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Migrate from The Master Genealogist / TMG

Migrate from TMG

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#1 jimlad68

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 02:39 PM

Dear Forum,

 

I have been productively using The Master Genealogist (TMG) for some years but I am now considering moving to a new genealogy database; the 2 contenders seem to be ROOTSMAGIC and LEGACY FAMILY TREE.

 

It would be nice to hear if anyone else has moved, and what FEATURES THEY KNOW TMG HAS THAT ARE MISSING in Rootsmagic.

 

As well as the "usual" the main features I am looking for are:

 

[] Left to Right tree chart with flexible content/persons choice/exclude and formatting.

[] Reports with flexible content/persons choice/exclude and formatting with easy manipulating with say Word Macros.

[] Global database edits (similar to the TMG "addon" TMG Utility)

[] A database that is easy to enquire/manipulate with SQL or similar with help of an active user group etc.

[] A database that is not past its sell by date (TMG uses FoxPro, and as ever with TMG, no time indication of a fix/replacement).

 

Cheers



#2 zhangrau

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 06:27 PM

I've been a RM user for a bunch of years and versions, and I think I can answer a couple of your questions.

1. chart options - you can create various wall charts (ancestor/descendant/hourglass) in different directions (left-to-right, etc., etc.) but you cannot individually select individuals to include

2. reports - lots of options available; including separate stand-alone reports, a Publisher which can compile a multi-chapter book (I've successfully created books with 50 chapters and several thousand pages), and two different methods for creating webpages

3. there is a limited global search-and-replace utility, and another called Find Everywhere which searches (but does not replace) and creates a live report that has links to jump to the found item(s)

4. there are some Extremely helpful users on the forum who use SQL queries and edits on their RM database files (NOTE: do a backup and work on a copy of your database, even if you're an SQL expert)

5. RM version 6 is built on an SQL database - I don't think the developers have announced what database engine will be the basis of version 7 (although they have told us that version 7 is going to be usable on both Windows and iOS - no release date (yet) for version 7



#3 LarryD

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 08:17 AM

Dear Forum,

 

I have been productively using The Master Genealogist (TMG) for some years but I am now considering moving to a new genealogy database; the 2 contenders seem to be ROOTSMAGIC and LEGACY FAMILY TREE.

 

It would be nice to hear if anyone else has moved, and what FEATURES THEY KNOW TMG HAS THAT ARE MISSING in Rootsmagic.

 

 

I have been using The Master Genealogist for quite some time but have been looking to make a change because of the database and the lack of communication from Wholly Genes (maker of TMG). My top consideration has been RootsMagic, primarily because they are working on a Mac version. 

 

There are 2 features I use extensively in TMG that aren't available in RootsMagic:

  1. User defined flags - other RootsMagic users have suggested I use custom facts in place of the user defined flags (and I am looking into that), but I'm not convinced they work as well.
  2. Accenting - RootsMagic does have color coding, but it is very limited when compared to the accenting capability within TMG.

Hope this helps.



#4 TomH

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 09:41 AM

[] Global database edits (similar to the TMG "addon" TMG Utility)

While not as comprehensive as TMG Utility, my RMtrix utility has some global features. Click on the link in my signature.

[] A database that is easy to enquire/manipulate with SQL or similar with help of an active user group etc.

RootsMagic uses an unencrypted SQLite database allowing it to be queried and modified by SQLite tools using SQL queries. The SQLiteToolsForRootsMagic wiki, linked in my signature, contains much unofficial information on the structure and definitions of the RootsMagic database and many queries with which it can be manipulated, only some of which have been packaged in RMtrix.

[] A database that is not past its sell by date (TMG uses FoxPro, and as ever with TMG, no time indication of a fix/replacement).

SQLite is open-sourced and actively being developed. Very widely used, embedded in many applications and devices. http://www.sqlite.org/about.html RootsMagic uses version 3 of SQLite. SQLite4 is in development as an alternative to SQLite3, not a replacement. It is possible that RootsMagic might migrate to SQLite4 but that may be unlikely given the disruption and that SQLite3 will continue.


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.


#5 jrwhiskey

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 06:24 AM

Hi all. I'm similar to the original poster (jimlad68); also a long time user of TMG. I've been thinking about this for awhile, and now that the software is being discontinued, the opportunity is presenting itself. Since I have to import via Gedcom, and have highly customized my event tags, it's going to take alot of work on my part.... so I'm figuring a year or so to fix everything.

