need access to special permissions option.

Auth0 Integration

Auth0 is a single-sign-on service that provides a layer of extensibility to your authentication strategy. Why would you need a service like this? Auth0 solves three primary needs:

  1. It allows for a centralized authentication service outside of Rock. For most organizations centralizing their authentication inside of Rock is a great feature. Others prefer to have all authentication reside in an independent service. This is often desirable if you have several other systems needing shared authentication and you don’t want to write Rock integrations for each.
  2. The second scenario where Auth0 makes a lot of sense is enabling social logins. Out of the box Rock supports most of the popular services, but Auth0 supports far more.
  3. Finally, if you need passwordless authentication (via SMS, email, etc.) or two-factor authentication Auth0 can provide that for you.

Enough talk, let's get Auth0 configured for Rock. The instructions below assume that you have an Auth0 account with the desired connections and administrative settings pre-configured.

  1. The first step is to create a new ‘Client’ in the Auth0 administrator site. Select ‘Clients’ from the left-hand navigation to get started.
  2. Give your client a name and select the ‘Regular Web Applications’ option.
    Creating a Client
    Auth0 Create Client Screen
  3. The next screen will show ‘Quick Start’ options. It’s much easier to just fill in the settings so head over to the ‘Settings’ tab. Here you’ll find the ‘Domain’, ‘Client ID’ and ‘Client Secret’. Keep track of these as you’ll need them in the Rock configuration. On this screen you’ll need to provide the following settings:
    • Allowed Callback URLs – This is a list of Rock Login URLS that will be using Auth0. You can provide as many URLs here as you need, separated by a comma.
    • You can also optionally add logos for the connection. This will help the individual logging in better understand what's happening.
    Configuring a Client
    Auth0 Rock Internal Screen
  4. Finally, you need to give your client some extra permissions. In the Auth0 manager head over to the APIs link and select the 'Auth0 Management API'. From the tabs at the top select 'Non Interactive Clients'. You should see your client listed here. Be sure that your client is 'Authorized'. Next, select the down arrow to authorize specific scopes. You'll need to enable both the 'read:users' and 'read:users_app_metadata' scopes.
    Authorizing a Client
    Auth0 Rock Internal Screen

External Authentication Services

After activating the service in Admin Tools > Security > Authentication Services, open the login pages you wish to enable the authentication on (/page/207 for External Login and /page/3 for Internal Login), edit the Login Block Property, and turn on Remote Authorization Types for the services that you activated.

OpenID Connect

In the External Authentication Services chapter above we talked about how people can use different external accounts to log in to Rock. But what about the flip side of the coin, where people can use Rock to log in to other external systems?

That's where OpenID Connect (OIDC) comes in. OIDC is an open standard for verifying the identity of an individual in one system based on the authentication performed by another system. Rock ships with an OIDC Server feature that can allow a third-party system to use Rock as an authorization server. That means your members can log in to an external site like Church Online Platform using their Rock username and password.

In the sections below we’ll cover how these features work and what you’ll need to set them up.

Servers and Clients

Before we get too far, it’s important to keep in mind the distinction between server and client.

Server applies to the system that’s doing the authentication. The client system uses the authentication provided by the server to grant access.

For instance, let's say a person is using their Rock username and password to log in to Church Online Platform. In that case, Rock would be the server and Church Online Platform would be the client.

Rock OpenID Connect Server

Let's see how to configure Rock as the authentication server for an outside system. You'll probably want to set up Rock at the same time you're setting up the client system. There's information Rock will need about the client, and the client will need some things from Rock, so it makes sense to have both up at once if you can.

Adding OIDC Clients in Rock

Each external system you're working with will need their own OIDC Client configuration in Rock. In the below example, we'll be setting up Rock to interact with Church Online Platform (ChOP). A little later in the next section we'll show you how things look in ChOP so you can see how everything connects.

To start, navigate to Admin Tools > Security > OpenID Connect Clients. From here you can view the clients you already have set up or add new ones to the list. In this example we'll be adding a new client for ChOP.

OpenID Connect Client Setup
OpenID Connect Client Setup
1 Name
Be sure to provide a descriptive name, so you can easily distinguish between clients.
2 Client ID
The Client ID is a critical part of what connects Rock and the client. It must be exactly the same for both systems or the process won't work. The Client ID should be created in Rock using the Generate Id button, and then copied from Rock to the client system.
3 Client Secret
If you think of the Client ID as a username, then the Client Secret would be like a password. Like the Client ID, the Secret must match exactly between both systems and can initially be generated by clicking the Generate Secret button in Rock. You only get one chance to see the Client Secret when you first generate it, so if you lose track of it, you’ll need to generate a new one.
4 Redirect Uri
After the person has provided their credentials, they will be redirected back to the client via the path indicated here. As you'll see in the next section below, this URI is provided by the client system.
5 Logout Redirect Uri
When the person logs out of the client system, they can be taken to the URI listed here. In this case, we're using the "Church Online Platform Origin" provided by ChOP, but you can choose a different path. Just keep in mind that the client system chooses whether or not to use this URI. If you log out of the client system and aren't taken to the path provided here don't worry, it just means the client system isn't using it.
6 Scope Approval Expiration
This is basically the amount of time, in days, that we're allowed to send someone's information. After this time period elapses, permission from the person (scope approval) needs to be obtained again.
7 Allowed Scopes and Claims
This is where you can choose what information the client system can get from Rock. Keep in mind the client must specifically request this information. For instance, checking the ‘Address’ box doesn’t mean a person’s address will be sent to the client every time they log in. By checking the box, you’re saying that the external system is allowed to have that information if they request it.

Changing Scopes and Claims

If you want to get really advanced, Rock lets you change the list of Scopes and Claims. You can access the OpenID Connect Scopes configuration from the OpenID Connect Clients page at Admin Tools > Security > OpenID Connect Clients. Just remember that this requires coordination with (and possible changes to) the client system, to support the updates you make.

Example Client System Setup

Each client will be a little different, so it’s challenging to provide specific instructions that apply to any system that’s out there. In this section we’ll use Church Online Platform (ChOP) as an example client, but the same key points will apply to any system that supports OpenID Connect.

First, you’ll need to log in to ChOP. If you don’t have a login, you can create one here. When you’re logged in, you'll need to access the Admin menu. If you're not already there, there's a button near the top-left where you can "Go to Admin". From the Admin menu, click "Integrations" on the left, then select "OpenID Connect” and click the “Set Up” button. You’ll then be brought to the page pictured below.

This page has fields for information you’ll need to get from Rock, and it also provides information you’ll need to add to Rock. As we mentioned earlier, this is why it's a good idea to set up both systems at the same time.

