RootsTech 2015

Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Few programs make the New.FamilySearch.org cut-off date

It appears that only about 1/3 of the existing programs that had some level of integration with New.FamilySearch.org made the cut-off date for certification with FamilySearch.org's Family Tree program. An examination of the Product Page of FamilySearch.org reveals that out of twenty named apps for the Web, only six show that they are certified for FamilySearch Family Tree. The categories break down as follows:

Web: 6 out of 20
Windows: 9 out of 15
Mac: 1 out of 3
Mobile: 5 out of 7

So, out of a previously listed 45 apps, only 21 made certification by the deadline. The levels of access are sort-of complicated and are indicated by little icons. Most of the apps are read-only, in fact, of the 21 apps that are certified, 10 of them are read-only. This leaves only 11 apps that actually interact with the data in the Family Tree program. So far, only RootsMagic made the cut-off with a program that has the features of Share plus the collaborative features including Discussions, Sources, Watch and Change History.

Just speculating, but if I were a developer, I would be waiting for FamilySearch.org to fix their Family Tree program and cut off New.FamilySearch.org to allow merges of the over-the-limit records before I got too excited about trying to modify my own program to work with the database. I realize that this is a chicken-or-the-egg type problem, but why assume a significant amount of negative feedback from users who cannot merge their obviously duplicative ancestors until this feature is fixed?

Both MyHeritage.com and Ancestry.com have resolved the synchronization issue by sponsoring their own local database programs. But the future of collaborative resources likely includes sharing search and synchronization capabilities across discrete resources. For example, the post I just wrote about BillionGraves.com allowing a direct search in GenealogyBank.com's database. Likewise, BillionGraves.com has a direct connection to FamilySearch.org's Family Tree, allowing a record in BillionGraves.com to be added directly to Family Tree. This is the type of collaboration among record source providers that is likely to expand, at least from those online repositories that do not also have their own family tree programs.

So where does that leave New.FamilySearch.org? Apparently pretty well still functioning and linked to Family Tree through the same database. There is nothing new on the New.FamilySearch.org website to alert users that any of this maneuvering has been going on. There is further nothing on the startup screen of the site that indicates that any features of the program may not function. There is a polite invitation to "try FamilySearch Family Tree" but unless the user were looking at outside sources (such as this blog) they would entirely clueless as to the changes made to the program.

So, it is pretty much business as usual with New.FamilySearch.org and as long as that is the case, the fundamental issues with Family Tree remain unsolved.

No comments:

Post a Comment