 

I was playing around with the free version last night (using a gedcom import from TMG). I know that there are a lot of features disabled, but would like to know if there's a way to query a source/citation and see what members/people in the database are attached to that source. Is there a way to do this?

 

Thanks in advance for your answers :)

Julie

 

#6 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 06:50 AM

 

I was playing around with the free version last night (using a gedcom import from TMG). I know that there are a lot of features disabled, but would like to know if there's a way to query a source/citation and see what members/people in the database are attached to that source. Is there a way to do this?

The short answer is "yes". You can Lists-->Source List. Having done so, select a Master source and click the Print button. All citations will be listed.

 

The long answer is that there are a lot of Print options, but there is no filtering capability on citations. Also, it's not a live report (for example, you cannot click on a citation and be taken to that citation). The report appears in a modal window, and there is no mechanism to go back and forth from the report to other RM windows to fix things. About the best you can do is to save the report to a text file or an rtf file and to open the file in a text editor or word processor. At that point, you can go back and forth between the text editor or word processor and RM. Media associated with Master Sources or citations are not shown in the report.

 

So even though the answer is "yes", I find it overall to be a very suboptimal way to work with sources and citations. I regularly write SQLite queries for sources and citations to supplement the Lists->Sources mechanism.

 

Jerry



#7 Laura

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 07:11 AM

There are free Webinars on RootsMagic's web site which can be accessed from the Learn menu. There are also short videos on Youtube, RootsMagicTV. Perhaps watching some of them will.give you an idea of RootMagic's capibilities.

You can do searches for Groups, reports and color.coding for parts of the sources.You cannot search the Citation entries, but, you can search the Research notes and Comments for the Citation.

You can use Search, Find everywhare and it will search everywhere in the database that your text search entry appears including the Citations and you can make corrections from there.

#8 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 07:23 AM

4. there are some Extremely helpful users on the forum who use SQL queries and edits on their RM database files (NOTE: do a backup and work on a copy of your database, even if you're an SQL expert)

 

I regularly use SQLite to work on my production database and I seldom take a special backup before using SQLite. And I think my approach is perfectly safe. Here's why.

 

About 99% of the time, my SQLite queries are just that - true queries that are not updating anything. It's very difficult to see how there is any danger in running true queries against my production database. My mode of operation is usually to run the SQLite query using SQLiteSpy, and SQLiteSpy runs in a separate Window from RM. Based on something I see in my query, I will make some sort of update in RM. I will then rerun my query so that it reflects the changes I have made, and then make some other update in RM, etc. Such SQLite queries run with one click and run virtually instantaneously. Doing this in some sort of test database just doesn't make any sense. And even if a true query messes something up in my RM database (which is really impossible), I have a very robust set of backup procedures in place which are more than adequate for recovery purposes.

 

There a lot of wishes in this forum about RM reports being so-called "live reports". Most RM reports are very static reports that run in modal windows, and you have to move the reports outside of RM to be able to navigate in any kind of back and forth fashion. The Find Everywhere report is a newer report which comes much closer to being the kind of live report I think many of us are looking for. Running SQLite queries in the manner I'm describing is not really running live reports. The SQLite reports have to be rerun. But rerunning them is so easy (one click) and is so fast (virtually instantaneously) and swtiching between the RM window and the SQLiteSpy window is so easy that the process has very much the look and feel of actually running live reports.

 

About 1% of the time (probably even less), my SQLite queries are actually updates. I find it curious that the SQL world tends to call any SQL script a "query" even when the "query" is really an update. In any case, I always develop a new SQLite update with a test RM database which I don't bother to backup. If I mess it up, I just delete it and recreate it. The first time I run such an update against my production RM database, I do make a special backup. But after the update has been well proven, if I use it again in my production database I usually just rely on my standard backup procedures and don't make a special backup.

 

Most of the time, I use SQLite updates to perform global replace operations that are not otherwise supported by RM. For example, I used an SQLite update to insert dummy private text at the end of every fact note in my database. The purpose of this update was as a workaround for a longstanding RM bug where it loses carriage returns at the end of fact notes upon a GEDCOM export. But sometimes I use SQLite updates in a more targeted fashion. For example, I am gradually changing most of my sources from using the built-in free form source template to using source templates of my own development. (Even if you use the built-in source templates rather than developing your own, don't use them directly. Rather, use a copy.). So I use an SQLite update to change a Master Source from using one source template to using another. It's a truly trivial SQLite update that's very hard to mess up. This is a workaround for very a rather serious lack of function in RM's handling of sources where once a source template is chosen for a source, the choice of source template can never be changed.

