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Collaborating with Family Members

collaborate sharemerge share date

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#21 westis

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Posted 14 November 2013 - 01:52 AM

Excellent! Thanks a lot.

#22 ropulse

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 08:34 PM

Collaborating with Family Members
I have been looking for the process for two people to share and modify the same data base on RootsMagic version 6. My wife and I are both genealogist, and each have laptop computer (hers a Vista mine Windows7) and we research our families independently, but the same families. This works well for us since we have different approaches and a brick wall for one is often solved by the other. We are just beginning to use RootsMagic version 6. I have been using it for 90 days and she wants to start tonight. I have downloaded all the training videos and play them in my shop as I do maintenance and other task, so I know that there is a unique number associated with each individual in the database, and that if two people have the database with these unique number in them, the recombining of the data is much less error free (I believe this is essential because I am in the process of moving 20,000+ people {128 for now} from FTM to RootsMagic). I first started trying to find the trading video I was listening to by reviewing the PDF index files (I am very disappointed that this is in 5 separate files, that prohibits the use of computer search to find subjects fast). I reviewed all 5 PDF’s tonight and the only topic this sounded close was “2011-10-04-Create-a-Shareable-CD-with-RootsMagic” which has nothing to do with what I am trying to accomplish. Since I have been reviewing the YouTube videos also, and the videos there are different than the training videos. The nearest YouTube video I found was “Running RootsMagic from a USB Drive with RootsMagic-To-Go” and that does not appear to be the correct video, but it does contain a brief note about using a back-up file for what I want to achieve.

Next I went to the Blog (frankly I have never found Blog’s useful and prefer FaceBook discussions) at: http://blog.rootsmagic.com/.
I have been using the Blog search feature and the terms: “Shared Database”; “Sharing”; “database sharing”; “How to share the database”; “share database”; “two user on same database”; “Collaborating with Family Members”. No useable results.

Next the manual page 255 “Collaborating with Family Members” – “Globally Unique ID”. This appears to be the process I am looking for. I have been reading the book in conjunction with all my other training for RootsMagic use.
Process appears to be:
1. Export a Gedcom (Apparently the Globally Unique ID’s will be included)
2. Import the Gedcom on my wife’s machine (Note: We have the same version 6 of RootsMagic – two separate licenses)
3. On a regular basis, she can export a Gedcom from her machine and I will import it on my machine and use Tools/Merge/Automatic Merge to merge the data.
4. After integrating her data into mine, I need to cut a Gedcom and load it on her machine to get my updates. Question at this point should I just replace her database with the integrated one or import into the database on her system and trust Tools/Merge/Automatic Merge to merge the data correctly?
Other questions: I understand this will protect the database from exploding with duplicate individuals, but how does it handle:
a. Duplicate sources
b. Links to media
c. Do I also need to duplicate the media files, bet I do – does not discuss this process in the book
d. What other things should I be concerned about to make this process as flawless as possible?
e. I am assuming that web tags will pass through this process without changes is that correct?
f. Why do I need to do this with a Gedcom, why cannot I just merge RootsMagic Databases, looks less like to generate errors that way? They will have different Database names.
g. I have not looked at the Andriod version yet, but I do have a new Google Nexus, and plan to use it in the future for research. The wife has a older version of the Kindle Fire, she would like to use.

FYI: my filling structure is as follows:
i. Root directory – contains the RootsMagic Database – Two File folders: Living, Dead
ii. The “Dead/Living” folder is a collection of folders for each individual – folder name starts with the 5 digit reference number followed by the name.
iii. Each Individual folder contains all the media associated with that individual (Note: if a media pertains to multiple individuals, copies are placed in each individual’s folder)

This filing structure allows me to share individual’s media by picking one folder, and eliminate sharing Living person’s media by deleting the living folder from any files I share with other researchers.

I was about to post this and found http://forums.rootsmagic.com/ a search on “Collaborating with Family Members” yielded three threads. The discussion is alarming, not certain if the process I have outlined above will be as effective as I want. I need to learn a lot more about the pitfalls.

In addition, I am posting this here to illustrate that it took me 1 hour to find information on a subject that is relatively mainstream and the answer was not evident for one hour. By delineate the steps I took, it may enlighten you how some of us approach these task and be some aid in the design of future training for us to use.
Families researching:
Boltz/Puls/Pulse/Pults/Pultz - Germany>Pennsylvania>(West) Virginia>Ohio>Illinois>Kansas>Missouri >Oklahoma

Bates - New Jersey>Ohio>Illinois>Texas>Oklahoma

Kern - Germany>Evansville, Indiana

McDonald - ?>Pennsylvania>Ohio>Oklahoma

Jackson - North Carolina>Indiana>Oklahoma

Savory - Missouri> Oklahoma> Texas>Missouri

Scovern - Ohio>Missouri>Oklahoma

Bright - England>Maryland>Kentucky>Tennessee>Kansas>Oklahoma

Bondwell - Pennsylvania>Ohio

#23 Vyger

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 07:39 AM

Therein lies the fly in the ointment. The SmartMerge process is generally speaking extremely manual and labor intensive.

