Wholly Genes, the developers of The Master Genealogist (TMG), announced in late July 2014 that the decision has been made to discontinue The Master Genealogist. A number of people have since written asking what they should do.
The clear advice from those informed is “don’t panic or rush into switching to something which may be an inferior product – or not the best option for you”.
DON’T BE HASTY…
And here is why:
- TMG won’t cease to operate as long as you have a computer with an operating system capable of running it – and you have a copy of the program (and your unlock key) you can use if you ever need to reinstall it on your current or new computer
- official support from Wholly Genes will continue until the end of 2014, plenty of time to see what other developments might emerge
- extensive user support sites and forums will continue as long as there are users of TMG – and that is likely to be for many years to come
- there won’t be a new Windows operating system until 2015 at least, and even when it is released it is very likely to have full or at least substantial compatibility with products developed for Windows 8 – as far as we can judge. And that is only a possible factor if you actually upgrade to it – and then only if it doesn’t support TMG
- in the event the next version of Windows does not support TMG, and other programs TMG users may currently be using, it is very likely the great majority will retain a computer running Windows 8 at least
AND IF YOU NEED EVEN MORE REASONS …
- the only way to transfer data from TMG to another program is via GEDCOM and that will not handle ALL your TMG data without considerable manual clean up, manual entry and editing in the new program
- the extent of the data that will transfer to the new program will vary depending on the kind of data you have recorded and the ability of the program you choose to import that data
- wait to see if any other programs develop direct import of TMG data (as TMG itself did from Roots III many years ago). If that occurs it is likely to be known in the next few months
- wait to see if any other programs develop some functionality to attract TMG users. If that occurs it is likely to be known in the next few months or at least before a new Windows version is released
- no other program has the comprehensive functionality of TMG. If you use some/much of this special functionality now, you will lose it whatever you go to
- there is a slight possibility of ongoing development of TMG at some level by another player
- Bob Velke is releasing information to other developers about TMG structure and the direct Genbridge import to allow them to develop better importing options. That makes it even more important to wait before making any decisions if you are happy with TMG
MAXIMISE YOUR DATA SERCURITY AND DURABLITY OF TMG …
- upgrade to or buy the latest version of TMG (version 9) and update with any free updates that may be issued between now and the end of 2014. This will maximise its chances of continuing to a function on any new version of Windows
- backup your data frequently
- should the next version of Windows not have full support for TMG, maintain at least one computer with a current operating system on it (that may be needed for other programs you have anyway)
It is very likely with the right management, that TMG could be used for at least another 5 to 10 years, and maybe longer. The general consensus in extensive discussions in online forums is that most serious TMG users would prefer to continue to use TMG as long as they can than move to an inferior (for them) program – and only deal with any migration to an alternative if/when they really have to, which could be years away, if at all.
Please be aware that there is no guarantee that any alternative program will continue indefinitely. And maybe others will be discontinued before you are forced to make a decision about a move from TMG (numerous programs, including some very good ones, have already bitten the dust)
THE BOTTOM LINE …
Wait and see the fallout over the remainder of 2014. And if don’t see an alternative as good as TMG for you, continue to use TMG as long as you can – which may be long enough to see out your need for it – or at least until a new and better migration option develops in a few years time.
ONE FINAL COMMENT …
As a supplier of all the major genealogy programs, and therefore having no vested interest in one above the other – we would suggest Family Historian may be the best way to go if/when you feel the need to switch. For a start its native data format is GEDCOM, which should maximise its ability to handle GEDCOM data export from TMG. Apart from that we consider it generally one of the most innovative and capable programs on the market. Other popular programs you can consider include Legacy, Rootsmagic, Family Tree Maker and even Reunion if you have a Mac computer.
AND HERE’S OUR OFFERS …
Given the discontinuance of TMG after 2014, Gould Genealogy & History will offer the following while our stocks last:
– $20 off any new purchase of TMG 9 (to ensure existing TMG users have the latest version to maximise its longevity)
– $10 of any new upgrade from TMG 8 to TMG 9 (to ensure existing TMG users have the latest version to maximise its longevity)
– Terry Reigel’s excellent guide book A Primer for The Master Genealogist at $5 per copy
– The Master Genealogist Users Guide (printed 504 page book) at 20% discount, $28
– $10 off any purchase of an alternative genealogy program by 31 January 2015. You will need to provide proof of ownership of TMG if you didn’t purchase it from us
Family Historian also has a direct import from TMG, just use the New Project and import from Other Family History program.
See http://www.fhug.org.uk/wiki/wiki/doku.php?id=how_to:import_from_tmg for more details.
That’s a generous offer to get everyone up to the lastest version. Thanks for that. I might come back for Terry’s book just so I have it on hand as reference for the next few years. I hope someone comes up with a good program that will satisfy my pickyness within the next 5 years.
Robert, you’re not alone in being ‘picky’ with your program, I think that was pretty much all TMG users. Being a program that was so customisable, you could make it show the way you wanted it.
And it’ll be interesting to see what happens in the software scene over the next few years.
Yes, the demise of TMG is a sad event, BUT someone might offer to purchase the company OR another software program may take up the challenge to develop it or match its operation.
As Jane said, Family Historian will currently import TMG data, including Exhibits, but Roles and other refinements are not yet included: a work in progress!
Meanwhile users should follow the advice given, not panic, and ensure they are working with the latest version (9.03). My other advice would be to join a User Group, such as Sydney TMG User Group (a Yahoo! Group) so they are “in the loop” for the latest news.
My TMG 9 Gold is acting odd. How do I reinstall it?