 

Jerry



#9 jimlad68

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 07:25 AM

Julie,

 

I originated this post and although I ended up moving to Family Historian (FH), RootsMagic (RM) was a very close 2nd. BUT IT ALL DEPENDS WHAT FEATURES YOU ARE LOOKING FOR. However, my experience of moving from TMG via GEDCOM might be of help whatever new database you choose. With the correct preparation, TMG is very good at exporting customized event tags (Facts, Events, Attributes), see my link below. Some programs offer a direct import from TMG (not sure about witnesses), BUT the latest TMG table changes may have upset that. However, I would not choose a database purely on how easy it is to transfer data, it is probably more important to choose one that you can export from and design your data structure in order to do that, although the future of GEDCOM/replacement is a whole other topic, portability of data is a long term issue for everyone.

 

I wrote some notes on the FH forum which might help anyone exporting via GEDCOM from TMG. I hope the Rootsmagic people don't mind me linking to the FH forum, but it is a rather generic "exit TMG via GEDCOM to anything" post and might help movers to RM too.

 

the Post is "The Master Genealogist to be Discontinued" at

http://www.fhug.org....hp?f=40&t=11350

the 5th post down by jimlad68 » 30 Jul 2014 16:13

 

These links regarding "The Master Genealogist to be Discontinued " might also help.

http://archiver.root...4-07/1406714262

http://blog.eogn.com...e-discontinued/

 

In my search I found RM and FH communities the most responsive, so I am sure you would get help from either of those.

 

All the best whatever you choose.

 

Jim



#10 jrwhiskey

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 01:39 PM

Thanks for all the responses. From the answers I guess I wasn't clear enough on what I wanted to know regarding my citations, and didn't mean to imply that I was selecting software to move my TMG data with respect to import attributes.

 

First, for the citations: I don't want to print a list of all my citations. I'd like to know if there is a way to go to a citation / source and "know" which people in the database have are using that source. For example, I have an index of Whaling Masters, and several of my ancestors are listed in this book... and they have different surnames. I'm trying to find out if I can go to the Whaling book source and see who is attached to that source. Does this make sense? I have a contingency plan if RootsMagic cannot do this.

 

To address how I'm choosing which software.... part of my decision will involve how much time will have to be spent cleaning/fixing etc. after import; however, I have requirements much further up the list than that. I can write SQL to filter out database info... for me that's huge. I also have many many customized tags or events and heavily customized sentences. I would like a software that gives me these options. Since I've used MS Access since Office 97 for data consolidation and analysis (I'm a biotech scientist) I feel the learning curve for SQLlite shouldn't be too bad, even though I really don't enjoy "coding". But I do it when I have to, I just don't like it much and find coding annoying - but that's me.

 

I think I've read almost all of the TMG migration info on this site and I know that Eastman is getting ready to report on his take of switching software attributes. Like I said before, I've been thinking about this for awhile... realizing that the db Engine in TMG is sorely outdated... and I even ran TMG in Win 7 using the Virtual Machine interface until the update came out. There are many things that are excellent about TMG and Second Site which I use to publish my pages.... but the practical, scientific and logic in me says that the db Engine is now a dinosaur.

 

Since I work full time and do genealogy in little itsy bitsy doses, I figure it's going to take me at least a year to import, clean, rework, etc. so I'm just thinking ahead.

 

Julie



#11 Laura

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 03:17 PM

Julie, you can create a Source list report and choose to print the people and which fact they have that uses that source.

You can also enter the Master source name as a search criteria filter and create a Group or filter for reports.

#12 jrwhiskey

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 03:30 PM

Laura - thank you ... now I understand. Apparently Jerry already told me the answer, I just didn't get it. Cool. I like your first option best, but I'm afraid it's going to be very very long-- I've got tons of citations lol.

 

Now I'll just have to brush up on my SQL language... I typically cheat and set up queries and joins using Access visual graphics and just edit the code afterwards if needed.

 

You guys are great and fast responders :). Over the last few weeks I've read almost all the posts on this forum for RM6.

 

Julie



#13 TomH

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 03:39 PM

MVS is the likeliest expert on tying MS Access to RootsMagic SQLite databases, some of which is reported at http://sqlitetoolsfo...t?tag=ms access

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.


