Ridiculous requirement to upgrade to RM9 to retain Ancestry and FamilySearch integration

I purchased RM8 less than two years ago, shortly after it was released, and one of the primary reasons I chose RM was its advertised integration with both Ancestry and FamilySearch. Also, RM8 came out about seven years after RM7 and claimed that it was the largest technological foundation upgrade in its history, so I was expecting multiple years of support for RM8.

Instead, only about a year after my purchase of RM8, RM9 was released for an additional fee. Seeing no critical reason to update, I continued to use RM8, despite frequent errors that requires the program to be shut down and re-launched. But now, the integration with Ancestry and FamilySearch is going away due to changes to their sign-in procedures.

A blog post by RootsMagic claims: “We cannot update previous versions to support the new sign-in methods because they are built on older technologies that are not compatible with the new security measures.” But all of this is completely inconsistent with the extremely misleading marketing done for RM8:

## Built For the Future
RootsMagic 8 is the biggest release in our 30-year history. We’ve rewritten RootsMagic to support the latest genealogical technologies available today while building a foundation for future functionality that would have been impossible with our older code.

RM8 built for the future? NOPE! RM8 built for future functionality impossible with older code? NOPE! RM8 is now old code that can’t be updated. This is all a ridiculous bait-and-switch, and I think RM8 users should get a free upgrade to RM9. I imagine that is highly unlikely, though, in which case I will be moving to a different platform.

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You can blame the people who hacked into 23andMe for the upgrade in everyone’s (Ancestry, FamilySearch, etc) tightened security. Various emails (Gmail, Hotmail, etc) have enhanced their security too.

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No, it isn’t bait and switch. No one expected this change by FamilySearch or Ancestry and users did get a free upgrade to 9 if they purchased in the months prior to the release of RM9. As for old technology and RM8, this is a long standing policy with Rootsmagic, once a new version is released, no more updates for prior versions.

I’ve been a user of Bruce’s genealogy software since discovering it (as a user of MoneyCounts from Parsons Technology). The cost has remained the same for over 30+ years with additional pricing discounts regularly, over that time. Take advantage of the latest by 24 December. Or move to another platform and pay more for similar or less functionality. It’s always been a choice for You.


“Built For the Future…biggest release in our 30-year history…building a foundation for future functionality that would have been impossible with our older code.”

I appreciate all of the loyalty, and I appreciate that there is probably a very small and devoted development team. However, with this language around RM8, I was expecting more than two years of support, and I felt like a beta tester with all of the crashes and weird errors that required re-launching the program. I have never used any other Windows software this unstable.

I was hoping that things would get fixed over time, but I am still having problems, and now with the abandoned support of RM8 and the forced upgrade to yet another “new technology code” in RM9 to make it work with FamilySearch and Ancestry, I just don’t think it is worth it.

I am more comfortable with stable software that retains support for a reasonable amount of time, rather than constantly being in beta. I guess I did not do enough vetting of this software before purchasing it. Lesson learned.

I don’t know where you see loyalty in this. I personally think RM8 and RM9 are crap. Right now the only reason I am using 9 is for the little bit of TreeSharing that I do. My working copy is still Rootsmagic 7 and it will be until I finish my transition to a different program at which time I will still use RM9 to handle my few TreeShare requirements.

You are also confusing support with updates. RM still supports pretty much every version of the program, they just don’t update the software any further. If you were to pose a question as to how to do something, you would get an answer. There are more and more software companies who cease any development on old products when new product versions come out so this should not be a real surprise to anyone.

You were a beta tester on RM8 which is now totally unsupported. Buy the RM9 current version which is a real release and much better. Security concerns prompted Ancestry to upgrade their login security and only current software will work.

I meant that I “felt” like a beta tester of RM8. I actually waited until it was released and a couple of updates had come out before buying, But then they moved on to RM9 very quickly without ever making RM8 stable. I still get frequent “Unexpected Errors” after which I am unable to use the program until I restart it.

Personally I had no issue paying for an update to RM9 from 8 when it was released.

I think the cost of the software, its flexibility, and close involvement of the developers and their team are second to none in this arena.

If you are not happy with the service the RM team give you, you can always switch to the massive corporate entity that owns FTM and never hear from their developers on a personal level and pay more for the privilege)

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There are other genealogy packages out there than the two you cited. Many users have left RM for them, but many are happy with RM and have chosen to stay. It is all up to the individual.

I agree there are more than the ones I mentioned, and people are free to use those. I am just giving reasons why I believe RM9 is best suited for me, and if others are not happy they can make a market choice and chose a different option


I have been critical of RM but Tree Share and the great Error Checking tools have kept me with RM7, 8 & 9.

