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alansogd

Member Since 18 Jun 2012
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Topics I've Started

Publish Online

02 December 2014 - 03:18 PM

This is alansogd, developer behind the MyRootsMagic accounts and Publish Online system. There have been a lot of questions about the difference between the RM6 and RM7 sites, and the press release for RM7 was not very clear about the changes. I'd like to take a few minutes to explain the new system, and I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have.

 

The new accounts have been redesigned from scratch. In RM6, you would have a separate account for each tree you uploaded. Now, the accounts are general "MyRootsMagic" online accounts, of which site management are a subsection. You can manage up to 10 sites under a single account, with a total account limit of 100MB. I'd like to see this limit increased, but we are monitoring the new system for a few months to determine the costs before any decisions will be made.

 

The new accounts can also store your RootsMagic product keys for products other than RM7, with download links to each product. This is only a convenience and isn't necessary, as right now only RM7 keys affect the functionality of your account (by unlocking Publish Online). MyRootsMagic accounts may expand in the future to provide other online services in the future, and are designed to be flexible enough to do so.

 

The sites in RM7 have changed significantly from RM6, though they appear similar. The old sites were designed to be usable with no server configuration -- all dynamic features were done by Javascript in the browser. This means the old sites could be run from a dropbox folder, or a CD, and be easily set up on any host. There were some limitations to this approach, though:

 

1) The sites could not be easily indexed by Google or other search engines, because it was the browser's role to stitch together the content.

2) The sites could not be password protected, because all content was always available to the browser.

3) The sites generated tens of thousands of files for individuals, families, media records, and name indices, so the browser could request just the individual files it needed to display the current page. This gave some sites very long upload times.

4) Any change to a site required a re-upload, since all data was generated by RootsMagic.

 

The RM6 sites are by no means bad. Though they could be a bit unwieldy, they were specifically designed to be as easy to set up as possible. The RM7 sites require a more complex server setup, and because of this are only available through RootsMagic's own hosting.

 

The new sites generate the page on the server before sending it to the browser. RootsMagic only needs to upload an RM database file and a media folder. This opens up a lot of potential not possible with RM6 sites. These sites can be indexed by Google, and can be password protected. Updates are much quicker, as RootsMagic only needs to upload a single file instead of thousands. In many cases, changes can be made from the site settings panel without requiring a re-upload at all.

 

The new sites are also capable of much more advanced search queries on the Name Index page, like "John Smith's children". This was not possible with RM6 sites, which were limited to last-name-only searches because of the way the data had to be structured.

 

Because these sites were remade in an entirely new language (from Javascript to PHP), my goal for RM7's release was to try to make sure every feature available in the old sites would still be available on the new ones. Now that I've gotten there (or pretty close, at least) I hope to continue to improve them and am happy to hear your suggestions or comments.