Update of MacKiev’s Family Tree Maker 2017 Release Plans

MacKiev has been working feverishly on the new release of Family Tree Maker 2017. There have also been hints in the MacKiev status reports that the folks at Ancestry.com also have been burning the midnight oil on their end as well.

The details have not been released but apparently one big show stopper has been getting the Family Tree Maker 2017 software in both the Windows and Macintosh computers to synchronize properly with Ancestry.com’s servers. Apparently, the problems are believed to be close to resolved. Beta test users reportedly have been performing updates for several days now.

If you are curious when the release will be finalized, keep an eye on the MacKiev.com status reports at https://support.mackiev.com/498640-RELEASE-OF-FTM-2017. Those status reports seem to updated about every week or so.

32 Comments

Why is Ancestry spending so much effort and money on this? Seems to me they divested themselves of FTM, and it should be MacKiev’s responsibility.

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    Family Tree Maker has to synchronize with Ancestry.com’s servers. Due to security considerations​, that is not a trivial exercise. Each copy of Family Tree Maker must be verified by the servers as authorized to have access. Imagine a typical evening when 30,000 or more users wish to synchronize.

    I suspect there are other issues as well. I certainly do not know all the issues involved.

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    Ancestry needs people to update their family trees as those ae a major reason for their source of income. Without those tree Ancestry would be just another source of raw data.

    Liked by 1 person

First, the ability for Ancestry customers to sync with their local software, be it FTM or RootsMagic or whatever, is something that Ancestry wants to offer, so their efforts on this are more than an FTM thing. It’s something to help differentiate them from other on-line genealogical research providers.

Second, while I’m only guessing here (based on many years of software development) I suspect that this change-over was what’s called a “turn-key” implementation, which is always tricky. This means you can’t (or don’t want to) run the old and new versions of the synchronization systems in parallel, you have to turn off the old one and turn on the new. Very worst case in this scenario is when, once you’ve “turned the key” there’s no going back to the old way. I think Ancestry found that after doing the Turning of the Key that their new synchronization system, while well tested before hand, didn’t scale up to the tens-of-thousands of users trying to synchronize at once. So they were stuck with a broken new system which they are now having to fix on the fly because they cannot fall back to the old one. Just supposition, but it’s a typical scenario and seems to fit the facts as we know them.

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I am one of the beta testers…….from the emails I’ve received, it sounds like it’s the “unusual” and very large trees that they are having issues with. What constitutes and unusual tree,I do not know.

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I am sure this is a “piddly-a**” comment, but here goes…I was offered the upgrade from FTM 2014 to 2014.1…trying to sync I get a message to upgrade to FTM2017, say what?! So those of us who did as suggested, will we be offered a FREE upgrade to FTM2017? Is the upgrade only necessary If one wants to sync to Ancestry?

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    I HAVE THE SAME FEELINGS AS THESE OTHER PEOPLE DO ABOUT THIS NEW PROGRAM FTM 2017 WE NEED TO KNOW THAT WE ARE NOT BEING SCAMED ON THIS NEW PROGRAM. PLEASE GIVE US MORE UPDATES TO KEEP US INFORMED ABOUT YOUR PROGRESS. THERE IS TOO MUCH SCAMMING GOING ON THESE DAYS THAT WE MEED TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE NOT DOING THE SAME TO US. I HOPE WE CAN TRUST YOU TO BEING DOING THE RIGHT BY US.

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I am beginning to believe we are dealing with vaporware. I very gladly gave them $$ for the upgrade and was promised delivery before April 1. I took them at their word that unforeseen problems caused a delay. But it has been more that 2 months since the failed delivery and we have not had a status update in more than two weeks. It also scares me that they “turned back on” the old upload scheme, that tells me they are not even close to solving the problem. Finally I applied weekly for their “test drive” and did not even get a form letter denial. A few more weeks and I am writing a letter to my state’s attorney general.

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    I’m with you, Jim Martin. I paid for a copy of FTM 2017 months ago and haven’t seen it yet. They keep telling us they are working on ironing out the software problems, but I still have stacks of data to load into FTM and I’m waiting till I get the new program to do it. I think I’ve waited about long enough. It may be time to cancel my order and get a refund. MacKiev, at best, does not seem to know what they’re doing.

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    I’m absolutely amazed at how they are keeping a lid on this. Mind you they don’t have forums on their site so it’s hard to find a place to leave comment. Maybe this forum should be pushed to Ancestry users more actively.
    Of course the effort required to move to another provider is significant so all of us are showing unusual constraint. However a point will come when any loyalty to Ancestry will finally go.

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    —> I’m absolutely amazed at how they are keeping a lid on this. Mind you they don’t have forums on their site so it’s hard to find a place to leave comment.

    Would you like a discussion forum set up on this newsletter’s web site?

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I am amazed & totally frustrated at the way this whole upgrade to FMT 17 has been handled. I feel personally that I was sold a pup on the back of Ancestry’s reputation & McKiev have never been honest, giving constant assurances but never delivering.
With FMT 14 we had a slick, competent bit of software which was mutually beneficial to users & Ancestry.
This is a classic case of ‘if it ain’t broke don’t try & fix it’. Ancestry were too keen to cash in by selling off a key product. If another developer offered a way to transfer to their system there would be mass desertions. I would definitely go.

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Because of the aggravation and time it is taking to get sync back will Mackiev give us a price break or something else free for our trouble.

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I share the frustrations expressed here. I feel as if I am being held hostage. Why take my money if you did not have a product to deliver?

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I also have paid for FTM 2017. I feel like we are being jerked around and ripped off. Maybe we should start filing complaints with the better business bureau. This is awful. They should at least refund everyone’s money until they are ready to release it. They seem to be doing the same thing over and over again, it makes no sense.