OpenID Connect ChOP Settings
OpenID Connect Client-Side Settings
1 Callback URL
In this example we need to use the Callback URL from ChOP as the Redirect Uri discussed in the prior section. This will always be pointed to the client site.
2 Church Online Platform Origin
The Platform Origin is sort of like a homepage. In this case, ChOP has provided us with the public URL that Rock Solid Church uses for our online services. This is a logical place to bring people when they log out of ChOP, so we've used this as our Logout Redirect Uri in Rock as shown in the prior section above.
3 Issuer URI
This will be your organization's website. Specifically, this needs to be the Public Application Root in Rock's Global Attributes. If you're having trouble connecting with a client, try using https instead of http for your Public Application Root and make sure it exactly matches what's in the client system, including the / at the end.
4 Client ID
You'll populate this with the Client Id that was generated from Rock, as described in the prior section above. It is critical to the process that the Client ID is exactly the same between both systems, so this is one of the first things you should check if things aren't working.
5 Client Secret
Just like the Client ID, this will be generated in Rock and then copied over to the client system. Also like the Client ID, the Client Secret needs to be exactly the same between both systems. Remember, Rock won't show you the Client Secret after it's been saved, so if you need it and can't access it, you'll have to generate a new one and copy it over to the client.
6 Test Configuration
Church Online Platform gives you a handy Test Configuration button to make sure both systems can communicate with each other. If something's wrong, ChOP will let you know what it is. If the test is successful, all you'll need to do is confirm your email address to finish the setup.

With the above setup in place, your staff and guests can immediately start using their Rock credentials to log in to Church Online Platform. Again, we've been using ChOP in this example, but you'll find any system that supports OIDC uses similar (if not identical) terminology and configuration.

Unique Email Addresses

Be aware that ChOP has a 'unique email' policy so only one person can have any particular email address. If people have shared email addresses in Rock, they will receive an error message when the second person attempts to log in using OpenID Connect with ChOP.

Person Tokens

There may be times when it’s useful to view either the internal Rock site or the external organization site as an individual other than yourself. For example, if someone calls needing technical support because of a problem with their person profile, an admin may want to view the page while logged in as that person. This allows the admin to see exactly what the person sees. Rather than creating a new login—which can result in duplicates in the database—Rock uses person tokens, which allow Rock admins to log in as (i.e., impersonate) users without requiring passwords. This not only makes troubleshooting easier, but it also helps keep your database tidy. Anytime an admin impersonates another user, a record of the login is kept in the user's history tab.

Tokens are configurable, so you have control over how long they’re valid for and how many times they may be used before expiring. Let’s take a look at how to do this.

Configuring Person Tokens

Person tokens come preconfigured in Rock and can be found in the Global Attributes screen
(Admin Tools > General Settings > Global Attributes).
There are three Person Token attributes: Person Token Expire Minutes, Person Token Usage Limit, and Person Token Use Legacy Fallback. Click on an attribute to open its configuration settings.

The Person Token Expire Minutes attribute is the length of time the person token is valid, configured in minutes. The default setting is 43200, or 30 days. If you want the person token to be valid for a shorter amount of time, enter the value in minutes in the Person Token Expire Minutes field.

The Person Token Usage Limit is the default maximum number of times a person token can be used. By default, the value is blank, meaning there's no limit to the number of times the token can be used. If you want to set a limit, enter a numerical value in the Person Token Usage Limit Value screen.

The Person Token Use Legacy Fallback tells Rock whether or not to use pre-v7 legacy person token settings if they come through the system. If the Person Token Use Legacy Fallback Value is set to No, those legacy tokens will be rejected. We recommend keeping the value set to Yes for a few months after updating to v7, just to be on the safe side.

You can also configure and read person tokens using the PersonTokenCreate and PersonTokenRead Lava filters. To learn more about how to use Lava for Person Tokens, see the Lava guide.

Now let’s look at how you put the person tokens to use by impersonating another user.

Impersonating Another Person

Impersonation is enabled in the Bio block settings of the Person Profile page.

Enable Impersonation
Enable Impersonation
1 Enable Impersonation
To enable impersonation, select Yes in the Enable Impersonation field.
2 Impersonation Start Page
You can configure Rock to automatically take you to a different page when you impersonate someone. Typically, you would want to set this to your public Rock site (see note below), but it can be any Rock site/page you desire.

Once you’ve saved your block settings, you’re ready to impersonate another person. To do this, search for the profile page of the person you want to impersonate, click the Actions button in the upper right corner of the screen, and select Impersonate from the menu options. Rock will take you to the page specified as the Impersonation Start Page, and you’ll now view the site as that person. Keep in mind this means you’ll only be able to see what that person can see based on their security roles and permissions.

Keep in mind that not every person can be impersonated. People with certain Account Protection Profile levels can't be impersonated, based on your Security Settings.

Admin Toolbar Restore Button
Admin Toolbar Restore

Impersonation remains in effect until the browser session ends, you log out of Rock, or you click the Restore button in the admin toolbar at the bottom of the screen as pictured above.


It's recommended that you set the Impersonation Start Page on the block to point at your public-facing Rock site if your primary use of this feature will be to impersonate attendees interacting with your public Rock pages. Failure to set a start page will cause Rock to remain on the internal site when you impersonate someone, which can lead to "access denied" errors necessitating a browser restart, because the person you're impersonating (most likely) doesn't have rights to the internal Rock site.

Internationalization & Localization

While true internationalization is beyond the scope of the Rock project, we do want to make Rock friendly for organizations outside of the United States. Each localization topic is discussed separately below.

Phone Numbers

Post-install, Rock is configured to support only US-formatted phone numbers. When only one country is configured, the phone entry field looks like the example below.

Phone Entry With Single Country Configured

This field can easily be adjusted to support other countries. Simply add country specific formatting fields to the Admin Tools > General Settings > Defined Types > Phone Country Code defined type.

Each new entry should have the following values.

  • Value: This is the country code that's used when dialing the number.
  • Description: A short description of the phone formatting pattern.
  • Match Expression: This is a regular expression that's used to match the value you entered and apply the correct formatting to it. For instance, a seven-digit number in the US would match the formatting rule 555-5555 while a 10 digit number would match to (555) 555-5555.
  • Formatting Expression: This string is used to apply the formatting to the matched number. Each grouping of numbers is represented by a $#.
Phone Configuration


You can find more information on the formatting of phone numbers for specific countries on Wikipedia.

We've also started a short list of best practices that have been shared by other Rock community members. You can check them out at

Once you add a second country, the phone number field will change a bit in look. You'll notice the addition of a country code selection at the beginning of the input. The phone country code listed at the top of the defined type list will become the default country code, so in the screen shown above grab the hamburger grips to the left of each entry and drag them up and down the list as you desire.

Phone Entry With Multiple Countires Configured

Formatting Phone Numbers on the Person Profile Page

There's a setting on the Bio block used on the Person Profile page that enables the country code to be prepended to all phone numbers. Enabling this setting may help the formatting for many international organizations.

Dates & Times

We believe the .Net framework that Rock is built on should handle the formatting of dates and times correctly across regions. If you find an area of Rock that shows a date and/or time in a US format, please let us know by opening a Rock issue. Before opening a request, be sure to check the server's culture setting. This can be found on the ‘System Information’ dialog accessed from the Admin Toolbar at the bottom of each page.


There really isn't any magic in Rock’s implementation of local currencies. Behind the scenes, currency is stored simply as a number. You can change the currency symbol displayed within the application under
Admin Tools > General Settings > Global Attributes | Organization Currency Code. The Organization Currency Code will be set to 'USD' (United States Dollars) for organizations in the United States.

It’s Important To Understand...