#14 jrwhiskey

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 04:28 PM

Thanks Tom. I've read several of the posts, and instructions are well written and succint. I've done a little ODBC linking of db in the past and I hope it'll come back to me. If not, there seems to be alot of resources and the SQL Lite Wiki which I've looked over some. Alot of the material I've seen will replace my TMG custom filters which is another reason I just bought the RM6 license <g>

 

To all... I need to watch all the webinars to get up to speed, so will likely hold the rest of my questions until I've done so. That way I won't ask the "easy" questions lol

 

Laura - the report ran just fine. Had no clue that the report would print the names of the people. I guess it's documented somewhere.



#15 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 06:17 PM

First, for the citations: I don't want to print a list of all my citations. I'd like to know if there is a way to go to a citation / source and "know" which people in the database have are using that source. For example, I have an index of Whaling Masters, and several of my ancestors are listed in this book... and they have different surnames. I'm trying to find out if I can go to the Whaling book source and see who is attached to that source.

No, RM does not support this functionality. The only thing that's supported is the aforementioned ability to go to a Master Source and "print" to see all the citations to that source. You can "print" to a file instead of to a printer, but it really is not very user friendly at all.

 

Jerry



#16 Alfred

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 09:17 PM


First, for the citations: I don't want to print a list of all my citations. I'd like to know if there is a way to go to a citation / source and "know" which people in the database have are using that source. For example, I have an index of Whaling Masters, and several of my ancestors are listed in this book... and they have different surnames. I'm trying to find out if I can go to the Whaling book source and see who is attached to that source. Does this make sense? I have a contingency plan if RootsMagic cannot do this.
 
I think this should do it.
go to the lists, Source list, Highlight the source and choose print, check the options, especially Citation Details 

Alfred

#17 mikebx102

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 06:54 PM

Like others, I am now confronted with transition from TMG.  I have used it since it was a beta program and the same is true for my usage of Roots Magic.  I liked them each individually for their GUIs and I could find persons more quickly on Roots Magic when taking along my database to the Family History Library and searching microfilm.  I updated the RootsMagic program via gedcom from the primary TMG database.   Since I never did deep exploration into how the programs kept the data in order, I was somewhat upset to see that only TMG allowed for support of witnesses across events.

Since I decided that Roots Magic was the closest program to what I want compared to many others I have tried, I started to tweak the data in Roots Magic to be my primary db.  That is when I discovered that I will now have to go back and reenter all of the census records I have because there seems to be no support of witnessing.  Am I mistaken in this assumption or am I to look forward to spend many hours reentering all of that data ??     mikebx102



#18 jrwhiskey

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 08:27 PM

Like others, I am now confronted with transition from TMG.  I have used it since it was a beta program and the same is true for my usage of Roots Magic.  I liked them each individually for their GUIs and I could find persons more quickly on Roots Magic when taking along my database to the Family History Library and searching microfilm.  I updated the RootsMagic program via gedcom from the primary TMG database.   Since I never did deep exploration into how the programs kept the data in order, I was somewhat upset to see that only TMG allowed for support of witnesses across events.

Since I decided that Roots Magic was the closest program to what I want compared to many others I have tried, I started to tweak the data in Roots Magic to be my primary db.  That is when I discovered that I will now have to go back and reenter all of the census records I have because there seems to be no support of witnessing.  Am I mistaken in this assumption or am I to look forward to spend many hours reentering all of that data ??     mikebx102

Mike... I too have been searching for a witness feature, as I've done the same with you and the TMG census entries. I have custom sentences for each role. I also have witnesses designated for baptism records and various other events/tags/facts. I haven't read anything anywhere that indicates any other software offers this feature.

Maybe someone in this forum will have a suggestion on how to deal with this.....

Julie



#19 TomH

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 08:39 PM

Rootsmagic supports witnesses for a common event in its "shared" event. "Witness" is the default role for a person sharing the "Principal"'s event but other roles can be defined. The problem is that there is no GEDCOM specification for such shared events nor any de facto industry standard. Therefore, TMG may have developed its own customization of GEDCOM for the export of such, just as RootsMagic has done and the two don't match. If RootsMagic does not recognize TMG's custom GEDCOM syntax, it will ignore it. You can see what it has problems with in the .LST file generated on import.

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SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#20 TomH

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Posted 02 August 2014 - 09:09 PM

Doing a little web searching, I now realize that the problem is that TMG does not export its Witness data or linkages to GEDCOM at all. On this page, there is some insight and a procedure within TMG to incorporate a witnesses sentence in the Principal's note which is exported: http://www.whollygen...showtopic=12843

The same page has a broken link to a utility which claimed to extract all witness sentences from the TMG database and add them as notes to the GEDCOM exported from that database.

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.