Now FamilySearch has announced that New.FamilySearch.org will be abandoned for the new FamilySearch Family Tree program which is already online and actively being used.
The question of integration has arisen already in the context of people moving to Family Tree and wondering if they can enter their data from their own computer-based program. These users recognize the advantage of the links between their computer-based personal program and New.FamilySearch.org and are asking whether or not such a relationship will exist with Family Tree?
I notice on the Developer Network site the following:
Multiple RESTful Web Services with documentation and trainingThis appears to be a direct reference to the development of third-party integration with Family Tree. It is likely that discussion of the integration is taking place in a closed environment due to the as yet incomplete implementation of Family Tree. But I question the wisdom of developing integration with an absence of community input and involvement. I have no doubt that the developers and FamilySearch are trying hard to provide a unified experience for the Family Tree user, but what about the issues that have already arisen in conjunction with the data issues of New.FamilySearch.org? It is likely that the community has some pretty developed opinions about how the carryover issues from New.FamilySearch.org to Family Tree should be handled.
- Family Tree API with over 600 million lineage-linked names of people
- Authorities API with standardization for date
- Code examples throughout all documentation
I fully understand the huge investment in time and effort required to develop a new version of a software program. I further understand that those developers who have had less of a return on investment from their efforts with New.FamilySearch.org may not be enthusiastic about starting over with a new set of APIs. But if I were involved in the development of a genealogical database program, I would be anxious not only to satisfy the requirement imposed by the FamilySearch environment, I would also be anxious to involve those in the community who had worked with both my program and New.FamilySearch.org to find out what issues need to be addressed in any new implementation with Family Tree. It is likely that in the near future, whether or not a program thrives or fails may depend on its integration into the larger genealogical community and particularly, the way it handles an interchange between the program and Family Tree.
Knowing that development is going on in a consumer vacuum does not make me confident that the ultimate products will address the basic issues of the New.FamilySearch.org data set.
There is a related issue that will be the subject of another post shortly. That is, the over-all integration of data in the community at large.