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Opinions Requested Legacy 9 DLX vs Roots Magic 7


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#1 ThirtyOhSix

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 03:25 PM

I am struggling in making a decision between RootsMagic 7, and future version 8 which no one knows when will be shipped and Legacy 9.  Both choices of software are solid products and would do the job, but I am looking to migrate one time and be done.  As far as I can tell these are the differences and functionality after forcing myself to use each product for one one month.

            

                          Roots Magic           Legacy

UI               ---> More Modern  ---> 20 Years Old

DB              ---> SQL                ---> Access

Stability      ---> Above AVG     ---> High

Import.       ---> Above AVG     ---> Very High

Export        ---> Average.         ---> Above AVG

Extensible  ---> Above AVG     ---> Average

Citations     ---> Very High.       ---> Above AVG

Media         ---> Average           ---> Below AVG

Media MOD---> Low               ---> Low

Sync Anc   ---> Average          --->  Not Exist

Sync MH    ---> Not Exist         ---> Not Exist

Sync FS.    ---> Average          ---> Average

A Hints.      ---> Average          ---> Not Exist

MH Hints.  ---> Not Exist         ---> Average

FS Hints.   ---> Average.          ---> Average

Reports.    ---> Below AVG.     ---> Low

Support.    ---> Above AVG.    ---> Above Avg

 

 

CONS

Roots Magic

My biggest complaints with RootsMagic is the stability.  It seems to crash a lot and I have seen many people complain of corruption issues.  That said a SQL database is a far better choice for any database.  The product release cycle is inconsistent and we have no idea when the next release will take place. The idea product will sync to either MH or Ancestry.  The sync functionality exist with ancestry but its implementation pretty much sucks.   More over, no serious genealogist is going to allow a product to just input data at will into what should be a normalized database.  Ideally, you would be presented the information in Ancestry and then allowed to modify the data to where it conforms to your practices for adding new data, ie .. how places are identified, how dates are added, how names are capitalized, etc....

 

Legacy

My biggest complaint with Legacy 9 is it looks ancient and we have no idea of when the next product will be released.  The product favors MH over Ancestry do to who owns the product.  The idea product will sync to either MH or Ancestry.  While the company and others claim reporting is a strength in Legacy, I would beg to argue that while the reports are numerous, the pretty much suck by comparison to MacFamily Tree. No Ancestry Sync and No MH sync, yet the latter is dangled like a juicy carrot.

 

PROS

Roots Magic

The product stability is above average, but you can expect to have crashes.  Community support is excellent.

 

Legacy

The product is stable and just runs.  I have seen it crash only once and that was easily fixed.  Community support is excellent.  

 

I am strongly interested in the communities opinions either way.

 

Thank you



#2 ThirtyOhSix

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 09:59 AM

Wow!  I was hoping for some suggestions and ideas.  RM is a great product and it is a difficult decision between the choice of RM or Legacy.  I was hoping some of you would share why you chose RM..



#3 gerwally

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 10:41 AM

I have not used Legacy Family Tree but considered it before I purchased Roots Magic.  I feel they are both good programs but chose Roots Magic over Legacy Family Tree since it seemed to be influenced more by the LDS Church in how it handled certain things.  Roots Magic has remained independent while Legacy Family Tree has been bought by My Heritage.  I am not a big fan of My Heritage since they seem to lack original historical records for the United States.  They use other sites' information and users' trees and then charge users to access that information.  Ancestry does the same thing but at least offers original historical records.  That is why I like the fact that Roots Magic has not sold out to a large genealogy company.  I purchased The Master Genealogist at the same time as Roots Magic but did not start using it since I was concerned about future support if I spent countless hours to input data.  I was very happy with this decision since The Master Genealogist is no longer supported. 



#4 Jim Byram

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 10:46 AM

Two comments...

 

I have never had RootsMagic crash. What are you doing to have it crash?

 

It's pointless to format data in RootsMagic and sync it to Ancestry. Any time that you open a source in Ancestry, the data for any fact that was added by that source is reformatted back to how Ancestry originally added it. I use Ancestry for source collection and would never sync it with my working database.

