An Open Letter on RootsMagic’s Sync with Ancestry


Years ago (back in the Family Origins days) I got burned giving a date for a feature we were adding, and I promised myself I would never do that again.  But users dislike uncertainty and like to press us for an estimated release date.  Usually, I just say something like “it will be done when it is ready” and leave it at that.  When Ancestry and RootsMagic announced our agreement to create a version of RootsMagic which would be able to sync with Ancestry trees and display WebHints from Ancestry, we were bombarded with the question of “when?”  We usually don’t pre-announce upcoming features, but with this being a joint public announcement, the questions just kept coming.

So, apparently not having learned my lesson, we picked the end of the year as a safe guess, even though we had no idea what the brand new API (the system that lets RootsMagic and Ancestry talk with each other) would be like, what problems we might encounter along the way, or what other non-related issues might temporarily take us away.  We’ve worked with API’s before, and have gotten pretty dang good at it.  We’ve even written code to sync with online trees (FamilySearch), so we’re experienced there as well.  And up until very recently, it still looked like we could meet that deadline.

But to be honest, I underestimated the amount of time necessary to finish and properly test this awesome new feature.

  • I did take into account that we needed to wait for the new API, and we were able to use that time to work on some underlying code needed for syncing and hints.
  • I didn’t take into account that is was a brand new API, one that no other company had ever worked with before.  It’s easy to work with an existing API… there’s tons of documentation, and other programmers write about the pitfalls they encountered working with it.  With a new API, there is limited documentation, and you get to spend a lot of time doing trial and error to find out what the API expects.
  • I didn’t take into account that the API might be missing functions which we needed.  When this happened, Ancestry has been great about providing those missing functions, but it still takes time.
  • I didn’t take into account how often programmers would need to be pulled-off to put out fires in other areas of the program or with other APIs.
  • I didn’t take into account the fact that we would tear out and rewrite large amounts of code several times when we found a faster or better way to do something.

So the bad news is that the Ancestry sync features won’t be released by the end of the year. But the good news is that it is close, it looks amazing, and we aren’t talking about a huge 6-month delay or anything like that.  We know many of you are excited to share your data between RootsMagic and your Ancestry tree, and we are excited to be working to offer it.  We just want to make sure that when we release these new features, you can depend on them working right, and keeping your data safe.

So where are we now?  We have early testers working with it and still have some more code to write .  Since even a small bug in sync code can cause tremendous damage to a data file or online tree, we want to make sure it is stable before turning more testers loose on it.  Once we’re confident it is stable, we will turn it over to even more testers.

If you are interested in being one of those beta testers, please fill out this application.

And for everyone wanting to know the new exact release date… it will be done when it is ready.  I’ve learned my lesson (again).

Information and Links

Join the fray by commenting, tracking what others have to say, or linking to it from your blog.


Other Posts

Reader Comments

Thank you for that update, I appreciate it. Though I was looking forward to the release date sometime soon, I have waited this long, I can wait longer as I am sure it will be well worth it.

Thank you for sharing this, Bruce. My own experience working with mainframe and PC program development and support (in another life long ago) underscore the truths you have shared. A new API is very difficult to code to. As always, you and your team are taking all the right precautions to make the software work correctly from Day One and protect people’s data. I can certainly be patient waiting for an enhanced function your great RootsMagic program.

Thanks for the update. I hope that the new feature will allow for syncing with multiple devices. I use both a desktop, a tablet and my phone to do my research. Syncing between them and the website, does not work. I would like to be able to designate which device has the “master file” to which all others sync with, including media items.
Thanks for providing a real alternative to FTM.

Thank you for taking the time to get it right! I’d much rather wait to use something that works great than be frustrated because it’s not working or worse it did damage to my data. You’re handling this with wisdom & grace…proving to me yet again that I’ve made the right choice in what software to trust with my research.

Wishing you & the team all the best and am looking forward to enjoying the fruits of your labor.

Rebecca James

I would rather have it completed and accurate than sooner. Thanks.

Bruce,
You have been so responsive to your Roots Magic users. Thank you for all of your time, dedication and hard work on the entire Roots Magic software program. I switched from Legacy 8 and I am so glad that I did. Its the top of the line prgram that I was looking for. And your sync with Ancestry is just icing on the cake. So you go ahead and take your time with the update. Make sure you get it right before releasing it to all of us. I have done some programming and can appreciate the time and effort it takes to write such a feature rich prorgam. So let me say “THANKS!!!” for a job well done!!!

The frustration for having to wait for a major update is far less than program crashes and irreplaceable data corruption.
Thank you, Bruce, for your integrity.

Thank you, Bruce, for taking valuable time to update us on what’s going on. I have complete faith that you and your incredibly talented team will do what’s right and have the high standards I enjoy with RootsMagic 7 software.
Keep up the GREAT work!
Cheers!

Just the fact that RootsMagic is taking the time “to get it right” means more to me than a year end date. I can wait. Thank You for providing us with an excellent program and I look forward to when it is ready.

