Thursday, July 23, 2009

Comparing Genealogy Software - FTM 2009 Data - Part 1

Astute readers of Genea-Musings know that I'm still working on selecting a preferred genealogy software program. I've narrowed my selection to Family Tree Maker, Legacy Family Tree and RootsMagic because I have a Windows computer system and can really handle only three programs at once. I posted What I Want in a Family Tree Program a month ago in an effort to help me make my final selection. Trying to work my way down that list has been difficult - I put too much on the list, I fear. I needed a "standard database" to work with, so I selected the 38,420 person database I described in Putting it all together - Finally! I will use this database to upload to each program and report on the file statistics in each of the programs.

Some programs will permit a direct upload of the native FTM 16 file, and others require a GEDCOM file to upload. If possible, I will do it both ways just to see the differences.

I uploaded the native FTM 16 file (35,984 kb in file size, which includes the media items) into Family Tree Maker 2009. FTM 2009 can upload native files from Family Tree Maker (version 5 or later), Legacy, The Master Genealogist, Personal Ancestral File and GEDCOM files.

The FTM 2009 statistics screen showed:

* 38,420 individuals
* 15,121 families
* 55,013 records
* 1,472 sources
* 11 media items

The file took 24 minutes and 40 seconds to upload according to the FTM 2009 screen below:

The FTM 2009 file size is 82.715 mb for the database, and the 11 media items are in a separate directory with a total of 2.86 mb.

I will do a similar exercise for the GEDCOM file to FTM 2009 and then do the same exercises for Legacy 7 and RootsMagic 4 too.

UPDATED 11 a.m. to add the image.


Linda said...

Thanks for doing this, Randy. I am in exactly the same point in trying to decide between these three programs. I will follow your posts with great interest!

Tamura Jones said...

I've pointed out more than once that the import times that FTM claims are not accurate.
I first reported this for FTM 2008, and FTM 2009 is no better.
See for example my FTM 2009 review: while import actually takes 55 seconds, FTM claims it is just 48 seconds. has still not promised to fix this in an upcoming release.
I suggest you use the clock applet to time FTM's actual performance.