 

I migrated to RootsMagic from TMG and chose RootsMagic because it is very similar to TMG. I simply don't like the Legacy design. If I ever used another program, it would be Family Historian.



#5 BrendaH

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 11:31 AM

Two comments...

 

I have never had RootsMagic crash. What are you doing to have it crash?

 

It's pointless to format data in RootsMagic and sync it to Ancestry. Any time that you open a source in Ancestry, the data for any fact that was added by that source is reformatted back to how Ancestry originally added it. I use Ancestry for source collection and would never sync it with my working database.

 

I migrated to RootsMagic from TMG and chose RootsMagic because it is very similar to TMG. I simply don't like the Legacy design. If I ever used another program, it would be Family Historian.

 

 

I am also curious as to what version of RootsMagic you have, and what you are doing when it crashes.  I have had RM for... well, for DECADES.  I had it before RootsMagic even existed!!  It has NEVER crashed for me.  NEVER.  You seem to have put "CRASH" on the CON list, as well as the PROS list... I don't understand how it can be a Pro AND a Con... please explain.  But seriously, what are you doing when it crashes? I seriously would like to hear more about that.

If I had to use something besides RM, I am not sure what it would be.  I have used about everything else, over the years.  I always return to RootsMagic.

Brenda



#6 mjashby

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 11:39 AM

Any prospective new user needs to take into account the fact that Legacy was purchased by MyHeritage and seems unlikely to receive any significant long-term development updates, given the disadvantages of its underpinning database software, lack of support for unicode etc., etc.; and the fact that MyHeritage already has its own more modern Desktop Application. Ask yourself why any business would they wish to waste resources by continuing the development two directly competing desktop products long-term?

 

If I were a betting man I would say that the Legacy Desktop software is probably already scheduled to go the way of all those competitor applications purchased by Ancestry, i.e. a slow and lingering demise.  However, Legacy's wider business activities, branding; and large user base clearly do offer increased business opportunities for MyHeritage.  I suspect MyHeritage was far more interested in those factors than it was in the Legacy desktop software.


MJA

"A Mac User with Windows Tendencies"


#7 ThirtyOhSix

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Posted 17 February 2019 - 02:54 PM

All excellent points.  Admittedly, I was using the current MAC versions when I experienced the crashes.  I migrated to parallels and that went away.

 

But I have seen folks complaining of crashing and data corruption and when I see that I can't help but freak a little.  One thing I can say about Legacy is the db seems rock solid and I have yet to see of another user complaining about corruption.  In fact, I see more peeps using it to clean corruption.  That said, the db is Access which freaks me out too, but these folks who make Legacy seem to have worked out the kinks and created a very stable platform.

 

The thing about MyHeritage buying Legacy is concerning.  I can't seem to imagine under what conditions new or further development of Legacy would continue but in my contact with them, it seems to be continuing.  They could be lying though.



#8 maryfowlerleek

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 09:22 AM

I own four current genealogy programs plus other programs that are no longer being developed. My suggestion would be to figure out what is most important to you for your research. No one genealogy program can do everything.

 

I migrated from Family Origins many years ago to Legacy Family Tree. The reason: I wanted to use photos in my reports and I didn't like the way the photos were placed in the FO reports. I wrote Bruce about my concerns and he didn't seem to agree. He has continued, with this new genealogy program, to place the photos on the left in the reports, which really messes up the report formatting. I like to include photos in the body of the report text, not just a photo for the individual I prefer the Legacy report formatting, with the photos inserted to the right, allowing for the report formatting to be maintained. For me, my decision to change was that simple. For data input, they all work well. Display of data on screen is, again, a personal preference.

 

Of course, Legacy is much more robust than when I first migrated to it. There are many features I now use that are very helpful to me and to how I work. There are Legacy features other users feel they couldn't do without that I never use. It would be unfair of me to compare any of these features to RootsMagic7 because I don't use RootsMagic7 for data input and work. RootsMagic may be able to do many things Legacy does but until you know what you want to do and how you want to use your data (then ask specific questions to long time users of each program), I don't know that any of our comments will be too helpful.