So happy that you have undertaken this endeavor!
It is sorely missed and whatever amount of time you need is understandable. We will celebrate when the time comes. Thanks!

Thanks for the update. My family tree database is to important to me to risk it being corrupted by software bugs. I fully support your decision to “get it right”.

Thank you for the update. This is not an urgent feature as we use the USB version And after being “forced” to leave Family Tree and all it frustrations and empty promises I find your honesty and integrity refreshing I am in no rush to tie my wagon to ancestry in any way

Does it mean that we will get the input from Ancestry .com within our RM7 account, or will we have to pay extra to receive information?

Reply: It will still be a free update to RootsMagic 7.
Renee, RootsMagic

Well explained. Thanks for the update.

Reply: It will still be a free update to RootsMagic 7.
Renee,
RootsMagic. Inc.

Thanks for your straightforward message. I used FTM for years and years, believing that as an industry standard, it was state of the art. I am actually thankful that FTM stiffed its installed base, because it forced me to look at alternatives. I found RootsMagic and am delighted I did. I appreciate your ‘do it once and do it right’ model, and even more, your forthrightness with your users.

Thanks for the update :) Appreciate knowing where things stand. Looking forward to the unveil, no matter when it happens. Would rather you guys take your time than rush something that ends up not working…

Please stop beating yourself up! We are all adults here (hopefully) and understand that this will take time to get it right. I would rather wait to be able to use it right rather than have it break down every now and then because something vital was missed. Thanks for all you do!

I agree with all the positive feadback to your blog, Bruce. I want the program to work correctly when you turn it loose. Patience is a virtue… we just need more of it.

Thanks for the great explanation. I know this new syn feature is going to be great and I’m very excited about it. It will be worth the wait. Thanks for the update.
B. Sullivan

Thank you for the update, I know that it is hard to point out a date that a release will be done. Too many companies box themselves in by a release date and then put out a bad product because they didn’t have enough time built in to fix the issues that come up. As a QA Tester, I feel that is more important to produce a product that doesn’t have bugs/defects then one that is rushed out the door because a deadline. We will hang in there while you and your team get this right.

Bruce,
Thanks for creating an alternative to FTM, Bought that a few years ago to Autosync my Ancestry tree and make corrections that were not available in Ancestry. Use RM still to generate problem lists, standardize places, and create charts and other features. Currently teach patrons at the FHL in Riverton on using Ancestry – take you time and make it right – There are a lot of potential customers who are novice and struggle with software. They don’t need program issues to add to their data errors. Thanks for being so customer friendly and supportive

Thank you For the update, and thank you for appreciating how important our family trees are to us, buy not taking any risks in rolling out the program.Your work is appreciated.

Thanks for letting us all know. Best be sure than sorry and I can wait for a really good product.

As a personal genealogist who has been working on my own history for 50 years, a few months is worth the wait. Back in the day, 60’s & 70’s, research was so manual. Now with computers & digitization, genealogy is so much easier. Thank you.

No worries. I work in IT and understand the difference between estimates and the “Oh my GOD! What did we get ourselves into!” Syndrome.

I recall that Ancestry.com originally stated that support for TreeSync as we know it was to terminate at the end of the year so it was perfectly logical that that would be the target for its successor to be functioning with the API contractors, MacKiev and RootsMagic. Those of us with some experience were fully aware that the schedule would be dependent on the API becoming satisfactory in all major respects including stability soon enough for you to complete development and commence user testing. Hope all goes well.

I just wanted to say thanks for the update. I’d been wondering how come there was no news about it. Being a website developer myself, I know what it’s like to experience some of these problems and not have things ready when you want them to be. But, if you can’t meet deadlines that you’ve set, at least give regular updates … during those updates, you can say things like, the project’s hit a snag / a little behind schedule, but we’re working on it.

People will understand and appreciate the regular updates … it’s when they don’t get updated for awhile that they anticipate something big when the deadline draws near.

So, just keep us up to date … no matter how far along you are.

you guys are great, no apologies needed!!!

Will this also mark a new version of rootsmagic? or will that be a while still.

Also any hope of a native Linux version, ever?

Thanks for all your Hard Wonderful work.

Bruce, I appreciate your integrity and openness to those individuals who have moved from Family Tree Maker to RootsMagic and looking forward to this feature as well as those who are RootsMagic users. Releasing software without being fully confident in it’s programing is frustrating for the user and embarrassing for the developer. Those individuals who are RootsMagic users know the quality of the program and your commitment to provide a good genealogy software program.

I would loved to have been a beta tester. I’ve done QA for years and genealogy for 26 years. Can’t wait for the Ancestry connection

Thanks for giving us an update so we know what to expect. Best of luck with this project and will be looking forward to the new feature.
Thanks and Merry Christmas.

I just have to let you know how disappointed I am to learn of the delay with the Ancestry Sync. I resubscribed to Ancestry a few weeks ago in anticipation of being able to search and download into my RM7 only to discover it is not yet available.
I appreciate your explanation and reasoning but can’t wait til it is finally available.

