Saturday, August 1, 2009

Family Tree Maker 2010 <=> Ancestry Member Tree Synchronization

Family Tree Maker 2010 finally made an appearance in the Ancestry Store - see this Pre-sell announcement. The web page lists the new features, the existing features, the system requirements and the retail cost for FTM 2010 as $39.95.

Russ Worthington called the Ancestry Store listing to our attention yesterday in his post Family Tree Maker Version 2010 at Ancestry.com . Russ's link has a Direct Upgrade price of $29.95. There are some comments on Russ's post about synchronizing Ancestry Member Trees with Family Tree Maker 2010 databases that are helpful.

I posted about the FTM 2010 features several weeks ago in Family Tree Maker 2010 software - what? when? It looks like the features I listed in that post are similar to the features listed in the Ancestry Store page but they are in a different order and there is more descriptive text.

The bottom line for me is still synchronization:

* Users of FTM 2010 will be able to upload their native FTM file to a new Ancestry Member Tree with their attached media (images, audio, video). This can presently be done with FTM 2009 as I demonstrated in Uploading a FTM 2009 Database with Attached Media to Ancestry.com.

* Users of Ancestry Member Trees will be able to download their own Tree to FTM 2010 with the attached media (images, audio, video) previously uploaded by the user to their Ancestry Member Tree. However, Ancestry's historical records (e.g., census, military, vital, etc. records) attached to the Member Tree will not be downloaded to FTM 2010 media.

* A download from Ancestry Member Tree to an FTM 2010 database will probably have to be a new FTM 2010 database in order to avoid duplicating data in an existing FTM 2010 database. A problem here may be too many copies of media items if the user has many database versions saved.

* If users want to include the Ancestry historical record images in their FTM 2010 and Ancestry Member Tree, they should download the images to their computer system, and then upload them to FTM 2010 and/or their Ancestry Member Tree as media. If users do that, then the historical record images (census, military, vital, etc.) can be transferred between the Ancestry Member Tree and FTM 2010. The benefit here is that you only have to do this once! Not once into Ancestry and once into FTM.

* Keeping track of which tree on which site has the latest database information and media collection will be a challenge for many users. It is so much easier to add database information and media items to Family Tree Maker than to Ancestry Member Trees that I'm going to continue to do my work in FTM and upload major changes to an Ancestry Member Tree when I feel the need to do so. That minimizes the number of database versions I have in FTM and I have only one at Ancestry - the latest (after I delete the previous one).

* An Ancestry Member Tree with recent FTM uploads is an excellent backup of a genealogy database and the attached media, and is probably my major reason for keeping my Family Tree Maker software current.

Keeping up with all of these changes and complications is not easy - I hope that this post has helped my readers understand the issues and the tradeoffs involved with synchronization of Family Tree Maker databases and Ancestry Member Trees.

5 comments:

Geolover said...

Randy, thanks for posting the update and for the pointers.

You say first "Ancestry's historical records (e.g., census, military, vital, etc. records) attached to the Member Tree will not be downloaded to FTM 2010 media."

And then "f users want to include the Ancestry historical record images in their FTM 2010 and Ancestry Member Tree, they should download the images to their computer system, and then upload them to FTM 2010 and/or their Ancestry Member Tree as media. If users do that, then the historical record images (census, military, vital, etc.) can be transferred between the Ancestry Member Tree and FTM 2010."

It's important to distinguish between Ancestry.com's so-called "record" (extracts or notes from an image or from a book or other compiled document). Attaching such items to a tree is only adding a web link to such things, though Ancestry.com presents it as if you were actually incorporating it in a source-list, such as the other sources for Tree data that one might add as evidence from records sources (say, deeds or estate records) from outside Ancestry.com.

I wonder if the entries for such user-added (non-Ancestry.com) citations also would not transfer.

They do not transfer between trees in the new 'Member Connect' procedures within the present Member Tree setup.

Eileen said...

To me synchronization means that both databases automatically stay the same even as changes are made. I was hoping not only that I could upload my tree with all media, including media downloaded from Ancestry but that I could make changes in both which would reflect in the other. For example, like you I would rather maintain my tree in the software because I use it for other purposes. But I would like my family to be able to add or change data on the web database. That would be one of my reasons for uploading it.

My real dilemma is do I buy now or wait until March. Last year, I updated as soon as the new version was released but when I renewed my ancestry.com subscription, they sent me a free copy. What can I say free is good but who can wait that long for "new stuff?"

Russ said...

Randy - Yesterday, I had a chance to see a demo of Family Tree Maker Version 2010. I have too much information to post a comment, but am going to be taking each of the features listed, and try to explain what I saw in the Demo. Without Screen shots, at this point, it will be words. I will started blogging about this very shortly.

The Synch Issue was brought up at the Demo. I think what you and I have tried to explain is correct and that the real Synch issue will NOT be in 2010. However, it was clear that the sync issue that our readers and users of the Family Tree Maker want.

Until we see 2010, not sure we can guess further. But, Family Tree Maker, clearly understands what we want.

Stay tuned.

Russ

dg-brown said...

I am new to FTM and have a tree in Ancestry.com of about 625 records and would like to purchase a hard copy of the FTM software. There are several versions to pick from. 2009 basic, deluxe, platinum, etc. and now 2010. What would you recommend? My main focus is my in-laws have a HUGE data base that I would like to import into mine and I was told by Ancestry.com that the only way was to do it through an FTM product. Thank you, David

Russ said...

dg-brown,

I would purchase Version 2010, as it is about to be released. It will, from what I have read and seen, will download the work that you have done in your Member Family Tree at Ancestry.com.

Please read documentation on the bundles that you described. It's "stuff" that comes with the program, IF you need them.

Russ