I have suggested before and I don't feel that I've gotten any traction with the suggestion is that what is needed in this case is SmartReplace rather than SmartMerge. Which is to say, when individuals come back into the master database, they would totally replace whatever was there before. Presumably, the family member making the changes would already have gotten all the changes reconciled with what was there before. Doing a SmartReplace instead of a SmartMerge would assure that all this work wouldn't have to be done again a second time as a part of the SmartMerge process.

Jerry


In my opinion this process cannot be performed automatically to a satisfactory conclusion. So many things can change from family links to a simple edit to a Note field or Place one could never program all the eventualities to everyone's satisfaction.

Therefore manual intervention needs to take place and that is where Rootsmagic could be more helpful not only in highlighting the differences but also facilitating more options Merge, Replace, Edit to maintain a Master Database as Don suggested.

Quite some time ago I wished for some simple improvements to the Duplicate Search Merge screen which I believe would go some way towards helping users decide on the correct course of action and reduce duplication. When a Gedcom file is imported there should at least be an option to run DSM and highlight any differences in individuals with the same UID to be resolved at that time, see my mock up below of some simple additions which I believe would help.

Further reading on - http://forums.rootsm... +search +merge

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Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

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#24 Vyger

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 08:08 AM

I use a free program called Winmerge to compare gedcom files after manipulation, colour coding is similar to Rootsmagic which just needs to provide a more informative report of the actual differences during Duplicate Search Merge and provide appropriate solutions, Merge, Replace, Edit.

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Customers should never be frustrated by things they cannot do - demand better

 

User of Family Historian 6.2.7, Rootsmagic 7.6.3, Family Tree Maker 2014 & Legacy 7.5

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root


#25 Renee Zamora

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 09:27 AM

If you and your wife will not be working on the file at the same time you could install the database file on a networked shared drive. I've never set one of those up myself so I don't know how hard it is to do.

You would need to make sure you don't both try to open it at the same time because it locks the file and the last to close writes over the other person's changes. You could use a chat program, like Google Chat to communicate when your ready to work on the file.

The other option is to share backups with each other. You need to coordinate "checking out" the latest backup and working on it and saving it to the shared drive or even Dropbox so you can time who is working when. Just don't get the idea to use Dropbox to share your database file and work from there. I've seen to much corruption that way. It's better to use a backup.

We have a lot of users that want to collaborate with family members. There just isn't a simple solution right now. That is part of the reason you couldn't find any suggestions using Help. The only method that comes close is the SmartMerge feature. All your search terms didn't fit that description because your actually merging and not really sharing the same database.
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#26 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 10:02 AM

We have a lot of users that want to collaborate with family members. There just isn't a simple solution right now.


I think a proper solution would require cloud based storage of some kind. Networked storage within the home would only work for spouses or other family members living in the home.

I think a proper solution would require a client/server model with a front end that looks a lot like using RM (or one of its competitors, if you were so inclined). I don't think any kind of browser based solution would really do the trick, and anything that looked much like Family Search Family Tree would be pretty terrible.

There would have to be a very rich API between the client and server - much richer than the current API between Family Search Family Tree and its clients.

It would be very difficult to do this as an open model. Sad to say, it would probably have to be a pretty proprietary model because of the rather extreme differences in the underlying data models between the various vendors of genealogy software. Just consider the extreme differences between the underlying data model of Family Search Family Tree and the underlying data model of RM. (E.g., try to put two birth dates into FSFT or try to get a source citation for a birth fact into FSFT. Or try to get sources, citations, and notes to move back and forth properly between FSFT and RM).

I think a proper solution would require a very strong security model. There would be lots of personal data about living people in the database. It's hard to see how hundreds or thousands or millions of researchers could be sharing the same database and still have security. The number of researchers sharing one database would probably have to be able to be counted on one hand (and maybe without using your thumbs). And of course, as you added researchers the new researchers would want to add their genealogical colleagues as researchers who would want to add their colleagues as researches, etc. to the point that users would be demanding hundreds or thousands of users in one database - sort of the genealogical version of "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon".

I would love to see something like this, but it's hard to see the business case for it.

Jerry

#27 TomH

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 03:19 PM

FSFT is one database with many users, aimed at having each unique, historical individual appear just once in the database. Everybody shares. I don't know how well it protects the living.

Ancestry, MyHeritage and probably others, support collaborative online trees and synchronizing among the tree in the cloud and data on the desktop (respectively, Family Tree Maker 2014 and Family Tree Builder 7) and data on mobile devices (iOS and Android). The APIs are proprietary and I wonder if they will ever be motivated to share them - the marketing strategy may be to lock people into a product family with mobility constrained.

Tom user of RM7630 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#28 Renee Zamora

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 04:55 PM

You can always ask those other websites if they will make arrangement similar to FamilySearch Family Tree with RootsMagic. The more users that ask the greater likelihood they will provide us with an API to work through.
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