I have been wanting to add my thoughts on the Ancestry sync update, I have had several genealogy programs that I used over the years, and one by one each has been aquired by Ancestry.com. I have no problem with Ancestry as a matter of fact I am a long time member of Ancestry.com. When I started my association with Roots Magic I asked if they would stay separate from Ancestry and was assured they would. Please continue your separation from Ancstry, I am sure that the Sync update will be convenient for moving data back and forth and for finding some of the missing data that we all are searching for. But I have seen Ancestry aquire a program and promptly shut it down. But I think that the bottom line is Ancestries primary objective.
Thank you,
Eric Giffin

Thank you for honesty. I’m willing to wait. Like Peter Curtice I hope this feature will allow me to sync my iPhone, MacBook air, iPad and iMac. Terri and Diane and Cici are great advertising for RootsMagic. As much as I like the light bulbs I really like the filter so I can narrow searches when researching a place, family or time, not to mention research sites. Really helped having a list of who I wanted to check out at the National Archives. Keep on.

Love the straight talk. Simply the best form of communication with your customers. Thank you!

Thanks for the update and the link (as I don’t follow the blog).
Excited to have the sync work.
For years I used RM for its reporting options and FTM as my database, transferring my data from time to time to RM.
Once Ancestry.com set up the sync to FTM, I went for that. I find the searching tools on Ancestry and the data sets are great. The automatic citation are not as good, but can be worked on manually without too much bother.
Some of the data in FTM and the online tree it turns out never synced correctly – e.g., the “notes”.
I am anxious to see how the sync will work for RM and am expecting that I will migrate to RM once a clear migration path is available.
Keep up the good work!

Thank you for the update. I would rather have something that is accurate and working then many problems and bugs.

So thank you.

I loved RootsMagic on my PC and wait not so patiently for the native Mac version. Perhaps you will address that at some point in your blog?

We appreciate your efforts to present a product that is working correctly. We can wait.

It is always hard to commit to dates when a lot of things are outside your control. I think most of us wish it was released ASAP but also would prefer to wait until it is stable.
Keep up the good work and I hope everyone understands. And also thank you for the honest post.

Take the time needed to get it right. That’s better than going back several times to fix it to get it right.

You ALWAYS do things right and so speed is not the issue. Thanks for following the correct steps. If you need more testing on a MAC with latest software download please let me know if I can help.

I am not a great enthusiast of Ancestry.com. I do hope that syncing with Ancestry trees and displaying WebHints from Ancestry will not be a default setting. I do not want additions being made to my tree that are not supported by citations and evidence that are consistent with genealogy standards.

Thanks for the update.

I am not an avid genealogy buff – just the history of my immediate family, but the prospects of this improvement to Roots Magic is exciting!
It will be well worth the extra wait
to ensure that it is easy to use, because computers and I do not get along very well!
Good Luck with the ongoing work.

Thanks for the update
I am wondering if you will consider contacting Familysearch and Ancestry and see if they would work together with you to make this happen. Will it cost more to use it? It sounds like a fine idea.

Thank you for the update Bruce.

Better to get it right than to rush and spend lots of time fixing avoidable bugs!
(Which FTM is still full of, actually. Not everything that looks like it happened during file conversion is. Some of it was already wrong, due to FTM’s bugs. “Database schema error” is a bad sign in that program.)

Firstly I have to admit to being a long time user of Family Tree Maker, starting well before they had syncing to Ancestry, I remember the early days of the syncing at it was pretty buggy at times and Ancestry got a lot of stick for it, including myself. I’m not suggesting for one moment that will be the case here but I will hold my breath when I first get to use it. I still use FMT but use Roots Magic a fair bit because of the tie up with Family Search. The only thought I have about this new set up coming, will it mean I will have to have another tree on Ancestry to sync with Roots Magic, I cannot think I will be able to have one tree on Ancestry and have two programmes to sync with it, I imagine that would be too much to hope for?

I would love to be a beta tester. However, I am very new to RootsMagic and extremely challenged; it’s quite a bit more complicated (detailed) than Ancestry. On the other hand I have been using Ancestry.com since 2002 and over the last year I work in it daily sometime several times a day. I took a genealogy class where the instructor gave us many good reasons for having an PC based program and recommended RootsMagic. I downloaded the program (then updated to a paid version), imported my GEDcom file and came to a screeching halt…LOL. Now I need a course on RootsMagic… :\. I kind of got it, but then did a terrible thing. After adding an extensive amount of data to my Ancestry tree……yeah, you got it, I tried to import and merge the files. I thought I followed the directions….not as well as I thought. :( I think I have it squared away now, but to make a long story short…I am so excited about being able to someday, in the near future, “sync” my Ancestry tree(s) to RootsMagic. 😀

Thank you so much for the update. Rome was not built in one day. So if we want it to be good then we shall keep waiting.
I would rather wait than fight all the bugs along the way. I would also love that all media can be synced with the new Software. So, Mr. Bruce I am in no hurry. Waited all these years what is a few more months. Thank you so much for keeping us in the loop.

Bruce, thank you for the update. I am sure everyone understands. As an old programmer (main frame to pc) I do understand that new API does take a tremendous amount of both time and patience.