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I am in no way a computer expert. I follow instructions BLINDLY…not knowing any better. So when I updated to Family Tree Maker 2014.1, a couple of days ago, I was totally unprepared for what happened. The program won’t open. I get “a problem caused the program to stop working correctly…” but Windows does not close the program and notify me if there is a solution; the program freezes in the “Test Compatibility Settings…” page – after the Settings were applied.
Is there any way I can delete the 2014.1 version and revert to the 2014? I am unable to locate my original Family Tree Maker disk so I can’t just delete it and reinstall! Any help would be appreciated! J McRae

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I’m so ready to call the pre-pay for FTM 2017 a loss and move on to something else! I’ve been patient long enough!

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I complained to MacKiev recently about how poorly their behavior regarding this release was. Part of their response was: “Please keep in mind that “pre-ordering” literally means paying before the product is available.” “We are in the final stages of testing, the release should not take long.” I think this is the company telling me that the customer is wrong. We should all remind them that it is not a “pre-order” if they never deliver a product. I find it humorous that they use phrases like “should not take long” as they have no idea what “long” means. Perhaps they will release it on December 31st or maybe rename it FTM2018. I urge all who read this to overwhelm their support system by requesting support for the 2014 version and complain about the lack of 2017 version. Maybe we just need to let them know how we really feel.

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i am so frustrated i cannot download ftm 2017 i have had so much trouble connecting with support no one ever responds to my emails and i need to speak with someone to walk me through the steps. I do not want someone to send me a link and have me figure it out myself. I also have the 2014 ftm and I cannot get help with that. it looks like you have covered every problem but somehow you forgot to help your customers …..maybe you should have thought of that first…………………

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I had an earlier version 2014.1. Bought 2017, download the tests as advised. Everything went fine. Then I download the last one and it worked, albeit quite slow, it did work. Signed off a few days ago in the late afternoon. Went back the next morning. I have 0, zip, nadda, nothing. Not FTM 2014.1. No 2017. NO 4500 + entry’s of my family tree. I get a message that I have unlimited updates until 2017 is released. Swell. I don’t have a tree to use at all. Not a thing. I have contacted Tech Support. Got a message it would take sometime for them to get back to me. I should go to FTM and do something.
Can’t remember what it was, but I don’t HAVE FTM to go to. I can’t even find it on my backup. Needless to say, I AM P…ED.

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Have used Ancestry for years for researching only as I don’t publish my trees. While 14.1 worked extremely well with Ancestry, the FTM2017 connection is incomplete and essentially non-functional for research. I’m now at a standstill. Thought I would focus on publishing a book in the mean time but the Index and Preview features in FTM2017 don’t work either.

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In March I paid for the DVD to accompany FTM 2014.1 but it did not arrive. Four months later when I contacted MacKiev via live chat, the response to my question of non-delivery, was “Might be because of that fact that FTM 2014.1 is kind of useless now” REALLY???No apology was forthcoming, nor was a refund offered – though it was agreed to when I demanded one. I wonder how many other people are owed money

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I feel like many of the above not pleased with the way we are being used, you promised a free update to 2017 . have not been able to get 2017 working. 2014 was slow enough .
it was simple to buy 2014. but now I think I will have to go back to Family tree maker #7 which word great ,I should have never bought 2014. sorry but this is a

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I left my comment, a complaint about the FTM 2017. I saw it published, but now its gone. What happened?

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I like everyone else prepaid for FTM 2017 and have been waiting. I was using FTM 2012 and went ahead and got 2014 in the meantime. I have 3 family trees on FTM2012 which are all synced to Ancestry. Two of them converted fine to 2014 and one didn’t – the error message said “Unable to convert file.” So I thought I’d just wait for 2017. Well now my first 2 trees did convert from 2014 to 2017, but my 3rd tree still won’t convert. I sent them a message…. Now almost 2 weeks later I haven’t heard anything, so I tried live chat. What a waste of time. The suggestion I got was to take a backup file from 2012 and “restore” it in 2017. I thought she was guessing and apparently was right. I tried it and still get the same message “unable to convert file.” I don’t know what to do. Has anyone else had this issue and figured out how to get past it? Unfortunately because they turned of the sync feature months ago, my FTM tree is not in sync with my Ancestry tree so that’s not an option to download from ancestry either. I’m beyond frustrated.

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Your buy out of FTM sucks. We have been waiting for months and all we get to bend over and they will fix it. HA. I bought 2014.1 ahd received a discc. then was told I did not Buy it from mavkiev. What a joke

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I just downloaded FTM 2017 this morning. I was unaware that it was finally released on July 17th because for some reason I didn’t get the email update even though I’m on the mailing list and pre-paid back in March. All is running well and syncing so far is running as it should.

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I have run into down load problems. My solution: Down load your on line tree as a Gedcom file and import it into your 2014 verison of Family Tree Maker. If it works, delete the older file. A pain in a** but you can run off charts etc.

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I started long ago and got to FTM version 9. Everything past that seems cumbersome . I personally do not want to seed my 40 years of research to ancestry so they can sell it.
I have been a member of Ancestry off and on for many years and have never found one usable piece of info. Now I find 2017 is more complicated for an old man to use. Everything genealogy seems to be tied in some way to ancestry.com . Any ideas?

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    —> Everything genealogy seems to be tied in some way to ancestry.com . Any ideas?

    There are more than a dozen first-rate genealogy programs to choose from and most of them are NOT locked into Ancestry.com in any way. You are not locked into any one program that you don’t like. If you switch to a new and possibly better program, you might enjoy genealogy once again.

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Finally got FTM tech support or what they call tech support to admit the product was rushed to market and does not always work as intended when syncing with ancestry.com. Fix is to agree to be a beta tester or wait for an upgrade that will ship at some yet to be determined future date.

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