Changing the currency code doesn’t have any other effect than changing the symbol in front of amounts when displayed. Be sure that your payment gateways are properly configured for the same currency as the symbol you're displaying, otherwise individuals will be incorrectly credited in their account.

If you're displaying currency in Lava, use the FormatAsCurrency filter to return a numeric value with the appropriate symbol according to your Organization Currency Code.

International Address Support

By default, Rock is set to accept and display US-formatted addresses. For most organizations operating inside the US, this will be the preferred configuration. Enabling support for international addresses is simple and remarkably powerful. Let’s take a look.

Enabling International Addresses

The first step is to tell Rock that you would like to use international addresses when editing and viewing addresses.

  1. Navigate to Admin Tools > General Settings > Global Attributes.
  2. Click the attribute Support International Addresses and choose Yes in the Support International Addresses field.

Rock will now display the inputs required for storing international addresses. It will also display addresses in an internationally-friendly way.

That was the simple part—now for the power!

Configuring International Addresses

Unfortunately, we live in a world with few standards. Why the world hasn't accepted the mile is beyond us (5,280 feet in a mile makes perfect sense. Brilliant really...) Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than with addresses. Some countries have 'states', others 'provinces'; some 'zips', others 'postal codes'. Some put the zip first; others put it last.

Rock allows for a good deal of configuration on how international addresses are entered and displayed. With a few exceptions, the configurations for each country will need to be adjusted as they change on a seemingly daily basis. To complete the configuration, follow these steps.

  1. Be sure that the countries you need are in the country list
    Admin Tools > General Settings > Defined Types > Countries.
    Also ensure that the correct abbreviation is in the Value field and the proper terms for City, State and Postal Code are correct. Also adjust the Address Format as needed to fit the requirements of the country. This format is what will be used to display addresses inside of Rock for the given country.
    Country Configuration
  2. Next, enter the Address States for the countries that will be commonly used. You’ll find these under
    Admin Tools > General Settings > Defined Types > Address States.
    When entering new states, be sure to match them to the country using the country dropdown.

    When entering states, you'll enter the state abbreviation (e.g., 'AZ') in the Value field and the full name (e.g., 'Arizona') in the Description. Both values are required.

Rock will now display the inputs required for storing international addresses. It will also display addresses in an internationally-friendly way.

Country Preference

When showing a list of countries, Rock will put the country of the organization both at the top of the list and also in alphabetical order. This allows the most commonly-selected country to be an easy selection for your users.

School Grades

Rock provides a customizable system for determining the educational grade/year an individual is in. You can read more about how this grade system works in the Person & Family Field Guide.

Strategies for Full Localization

Full localization, including the support for multiple languages, is outside of the scope of the Rock project. However, it's possible for someone to fork Rock's source and localize the code and database contents. If you're interested in starting an internationalized port let us know and we'd be happy to help share your work.

Things You Should Not Do

Learning from the mistakes of others is a painless way to avoid making mistakes of your own. Based on real-life experiences within the Rock Community, we have some suggestions for things not to do.

Creating Lots of Fake People

There’s no denying that it can be useful to have fake person records in your production Rock instance. There are times when you want to try something out, but don’t want to risk changing or damaging a real record. That’s understandable, and fairly common. However, having too many of these records can negatively impact things like reporting, communications and system performance. Eventually you’ll want to clean up, and that’s where you’ll run into some challenges.

If you must have fake records, then we strongly recommend that you keep the count as low as you possibly can. Adding even a single person impacts many different tables and data throughout Rock. From attributes to addresses, think of all the things you associate with people and families in Rock, and then consider having to identify and undo all those things. It’s like shooting a shotgun into a bale of hay and then having to find and remove all the pellets without missing any. It’s a manual process; we don’t have a magnet for you.

Need Some Help?

Removing fake records is very challenging, to the point where you might need to hire outside help. If you do, our partners are ready and able to assist you. However, even for Rock experts this is a difficult and complex task, so we don’t expect our partners to guarantee every fake record can be removed entirely from all areas of your system. The only way to ensure a clean system is to avoid adding these records in the first place.

Changing Blocks

It’s possible to inject custom CSS / JavaScript to modify Rock’s core blocks or to change the user interface on a block. While that may be tempting if you have the technical resources to do it, we advise against modifying blocks that ship with Rock or come from the Rock Shop. Trust us, your future self is screaming at you right now not to do this.

Injecting custom code dramatically complicates future troubleshooting and maintenance for yourself and others. The Rock Community is always willing to help and support you, but it’s very challenging if you’re using a different block than everyone else.

Also keep in mind that new Rock releases or fixes could overwrite or conflict with the changes you’ve made, possibly resulting in broken functionality. Rock upgrades assume that the core blocks are unchanged. There are ways to mitigate this risk, but they all require time and resources you wouldn’t otherwise need.

We have a few other suggestions for things to avoid with your website in our Designing and Building Websites Using Rock guide.

What To Do When Things Go Wrong

In life there will always be problems. The key is how you go about solving them. Below are a few tips to help you successfully navigate issues as they arise.

Your best resource in dealing with problems is knowledge. The more you know about how Rock works, the better off you'll be. We strongly recommend reading each manual that comes with Rock. You even might make it a habit to re-read manuals more than once. With each reading, your understanding of the material will grow. You may find that new ideas come to you as you cover the material on multiple reads.

What to Do When Rock Won't Load

You make a configuration change and next thing you know Rock's not loading any longer. What should you do?! First, relax. A calm mind will lead to a quicker resolution while stress might only dig you in deeper. Below are some things you should try first.

Check for Exceptions in The Database

First check the exceptions log in the database. This is made a bit tricky because you can't use Rock's built-in screens to check the logs. Instead, you'll have to use SQL Server Manager or a similar tool to view the errors.

Once you connect to your database, look into the ExceptionLog table. You can also try running the SQL statement below to view the error.

    SELECT TOP 100 *
        FROM [ExceptionLog]
        ORDER BY [CreatedDateTime] DESC                    

Check for Exceptions in The File System Log

When things are so bad that Rock can't even write to the database, we'll write the exception to a comma-delimited file on the web server's file system. The file is located at ~/App_Data/Logs/RockExceptions.csv.

Getting 500 Errors to Display

When all you get back from Rock is a server 500 error, you can modify your web.config to return a more detailed error message.

Be Very Careful

Incorrectly editing your web.config file can cause serious problems. Be sure to make a copy of the original file before editing. Also be sure to change these settings back when you're done.

Two changes will need to be made before a detailed error will be displayed.

  1. Immediately after the line <system.web> add a new line with this text <customErrors mode="Off"/>
  2. Next, you'll need to comment out the custom error configuration. To do this, simply edit the existing comment from this:
    <!-- Add a custom handler for 404 errors to load Http404Error page.
    The Http404Error page will check to see if the site has a configured 404 page, and if so, it will then redirect to the custom page.--> 
    <httpErrors errorMode="Custom" existingResponse="Replace">
       <remove statusCode="404" subStatusCode="-1" />
       <error statusCode="404" path="/Http404Error.aspx" responseMode="ExecuteURL" />
    to this:
    <!-- Add a custom handler for 404 errors to load Http404Error page.
    The Http404Error page will check to see if the site has a configured 404 page, and if so, it will then redirect to the custom page.
    <httpErrors errorMode="Custom" existingResponse="Replace">
       <remove statusCode="404" subStatusCode="-1" />
       <error statusCode="404" path="/Http404Error.aspx" responseMode="ExecuteURL" />

What To Do Next

At this point, you should now have more information about what's going on behind the scenes. Hopefully you can fix it from here. If not, you might try:

  • Posting into the Rock Q&A. Be sure to include any error message you're getting.
  • Posting on the Rocket Chat.
  • Seeking help from a Rock consultant. You might ask in the Q&A section for a recommendation. We hope to build a rating system for external resources soon.