BTDT. I feel your pain. I had a horrible experience where our data warehouse released an update after the release of a new API from our data capture vendor, and in doing so opened wide the Gates of Hell. I am not sure what happened since they weren’t terribly communicative about it. I do remember in the months prior even with the new API available, there were constant issues with getting the two programs to play nicely together. I’d rather wait for something that works well than something that will reek havoc on my tree. What happened at work was a disaster of epic proportions that impeded our ability to do our work, the faith I lost in the vendor has never fully been restored. Thank you for being open and straight up with your customers. I advocate the same any job I am at (and have taken flack for it!), and I am always happy to wait so long as I know why I’m waiting. I certainly don’t want to find out there’s an issue when I try to sync my trees! Thank you for all your hard work on producing a great product!

We all appreciate you keeping us up to date. I know that I am truly looking forward to getting back to being able to mesh the on line with the in my computer trees. It is easy to lose touch with all of the things that have to happen in writing code.
Thank you for keeping us “in the loop.”

I’m so pleased that I will be able to sync my Ancestry Trees with Rootsmagic -its so close now and I know it will be well worth waiting for thank you for keeping us updated and all your hard work.

What! It won’t be ready by the end of this year!? Sorry, I couldn’t help myself, with all of the “thank yous'” and appreciation oozing in the comments. That says a lot about your service and desire to offer an exceptional product to users. I am new to Roots Magic and have been a FTM user, so I am transitioning into Roots Magic 7. As long as the product is secure, user friendly, has the ability for use among different devices, and will sync with Ancestry.com as FTM has, I will use, promote and “Yes,” even wait a little longer (heavy sigh). Thank you all.

I recommended Roots Magic to a friend who was just getting into her genealogy on the basis that it would “Sync” with Ancestry.com. That was several months ago, and needless to say, we have been waiting somewhat impatiently! Thanks for the update. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too much longer.

I second what’s been said by George G. Morgan and others. After retiring from a career in corporate computer operations, my wife and I served as volunteers for the LDS Church (missionaries) in the Family History Department’s Worldwide Support. I supervised volunteer support missionaries during the roll out of “new FamilySearch” (nFS). Genealogy software developers were anxious to be among the first to have their software work with the new API. Not Bruce. At the BYU Genealogy Conference in 2008 we asked him why he delayed. He said he wanted RootsMagic to be right the day he released it. That could mean only one thing — he places customer care above profits. If you want “fast” that’s easily had but if you want “quality”, that’s rare. Thanks Bruce for sticking by your guns and standing out from the crowd.

Having been Global Director of Quality for a very large company for many years may I repeat something I told co workers many times.
I can defend with my last breath, and will, if you build it right and it is late. I have nothing I can say to defend us if it built wrong and on time.

Make it right, please!

thank you for all you do. Keep us posted!

thanks for the update … everyone loves knowing how it’s going … as for getting it now and not quite right, that’s a NO … getting it later and having it great is a big fat YES … thanks for all of your efforts

Thank you for the update. I am very keen on the sync with Ancestry and will wait until it is released. Things happen which cause delays, but patience is something I have learnt to have. It is better to make sure all data is protected, then be fixing it up and causing frustration. I am enjoying the RootsMagic program since changing from Family Tree Maker.

I also appreciate the update and totally agree with your approach. I develop solutions for users and understand what you’re facing. Would rather wait for a final product that works as it should. Kudos to you and your team; great job and thank you!

I know where you are coming from but I have had my new Roots Magic Programme for nearly 6 months, I started all over again to enter my Family History onto the programme but it will take so long, so I am being patient waiting for the Ancestry Sync programme, but I am now worried I wont be able to do it because I am no longer a member of Ancestry.com

“All good things come to those who wait” is the saying I have heard. It looks like this is going to be the case here – I’m being patient and really appreciate the cautiousness Roots Magic are taking.

Unfortunately I am not too patient myself and was tempted to try the new FTM, luckily having taken backups of backups of backups so nothing has been lost! Having said that, the whole package is an absolute disaster and I can’t wait to ditch FTM which I once loved, but now can’t wait to see the back of!

You are doing a great job,So let’s give it time to be it’s best. YOU people are wonderful.

I really like RootsMagic without the sync to Ancestry.com because I like to control what I enter and not have other “researchers” copying information that they do not give me credit for.
I have worked long and hard tracking down and verifying ALL the information I enter into RootsMagic.

I hope there is a way to keep my info from being copied.

Will the beta be available for Mac?

Reply: Yes, when you fill out the survey form it will ask which operating system you use.
Renee, RootsMagic

Thank you for the update. Really appreciate your honesty and for taking time to get it right and not rushing it out by your stated deadline!

TKU. Syncing with Ancestry to FTM has had its challenges , I am sure you will provide a great service once complete.

Thank you for the update and for taking the time to make sure “all systems are go” before releasing this new software feature.

You have learned from your history. Bravo! Don’t worry about disappointing me. Take the time you need.

