New FamilySearch throughout Utah and Idaho in read-only mode

Discussions about using and improving the new FamilySearch online application.
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aebrown
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New FamilySearch throughout Utah and Idaho in read-only mode

Postby aebrown » Sat Jun 20, 2009 5:05 am

Yesterday members of the Church logged into the old FamilySearch site (http://www.familysearch.org) started seeing a new message when they went to any page that contains LDS ordinance data. You can read the full message, but the essential points are:

Ordinances are no longer being updated in the International Genealogical Index (IGI) by temples on the new system. Because of this, members should use the new FamilySearch site to view and verify the latest ordinance information.
...
Members who have registered in the existing FamilySearch.org site will be given access to register in the new FamilySearch system.
...
Some members living in Utah and Idaho temple districts will not be able to add or make changes to data in new FamilySearch for several months, but will be able to view the data.
To me, this seems to be big news, but there has been no corresponding big announcement. Everyone in Utah and Idaho now should have access. Even though most of them can't edit at this point, there's a lot you can learn (and probably a lot of support needed from ward Family History Consultants) just in read-only mode.

So my wife tried to register for the site. Unfortunately, she got the standard message telling her that new FamilySearch is not available in our area. Undaunted, I emailed FamilySearch Support, which responded very promptly:

All members of the Church will be able to access New FamilySearch on a read-only basis, if their stake is not yet rolled out. If members of your stake are receiving the error message, they need to send an email to support@familysearch.org, with "NFS Read-Only Access" in the subject line, and their full name, temple district, and membership number in the body. They will be allowed read-only access within 24 hours.
So my wife sent such an e-mail message, and we'll see what happens (it's been less than 10 hours so far). I don't have enough data to conclude whether most Utah/Idaho members (outside the few live temple districts) will be able to register without having to send the e-mail, or if this e-mail procedure will be the primary way access is granted.

It would be nice to know, so feel free to chime in with your experience with this, if you are in one of the not-yet-live Utah/Idaho temple districts. In any case, I'll report back when I learn more.

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Postby russellhltn » Sat Jun 20, 2009 2:11 pm

Ordinances are no longer being updated in the International Genealogical Index (IGI) by temples on the new system. Because of this, members should use the new FamilySearch site to view and verify the latest ordinance information.


Just to be clear, I think that's been true from the start. Temples that moved to nFS have not been updating the IGI found in old FamilySearch. So there's quite a bit that's not there. In contrast, the old TempleReady system hadn't been updated since 2000. So the gap there has been enormous.

I'm surprised that the first I'm hearing of this (read-only access for members) is from you. Normally hear about this though the FH email lists. So to say there's been no announcement is a understatement. Interesting...
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sat Jun 20, 2009 2:20 pm

RussellHltn wrote:I'm surprised that the first I'm hearing of this (read-only access for members) is from you. Normally hear about this though the FH email lists. So to say there's been no announcement is a understatement. Interesting...


I just happened on it by luck. I found a record of an ordinance in nFS that looked a bit different than I had remembered, so I logged in to old FS just to see what it looked like there. As soon as I went to a page that showed ordinance information, I got the popup message warning me to go to nFS to look up ordinance records.

Once my curiosity was piqued, I just had to investigate and follow up. It was interesting that the FS support person who replied to me said, "Those are the instructions we received within the past few hours." So it sounds like some aspects of this caught even the support staff by surprise.

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Postby aebrown » Sat Jun 20, 2009 2:26 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:So my wife sent such an e-mail message, and we'll see what happens (it's been less than 10 hours so far). I don't have enough data to conclude whether most Utah/Idaho members (outside the few live temple districts) will be able to register without having to send the e-mail, or if this e-mail procedure will be the primary way access is granted.


I have one more data point -- someone in my stake was able to register and use new FamilySearch without having to send an e-mail. That's good to hear, since that's more straightforward and will reduce the burden on support, both local support and FamilySearch support.

My wife still doesn't have access, and it's been almost 18 hours....

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Postby jbh001 » Mon Jun 22, 2009 1:45 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:Some members living in Utah and Idaho temple districts will not be able to add or make changes to data in new FamilySearch for several months, but will be able to view the data.
I've wondered if perhaps they want to target nFS going live in Utah/Idaho with the opening of the Oquirrh Mountain Temple (i.e. when they start doing ordinance work there, following the dedication).

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Postby garysturn » Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:04 pm

Most Family History Consultants in Utah and Idaho now have full access, I think only Jordan River and Provo Temple Districts Family History Consultants don't have full access. The general membership in most of Utah and Idaho only have read only access for now. Beginning in Mid July all Utah Temples will be only using the newFamilySearch software so any Temple Ready disks will have to be converted to newFamilySearch before the cards can be printed. The IGI will not be updated by any temples after mid July (with the exception of possibly the temples in the orient). So people will have to get assistance from Family History Consultants to get their temple submissions ready for newFamilySearch until they are granted full access.

Members who had old FamilySearch accounts should be able to register for newFamilySearch without contacting support.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:36 am

GarysTurn wrote:So people will have to get assistance from Family History Consultants to get their temple submissions ready for newFamilySearch until they are granted full access.

Members who had old FamilySearch accounts should be able to register for newFamilySearch without contacting support.