Scaling Rock

Large organizations may be interested in scaling Rock using multiple servers. This not only provides extra capacity but provides failover in case a server goes down. To learn more about running Rock on multiple servers, check out our Hyper Scaling Rock RMS guide.

Under The Hood

While Rock comes preconfigured to run optimally on most systems, here are a few things you should know.

Initial Slow Response Times

Here's the scoop on slow initial Rock load times. Rock uses a database access technology called Entity Framework (EF). On first load (the very first page that's started when the application loads) it can take a few seconds for EF to check the database to see if any changes are required. Subsequent pages will load much faster. You'll notice that once a page loads the second load of that page is super-fast. That’s Rock’s caching engine kicking in. So that's all fine and good until…

IIS's AppPools (think of it as the engine that powers Rock) need to be refreshed on occasion. By default, this happens every 29 hours (you should reset yours to always occur at a specific time, like 1am). When the AppPool recycles the whole EF start up happens again. For more information on configuring the AppPool see this blog post.

We'd recommend that you use an HTTP status tool like Pingdom to constantly poll your site. Not only will this notify you when it's down, but it will also be the first to load your page after an AppPool recycle.

Once Rock is started there's an internal keep-alive process to ensure your site doesn't go into a sleep-like mode. Once the initial page is loaded this process will ensure that Rock stays awake and responsive.

Phone Number Lookup

The Phone Number Lookup feature is a great alternative to traditional methods of identifying a person. Instead of logging in or providing personal information, all the person needs to do is enter their mobile phone number and confirm they’re in possession of the device with that number.


To start, the person enters their mobile phone number in the screen pictured below.

Phone Number Lookup Block
Phone Number Lookup Block

After clicking Lookup, the person will receive a text message with a verification code. They’ll need to copy or type that code into the next screen pictured below. This confirms they are in possession of the device with that phone number.

Enter Confirmation Code
Enter Confirmation Code

If the person didn’t receive the text, or needs to re-enter their number, they can tap the Resend button pictured above to try again.

After providing the confirmation code and clicking Next in the screen above, the person will be returned to the area where they started the process. For instance, if this is being used with Mobile Check-In then the person would be automatically directed to the next steps for checking in.

Phone Number Matching

Behind the scenes, Rock will check the provided phone number against records in the system. If only one person has that phone number, then Rock’s job is pretty easy. But, sometimes more than one person has the same phone number in Rock. Or the person’s phone number might not be in Rock at all. Rock can still handle either scenario.

If more than one person has the phone number, Rock will ask the person with the device to indicate who they are. Remember, this happens after the confirmation code is entered in the prior screen above.

Select Person
Select Person

After tapping their name, the person will then proceed with next steps for the process they originally started (like Mobile Check-In).

If Rock can’t find the provided phone number in the system, then the person will see the screen shown below. Again, this only happens after they’ve provided the confirmation code.

Phone Not Found
Phone Not Found

In the next section we’ll show you how to configure the instructions that appear on this screen.

Not Just Mobile

Don’t forget that this block can be placed anywhere on your site. It can be accessed from a computer, laptop or other types of devices.

Phone Number Lookup Block Settings

Now that you’re more familiar with the process, let’s look at some of the configuration options you have. These settings let you tailor the experience to your needs.

Phone Number Lookup Block Settings
1 Name
The name of the block appears on each screen.
2 Text Message Template
This is where you can configure the confirmation code text message that gets sent to the person. In this example we’ve used Lava to provide the organization’s name and the confirmation code itself. We strongly advise against adding any personal information here (like "Hello, Ted!") because we don’t know for sure who has the device until they submit the confirmation code.
3 Title
The title you put here will show on each screen. This helps indicate we’re looking for an individual and not a family.
4 Authentication Level
This setting is very important. It decides what access the person has after they have submitted the confirmation code (and after selecting themselves, if necessary). You can choose from one of two settings:
  • Trusted Login - This setting will formally log the person into your Rock website if they have a login account. If they don’t have a login, they’ll be able to do most (but not all) of the functions a logged-in person could do.
  • Identified - This is the safer setting of the two, but it’s also more restrictive. In this case the person will be identified for specific areas of your site, like Attendance Self Entry or Mobile Check-in, but most secured areas will still require them to log in.
More details on this setting are provided below.
5 Initial Instructions
The instructions provided here will appear on the first screen of the block, where the person enters their phone number.
6 Verification Instructions
Here you can change the instructions that are shown when the person enters their confirmation code.
7 Individual Selection Instructions
These are the instructions that will show on the screen for selecting which person is in possession of the device. This screen only appears if more than one person in Rock has the provided phone number.
8 Phone Number Not Found Message
If the provided phone number can’t be found in Rock, then these instructions will appear. You might use this area to request that the person create a profile so they can be identified in the future.
9 Verification Time Limit
This is the amount of time, in minutes, before the verification code expires. If the code expires, the person will need to resubmit their phone number and get a new code.
10 IP Throttle Limit
This is the maximum number of times, per day, that a single IP address can submit a phone number for verification. In many cases, this is helpful to help keep SMS messaging costs down. An exception will be written to the Exception Log if the limit is reached.
11 SMS Number
This is the SMS Number that will be used to send the confirmation code text message to the person.

Authentication Level - Identified or Trusted?

Just like a bank, your external website has certain areas that are open to the public and other areas that are restricted to known people. Anyone can walk into a bank's lobby, claiming to be a customer of that bank, but the bank (hopefully) won't just take their word for it when they ask to make a withdrawal.

This is why Rock has different Authentication Levels. Sometimes it's enough that the person has simply Identified themselves, but in other cases we want to fully Trust that they are who they say they are. In other words, these levels decide who stays in the lobby for a nice chat, and who gets to make a withdrawal from the vault.


If a person is only Identified, it means they're claiming to be someone and we're pretty much taking their word for it. This is the safer of the two Authentication Levels described above in the Phone Number Lookup block. This means they can do certain things like check in or report attendance in a service, but not much else. In other words, you recognize they might not be who they claim to be, but their access is restricted so they really can't do much damage.

Trusted Login

The next level of authentication is Trusted Login. This opens the vault, and means you truly trust that the person is who they claim to be. A Trusted person has access to their profile, giving and other potentially sensitive areas of your site.

The appropriate Authentication Level will vary depending on your organization and your community. If a person really wanted to impersonate someone else in your external site there might be ways to do it, but those risks can be minimized with certain data policies and practices. If you're not sure which Authentication Level is right for you, play it safe and use Identified. The person can still log in like normal if there are secured areas of the site they need to access.