Looking forward to this becoming available.
Will it be possible to transfer data from Ancestry if you have not as yet entered data into Roots Magic?
Thanks!

Reply: Yes, being able to direct import from Ancestry will be included.
Renee, RootsMagic

Thanks so much for the update! It’s much appreciated. Keep up the good work.

I’m so happy with the explanation. It takes time to get things right and your reputation
for a product that works right the first time and keeps on working has preceeded you.
Take your time. Our data can wait. Thanks for a wonderful series of products.
Jon P Czarowitz

Thank you for letting us know. I was looking for now. I was hoping I would be able to go back and forth with Family Tree Maker.

Ditto.
Ditto.
Ditto.

Bruce, I appreciate your open, honest, update. Please take all the time that’s necessary to ensure the result is everything you want it to be! RootsMagic is a great blessing to our family history work.

Thank you Bruce for being honest with your customers, to know you have the users at heart makes RM more trustworthy and the number one FT program on the market, so what’s a few more months if we know that our data will not be jeopardised. Well done Bruce.

That’s great news. Please don’t rush but get it right. I created a mess for myself by downloading ancestry, making changes, uploading to ancestry but then I didn’t have my old media files which is very frustrating. Also I still don’t get how My Heritage fits in in regards to authenticating entry by attaching media to roots and then ancestry? Please make it simple for us. I’ve only been doing this for 20 years and I learn every day.

Thank you! Will patiently wait until you have something you are confident with. Looking forward to that day!

I am so happy that I chose RootsMagic. It is so really, really nice to know that you, Bruce, plus all your team, have the integrity to provide your customers with such a great product and that you won’t release the new features until they are really ready. I have an IT background so I know the pressure you must feel you are under. Please be assured that we all would rather you don’t feel that pressure and just concentrate on the job so we can get the features working as planned. You guys rock. Well done in advance.

Is there an outline somewhere of how you expect this feature to work?

Agree and happy to hear the news.
Brenda

Thank you for being honest and I would rather wait and have no bugs in the system as I am not a Tech person by any means so the the simpler the process the better for me

Type your comment here.I have used RootsMagic over 12 years with continued upgrades. Simultaneously used Ftm over 20 years. Am registered with FamilySearch and subribe to Ancestry International. I teach Genealogy Classes at Largo FL and at Newland NC.

I learned long ago that getting it right the first time is better than having to redo a mistake made early. So I will be patient and look forward to the new program when you feel it is ready.

Can’t hardly wait. Never have liked keeping up information on two separate databases, so this will be well worth the time it takes to get it right. Looking forward to doing everything on Roots Magic!

I have been a visitor on this planet for long enough to know that you never make a promise that you cannot keep. You are very brave to open yourself to criticism. Having researched my FH since the 80’s and losing quantities of my paper data due to theft, I know the feeling of despair when you lose your work. I can empathize with you about doing it right the first time. You may lose a few impatient subscribers but nothing compared to doing it wrong and losing your subcribers digital data. Be patient, do it right the first time and you will reap the rewards.

Am I the only one who does not know what the acronym API means? I assume it has something to do with writing and/or using a program. Is it a new computer language?

Reply: API stands for Application Program Interface
Renee, RootsMagic

Your consistency in pragmatic programming standards and quality product is the reason why I’ve used RootsMagic for about 20yrs now. While this is a great addition to look forward to, I agree with all the other users in being willing to wait for a working product vs. a problematic one. Having been an informatics RN for several yrs of my career, I can say “been there, done that, and hated working w/other companies that didn’t have the same standards you all have employed. Thanks for the 1000s of hours of hard work for your loyal fans!!!1

Thanks for the update. I am a pharmacist and as I once told an impatient customer,”Do you want it quick or do you want it correct?”
I want it correct.

Anxiously awaiting the sync!
Have used FTM almost exclusively because of Ancestry interoperability for the last 12 or so years until last year when I started using RM7. I love RM and have been using it to build research trees from gedcoms of DNA matches. Can’t wait to put FTM away and sync RM and my Ancestry trees as well.

Bruce, you are absolutely amazingly awesome. Thank you.

thanks Bruce I am happy to wait should be good
.

Better to make sure the code is clean and that user expectations are met. I’m guessing from the tone of your blog post that a true native Mac version of RootsMagic is not forthcoming and we Mac user will still be subjugated to the “wine” version?

Mahalo. Excellent update. Standing by.

Whenever you get it ready to use will be fine, feel no need to rush. I have been using your genealogy software since the Family Origins days, and am so impressed with all the features and capabilities. I am sure that I do not fully utilize all that RootsMagic offers, but I will definitely enjoy the Ancestry synch as will my wife. Years ago, you called me on a problem I was having, Bruce, and it turns out that it was my own fault. That dedication is reassuring and I look forward to your newest version of RootsMagic.

I bought rootsmagic on the strength of it linking in with ancestry, been waiting as it long passed the time I was told it would happen . I look forward t hit happening . may your troubles be small. im sure it will be worth it when it happens .

This is a very acceptable update notice. It expresses clearly the care and respect the RootsMagic team have for their customers. Just a little while longer to wait for what will be such a formidable Family History software tool is not problem at all. Thank you so very much for this honest hugging message.

