Sunday, 28 February 2016

Family Tree Maker and RootsMagic

I could only stay for the first part of the OGS Ottawa Branch Computer SIG on Saturday where the topic of conversation, for what was a larger attendance than usual, was the possible need to switch from Family Tree Maker (FTM) genealogical software. For many FTM is an old friend.
The current FTM will continue to work as before until the end of the year. Its purchase by MacKiev with their commitment to maintain and upgrade has been announced. Yet there is still concern, reinforced by those who have tried the Mac version of FTM, which MacKiev have been responsible for for some time, and don't like it. As shipping from MacKiev is announced for 1 March we won't have long to wait to get an initial look.
The meeting saw a hand-on demonstration of RootsMagic which several people had purchased to try. Others were considering doing so. The demo helped those with questions understand the capabilities. As no internet capability was available at the time of the meeting the web search capability to FamilySearch and MyHeritage could not be demonstrated.
My impression is that the learning curve to competence with Roots Magic for previous FTM users isn't that steep. RootMagic addresses the switch here. There remain questions on how well the promised imports of FTM files and web search interface to Ancestry will perform.
My view continues to be that it's premature to switch. A lot can happen, or not happen, in 10 months. It may not be necessary to switch at all and other options may develop.

1 comment:

DenaP:) said...

I am very happy with my FTM 3 (Mac version) and am delighted with the news. Just wanted to leave a positive voice for those Mac users out there. Thanks for the post John. The fellow at has done an exceptionally detailed analysis of the technical considerations of migrating from FTM to other software.