 

The one thing I know RootsMagic supports that Legacy does not is the use of Unicode. It is on the wish list but to date, Legacy does not support it.

 

Ask users of both programs to prepare and send you report and chart examples, if those are important, so you can compare. Otherwise, ask specific questions and I'm sure you'll receive helpful replies.

 

Good luck with your decision.



#9 Nettie

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 11:38 PM

A Crash?   Never had one with either Family Origins nor now RootsMagic.  Also have tried other software, but am staying with RM.  Photos can be involved in the narrative report with a fact and this is useful to me.  Also do not and will not sync  with ancestry.com or familysearch.org.  My choice, as I am not a fan of those oneline trees.  Both sites are good for sources and have not used others except for USGENweb, rootsweb.com, fold3.com.  Reason I had stayed with RM is the amount of sources that can be added to a fact or person.  We used to be limited and have not found another software that the sourcing is as good or better than RM. 


Genealogy:
"I work on genealogy only on days that end in "Y"." [Grin!!!]
from www.GenealogyDaily.com.
"Documentation....The hardest part of genealogy"
"Genealogy is like Hide & Seek: They Hide & I Seek!"
" Genealogists: People helping people.....that's what it's all about!"
from http://www.rootsweb....nry/gentags.htm
Using FO and RM since FO2.0 


#10 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 21 February 2019 - 08:09 AM

Photos can be involved in the narrative report with a fact and this is useful to me. 

 

Actually, photos in RM cannot be involved in narrative reports with a fact. You can attach photos to facts, but nothing happens when you run a narrative report. Back in the Family Origins days, one of the first things I did after converting from PAF to Family Origins was to attach a photo of a grave marker to a burial fact and run a narrative report. The photo wasn't there. I was bummed out about it then. I still am.

 

The only way to include these sorts of things in reports with RM is to print scrapbooks. You can use RM's Publisher to make narrative reports into chapters and scrapbooks into chapters. And the best I can tell, you can only print scrapbooks for people, families, sources, and places and not for facts.

 

Jerry



#11 Vyger

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Posted 23 February 2019 - 11:17 AM

After ~25 years with FO/RM this might be the year I break away, I have purchased Family Historian 6 and that 4 year old version is very much suiting many of my needs as a researcher. However we know Rootsmagic is due an upgrade and in theory Family Historian is also as both RM and FH current versions are 4 years old do I am holding the faith for now.
 

I have a large database and spend considerable daily time on genealogy, so a quick summary of the important issues and deal breakers for me are;

 

  1. Geocoding and Mapping are a dream in Family Historian and I find the current Rootsmagic process so unproductive it is a time consuming nightmare.
  2. Data marker sets can be created in Mapping by various criteria and a timeline slider allows the user to see geographic changes over time.
  3. Manual geocoding in Family Historian is achieved by dragging the place to the correct location on the embedded map, not the time consuming process currently required in Rootsmagic.
  4. Family Historian will display the Place List reversed in a hierarchical style (optional) and allow sorting by each component part of the place and also number of times used and geocoding.
  5. Family Historian provides large Ancestry style charts where you can even include everyone in the database, zoom in and out, drag the chart about the screen but most importantly for me, edit a person directly from that chart.
  6. On any such Family Historian ancestor chart two people can be highlighted and the link between them graphically displayed.
  7. Each Ancestors chart which is opened does not replace the last, they appear as tabs on the sidebar so you can easily return a previous chart and make comparisons.
  8. Family Historian provides live filtering on their version of People View so no need to go out and create a group like in Rootsmagic especially where the group then remains static.
  9. Family Historian facilitates the addition of many more events on their version of People View including Family events which are currently missing in Rootsmagic.
  10. On Family Historians version of People View any person of interest row can be expanded to show all individual events by use of the right arrow key
  11. In line with the above several persons of interest can be displayed in expanded form to compare life events for possible links.
  12. Family Historian will show multiple spouses and the children from each partnership on a single Family View screen without the need to switch spouses.
  13. In Family Historian you can make edits to events directly from the Family style view on an inset Timeline style window pane.
  14. In Family Historian you can make edits to events directly from the Family style view on an inset Timeline style window pane.
  15. Finds and queries can be saved and recalled to refresh a group or search.
  16. Reports in Family Historian and not flat like Rootsmagic where you need to print or reach for a pen, close some windows then open a few more and searching again for the individual of interest, you simply move to making edits directly from the report. I wished for this around 25 years ago when I came to FO from FTM and missed the feature.
  17. I find the whole Family Historian user interface much flatter, less modal and much more productive.
  18. Family Historian facilitates the running of user created scripts from their PlugIn store in program.