I have already downloaded my tree to Ancestry and get hints and useful comparisons there with other users and websites. Will your new service be any different?

Thank you so much for all of your hard work and for posting this update! It will be super when all is good to go!

The best things are always worth waiting for. Good luck

Great news on an alternative to FTM. Please don’t forget ancestry.co.uk users :-)

Considering the complexity of the task, and the relatively minor cost for the program, I applaud your daring and willingness to even try this exercise. Good luck, and I look forward to the results.

Thanks for keeping FTM users up to date because many us are ready to transfer to Roots Magic as soon as sync is ready. Do it once, do it right.

Type your comment here.Thank you for that update, I appreciate it. Though I was looking forward to the release date sometime soon, I have waited this long, I at present using Famly tree maker 3 with ancestry link but i am told this will stop soon so your link would be a replacement
regards geoff street

One of the main reasons I’m I’m waiting for th feature is that currently I use FTM and it’s always had crashes so I’d rather wait and get something that’s more stable.
BTW One feature I’d like to see is the ability to exclude certain trees. I have my tree all over the place and it’s annoying to get a yellow bulb only to find out that it’s my own tree, after all If I’ve done things right the I will get 16,000 light bulbs. I also know that on Ancestry there is a tree that has a LOT of errors, so I don’t want light bulbs from his tree, so the ability to go to a tree and add it to a junk list would be really great. I can’t wait for the time that I scrap FTM. :-)

Thanks for the update. I am sorry that it is taking so long, but I would rather you take enough time to get it working correctly than rushing out something to meet a certain deadline.

Honestly, I am just glad it isn’t MY responsibility to figure out how to make it work. I am glad to let you guys take the time needed. Most of my family is dead anyway, they aren’t going to mind waiting a bit longer.

Bruce, thank you for the update and honest communication. I too come from a programming background and know the difficulties of what you speak. Having been burned by some of the issues in the Ancestry/FTM sync process, I am most certainly willing to wait until you get it right, even if it takes another year or two. Thank you and thank your team for your hard work and integrity in customer service. I love RootsMagic!!!!

Thank you for the update. I know you will get it right.
Wishing you and the team a merry Christmas and a great new year

Appreciate your efforts………

Bruce,
I will agree with the others. The quality of the software will be remembered long after the speed of delivery is forgotten. Keep up the good work.

A program released on time but with numerous errors would be a great disappointment. Thank you for taking the time to get it as close to correct as possible on the first release. Thanks also for the clear description of the problems you are facing.

Type your comment her I’m excited to see this come through. It would make things a lot easier all the way around. Hopefully this will get done soon.

Thanks for the update. Looking forward to the completed project. I agree, address as many bugs as possible before the release.Better safe than sorry.

Looking forward to it, but to be honest, I don’t have time to use it right now so the delay’s not bothering me. I appreciate making sure it’s right before it’s released. This will be a great New Year’s present! Thanks for your hard work.

I thank you for your candor and fully understand the pitfalls of coding, as well as adapting to very new code. I also appreciate that you want it to work and work well before releasing it, unlike other software companies who rush it all so that the public can find the problems. Looking forward to it, but not going to panic that it is taking longer.

Thank you for the update! I’m patiently waiting for the finished product.

Thanks for the update. I truly appreciate you and your teams hard work and dedication. The ability to sync will make both programs better.

As a fellow software developer I feel your pain and can imagine only too well the challenges you’ve been facing. Appreciate the update, and looking forward to trying the new features when they’re ready.

Your honesty has really helped

Thanks for the candid and frank update. My experience working on IT projects allows me to easily see the challenges that you are facing. It is far better to get a good product slow than a poor product fast. You have my full support and patience.

Thanks Bruce. Openness, integrity and a damn good product. We are with you.

You have previously given us a date of the anticipated release. You did not say ON 31 Dec 2016. If I find a persons DOB as 1952 that is an approximate year and possibly not even the actual year. It might be 1 Jan 1953. You are now providing an update to the anticipated release date and again it is not a hard date but an anticipated date.

I agree with the comments which seem to say: If you don’t have time to do it right the first time, when are you going to find time to fix it later? I agree wholeheartedly with this statement and your decision to wait. Do I want it now, of course I do. But, do I want it full of bugs? Absolutely NOT!!

I started my genealogy using the free download of Personal Ancestral File – PAF. I downloaded most of my data from Family Search which changed to New Family Search – FS. I heard a rumor that PAF was not going to be supported in the future so I looked for a program that would sync with my data on FS and I found RootsMagic – RM and I’ve been using it ever since. So I have synced all my data FS and then I compare it with Ancestry and update information accordingly. This process also works in reverse. It will be so much faster once RM syncs directly with Ancestry. It would be fantastic if I could download the documents into RM media file when I sync. And lastly, You would be landing on the moon if I would be able to sync all three at the same time with documents. I know I’m really pushing it here. Perhaps that last one will be sync version 2, or 3.

