Back to the Beginning
After stumbling upon errors, duplicates and other issues with my Family Tree far too frequently I began to wonder how I might better uncover many if not all of these issues. Eventually I settled on a plan to identify all or even a small part of those issues.
First, some background; Family Tree Maker (FTM) a product of Ancestry.com seems to assume that when we enter data into their database that we have “purified” that data so few if any errors result. My experience after over a decade of use proves otherwise. Some of the helpful reports offered by FTM years ago have actually been eliminated in recent years and the remaining reports make it extremely painful to find errors as they are often imbedded with all of the good data. If you have a large database, this becomes a real problem.
I am lucky in that as part of previous projects I already have Windows 7, Kedit, T-SQL, and Fast Reports installed on my pc. My FTM database is on a different and older computer that runs Windows XP. I decided to use these products to locate and identify issues.
I have been working on this project off and on for about a year and I am very satisfied with the progress I am making in cleaning my database of obvious issues. An additional benefit has been that my programming skills have greatly improved as the project has progressed. Instead of spending an inordinate number of months poring over FTM reports I have instead been learning and improving my knowledge of the software I’m using.
My experience with FTM has taught me a lot about the Genealogical Data Communications (GEDCOM) files used for sharing genealogical information. The next big improvement of GEDCOM will be when the final release of GEDCOM 6.0 is implemented by FTM and other software developers. If those XML files were available today, all of my Kedit code might be unnecessary since SQL can read XML directly.
However I am not sure that 6.0 will create the files I think are appropriate for my research. For more details of my design go to My SQL Database.
Overview of the Entire Process
- Documentation of the Kedit macros I wrote to convert the GEDCOM into SQL code Go to Kedit.
- Documentation of the SQL tables, views and etc I have written Go to SQL Code
- Extract a GEDCOM file from Family Tree Maker Go to GEDCOM Section
- Run the Kedit macros against the GEDCOM file Go to Kedit Macros
- Run the resultant SQL files created by the Kedit macros Go to Apply SQL
- Run the SQL views to see the data reports in SQL Go to SQL Views
- For more meaningful reports, I use Fast Reports Go to Fast Reports
- Results of the Fast Reports I wrote Go to Run Reports