Friday, May 13, 2011

Family Tree Maker 2012 News

In his post Ancestry.com's Preview of Coming Attractions on the Eastman's Online Genealogy Blog, Dick Eastman summarized the highlights from the evening event sponsored by Ancestry.com at the National Genealogical Society Conference in Charleston, SC.

The most meaningful news I saw on his list was this:

"Family Tree Maker 2012 will sync both ways (includes today's one-way push or your data on your local computer to Ancestry.com and will also add the capability to download from Ancestry.com to your computer, although not including the shoebox

"If your data is stored in Ancestry.com, you will be able to access your data from Family Tree Maker 2012 or from the iPhone/iPad app or (soon) the Android app, wherever you are, at home, at a conference, at the library, while riding the commuter train, or most anyplace else."

The "magic word" here is "sync" -- meaning "synchronize" -- meaning ( believe) that if I change something on Ancestry.com, then the change will show up in the Family Tree Maker 2012 database that is "synchronized" with the Ancestry.com family tree.  And vice versa - if I change something in FTM 2012 it will show up in the Ancestry.com Member Tree.

That is a significant advance for Ancestry.com (several other websites claim to do this already).  And to a smart phone app too! 

This means that, theoretically, I could go to the Family History Center and abstract or transcribe information from a book or microfilm right into my computer or smart phone, and it would appear on my Ancestry.com Member Tree forthwith.  Or if I transferred a microfilm image to my flash drive, then put the flash drive into my computer and added the image to my FTM 2012 datafile, that it would appear on my Ancestry.com Member Tree.  I could even do all of that while working in my Ancestry.com Member Tree at the library or FHC, or cemetery, or a courthouse, etc. (as long as I had a wireless or direct Internet connection) and the information would appear in my FTM 2012 database on my computer(s) and smart phone if and when they are connected to the Internet.

What about images of photographs and documents that I've attached to my Ancestry.com Member Tree?  Will those download to the FTM 2012 software and be stored on my computer systems?  Will images that I've attached to persons and events in my FTM 2012 database upload to Ancestry.com through this synchronization process?  The announcement implies that they will.  Presently, attached images - not links to images - are uploaded and downloaded directly from an Ancestry Member Tree to a Family Tree Maker 2011 database, although a new Member Tree or FTM 2011 database are created.

This sounds really cool, but is it what I really want to be able to do?  I like the idea that the Tree is in the "cloud" and not solely on my hardware and software.  I like the idea that my online tree and my software tree is synchronized.  I definitely don't like being tied down to using Family Tree Maker 2012 to work in as my preferred software at this time. 

 The implication is that they've found a way to UPDATE the Ancestry Member Tree and the FTM 2012 database rather than CREATE a new file on the second system.  Is that correct?  Am I reading too much into Dick's use of the word "sync?" Did others at the Ancestry.com meeting get this impression and understanding of this issue?  Perhaps some Ancestry.com and FTM 2012 developers will chime in and give us the straight scoop.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

But just when will the synch happen?

Real time synch?
I *seriously* doubt it

Each time you log onto Ancestry?
Each time you open FTM?
Each time you log off Ancestry?
Each time you close FTM?

Time will tell, but I'm expecting a serious performance hit somewhere along the line.

Caroline Gurney said...

I was excited when I read this on Dick Eastman's blog. I do all my genealogy work in FTM 2011. If I want to publish it on Ancestry I have to upload a new tree each time. I'm really hoping this means that changes I make in FTM 2012 will automatically be synchronised to my Ancestry tree.

Another welcome snippet of news in Dick Eatman's post is that Ancestry plan to extend their mobile app to Android phones later this year.

Judy said...

Any help for those of us who were dumb enough to buy FTM for Mac?

Ancestry.com forums are full of comments by unhappy users and yet Ancestry has still not acknowledged the problems and only one update has come out since Nov 2010. I love the FTMM interface but just couldn't waste any more time trying to make the danged thing work nor do I trust it with my data.

Sure would love to see some of this syncing work with Reunion for Mac because it doesn't look like Ancestry is going to do anything to help its Mac users for FTM--our "new" version is based on the FTM2010 platform.

Anonymous said...

When is Family Tree Maker 2012 due for release?

Anonymous said...

Why does FTM keep releasing new versions of their software without ever fixing any of the last 2 versions 2010+2011?