In the meantime, keep communicating with RM users who would rather hear that it is going to be late than wondering if it is ever going to happen.

Take your time. As an IT professional myself I am also loath to over promise. This stuff takes time and lots and lots of testing. I’ll wait patiently.

I have been with your company since the Family Origins days and I am also looking forward to the Sync with Ancestry which I am a member.

I have been in software for a long time, a life time ago, and like I always told the team I worked with test test test. Thank you for that and I understand. But, no thanks for the opportunity to beta test and not be their. Done that do not care to do it again

Bruce and Team. Thanks for the status update and all the work you have, and are putting into this. I know well the quality of what goes into Roots Magic from many years of use and your previous work with other programs, specifically “The Master Genealogist”. The wait will be worth it so take your time and know that you have a solid base waiting for the outcome. I don’t see anyone stepping up to this daunting task so my hat’s off to you. Good Luck, Merry Christmas a Happy New Year (for all of us)

Thank you for your honesty!

Bruce, you work so very hard to keep RM in the forefront of technology and user needs. No shame in missing an estimated date. Thanks for letting us know. Thanks for taking the time to “get it right” before you roll it out. Relax and enjoy the challenge :)

Thank you, for being honest and stating this. Having worked in computer field – long ago, I appreciate your not “shoving the code out the door”.
I crashed with FTM, several times. So, want you to make sure the sync works.
Thank you!!!

Take your time! I am 81 years old and started writing code for my engineering work in 1961, all binary and genealogy about 1965. You have done marvels. I can wait.

Cheers for the update. Would sooner wait knowing we going to get something that is stable. Been a Roots user for years so another few months won’t hurt.

I began with the DOS Family Origins and then moved on to RootMagic when it became available. I had the Family Tree Maker but grew very tired of the constant updates that were costly and made the old data unusable. I have been syncing the FTM and then exporting a GEDCOM to get my info and then it wasn’t 100% compatible. I am very much looking forward to the syncing option when it is 100% viable, however I would love to be a Beta Tester on a back up computer (won’t loose any data if there is a code error) and send those results in.

My Email above is correct…it just looks bogus!

Martin Fenimore

Thank you for providing a product like Roots Magic. I have done research for entire counties that have several hundred thousand individuals. When Broderbund sold out to Ancestry they changed the way the data in my files was indexed. It made my work next to impossible. I have been using your product for several months now and am finding it be excellent. I look forward to your new API and appreciate the time it takes. It took 12 years to do my last area from 1814 to 1930. I am very protective of my data, so I now the importance of getting it right. Thank you Bruce!!!

Bruce, I first started with FTM and then graduated Roots Magic. I had the opportunity of putting my tree on Ancestry. When I was unable to do that, I downloaded my tree to RM. The errors and mistakes are unbelievable. No quality control by some people who use the Ancestry family tree site. Most of all I find the lack of consistency very bad. I joined a genealogy group in Victoria BC and I have fond memories of the word CONSISTENCY (at least 10 times per class) by my teacher. His method of entering data is possiblyy used by the majority of my fellow class members. I hope that the Ancestry sync is not automatic. Like many of your company’s subscribers, it has taken many hours and a few years to get everything right to our knowledge in our tree. My friend Judy would agree with me. Please take your time with this change – we will all appreciate it.
Thanks for providing the best private genealogy programme available.
Seasons greetings to all

Thanking you

No Worries Bruce, us genealogy types are used to waiting for updates and trying to solve mysteries without reinventing the wheel, so whenever it comes out, I’ll be thrilled to test it out. Take your time….do it right the first time.

Thanks for your informative update news. I will put on hold any further input until the upgrade to Ancestry. Looks as if 2017 will be a busy year.

Better late than never!
“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” (Robert Burns)

Thank you for your honesty, and for including the truth rather than just a flip answer. As a customer, I am much more forgiving and applying grace when explanations are sincere.
That….and I’m a person that is tenaciously patient.

Been there done that. I have two words of advice: documentation, documentation, documentation. And testing even after you think there can not possibly be anything wrong anymore. I look forward eagerly to the new product

Thanks for the update. Hopefully features of then RM will add to the richness of the ancestry database and RM will not be stripped to the base database set of Ancestry. Looking forward to getting a chance to try it out.

As a retired programmer/analyst, I understand. I appreciate the news update and can hardly wait to get my hands on the program update. I hope people don’t give you too much grief about missing the estimated date. They have no idea how complex it is. I would compare it to getting the ex in-laws that speak Chinese together with the English-speaking current in-laws and planning details about event involving the grandkids of each..

Thank you for the update I am excited that it is progress Happy to wait.

Thank you very much; information on future plans and timelines are always much appreciated.
My wife and I are in the Rapid City, SD family history center and the ability to sync with Ancestry trees will be helpful to some of our patrons.
Keep up the good work and stay ahead of the competition

Thank you for the update. I’ve been patiently waiting to hear how things are going with the new code. Can’t wait to give it a try. But am reassured by your caution and attention to all the details. Recently I did the Ancestry DNA and had to up date my trees. I’ve been using RootsMagic for the last few years so had a lot of updating to do in my FTM program so it could sync with Ancestry. It was a bit of a job but it helped me catch some of my own mistakes.

