R7 vs R8 Database Strategy

I am using the following R7 to R8 data base strategy. I used my existing R7 DB to set up R8. I am working in R8 as a learning experience only. I am still using R7 as my “official” DB. My intent is to replace the test DB in R8 with my then current R7 DB when I am ready to switch programs “officially”. I have merged my media files into one directory and I am using it for both programs, to minimize having to make any changes there.

Question? - Am I missing something? Or will this strategy work OK until I’m ready to switch over to R8. I don’t want to continue this way if some major problem(s) will result with either program or with TreeShare. Any advice would be appreciated.


The strategy you describe seem perfectly ok. A number of experienced RM users have described using the same strategy.


I concur with Jerry. It was not necessary to consolidate media files under one folder for your strategy to work. They could have stayed where they were.

A bit of caution might be advisable if you connect your rm7 db to ancestry via treeshare. The idea of both rm7 and rm8 files connected to the same ancestry treeshare is a bit of a flag for me. I don’t know enough of how rm keeps track of treehare changes to feel comfortable doing that.

Since rm8 is a practice db for now, you might want to consider disconnecting the rm8 db from your “official” ancestry tree and pushing a new tree to ancestry from RM8. That will allow you to test out rm8 and treeshare but not add anything from rm8 into your “official” ancestry tree. The new rm8 ancestry tree would need to be deleted when you delete the practice rm8 db.

Thanks Tom,
I was thinking that having two media directories would result in requirements for duplicate entries and or changes. However, for now, the R-8 file is for testing. I can always replace it with my R-7 media file when I switch over to R-8 as my primary program. So, I have just made a copy of my directory and named it R-8-Media. R-8 will use that file (for learning/testing). My R-7 media file is still my primary and I will continue to maintain it from R-7. The program settings for media files have been changed accordingly. Hope this makes sense.

I agree about the databases. I probably wasn’t clear about what I have done. I have an R7 database on Ancestry, and an R8 Test data base on ancestry. Each roots program connects to the corresponding Ancestry database for TreeShare. I plan to replace the test R8 with my primary R7 when I switch over to R8 as my primary program.
Thanks for the help.

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You need to be VERY careful about “disconnecting” databases as that may cause a reset of all the change matching. That might cause a reset of all the changes you have against RM7 also. Half of the tracking is on the Ancestry side, and I’ve seem more than once things happening on the RM side that cause a total reset of everything in Treeshare, and the (literally) months long process to connect everything up.

Got it. I’ve seen this happen more than once and all the “hints” are reset in Ancestry.

Use separate media folders for RM7 and 8. With only one folder, changes made in the RM8 test file would affect the real data in RM7. Very easy to mistake where you are and what you are doing.

For now it is wise to keep RM7 as the master file and play with RM8 until it becomes a viable product in 6-12 months.

That’s exactly what I was thinking, and why I had created two media files.

Keeping RM7 databases and backups and so forth very separate makes very good sense to me. But I’m not sure why it’s necessary to replicate media files with one copy for RM7 and for a second identical copy for RM8

I guess it depends on how you think about it, but I have always kept my media folders very separate from any of my RM folders. RM actually creates and manipulates databases and backup files and report files and GEDCOM files. But it doesn’t create or manipulate media files. It only links to them. It seems fine to me for RM7 and RM8 to link to the same media files.


Thanks Jerry - thought I was misunderstanding something here. My media is all in a folder structure that could be used by any software that links to it. No need to have multiple copies.

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One media folder used by more than one program will result in a messed up media folder. One pot of soup with two cooks not a good idea.

I don’t understand how using one media folder for multiple programs causes any problems at all as long as the programs are not managing the folder and are only linking to it.

I could put a 1900 census image for John Doe in Boondock County and then link it to RM7 and RM8, or just to one, or to neither. I could even link the same image to any other piece of genealogy software.

An exception in RM’s case might be the media folder containing media files downloaded from ancestry by TreeShare. But these files are not stored in the same folder as any of your other media files. They are stored in a special folder that is a subfolder of your RM database is stored. This folder and its files will be duplicated automatically between RM7 and RM8. Well, I don’t download files in this way from ancestry, so I haven’t verified that RM8’s import process for RM7 replicates this folder. But it’s hard to see how it could work any other way.


