The BIG question for many of us is "Will FTM and RootsMagic sync to an Ancestry Member Tree just like the current Family Tree Maker TreeSync feature?" I want to explore this question a bit based on what the companies say on their websites and on conversations at RootsTech.
1) Here is the Family Tree Maker page (http://www.mackiev.com/ftm/index.html) on the Software MacKiev website:
The page has a link to a Frequently Asked Questions (http://www.mackiev.com/familytreemaker/ftm3/faq.html) about the acquisition and MacKiev plans:
From the FAQ:
Note the words in the text above: "After January 1, 2017, while TreeSync will not be supported by Ancestry for the versions you have now, you will still be able to access your trees on Ancestry.com and keep your online tree consistent with one on FTM through new technologies being developed together by Software MacKiev and Ancestry."
So TreeSync as we know it now will no longer work. Some other "new technology" will be used to access your Ancestry Member Tree and keep it consistent with your Family Tree Maker file.
According to persons who talked to Software MacKiev (I didn't) at RootsTech, Ancestry.com has not created or provided the API required (the "new technology") to interact with Family Tree Maker.
I encourage all Family Tree Maker users to read all of the FAQ questions and answers.
2) The RootsMagic website has a "We're Turning Over a New Leaf" page (http://www.rootsmagic.com/Ancestry/default.aspx):
Further down this page is a "Questions" section with answers:
You have to click on each question to see the answer as I did above. The two questions concerning RootsMagic synchronizing with Ancestry Member Tree are:
This indicates that "RootsMagic users will have convenient access to Ancestry's vast collections of trees and records, as well as synchronizing with private online trees."
Note that it doesn't say that RootsMagic will synchronize a RootsMagic user's tree to an Ancestry Member Tree as TreeSync does at present. Discussions with RootsMagic personnel did not provide a clear definition of what would synchronize and how it would be done. They did indicate that Ancestry.com has not provided the API to accomplish whatever synchronization will be implemented by the new technology.
The commitment for these changes is by the end of the year 2016.
As RootsMagic users know, RootsMagic currently synchronizes in formation for one person and individual events, sources, notes and discussions with matching persons in the FamilySearch Family Tree. It also provides links to MyHeritage Record Matches and FamilySearch Record Hints, but those have to be entered into RootsMagic manually.
New interaction capabilities of Ancestry.com records with a RootsMagic tree may be similar to what Family Tree Maker users can perform now - from within the program, they can search for records for a person, and add Ancestry record events and sources into a person profile.
In addition, RootsMagic will be programmed to be able to read a native Family Tree Maker file and not have to go through a GEDCOM import from Family Tree Maker.
Look for RootsMagic Version 8 to incorporate all of these changes.
3) So what does all of this mean? I think a summary is:
* The current TreeSync capability between an Ancestry Member Tree and a Family Tree Maker file will be retired after 1 January 2017.
* Ancestry.com has not yet developed the API needed to implement the "new" synchronization with Family Tree Maker and RootsMagic.
* It is probable that the synchronization between an AMT and the desktop programs will not be a complete synchronization of everything in the desktop program file.
* The "new" synchronization may be similar to that between RootsMagic and FamilySearch Family Tree - one person, one event, one source, one note, etc. at a time. Or perhaps matching one person, and all of their events, notes, media, sources, etc. at a time.
* This is supposed to happen by 31 December 2016.
4) Stay tuned!
5) UPDATE: Tamura Jones interviewed the Software MacKiev President in New Family Tree Maker Future (posted 9 February 2016) - be sure to read it!