User Login & User Accounts

Logging in to your organization’s external Rock website provides many benefits to your visitors. Knowing who the person is makes it easier for them to fill out forms, allows them to manage their account and allows for extensive personalization.

In order to log in, the person needs to have an account in Rock. For an account to exist, the person needs a record in Rock, and they’ll need a username and password. This can be done on behalf of the person by having a staff member or volunteer manually create a record and User Account. However, the person can set this up themselves from your external website.

Login Page

The Login page pictured below can be accessed different ways. Typically, the page is reached by clicking the Login button near the top right of your external website pages. The login page can also be accessed directly by going to

Login Page
Login Page
1 Login ID and Password
The Login ID could be a username or an email address. You can choose which one people should use when they’re creating an account, which we’ll cover below. The block settings allow you to change what this is called, so you can change it to say “Email” or “Username” to add clarity.
2 Keep me logged in
Checking this box will allow the person to close the window and return later without having to sign in again.
3 Login
When a valid Login ID and password are provided, clicking this button will log the person in. The person will be redirected back to the page where they were before logging in.
4 Register
If the person doesn’t have an account, they can click this button to create one. See the Account Registration section below for details.
5 Forgot Account
If you’ve ever lost track of your username or password on a website, you’re familiar with what this button does. Clicking this will take the person to the Forgot Username page ( This page will ask the person to provide their email address so Rock can email them their username and a link to reset their password. The person must have an email address in Rock for this to work.

Passwordless Login (Obsidian)

Say goodbye to the hassle of remembering passwords and hello to seamless access. With passwordless login, everyone can easily and securely log in to your site with minimal friction. There are different ways to set it up, but you can give people the option of either a traditional login or a passwordless login, as pictured below.

Passwordless Login Option
Passwordless Login Option

After clicking “Sign in with Email or Phone” the person is prompted for an email address or phone number. Rock recognizes which one is provided.

Passwordless Login
Passwordless Login

In this case, Alisha will receive an email because she provided her email address. The email will have instructions and a button to Continue. All she needs to do is click the button to log in.

If the person provides a phone number, they’ll get a text message with a code that they’ll need to enter to complete the sign in process.

Passwordless Confirmation Code
Passwordless Confirmation Code

If more than one person shares the same email address, which happens often with families, the person will be prompted to indicate who they are.

Shared Email Address
Shared Email Address

Configuring Passwordless Login

Passwordless login relies on emails and SMS text messaging. If you’re not set up to send and receive communications in Rock, check out the Communicating Using Rock manual before proceeding.

Obsidian Blocks

You’ll need the Obsidian version of the Login and Account Entry blocks to use passwordless login. See our Designing and Building Websites Using Rock manual for details on adding blocks to pages.

System Communication

When a person provides their phone number or email address for passwordless login they’ll get a response in the same medium. One of the first steps is to provide the SMS number from which that communication will be sent under Admin Tools > Communications > System Communications. Edit the Passwordless Login Confirmation system communication and, under the SMS panel, select your phone number.

System Communication SMS Setup
System Communication SMS Setup

Twilio Shortcodes

Keep in mind that, by default, Twilio 10-digit numbers cannot receive SMS messages from short code numbers. So, you can't use a Twilio long code phone number for passwordless login if the message is coming from a short code number based on your configuration above.

Login Block

The Login block is where the person will go to log in. Here is where you’ll turn on passwordless logins, by opening the settings for the Login block and enabling Passwordless Authentication.

Login Block Settings
Login Block Settings
1Secondary Authentication Types
Enable “Passwordless Authentication” to make this option available.
2Show Internal Database Login
If you want to use passwordless login exclusively, then you can hide the normal login method.
3Default Login Method
Rather than clicking to get to it, you can make passwordless login the default option. In that case, people can still use a username and password, but they’ll need to click a button to get there.

Passwordless Login Security Settings

Rock ships with the recommended security settings. You may want to familiarize yourself with how they apply to passwordless login.

Security Authentication Settings
Security Authentication Settings
1 Passwordless Sign In Daily IP Throttle
This simply limits how many times the same IP address can use passwordless login in a single day. We don’t think people will be logging in 1,000 times per day, but this is a security measure to prevent against certain types of digital attacks.
2 Passwordless Session Duration
Once the person logs in their session will only last this long. After that they’ll need to authenticate again.
3Disable Passwordless Sign In for the Following Protection Profiles
People with access to sensitive areas of Rock should probably be required to provide a password. You don’t want to make it too easy to log in as an administrator.
4Passwordless Confirmation Communication Template
Rock ships with a Passwordless Login Confirmation communication template (see prior section above) specifically for this purpose.

Account Entry Block

The Obsidian version of the Account Entry block has a couple of settings related to passwordless login that you probably won’t need to change but should be aware of.

Account Entry Block
Account Entry Block
1Confirm Caption (Passwordless)
This is the message that the person will see if they need to confirm their email address.
2Confirm Account (Passwordless)
This is the system communication that will be sent when the person needs to confirm their account. The email contains a code that they’ll use to verify access to the email address.

Two-Factor Authentication

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) is your extra layer of login security. With 2FA, logging into Rock involves more than just a username and password; you'll also need to verify your identity via email or text. However, this doesn’t apply to everyone. You get to control who is required to use 2FA based on their Account Protection Profile.

If you're using Passwordless Login on your site, people needing 2FA will still need to enter their username and password after completing the Passwordless process.

External Authentication

Built-in external authentication providers like Google or Facebook do not support Two-Factor Authentication. So, they can’t be used if 2FA is turned on. There is a customizable message in the Login block that the person will see in this case.

In the below example, the person initially logged in with a traditional username and password. Now they must provide their email or phone number to proceed.

Provide Email or Phone
2FA Provide Email or Phone

If the person uses their phone number, they will be sent a verification code via SMS text message.

Phone Login Confirmation
Phone Login Confirmation

Then, back in Rock, the person will need to enter the verification code from their phone to finish logging in.

Enter Confirmation Code
Enter Confirmation Code

If they provide an email address instead of a phone number, there’s a button in the email they receive that they need to click to finish the sign-in process. This will log them in promptly and does not require that they manually enter the code.

Verification Email
Verification Email

If the email address or phone number they provide doesn’t match what they have in Rock, or if they don’t have a phone number or email at all, they’ll be instructed to contact you for assistance, as pictured below.

Missing Email or Phone
Missing Email or Phone

Two-Factor Authentication Setup

We’ll start with the communication configuration. Two-Factor Authorization utilizes some of the same functionality as the Passwordless Login process. This includes sending the person an email or SMS message. So, if you've set up Passwordless Login already, you can skip updating your communication configuration. If not, then go to Admin Tools > Communications > System Communications and add a "From" number to the SMS section of the Passwordless Login Confirmation system communication.

Update System Communication
Update System Communication

Two-Factor Authorization is turned off by default, partially because it won’t work without the above configuration. So, your last step is to enable 2FA. You’ll need to update your Security Settings under Admin Tools > Security > Security Settings. There you’ll choose which Protection Profile(s) should be required to use 2FA.

Check Login Block Settings

If the Login block’s settings have Show Internal Database Login set to "No", and Redirect to Single External Auth Provider set to "Yes", then you should NOT enable 2FA. If you do, you may lock yourself or others out of Rock.

