If all goes as they (Ancestry.com and Software MacKiev) plan, this is the week — two days from now on March 29 at midnight Mountain Time (2 a.m. ET) — the TreeSync feature in Family Tree Maker 2014 (any version) and earlier editions of FTM with the feature will be shutdown forever.
The FTM 2014.1 and earlier editions will continue to operate as a stand-alone genealogy program but the sync with online trees, search, merge, hints and tips will not function.
From March 29 to March 31 Ancestry.com and Software MacKiev will make changes to the Ancestry.com website that will enable the new FamilySync to operate in Family Tree Maker 2017.
FamilySync will only be available in Family Tree Maker 2017 which will be released on March 31, 2017.
How you can get FTM 2017 depends on when/what you purchased prior.
If you paid for Family Tree Maker 2014.1 or Mac 3.1 from Software MacKiev, your upgrade to the FTM 2017 edition will be free. An email with a download link will be sent to you when FTM 2017 is released. (Make sure you are on the Family Tree Maker mailing list.)
If you own any previous edition of Family Tree Maker 2014 or earlier, you qualify for upgrade pricing. To take part in the pre-order upgrade pricing make sure you sign up for the Family Tree Maker mailing list before March 29, 2017. On the Software MacKiev FTM page, click on the green News circle located on the left side of the Family Tree Maker banner to get to the mailing list sign-up.
So at current pre-order US upgrade pricing which is good until March 31, 2017, you can purchase:
- The download of the software for $29.95 distributed via download link sent by email. (Remember to copy the installer file to another location like a USB drive, the cloud or an external hard drive for a backup copy.);
- The software download and the software on DVD for $39.95 plus $5.95 shipping and handling;
- Or the software download and the software on a wood covered USB drive for $49.95 plus $5.95 shipping and handling.
But take note! Though the graphics are for the FTM 2017 edition the current wording on the Special Pre-Order Upgrade Offer page actually reads:
"All choices include a download of the current FTM edition and a free download of FTM 2017 when it is released. But you can also order a FTM 2017 DVD or FTM 2017 USB edition."
So don't be surprised when the initial download link you get via email is for FTM 2014.1 (or Mac 3.1) and not FTM 2017 (Windows and Mac) which will not be released until March 31, 2017. The actual software download of FTM 2017 will not be active/available until March 31at which time you will be sent a download link via email.
Yes technically if you had Ancestry FTM 2014 and downloaded your free promised upgrade to 2014.1 that was released a couple months ago, technically you already have 2014.1 but this is a way to save $10 on upgrade pricing to FTM 2017.
After pre-order upgrade pricing expires for the software download, the cost will be $39.95 to upgrade from previous editions for a limited time. Of course, the DVD and USB options are still extra.
If you are just buying Family Tree Maker for the first time, the cost is $79.95 for the download.
Software MacKiev has a page of Family Tree Maker 2017 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) which answers some questions and also has a link to the upgrade pricing page.
See earlier posts on the Ancestry.com blog, our own blog ( post 1 and post 2) or the Software MacKiev Family Tree Maker 2017 FAQ page for upgrade pricing qualifications.
So what about the sync capability between Ancestry.com online trees and the genealogy programs RootsMagic and Legacy Family Tree? We suspect that will happen after this change occurs at the Ancestry.com website. Unfortunately, Family Tree Maker may receive more bumps and bruises reputation-wise for being the first genealogy program to implement the new sync technology. We suggest everyone exercise patience.
Technology changes. We all have to face that at some point. Part of this change, we believe is because the built-in browser used by search and merge inside Family Tree Maker is an older version of Microsoft Internet Explorer which is a program that is no longer supported by Microsoft. To implement another internal browser that works with the website changes Ancestry.com wants to implement requires some major work, too much for a simple version update (x.1 to x.2) thus requiring an upgrade to a new edition.
Finally, backup your Family Tree Maker trees. If you sync to an online tree, make sure that sync is up-to-date and then backup your files. Software MacKiev recommends making a manual backup. Backup once with images included and backup once without images included (so yes we mean do it twice) before March 29 as a safety precaution. A backup with images is great if you ever have a hard drive problem because it saves your data, your links and your linked images. A backup without images is great when it is just a program issue because it saves your data and just your links to the images that are still safe on your hard drive.
If we hear more we will let you know.
See you soon at Mt. Clemens Public Library!