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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Any News on FamilySearch Certification of Third Party Products?

Back in July, 2013 there was a flurry of activity in the area of third-party certification of programs that interact with FamilySearch.org's Family Tree program. It has now been more than two months and I thought it would be interesting to see if there have been any changes. In my blog post of 2 July 2013 I made the following observation, remember this is as of that 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
 Since that time, we have had no news about the progress towards separating the New.FamilySearch.org program from the shared database with Family Tree. As of the date of this post, 14 September 2013, it is business as usual with New.FamilySearch.org. I was able to log in and other than the now well established notices inviting use of FamilySearch Family Tree, there is nothing to prevent the continued use of the program. Meanwhile, there have been several published discussions by representatives of FamilySearch outlining the future of Family Tree, but no mention of any time table for separation of the two programs.

Now, back to the certification list. The Family History Products page has no changes since the red warning posted back in June, 2013 about the connectivity of the third-party products to end on June 30, 2013. Here is the current lineup as of today's date, 14 September 2013:

Web: Only 3 of the now 19 programs listed can do anything more than read FamilyTree data. The three exceptions are at the next higher level and can reference online artifacts such as records, photos, documents, and media that can be attached to persons in the Family Tree. All of the other listed programs are listed as being able to read Family Tree data. However, only 8 out of the 19 are Family Tree Certified. There seems to be some confusion as what being able to read Family Tree data actually means since some of the programs shown with Tree Access are not certified.

Windows: The same 9 out of now, only 13 programs are listed as Family Tree Certified. There are various levels of certification and only two programs, RootsMagic and RootsMagic Essentials, have achieved the highest level of integration with Family Tree of Tree Share+.

Mac: Only 1 out of the 3 listed programs is Family Tree Certified. There appears to be no change in this category.

Mobile: There are only 6 listed programs and only 4 of those are Family Tree Certified. Out of the four only one has Tree Share status.

If looks like almost no progress has been made with any of the developers with several dropping off the list. My guess, as it was two months ago, is that the developers are not interested in taking on the problems caused by the connection of Family Tree with New.FamilySearch.org and that changes will not occur until at least this and maybe other problems are resolved.

As far as the problems with the connection between New.FamilySearch.org and Family Tree, the problems seem to multiply. One serious problem is the huge increase in the backlog of incorrectly combined individuals. If two people were incorrectly combined in New.FamilySearch.org, meaning they were really not the same person, then the wrongly combined individuals have to be uncombined. However, that function has been disabled in New.FamilySearch.org and has not been implemented in Family Tree. That means that all of the people who find wrongly combined individuals in Family Tree must send the problem to FamilySearch support for resolution. I have been repeatedly told by support people for FamilySearch that the backlog is so huge, that they have no idea when it will be resolved. Meanwhile, every day that New.FamilySearch.org is still active, people continue see the message saying: "Please use Family Tree to identify and remove possible duplicates." even though the program will not solve the problem. There is a link saying "Why?" but the link brings up a blank page.

Which is the greater train wreck? Keeping New.FamilySearch.org open and partially functional or dealing with the problems caused by having the two programs continue to interact? I have decided we need to declare a national holiday when the two programs are finally separated.

I have not gone into the problems being experienced in Family Tree because of the connection with New.FamilySearch.org except briefly, but one of the problems is that people are still using New.FamilySearch.org to solve problems that are being caused by the link between the programs.


2 comments:

  1. I have had no problem deleting duplicate records. I have talked with FS about this and they have given me the "how too" of doing it. Even for living individuals. I still think FS Family Tree is the easiest program to use and combind now with Ancestry.com what more can you ask for? They will get the bugs out. Everything takes time. Patience is a virtue, which no one around here seems to have much of.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is a real problem with deleting duplicate records. I hope you are merging them and not deleting them. Deleting a record can cause all sorts of issues. Please see this FamilySearch Blog Post
      https://familysearch.org/blog/en/common-mistakes-family-tree-data/

      Delete