Enable for Protection Profiles
Enable for Protection Profiles

At a minimum, you may want to require Two-Factor Authentication for people with Extreme Protection Profiles. This helps prevent fraudulent attempts to log in using accounts with higher levels of access to Rock.

When to Turn On

In the rare event that you turn on 2FA while people are actively logged in to Rock, and if those people require 2FA, they will be automatically logged out and must sign in again using 2FA. For this reason, you may want to turn this on during periods of low activity.

The Login block itself has a few settings directly related to Two-Factor Authentication. These are messages that the person will see if things don’t go exactly as planned. The messages include the following topics/scenarios:

Login Block Settings
Login Block Settings
1 Two-Factor Email or Mobile Phone Required
This is the standard message that people see whenever they need to go through the Two-Factor Authentication process.
2 Two-Factor Email and Mobile Phone Not Available
The person will see this message if they don’t have an email or phone number in your system at all.
3 Two-Factor Login Required
This standard message simply informs the person that they need to use 2FA and requests their phone number or email address.
4 Two-Factor Login Not Available
People will see this one if they don’t have a username/password set up in your system.
5 Two-Factor Not Supported by Authorization Component
This message will appear if the person is required to use 2FA but attempts to log in using their Facebook account, Google Account, or similar 3rd party accounts.

Passwordless with Passwords

Note that Passwordless Login will require the person to establish a username and password as part of that process if 2FA is turned on.

Things to Remember:

  1. Configure an SMS "From" number for the Passwordless Login Confirmation communication in Admin Tools > Communications > System Communications.
  2. Activate 2FA in Security Settings under Admin Tools > Security > Security Settings, selecting relevant Protection Profiles.
  3. For people using Passwordless Login, note that enabling 2FA requires establishing a username and password as part of the process.

Account Registration

The Account Registration block can be accessed by clicking the Register button from the Login page, or by going to

As pictured below, the person will be asked to create a Username and Password, as well as some information about themselves. This page is simple and easy to understand, which is by design. If account creation is a complex process, people may be less likely to complete it.

Account Registration Page
Login Page

While the page looks simple, there’s actually quite a bit going on behind the scenes. The block settings pictured below give you an idea of what this block does, and lets you change it to suit your needs.

Account Registration Block Settings
Account Registration Block Settings
1 Name
You can change the name of the block here. Typically, the block name is only visible to administrators.
2 Require Email For Username
Enable this option to force an email address to be used as the person’s username. That means the person will log in with rather than tdecker. A person can still provide an email address as their username if this option is disabled.
3 Username Field Label
Instead of the "Username" label, you can change it to something like "Email Address" or "Username/Email". You might want to change this if you’ve enabled the Require Email For Username setting described above, to ensure the person knows what they’re being asked to provide.
4 Check For Duplicates
Enabling this will compare the information provided by the person to existing records in Rock. If a match is found, it’s likely the person already has a record. The person will be given a list of existing records with matching information, so they can select themselves if they already exist. This duplicate checking is disabled for people with certain Account Protection Profile levels, as defined in your Security Settings.
5 Connection Status
If a new record is created in Rock according to the information the person provides, this is the connection status that will be applied to the record.
6 Record Status
Like the Connection Status, this is the status that will be applied to a new person’s record.
7 Show Address
The address fields will be added to the page if this is enabled, allowing the person to provide their address.
8 Location Type
This setting only applies if Show Address is enabled. This will be the type of location assigned to the address the person provides.
9 Address Required
You can choose to make the person’s address optional or required by adjusting this setting. This setting only applies if Show Address is enabled.
10 Show Phone Numbers
Similar to the Show Address setting, you can choose whether or not the person can provide one or more phone numbers. There are additional settings related to phone numbers, which we’ll describe below.
11 Minimum Age
Only people who are this age or older can create a new account. We very strongly recommend keeping this set at 13 or higher. The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act disallows children under the age of 13 from giving out personal information without their parents' permission.
12 Phone Types
If Show Phone Numbers is enabled, this is where you can select which phone types to display. Separately, you can select which phone types are required or optional. For instance, you can make a mobile number required, while home and work phone numbers are optional.
13 Campus
Enabling Show Campus allows the person to select a campus when filling out the form. You can also change the Campus Selector Label if you call your campuses something else. For instance, you could call it “Home Church” or “Site”.
14 Save Communication History
This simply indicates whether or not communications from this block should be saved to the person's communication history.
15 Show Gender
Gender is shown by default, but you can choose to hide it by changing this setting.
16 Attribute Categories
Attributes associated with the categories you select here will be available on the account registration form for the person to fill out.
17 Captions
You can customize the messages that people see by changing the text here. There are different messages depending on the person’s scenario. Generally, you shouldn’t need to make changes to these settings.
18 Email Templates
Rock ships with email templates for forgotten usernames, account confirmations and account creation. If you want to use a different template for any of these, you can make the change here.
19 Pages
By default, these are blank. You can direct the person to Confirmation and Login pages of your choosing by selecting the desired page here. If no other page is selected, Confirmation Page will take the person to /ConfirmAccount and Login Page will take the person to /Login.

After an account has been created it can be viewed from the Person Profile Security tab and the User Accounts page. Staff can add new accounts or modify existing accounts from these pages.

Digital Media

Video is a must in any modern digital strategy. Not only do Rock's media features help with the playback of digital assets, they also give you full access to data about plays, engagement and overall effectiveness of your videos. Not to mention, Rock can automatically create a Content Channel Item to post videos you've uploaded to a video service provider. This makes it easy to get videos on your site and to track engagement for those videos, all within Rock. In this chapter we'll look at the media features available to you, but to see more on implementation check out our Designing and Building Websites Using Rock manual.

Media Analytics

Let's start by taking a look at the wealth of information available at your fingertips from the Media Element analytics page. From here you can see who engaged with a video. As you learn about this page, you'll find it quickly becoming a critical part of your digital strategy. You can navigate to this page by going to Admin Tools > CMS Configuration > Media Accounts > [Your Account] > [Your Folder] > [Your Media Element].

For instance, in the screenshot below you can see engagement on a sample training video. The graphs overlayed on top of the video show us a spike in engagement and rewatches near the beginning of the video, telling us something important happened there (that's where the navigation to the Campus configuration is provided). Pretty insightful, right? Imagine how your digital strategy could be informed by the knowledge you gain about what people are actually watching in each of your videos. What's more, you can move your mouse over the video to view the thumbnail at any given point in the video, telling you exactly what content people are engaging with.

We can also see overall engagement, a play count, and the total minutes watched. The Plays Per Day graph is a great tool for easily monitoring engagement with your video over time. Down below we can also see Ted Decker watched 100% of the video and, shown in dark blue, rewatched certain portions near the end. On the other hand, an unknown person watched 88% of the video, having skipped over the first part. Having this level of detail for each individual is something you won't find with other digital media services.