This communication and the previous one I had from FamilySearch Support raise some related and important questions:

  1. In both communications, it was mentioned that having an account with old FamilySearch is a prerequisite to being able to register with new FamilySearch. Is that really a requirement? That seems really odd -- you have to provide your member record number to new FS in order to register, so what difference should it make if you have an old account?
  2. If old FS registration is indeed required, can a member without an old account register for old FS, then immediately register with new FS?
  3. A FH consultant who is registered with new FS can submit temple work on behalf of someone else by being in Helper Mode on behalf of that other person. In order to do this, is it required that the other person be registered with new FS (at least in read-only mode)?
On top of the original policy change at the top of this thread, this latest "announcement" is really quite stunning, in particular because it hasn't been announced through any normal channels, as far as I know.

The logical conclusion of the "announcement" is that in a mere three weeks or so, temple submissions will become completely impossible within these Utah/Idaho stakes unless the stake:

  • Gets family history consultants (at least one in the stake) reasonably trained and able to do new FS temple submissions
  • Communicates this new process to the stake (at least everyone who might want to create new temple submissions)
  • (if the answer to #3 above is yes) Gets all those submitters registered with new FS (which in at least some cases seems to involve a long process of working with FS Support to before it happens).

That last point makes me nervous -- it's been five days since my wife started this process, there have been 4 e-mail exchanges with FS Support (in addition to the automated responses), and a frustrating phone call where FS Support basically threw in the towel and said they didn't know why she couldn't register, and could she please start over with a fresh e-mail request for read-only access -- and she just barely got access sometime last night (but with no e-mail to let her know that it had been granted).

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Postby scion-p40 » Wed Jun 24, 2009 6:06 am

Welcome to new [font="]family search. Awhile ago I posted that the tech support person on the phone told me that it was not possible to operate the program using a laptop, so I would have to buy a desktop or go to a[font="]family history center. I have also been on hold so long that my battery died. I wasn't kidding. It is a [/font][/font][font="][font="]fact. I am avoiding the program until either it works or Legacy has an inter[/font][/font][font="]f[/font][font="]ace with it. And the last email that I got[/font][font="]from them came on 22 June 2009. Here it is:

"
[/font] [font="]Dear Member,[/font] [font="]The Family History Department is looking for individuals willing to help us test the new FamilySearch on the Internet. For this test, participants must be able to give their feedback in English.[/font]
[font="]Our goal is to start testing on June 25th of this month. The first test will last about five days, depending on the feedback we receive. Two more test cycles will follow in July. You may participate in any or all three of these tests. Any help you can give is much appreciated.[/font]
[font="]To participate in this test, do the following:[/font]
[font="]1.[font="] [/font][/font][font="]A day or two before the test begins we will send you another e-mail, which will include test instructions. Review these instructions. They will include a “link” to the test site and a few exercises or challenges to help you test some of the program features. [/font]
[font="]2.[font="] [/font][/font][font="]Follow test instructions and give your feedback through new FamilySearch Feedback. Please test in your own language, but give feedback in English.[/font]
[font="]3.[font="] [/font][/font][font="]When all three test cycles are completed, we would like you to complete a simple survey. [/font]
[font="]We look forward to your participation and are grateful for your help.[/font]
[font="]If you cannot help us test at this time, please ignore any further communications about this test. We hope you will be able to help us in the future.[/font]
[font="]Please do not respond to this e-mail.[/font][font="] It is for your information only.[/font]
[font="]Thank you.[/font]
[font="] [/font]
[font="]Family History Department[/font]
[font="]New FamilySearch Beta Release Team"[/font]


[font="][/font][font="][/font]

techgy
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Postby techgy » Wed Jun 24, 2009 7:43 am

scion wrote:Welcome to new family search. Awhile ago I posted that the tech support person on the phone told me that it was not possible to operate the program using a laptop, so I would have to buy a desktop or go to a family history center. I have also been on hold so long that my battery died. I wasn't kidding. It is a fact. I am avoiding the program until either it works or Legacy has an interface with it.


As a FH consultant I can assure you that it doesn't make any difference whether you use a laptop or desktop. I don't know why that comment was made, but I have other consultants in our stake that I know are using Nfs on a laptop computer.

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Postby jdlessley » Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:26 am

Alan_Brown wrote:
  1. In both communications, it was mentioned that having an account with old FamilySearch is a prerequisite to being able to register with new FamilySearch. Is that really a requirement? That seems really odd -- you have to provide your member record number to new FS in order to register, so what difference should it make if you have an old account?
  2. If old FS registration is indeed required, can a member without an old account register for old FS, then immediately register with new FS?
  3. A FH consultant who is registered with new FS can submit temple work on behalf of someone else by being in Helper Mode on behalf of that other person. In order to do this, is it required that the other person be registered with new FS (at least in read-only mode)?
Alan, I can't answer the questions in regard to the rollout in Utah and Idaho. But I can tell you the answer to number 3 in other areas where nFS has been rolled out. It is this. A family history consultant can sign in using the helper mode and submit work for another member who is not registered with nFS. What is needed is the full name, birth date, and helper number of the member being helped. The helper number is the last five digits of the member number for the person being helped. I have done this for both members with a nFS registration and for those without a nFS registration. Everything behaves as if the member without the nFS account was actually signed in. This includes submitting names for temple work.
I see no reason why it would work one way for all other temple districts and then require a member to be registered in the Idaho and Utah areas in the read only mode. This doesn't make sense.
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