Now there are things Rootsmagic does do that Family Historian does not so there is no perfect solution, but this year I need to make a productive choice for the future of my research and I do hope it will be Rootsmagic 8, if I can get twice as much done in half the time then that's where my dollars will be going. Like all programs there are videos out there showing the features and with Family Historian frequently being ranked above Rootsmagic in independent poles I would very much hope Rootsmagic are very much aware of the gaps to close.


We are all limited by our visions and abilities

Whilst we can borrow from the visions of others we cannot always deliver.

 

User of Family Historian 6.2.7, Rootsmagic 7.6.2, Family Tree Maker 2014 & Legacy 7.5

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root


#12 nastrond

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 05:51 AM

I too have been a very long term user of FO / RM for almost as long as @Vyger, running a very large one-name study and have found RM to be lagging in usability and features compared to other competitors in the market.

 

While not a Mac user, I do not want to wait for a Mac native client with a few features added on for the existing RM users. Rather, I would like to see RM expand the depth and integration of the existing feature set to address "live" reports, non-modal windows, speed of data entry and manipulation to name the key points.

 

I too am trialing Family Historian and I am liking more and more the current features and expandability through user contributed modules. In fact, FH is strongly advocated by the Guild of One Name Studies for its versatility and ability to handle large databases.

 

Waiting patiently for RM 8's release, but I too see early 2019 as the year I decide on the genealogy program to continue with for my very large ONS.



#13 JimDavis79

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Posted 10 March 2019 - 11:06 AM

Now there are things Rootsmagic does do that Family Historian does not so there is no perfect solution, 

 

Vyger, thanks very much for your comprehensive list.  Do you have a similar list of the Roots Magic pro's? 

Like you, I may well wait to examine RM8 but i'm having another look at FH in the meantime.


Best regards, Jim

"When you shake my family tree, nuts fall out."


#14 Vyger

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 12:10 PM

 

Vyger, thanks very much for your comprehensive list.  Do you have a similar list of the Roots Magic pro's? 

Like you, I may well wait to examine RM8 but i'm having another look at FH in the meantime.

 

The thing I like best about Rootsmagic is Place Details which leave the Place more distinct and recognizable to online services. I build on Place Details with Notes, Geocoding and Media as unique entities but do wish proximity of geocoding was used more in reporting and identification of families and communities.

 

I don't think it's fair at present to compare the current version(s) as we don't know what is to come, it's also a consideration that FH could also be viewed as being due a new version. Life of genealogy software versions seem to be running to ~4 years so this year I must make the decision as to which software will be the most productive and useful to me in the next 4 years, starting another cycle of wishing for modern research tools and filtering which should be in place is not something I'm happy to consider.

 

I do hope Rootsmagic close the existing gaps and release a professional genealogy research tool with superior reporting capabilities, I have been with the company for 20+ years but furthering my research as quickly, productively and as far as possible must become my priority.


We are all limited by our visions and abilities

Whilst we can borrow from the visions of others we cannot always deliver.

 

User of Family Historian 6.2.7, Rootsmagic 7.6.2, Family Tree Maker 2014 & Legacy 7.5

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root


#15 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 11 March 2019 - 03:56 PM

A great deal always comes back to what best meets your needs - a phrase I use a lot, but it's important.

 

For example, if narrative reports to take to family reunions are very important to you, a program with a clunky and out of date user interface which produces great narrative reports might meet your needs better than a program with a modern and easy to user interface which produces only poor narrative reports.

 

I really don't think that comparison charts with check marks tell the whole story, and sometimes not even the most important part of the story. Such charts can be very useful, but you need to dig deeper and you you need to evaluate your own needs.

