Friday, September 28, 2007

PAF and "NEW" FamilySearch Update

Interfacing PAF with New FamilySearch

Renee's Genealogy Blog had a previous article Interfacing with NFS - Part One. In it she reported:

"...that PAF is a dead animal. They [FamilySearch] understand that some will still use it, so they will still support it. BUT, if you want to have your genealogy database interact and sync with NFS then you need to move over to a commercial product to do so."

In this post she now corrects that assessment with the following:

At the time of that writing I did not have confirmation on what Ohana Software was trying to engineer to keep the heart of PAF still beating. John Vilburn the owner and developer of PAF Insight and Ohana Software sent me the following:

"There is one big correction I would like to bring to your attention. If you are using PAF and PAF Insight, you do not have to move to another genealogy product to keep your database intact and in sync with NFS. FamilyInsight, which is the successor to PAF Insight (by the same company) will sync your PAF database with NFS. FamilyInsight will be a part of the free update program for current PAF Insight users."
John has also left the following comment on my blog:

"Renee quoted the speaker as saying "BUT, if you want to have your genealogy database interact and sync with NFS then you need to move over to a commercial product to do so." You do not need to move away from PAF to sync with NFS. If you currently use PAF Insight and you are within your free update period, you can update for free to FamilyInsight when it is released (or in beta). It will sync your PAF file with NFS (in both directions). FamilyInsight is the successor to PAF Insight and will look and feel like PAF Insight, so you won't have to learn a new program."
So you can still see that even though PAF is dead, meaning no new growth, enhancements or development from FamilySearch will be added to it, there is a commercial developer continuing to give life support to PAF for those that can't let a loved one go. Ohana Software will provide you during your PAFInsight free update period an upgrade to Family Insight. (I just can't find anywhere on the website how long the free update period is.) If you already own PAFInsight you have a no-cost way to sync with NFS when it comes in your area. Customers in the St. Louis Temple District are already beta testing FamilyInsight for us.

Like I did in my previous article I want to give MY personal opinion on PAF Insight / Family Insight.

John has made a wonderful, useful product that has helped thousands of members with numerous issues in their PAF databases makes corrections to their files.
It is available for free to all FHCs. You can try it before you buy it. Some of my patrons never buy it and come to the FHC to use it all the time. We LDS genealogist are frugal people to a fault.
Right now it is a MUST for people submitting names for temple ordinances to first use PAFInsight (or similar products) to verify if that work has previously been done or not.

Many have wondered what will happen to PAF Insight when New FamilySearch comes online. I have been one of them. You hate to see the demise of two very nice products with the end of one partner, it's been such a great relationship. Even though PAF gives every indication of no brain waves it kind of feels like FamilyInsight is just a new "machine" to keep the dying PAF's heart beating a little longer. Come on when are we going to announce it finally dead and gone!

I just don't get it. Why do people hold onto a dead animal and then put all these attachments on it. On Bob & Reb's Genealogy Blog they did an estimate that it cost them $182. 25 to purchase add-ons, (i.e. PAFInsight, PAFWiz, etc.), to make PAF do what other commercial products can already do. It might cost you $24.95 to purchase PAF Insight but the full commercial genealogy programs run from the starting price of $29.95 to the Gold Edition of The Master Genealogist for $59.00. I would much rather have the whole package from one provider than bits and pieces here and there. I've never heard of anyone being bounced between programs for support issues, but it feels like a waiting evil to happen.

I haven't given FamilyInsight a spin but I really hope with all the talent and ability John has that he will consider making his own genealogy software program that will get some more competition out there. He has probably dissected PAF in greater detail than anyone out there. He has the name recognition and loyal followers to help him pull that move off. If you really want PAF's heart to continue beating you need to transplate it into a new host. Life support is only going to last for so long.

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