Modern Software Experience

2011-05-30

AncestorSync for Everything

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AncestorSync for Web Apps

How AncestorSync works explains what AncestorSync is, what it does and how it works. AncestorSync is not a single product, but a technology, and a product family based on that technology The first AncestorSync product is AncestorSync for Geni, to be followed by AncestorSync for FamilySearch, AncestorSync for ourFamily•ology, no doubt followed by such products such as AncestorSync for Ancestry.com, AncestorSync for MyHeritage and AncestorSync for WikiTree as quickly as Real-Time Collaboration can manage to get these done.

Wonderful, right? Well, however great that is, I'd really like something else.

AncestorSync for Desktop Applications

The AncestorSync product family is an AncestorSync for Web App product family; there is a separate AncestorSync product for each web app.
Geni.com users are surely happy that AncestorSync for Geni allows them to synchronise their data with the desktop app of their choice, and that they can easily switch from one desktop to another, as they try to figure out which one suits them best.

Many genealogists would like an AncestorSync edition for their favourite desktop application that works with all the online services they are using.

However, the reality of online genealogy today is that many genealogist keep their master database in a desktop application, and then upload their database to various online services such as RootsWeb, geneanet and Ancestry Family Trees, so that distant cousins are likely to find them, regardless of which service they use.
These genealogists aren't eager for AncestorSync for Geni, they are eager for AncestorSync for PAF, AncestorSync for RootsMagic, AncestorSync for Family Tree Maker and AncestorSync for Reunion.
They do not long for one-button synchronisation of one web app with many desktop application, they want the reverse. Many genealogists would like an AncestorSync edition for their favourite desktop application that works with all the online services they are using. Even better is an AncestorSync edition that works with every online service they are using now, and many they aren't using yet.

Such AncestorSync for Desktop App editions would be a boon to the supported online services. Many genealogists who keep their master database on the desktop do not update their online copies as often as they'd like to do, because it a bit of a hassle, because they forgot, because they don't have time, and so on. As a result, many of the corresponding online trees are weeks, months, sometimes years out of date. Their online trees contain stale data. One-button synchronisation would make it easy to keep that data fresh. And, when keeping the online trees up to date is that easy, they are likely to add all the free services they are not using yet.

AncestorSync Web

RootsMagic reads PAF database, but PAF does not read RootsMagic databases. That does not mean it is impossible to get your RootsMagic database into PAF. You can export your RootsMagic database to a GEDCOM file, and then import that GEDCOM file into a PAF database.

A product like AncestorSync for Geni adds another conversion possibility; sync your RootsMagic database with Geni, and then sync your Geni database with RootsMagic.
The issue with that approach is that requires you to upload your data, all your data, to Geni.com. Many genealogists do not like that. Many just do not want any data on living family members or private notes online.

The solution to worries about your Geni.com database getting all your private data, when all you want to do is sync data between two other databases, is to take AncestorSync for Geni and remove the for Geni part.
When you remove the for Geni part, what you are left with is AncestorSync Web. AncestorSync Web works just like AncestorSync does, it just does not synchronise with Geni.com or any other web app. That not only keeps your private data off Geni.com, that also solves worries all about whether you need a Geni Pro account, and other people merging their less than accurate data into your carefully researched genealogy.

Many genealogists would love to have a desktop-only synchronisation utility.

AncestorSync Desktop

When you take of the for Geni part, and are left AncestorSync Web, your data is no longer copied to Geni.com, but it is still copied to the AncestorSync Web Server. Genealogists who do not want to share their data on a web app, probably do not really want their data on the AncestorSync Web Server either. Well, when you are not going to sync with some web app, you do not need the AncestorSync Web Server.

Leave out the AncestorSync Web Server as well, and what you are left with is AncestorSync Desktop. The current version of AncestorSync Desktop does not allow you to convert or sync your RootsMagic database to PAF, but the technology to do so is already in there.
AncestorSync Desktop knows how to read and write RootsMagic databases. AncestorSync Desktop knows how to read and write PAF databases. Even better, it knows how to sync changes to and from RootsMagic, and to and from PAF. So, AncestorSync Desktop could sync RootsMagic changes directly to PAF, no web server or Internet connection needed. You can run it on your laptop without worrying about getting a connection.
Many genealogists would love to have a desktop-only synchronisation utility.

I want AncestorSync Ultimate, the one product that does it all.

AncestorSync Ultimate

I don't want the confusion of many nearly identical but crucially different products. I don't want to remember which product does what, or worry about whether I have the right one for the current job.
I don't want AncestorSync for Web Apps, AncestorSync for Desktop Applications, AncestorSync Web or AncestorSync Desktop, I want AncestorSync Ultimate.

I do not only want to be able to sync between several desktop and and one web application, I do not only want to sync between one desktop and many desktop application, I do not only want to convert between multiple desktop applications or use it to switch between web apps, I simply do not want to worry about which of many products to use.
I want AncestorSync Ultimate, the one product that does it all, providing me the ultimate freedom to sync between all the supported desktop application and web apps whenever I want, however I want, whenever I want.

Modern-day philosopher Brian May expressed my feelings on the matter thus: I want it all, I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now.

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