What I am doing may be a bit unorthodox but it’s working fairly well. RM7 as returned to being my “production” database and RM8 is my test. I created the RM8 database my duplicating the entire folder I had RM7 in, including the media. That meant initially my RM7 DB was also duplicated, and I imported that into RM8. After that was done and checked out I deleted the duplicate RM7 DB and backup files. So I have RM7 + media in one folder, RM8 + media in another.

As I’ve been updating RM7 I’ve been using tree share to move the individual updates into RM8. I’ve played with some of the cleanup tools in RM8 that aren’t in RM7. I have done some updates in RM8 and synced the back to RM7 via TreeShare, but I’ve been avoiding that as my workflow that uses both FamilySearch and Ancestry to avoid transcribing and introducing more errors is painfully slow in RM8.

This process has allowed me to work with RM8 reporting on fairly recent data and compare RM7 and RM8 reports. It also lets me try something in RM8 that I’ve just done in RM7 and compare.

I should mention I did a fair amount of cleanup in my RM7 database during the RM8 beta process.

Jerry; The problem I saw with a shared media folder arises from the way I work. New media get cleaned up/edited and saved as pdfs which then go in the appropriate media family subfolder. From there they are copied and pasted into my FTM genealogy database. To move items around or delete them at the file level rather than in the program causes problems. If another program is using the same folder then it has to be fixed also. Currently I export a new gedcom and pull that into RM8 and point that file to a copy of the current media folder. RM7 and 8 are very good and relinking to media (unlike FTM).

No it won’t. If programs only link to your media folder then they are not messing with the folder

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I’m a little confused about your statement "An exception in RM’s case might be the media folder containing media files downloaded from ancestry by TreeShare. But these files are not stored in the same folder as any of your other media files. They are stored in a special folder that is a subfolder of your RM database is stored. "

As far as I can tell, media downloaded by TreeShare are saved in the same media folder as for the Roots program (R7 or R8). I see thousands of them saved in my media folder for R7 for example. The only difference is that they are saved with a name provided by Ancestry.

What am I missing?

Most of my media files are stored in the following folder. Notice that it is in Dropbox. My media folder can be anywhere I wish and it is not under control of RM. I simply tell RM where it is. Since I manage it and it is managed totally outside of RM, RM7 and RM8 can share it. There is absolutely 0% conflict in them sharing it.

My RM8 databases are stored in the following folder. Notice that it is in OneDrive. I use OneDrive instead of Dropbox for my RM files because the use of OneDrive in this manner seems safe without pausing OneDrive while I am using RM.

My main RM8 database is called jerryrm8.rmtree. Therefore, if I link this database to ancestry via TreeShare, any media files I download via TreeShare will be stored in the following folder. It is set up by TreeShare and I don’t control it. TreeShare puts the jerryrm8_media folder in the same folder as the jerryrm8.rmtree database. That’s just the way it works. It doesn’t work with the RM media folder setting at all.

So I manage the media files I download or create myself and I control where they go. TreeShare manages the media files it downloads and it controls where they go. Never the twain shall meet.

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Glad to have confirmed that:
We can keep our own media (photos & document scans) in our own folder structure with as much subdividing (into type or surname) as suits us personally and just point RM (7 or 8) to where the file is kept. No need to duplicate the archive while using 7 and testing 8. Nor combine the folders to use 8. Nor transfer all our media into RM’s media folder. If we re-organise our filing system, then RM can mend broken links so long as we do not change the filename.

TreeShare from Ancestry will send attached media (typically document scans & some photos) into the RM media folder in the RM folder structure. RM chooses the place if set up from new. But we can change it and when migrating from 7, we can point 8 to the same location.

Personally I leave the contents of that RM media folder well alone, even though having documents with meaningless code names discomforts me. But RM knows what they are by linkage and RM8 makes it easy to view them attached to their sources for their events. Delighted with that. The wonders of 8 are steadily becoming apparent to me and compensating for my niggles.

I too use OneDrive for all my file backup. I wish the iOS app could use OneDrive rather than DropBox. From OneDrive it could access the latest data but viewing from DropBox is only as up-to-date as my last manual database copy to there. But that’s a small matter.