Media Analytics
Media Analytics
1 View Media Assets
Click this button to view the files associated with this Media Element. This is where you can see details about the different types of files (e.g., HD, SD, HLS) and thumbnail images for your media.
2 Video Engagement
In this area you can see the video itself, with two timeline charts overlayed on top of it. The green line represents rewatches, which counts how many times a portion of the video has been watched more than once. The blue line represents engagement, showing what percentage of people who engaged with the video have viewed a particular portion. Hovering your mouse over either of the lines will show the engagement percentage or rewatch count for that point in time in the video.
3 Rock Media Analytics
At a glance you can see vital statistics for the video. Engagement is a measure of how much of the video is watched on average. You can also see the total number of times the video was played, and how many cumulative minutes have been watched.
4 Plays Per Day
This bar chart shows how many times per day this video has been played. This makes it easy to identify viewing patterns and gauge the overall popularity of your video over time.
5 Individual Plays
At the bottom of the page is a listing of everyone who has watched the video. More than that, you can see when they watched it and how much of it they watched. You can even tell if the person skipped around in the video and only watched certain portions. The areas in darker blue show points in the video that were rewatched by the same person.
6 Session Information
In this area of the individual plays, you can see an icon indicating whether the media was viewed from a desktop or a mobile device. In the blue circle you can see a count of the number of interactions that the person logged. Hovering your mouse over the icon will expand the info pane to also show information about the Internet Service Provider (ISP), operating system and browser the person used.

Bringing this all together, simply looking at the analytics and engagement patterns brings you insight into why some videos are more popular than others. It could be that certain speakers or specific topics garner more engagement than others. With all of this data provided for you, you can easily find where to refine your digital strategy to increase engagement.

There's another feature we should mention here that you can't actually see but is very important (and pretty cool). Rock's Media features work across platforms. That means someone can start watching a video on mobile, then switch over to web and pick up right where they left off, even days later. You can choose to have those separate watches combined into a single watch or multiple watches on the analytics page by a simple update to the Media Player shortcode Lava, which we'll discuss later.

Configuring Media Accounts

It all starts with the Media Account. If you have media coming from different sources, like YouTube or Vimeo, then you’ll need a separate Media Account for each.

Typically, your first step will be a visit to the Rock Shop. There you'll find the plugins you'll need to sync Rock with your external video hosting provider. Our examples in this guide use the Vimeo plugin, but you could also use the YouTube plugin. More may be added in the future by plugin developers.

To add or manage accounts, navigate to Admin Tools > CMS Configuration > Media Accounts. Click the button to add a new account. Refer to the plugin documentation for details on initially setting up your Media Account, typically requiring getting an API key.

Out of the box Rock ships with a Local Media Account Account Type that you can use to manually set up video and audio assets. To add this account simply give it a name and select Local Media Account as the Account Type. Keep in mind that if you're using the Local Media Account it will be a very manual process. You'll need to create the folders and meta data yourself, which is all automated if you're using a video provider plugin.

Media Folders and Media Elements

Rock uses Media Folders to group and organize individual Media Elements. For instance, the screenshot below shows the "RockU - Core" folder, which contains several videos (i.e., Media Elements) like the one for Campuses described at the start of this chapter.

The video service provider plugin that you're using will automatically create and manage your folders and elements for you. This is done through Rock's Sync Media job. This job will go out to your external video provider account and update Rock with additions or changes you've made. That means when a new folder or video gets uploaded to your account you don't need to do anything to get it added to Rock.

For each Media Folder you can choose what happens when new videos are added. For instance, you can have Rock automatically create a new Content Channel Item for the new video. You can also launch a workflow to perhaps alert someone that the new Content Channel Item needs their review. Let's take a closer look at these options.

Media Folder
Media Folder
1 Name
The folder name will be automatically synced over from your video service provider. In these cases, you won't be able to edit it from within Rock. If you're using a Local Media Account this would need to be created manually.
2 Description
Like the folder's name, the description (if one exists) will automatically be synced over to Rock, where it can't be edited. A detailed description helps ensure the purpose of the folder is clear.
3 Workflow Type
A workflow can automatically be launched whenever new media is added to this folder. This is a great way to alert people in your organization that a new video has been added. The Media Element entity is passed as the workflow's entity.
4 Enable Content Channel Sync
If this is enabled, then you’ll see the next three settings described below. Syncing with a content channel means that a new Content Channel Item will automatically be created for new media elements that get added to this folder.
5 Content Channel
This is where you’ll select which Content Channel to add new Content Channel Items to when new media files are added to the folder.
6 Content Channel Item Status
You can select which Status the Content Channel Item should be when it is created. Typically, you'll want this set to "Pending Approval" to make sure someone can review and edit the item before it gets published to your website.
7 Media File Attribute
The Content Channel you use must have an Item Attribute of type "Media Element". This is how the new media element will be stored on the new Content Channel Item that gets created.

Publishing Media

Once you have your media in Rock, you'll want to give people access to it. Depending on your digital strategy, there are different options for doing this.

As described in the prior section above, you can automatically create a new Content Channel Item whenever a new media element is added to a folder. This is a great way to publish your content using familiar tools and features that ship with Rock. Just remember that your Content Channel needs an Item Attribute of type "Media Element" to store the video.

For more details on publishing your media using the methods described above, see our Designing and Building Websites Using Rock manual.

Digital Media in Workflows

For many organizations, digital media is part of a training process. For instance, a new volunteer might need to watch certain videos to better understand the organization and how it works. Or you might have employees or volunteers who are required to watch a video as part of their job. Either way, you can accomplish tasks like these using Rock's media features and workflows.

All you need to do is use an attribute of type "Media Watch" in your workflow's form, and you're ready to go. The way it works is you can set a Completion Percentage, which indicates how much of the video the person is supposed to watch. This means the workflow form won't validate until the person has reached the percent of completion you set. The individual must actually watch that percentage of the video...skipping ahead doesn't count because the percentage represents unique seconds of the video.

Media Watch Workflow Attribute
Media Watch Workflow Attribute
1 Field Type
The type of attribute must be "Media Watch".
2 Media
This is where you'll set which video should be watched after selecting the Account and Folder to which it belongs. Each attribute relates to only a single video, so you'll need multiple attributes of this type for multiple videos.
3 Completion Percentage
Here you'll set the percentage of the video that must be watched. If this attribute is set as Required on your workflow's form, the person must watch this much of the video before they are able to submit the form. This is optional and can be left blank if there is no minimum watch requirement.
4 Auto Resume in Days
This is where you specify how many days to look back for the auto resume feature, so the person can pick up right where they left off. Leaving this field blank is the same as looking back zero days, which effectively disables the auto resume feature.
5 Maximum Video Width
Setting a maximum width for the video player is helpful in places like workflows where you won't want the video to end up taking over the whole screen.
6 Validation Message
If someone tries to submit your workflow form without watching the minimum required length of the video (set using the Completion Percentage field) then the message you provide here will be displayed. This only applies if the attribute is Required on the form.

Media Watch on Workflow Entry Form

When you're setting up the Form action on your workflow, make sure that the media watch attribute is both Visible and Editable.

Real-Time Engine

Welcome to the future! In this chapter we’ll be discussing Rock’s real-time capabilities. With this feature, certain areas of the system will be updated in real-time, providing you with the ability to see changes made by other people, live as they're being made. Imagine being able to collaborate with team members in real-time and see updates to your database as they happen.