More than happy to wait until you are ready to release this new enhancement

Thank you for the update. I have used Family Origins/Rootsmagic from the beginning and I love it. Don’t rush! Get it right before it is released.

keep up the hard work
We know it will take time and the important issue is that it works when youcomplete the projecth

Thanks so much for this wonderful change/update!! It will be better than Christmas and Birthday rolled into one!!

[…] answer of sorts came yesterday in an open letter from RootsMagic head honcho Bruce Buzbee. Although initially, “by the end of the year” seemed like a safe deadline, he writes […]

Although I am late to using this software for my family tree, I am more than willing to wait for the finished segments of the API code up-date before attempting the sync with my existing Ancestry file. I have used Family Tree Maker exclusively since I started in the early 1990’s, but, due to the announcement and fall-out of who would have ownership of that software base, I did take steps to insure my tree was on the other two biggies in the family tree software arena.
I agree with several of your other users (Peter Curtice, as one example) about the need for an additional entry or two in the new advanced API code that will allow the software to be used from and synch’d to several different devices, i.e., laptops, smart phones, desktop computers, IPad/tablets, and all using the same ancestry or master file name, as a high percentage of us use more than one device. Currently, I get frustrated when I travel because I am only using my tablet or laptop as my “home reference file” and have my husband opening my desktop version to make my software do a synch with whatever data I am adding to my Ancestry.com or FamilySearch.org files while I am gone.
Thank you for taking the time to make sure as many of the components as possible are working accurately and as intended before releasing for general public useage!

Thank you for the update. I am so excited about this you wouldn’t believe it. Here’s hoping all works well. Rather have it work so I can jump right in when availabe.

I can’t wait. And, I don’t mind waiting for it to be done correctly. Nothing worse that getting a program and then constant updates fly for a few months BECAUSE it was released prematurely. I don’t know how much time is wasted by me pulling information I glean from Ancestry into my RootsMagic file. Thank you thank you thank you. Love your product.

Thanks for the update, I’d rather have it right than fast

I am totally impressed with your time to explain to us why and when!!! I to have worked with software development that had to talk to other data sources and transfer data back. It can be a mess if not handled with care. And as you know, us ANCESTRY/GENEALOGY types protect our years of work and appreciate that you are taking the time to make sure it doesn’t corrupt while passing over!!! Thanks.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not sync with FamilySearch. Well intentioned but misinformed relatives have totally messed up our FamilySearch family with false connections to royalty, etc. It would be a travesty to see those errors leak into Ancestry and RootsMagic.

Thank you! I really appreciate your thoroughness in making things right with the interface (if that’s the right word)before release!
I was a beta tester for Family Search before their first release and their first major upgrade. LOTS of bugs!
NO one can think of everything. You’re doing great!

thanks for the update. i’m looking forward to it. better to have it right the 1st time

Thank you so much for the update. On another subject, I want to thank Jason of Tech Support for helping me out of a jam earlier today.

I’ really curious about the prospective mechanics of “syncing” with Ancestry Family Trees. I expect that “syncing” will only work with a tree that has been established on the Ancestry.com site. Yes/No/Maybe?

In my case, that probably means that syncing won’t work since it has been shown that their family tree software cannot process a GEDCOM file larger than ~50 MB [it goes catatonic and never finishes]. And so, even though I would like to be a beta tester, it sounds like it would be out of the question.

NO Pressure from me. I would rather get it right, than quick :)

Thank you for this important update.I understand that when you’re dealing with IT, guaranteeing a deadline for any upgrade can be dangerous. Best to be sure it’s right when we RM users get hold of it. Take your time. I am looking forward to this new phase in using RM.

Hi Mr Buzbee,
I just wanted to let you know that you are doing an incredible job with all of this, it is hard to ignore public pressure and I personally think that you have done and are doing a fantastic job with what has been given to you to do. So thank you for everything you’ve for us all over this past year.

Have a wonderful Christmas and a bright and happy Chanukah!!

Best regards
Jeanne Meyer-Chauval :o)

Thanks for the update and explanation for the delay. I would much rather wait for a program that works right than have the promised features but have a program full of really troublesome bugs. Take the time to get it right. As with any software it is still likely to have some bugs when released, because it’s impossible to prevent or find and eliminate them all, but hopefully they will be few, minor and easily and quickly fixable.

Thanks. We should all know that patience is the name of the game when we are talking genealogy research! While to do seem to get impatient because of the thought of breakthroughs we all know those “breakthroughs” are amazing when they happen. Sooo, to all of us I just add my “Wait for it, Wait for it….”

I am on old user of old Family Origins and it appears to be on Windows 3.5 or Windows 5. I found the old discs still in my case. That was a long time ago. I really have enjoyed the new Roots Magic and everything thing they you have done and still are doing. The update is really nice to read but I have no problem waiting until you finish.
Thank you for your wonderful support.

It will be great when we can see the 2 programs working with each other.