Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Exploring Family Tree Maker 2012 - Post 1: Loading and Syncing

I received my purchased copy of Family Tree Maker 2012 for Windows in the mail last week, and was finally able to work with it on Tuesday.  I want to share some of my experiences in this series, especially exploring the new features, and looking at things that I've complained about in earlier versions..

The program installed easily and relatively fast (I already had the right Microsoft .NET installed from the Beta work).  I imported a recent GEDCOM file from RootsMagic with over 41,000 persons in it. 

I wanted to test the new FTM 2012 synchronization feature, so I went to the Plan Workspace (top menu button) and saw:

The screen above tells me information about my database, and notes (in the middle panel titled "Online Access via Ancestry") that my file is "Not Uploaded and Linked."  There is a button to "Upload and Link to Ancestry."  Sounds like a plan - who can resist?

I clicked on the button, and a window popped up to help me.  I had to choose a tree name, whether the tree on Ancestry will be "public," and if I want automatic (meaning when I start FTM 2012) or manual
(meaning I have to intentionally start the synchronization): 

I made my choices, and after 31 minutes of waiting, I got this screen:

It says:  "An error occurred during the data upload to Ancestry."  Okay... what's Plan B?

I decided to try again, and this time (without changing anything from before!) it took 34 minutes and I saw this:

It says "Your tree data was uploaded to Ancestry and linked successfully.  Media items will continue to be processed in the background until all are uploaded."  I clicked the box "View online tree now" and clicked the "OK" button:

There's my tree online, populated already (after a minute or so) with little green leaves!  I couldn't resist seeing what hints they had for me!  The two hints were my birth record in the California Birth Index, 1905-1995, and my marriage record in the California Marriage Index, 1960-1985.  I gleefully added them to my online tree.  I then uploaded my Birth Certificate to the online tree from my computer files and linked it to my Birth Fact. 

Obviously, since I just changed my online tree, then FTM 2012 will want to sync with the online tree when I open it again.  We'll look at what happened tomorrow.

Conclusion:  The installation of FTM 2012 was flawless, as was the GEDCOM import.  However, it took two tries to upload the tree into a new Ancestry Member Tree.  I haven't tried to "synchronize" at this point.

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