Real-Time Engine
Real-Time Engine

Real-Time in Rock

Not everything in Rock can be updated in real-time. That’s very difficult to do, especially in an environment like Rock that we want to be extensible. However, there are a few strategic areas that you’ll see updated in real-time.

Group Attendance Detail

With real-time updates, the Group Attendance Detail block can be kept up-to-date more accurately. This means that those taking attendance can have an accurate view of who is present in real-time, which can help with things like taking roll and monitoring attendance trends. Changes to attendance data are reflected almost instantly, without the need to constantly refresh the page.

Group Attendance Detail
Group Attendance Detail

Under the Hood of the Real-Time Engine

To understand how the real-time engine works, you’ll need to know a little bit about what happens when you visit a webpage.

Let's say you're in a restaurant and you want to order some food. Normally, you would call the waiter over and place your order. The waiter would then go to the kitchen, get your food, and bring it back to you.

This is like a regular HTTP request. You (the browser) send a request to the server (the waiter) asking for some information or data (your order). The server (waiter) then goes and retrieves the data from a database or other source (the kitchen) and sends it back to you (the food) as a response. Bon Appétit.

But what if you wanted to ask the waiter a question about the menu, or make a special request for your food? With regular HTTP requests, you need to wait until the waiter comes back with your food. But with WebSockets, it's like having a direct line to the waiter. You can ask questions or make requests in real-time, without having to wait for the server to respond to your original request.

So, using the restaurant analogy, WebSockets are like having a direct line to the waiter that you can use to make requests or ask questions in real-time, while regular HTTP requests are like placing an order and waiting for the waiter to bring your food back to you. WebSockets allow for faster and more efficient communication between the browser and the server, making real-time updates and interactions possible.

Configuring Real-Time

There are different ways to do WebSockets, and one of them is SignalR. In order for SignalR to work properly, you may need to update your web server configuration to enable WebSocket Protocol.

Enable WebSocket Protocol
Enable WebSocket Protocol

If you’re in a web farm environment, you can’t just get a WebSocket to any one node. That wouldn’t work because that one node might not know about all the things that are going on elsewhere. So, in that case, you need to get Azure SignalR, which is a service of Microsoft. Even for a very large setup it should be less than $50/month.

Azure SignalR Service Mode

As you're going through the setup process, you'll be prompted to select a Service Mode. Select "Default" when you're given this option.

Once you’re signed up with Azure, you’ll come to Rock under Admin Tools > System Settings > System Configuration and add your Endpoint and AccessKey.

System Configuration
System Configuration


Rock's Observability feature unveils system performance insights. It tackles the challenge of spotting and resolving performance hiccups in Rock. With Observability you can track page loading speed, individual block load times, database transaction duration, and job efficiency. What's unique about Observability is that it's in tune with Rock's architecture—pages, blocks, and jobs—offering precise, relevant, actionable data.

Observing Rock in New Relic

Observability is like having a backstage pass to see how Rock does its thing and how efficiently it does it. However, you need an outside helper to see what’s happening. We recommend New Relic – it's free, though there are a few caps on data and the number of people using it. Better yet, New Relic has a free non-profit program, and that will probably be all you need. For larger organizations, New Relic offers various pricing options, which you can check out at

To start, you’ll want to go to All Entities > All Entities in New Relic as pictured below, to keep an eye on whether you’re sending telemetry data as expected. Your view should look very similar, with “rock-rms” under the Open Telemetry service.

New Relic - All Entities
New Relic - All Entities

Go ahead and click the link within Services – OpenTelemetry. This will get you to the meticulously designed graphs and charts that unveil your system's performance metrics. Note, you might not spot any data here until telemetry starts rolling in, which might take a few minutes after you've set up New Relic.

New Relic - Observability
New Relic - Observability

From the above page, focus on the "Trace groups" section, where key transactions and activities are highlighted. You’ll see items in the Trace Groups section that start with “DB: SELECT” or similar. These are queries the system is processing. These will have a series of numbers following the title, which we can use in our Rock setup, so just be aware of that number for now.

You’ll see other trace groups that start with something other than “DB: SELECT”. For instance, you might see WEB or PAGE GET. If you pull up a PAGE GET you can drill down into a specific page load to spot any performance issues.

Lastly, but very importantly, we want to mention the search bar near the top of the page. This is a powerful tool that you can use to access all kinds of data. Start off by searching for the word “Rock” and looking at the options.

Date Range

Note in the screenshot above a blue box with a date range in it, near the top right of the page. Be sure to keep an eye on this to ensure current data is being captured. If you’re not seeing the data that you’re expecting, this could be why.

New Relic isn’t the only service that does this. Enter OpenTelemetry, the superhero of observability data. OpenTelemetry lets Rock team up with other vendors, not just New Relic. So, you've got the power to pick the monitoring sidekick that's right for you.

Keeping Your Data Secured

Every database request from Rock is monitored through its observability feature, revealing the specifics of each SQL statement made. While Rock typically parameterizes your SQL, ensuring request filters aren't relayed to the observability platform, custom SQL embedding personal data will be transmitted and stored there. To safeguard such information, consider modifying your SQL to utilize parameters or think about not activating the observability feature.

Configuring Observability

Much of the configuration happens in your observability service of choice. We'd love to help, but keeping tabs on all those external services is like herding cats. But don't sweat it, we've got your back for the Rock side of things. And on the New Relic side of things, you’ll find it’s pretty easy. Just go to and click the “Get Started Free” button.

Back in Rock, head over to Admin Tools > System Settings > System Configuration. Look for the Observability section, nestled beneath UI Settings. This is where your Rock setup will take place. Ready to dive in and get things rolling?

System Configuration
System Configuration
1 Enable Observability
Be sure to Enable Observability or you won’t get very far.
2 Targeted Queries
You can list queries to gather more data, including their origin (displayed as a full stack trace). You’ll need to enter the query’s hash, which you’ll find associated with the query in New Relic or other services. Displaying a stack trace will slow down performance slightly, so we recommend having Targeted Queries only temporarily while actively investigating a specific query. Targeted queries will display the parameter values within the statement. Exercise caution when enabling this option for queries containing personally identifiable information in the parameters.
3 Endpoint
Here you’ll enter the Endpoint provided by the service you’re using. If you’re in North America and using New Relic, the endpoint will be
4 Endpoint Headers
Insert a row with Key labeled as "api-key." As for the Value, that's where the actual API Key comes into play, something you'll acquire from the service you're partnering with. If you're following the New Relic route, they refer to it as a "license key." You can find the link to access it here under Step 1.
5 Endpoint Protocol
Select the protocol that your provider says to use. If you’re using New Relic, select “Grpc”.

And that’s it! Filling out this one panel is all you need to do to get connected and start sending telemetry data.

We should mention that there’s also an optional setting called "Observability Service Name" under "Web.Config Settings" in System Configuration. It's set as "rock-rms," but you can adjust it to differentiate between production and sandbox environments if necessary.

Service Name
Service Name

Finally, there’s one last setting you might need to know about. Head over to Admin Tools > CMS Configuration > HTTP Modules. Now, don't stress, you usually won't have to tinker here. Just know it's a thing. Your job? Make sure the Observability item is Active, as pictured below. If it’s not, just click on the Observability row and set it to Active.

HTTP Modules
HTTP Modules