 

Jerry



#16 keithcstone

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 09:13 AM

I've used quite a few programs over the years, FTM for quite a while (since the CD days) as well as Reunion. I've also used MyHeritage's Family Tree Builder.

 

I went to RootsMagic because it interfaced with multiple sources but wasn't tied to any specific one (As FTM and FTB were). I was also interested in it's ability to manage places, since I have an interest in following the migrations of various branches of the family, as well as populations in general.

 

I found that cleaning up places has yielded a lot of benefits for my research, since making locations consistent has improved my ability to find other bits of information. I really like RM's method of place handling (compared to others) once I figured out how to use it.

 

RM really has a long way to go on the user friendly front, there are too many clicks involved in a lot of activities, and there are a lot of "error checks" that could be added to identify inconsistent events/facts. One of the things I liked about Family Tree Builder was you could run the error report, and click on the error and go right to it to correct it. 



#17 robertjacobs0

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 02:48 PM

Legacy may be good software, but it's failure to permit unicode characters is a deal breaker for me. I want Łódź, not Lódz.



#18 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 12 March 2019 - 04:37 PM

Legacy may be good software, but it's failure to permit unicode characters is a deal breaker for me. I want Łódź, not Lódz.

 

A prime example of "meeting needs" or "not meeting needs".

 

Jerry



#19 searcherofamilies

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 10:29 AM

I am also searching for a new program to handle a large tree (1,250,000+) am using Legacy 7.5 currently for my smaller personal tree. So far the only programs that work for import this large tree are:

Brother's keeper 6.5 - very fast for the data but I have not tried BK7 but it is known to work on this database, 6.5 has a dated interface

RM 7.5.9 Essentials -little slow and has some errors that I will contact RM about and hopefully they can assist. I wish it made a list of the search similar to legacy or BK or AQ

Legacy 7.5 crashes trying to import this ged

legacy 9.0 - imports but "can't find many of the marriage" errors 

Ancestral quest Basic 15 - to me i find this a solid choice for handling this data but have not use it fully as it is only the basic program similar to RM and Legacy ( you don't get all the features unless you pay)

Family historian - lets you test for 30 days - is a learning curve appears to handle the tree

I am in my testing at the moment for the program to handle the large tree primarily and worry about the reports later, for you can't test the product properly for the reports unless you buy. It would be nice if they had a 30 day full trial that reverts to the basic after so a person could really test the software.

Plus I am concerned with Legacy as others have mentioned, and I also read that Legacy is not getting a rewrite meaning no UTF-8 support and the theory of them selling now was they have good base of users now is worth the more with the large base. Make the money now and give legacy another version (10) and let it die. Then the ppl have to move their tree online and end up paying a fee every year (about the money!)

I would like my tree online but am very very afraid of the future of another company buying out the site as Ancestry and MH have done or are doing. Maybe the only online that might stay free is familysearch (mormoms). So for now I look for a good solid program that can handle the large gedcom and keep it offline.



#20 Vyger

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 12:24 PM

Family historian - lets you test for 30 days - is a learning curve appears to handle the tree

I am in my testing at the moment for the program to handle the large tree primarily and worry about the reports later, for you can't test the product properly for the reports unless you buy. It would be nice if they had a 30 day full trial that reverts to the basic after so a person could really test the software.

 

Family Historian is on my current shortlist of two.

 

I would like to see Rootsmagic and other genealogy software show the confidence in their product to offer a 30 Day fully functional trial as hiding behind promises of great features once you pay is a little questionable. Family Historian does not have a detuned version but also looks to be due an upgrade so maybe a direction they will follow and if so will give users a greated chance to trial the software and realise what they miss if they don't decide to buy.

 

Other program types often offer money back guarantees but I would imagine this is messy and requires extra support. Offering a fully functional Rootsmagic on a time limited basis where it reverts to Essentials after the trial period is the perfect way to show the confidence in the quality features you offer.


We are all limited by our visions and abilities

Whilst we can borrow from the visions of others we cannot always deliver.

 

User of Family Historian 6.2.7, Rootsmagic 7.6.2, Family Tree Maker 2014 & Legacy 7.5

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root