I have had major problems with Errors coming up when Tree Sharing, especially when there was a lot of additional citations related to a single person, when all were checked to accept ofter far to much mouse clicking the Error message would show and if I was lucky then RM would not crash.

No, I’m not going to report it again been there done that you ain’t fixed it.

My solution I bought a competitors product and guess what it Sync’s with Ancestry via a single click.

So I have effectively dumped RM9 for now but will return to error check a new Project once I have added more people to my Ancestry tree, for RM still has better error checking than the new software.

Could not log in. Read your chat. Paid $20 upgrade. Sun came out. If you need help, please stop by and I give you a twenty. I’m sure you missed the point. Happy New Year from Bill.

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“Constantly being in beta”

Consider this; You’re on the 50 yard line. Run back and up to see the whole playing field for only a moment.

I started 40 years ago with a pre-printed sheet and pencil. Mom made me do it. Then came Atari; WebTV; IBM desk top; Zip Drives; Parsons; flash drives; external drives. All the time platforms and software and memory and storage capacity were playing a dance with each other. Developed my own website, now extinct. It sure sounds like Beta to me.

So what’s the point?

My time is over. So I now transfer my desk to my families here and in Europe. to preserve and make available.

The grand kids are on iphones, tablets and 4KTV. Transfer of desktop software of any kind with continual data revisions is impossible. Text on 4K and video on Ancestry - so comes; YouTube links and PDF TV. These new platforms are so primitive for what we do. But, it is the future. I have discussed with Ancestry and RM; 1) transfer Ancestry account ownership 2) create a copy of the content to a new Ancestry account – Ancestry – RM9 – New Ancestry. Of course there are issues – like does life. I only use TreeShare for total download to RM and it has given me the solution for my present situation. I created Ancestry from RM7. Thanks Bruce.

I am a photography guy with Photo Shop. The 4K horizontal rendition of Ancestry photos is exciting. I see in the future a fully functional voice interface with some kind of 50K theater screen. It will be fully connected with internal text and video. Wow. Wish I could be here.

So let’s fast forward 40 years and take a look. GOLLY; we are still in Beta!

Forgive me for interfering
Best wishes from Bill in Florida


I guess your point is that the upgrade fee is not big, and that, even if I don’t upgrade, the sun will continue to rise and set every day regardless of the fact that RM8 was never a stable piece of software and was only supported for a brief period, despite loss of a major functionality.

I think this misses the point, though. I am not a professional programmer, so I am not sure exactly how the login changes at Ancestry and FamilySearch affected RM. However, I presume that the update to RM9 that was written to accommodate the changes was handled by changing the code in some login “subroutines.”

If, as RootsMagic advertised, the RM8 code was the biggest code update in its 30-year history that would create a foundation for future technology, then it seems like the new Ancestry and FamilySearch login subroutines could have been added to both RM8 and RM9.

If it really would have been very difficult to modify the RM8 code to accommodate the new code, then the main point of my post was to suggest that RM8 owners should get a free upgrade to RM9 as a result of the major loss in functionality, in order to provide some future assurance to newer owners of the software like me. But, if it really would have been practically impossible to add the functionality to RM8, then it makes me concerned that the foundation of the code in RM8 and RM9 does not follow best practices, which is consistent with the instability of the programs and does not bode well for the future.

Yes, the sun will continue to rise, even if RM continues to be unstable or charges more when new programming has to be done just to maintain advertised functionality (e.g., when partners change their APIs or operating systems are updated, which happens all the time). And I appreciate the dedication of the main developer Bruce and the RM team, but I was just trying to make a simple suggestion on how to retain or attract newer users like me. It was not to be, and the sun will continue to rise and set as I switch to a different platform.

Best wishes.

You said you’re not a professional programmer. The marketing news blurb you’re hung up on…was referring to announcing Apple users compatibility. That was apparently long wished for and commensurately trumpeted. The math on what you’ve paid plus the cost of an upgrade is still less than or equal to what you’re gonna pay for a competing program.

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Show me in the RM8 Press Release where it says the major code update to accommodate future technologies applies only to the Mac version. This is not primarily about the cost–it is also about the prospect of future problems and support. If what you say is true that only the Mac version has been updated to new code, and that the Windows version has not been updated, then that is another red flag and explains some of the ongoing issues.

I think the loyal apologists have done their job to defend RM, and it is to RM’s credit that it has developed this loyalty. I think I have raised legitimate concerns, as well. And I think we can all move on to doing our genealogies.

But the competing program will probably work without all the bugs still being reported in this forum and the workarounds that forum superstars Jerry and TomH provide to people.

Yes, RW, the bugless competing program…

Nobody says/said only Mac support. It was a redesign of the codebase for cross-compilation w/the addition of Mac compatibility.