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

Friday, January 28, 2011

New FamilySearch -- A New Level of Synchronization from Legacy

I ought to say right up front in this post, that if you are not familiar with New FamilySearch, some of what I will say will not mean much to you. But you are certainly welcome to read on and learn about the significant advance made by the Legacy Family Tree program in addressing some of the New FamilySearch issues.  I mention this because access to New FamilySearch is presently confined to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

There are at least two opposite poles of the users of the program. At one end of the spectrum are the grazers and munchers. People who have absolutely no clue what they are looking at in this huge database of names and are there simply to take what information they can gather, without even the slightest effort to determine if the information is accurate, complete or even possible. These people are still clicking on green arrows and printing off Family Ordinance Request forms without a thought as to whether the ordinance work has already been completed. The grazers and munchers are feeding on the tares and the wheat, which is mostly tares. The tares are the huge number of duplicates and inaccurate entries contributed by people who apparently made no effort to check for accuracy or duplication.

At the other end are all the people who have quit working with or looking at the program because of their frustration with the data. Those who have opted out of the program are waiting around for some glimmer of hope that they may be able to start correcting all the mis-information sometime in the future.

Well, that glimmer of hope has arrived.

Millennia Corporation has release Version 7.5 of Legacy Family Tree. This is not just another software update, but a real attempt to address the fundamental challenges of the data pile in New FamilySearch. I realize the updated program has been out for almost two weeks and I haven't said much about the upgrade. That was due to the Mesa Family History Expo and a few dozen family and work issues all happening in the past two weeks. Over a year ago, Geoff Rasmussen of Legacy, gave me a tour of how the upgrade would work. I was very impressed at the time. Now, a year later, the reality is much better than the demo. Legacy has taken the synchronization to a new level.

There are now several programs that have taken advantage of the FamilySearch Certification program and become software affiliates. In that program synchronization is defined as follows:
Sync both ways and match/combine persons:
  • Ability to keep FamilySearch family tree current with Affiliate's application for selected persons and information ("Sync-up").
  • Ability to Affiliate's application current with FamilySearch family tree for selected persons and information ("Sync-down").
 The ostensible purpose of synchronization is to save huge amounts of time manually copying information back and forth between a local data base and the online data. You can click on the link above to see a list of the certified programs.

Legacy has implemented an entirely new concept in the present upgrade:  a start at marking the data in New FamilySearch with warning symbols that will tell when some of the data is terribly inconsistent or not usable. To read the entire explanation, please go to Geoff's Blog post on the upgrade. I am running out of time this morning to keep commenting, but his explanation is better than anything I could do here anyway.

Let's just say this is the first time someone, as far as I know, has addressed some of the problems with the data in New FamilySearch in a positive and workable way.

1 comment:

  1. I am one "at the other end" who as been hoping for that glimmer. This is very good news! What I really, really hope is that some software program allows me to send my sources to New FamilySearch without having to retype them! Has that already happened?