Template talk:Genealogy software
|WikiProject Genealogy||(Rated Template-class)|
Disputing removal of Software As a Service (Web Based) Category
Due to the data centric and collaborative nature of genealogical research, many new genealogy software is deployed via the Internet as a software as a service. This is not to be confused with a website (although many share a website with a genealogical data vendor), but specifically a software application that functions in the same way as software installed on a user's computer, but is accessed through the Internet. Categorically excluding this less-traditional format of software delivery misrepresents the what genealogical software is available in the marketplace. If you're concerned about title semantics, perhaps the title of the page should be changed to "Genealogy Softare That Comes in a Box or Otherwise Can Be Downloaded And Can Also Be Run Without Connecting to the Internet."
- But don't we have Category:Genealogy websites for this already? It is linked from the template. They are all running software, yes, but I think the distinguishing question is whether you or I can run the same. Merging links to all of the notable genealogy sites merged into this template would clutter it and muddy the definition of "genealogy software", I think. --Ardonik.talk()* 23:44, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
The case for Software As a Service restated
Amatter2007 had it right some two years ago. There are more Genealogy software as a service [SaaS] providers of tools to capture and manage genealogical research than desktop and web-based software products combined as of today. These Genealogy SaaS providers are clearly distinguished from Web-based research sites that provide access to historical records, from Web-based Software that you have to install and manage yourself, and Virtual Host Providers simply providing pre-installed copies of the web-based tools. Genealogy SaaS providers are unique in that they develop their own software, provide access to the software via the Internet as a service, and provide support to customers attempting to populate their own data into the database via the software service. Like for Web-based Software, editing of any and all data by one or more users simultaneously is a key distinguishing feature from simple desktop tools (labeled as non Web in this template) and GEDCOM to static web page or CD generation tools (not discussed anywhere).
(consumer) Genealogy Software is a fluid technology space that continues to evolve over the last three decades of its existence. But having a clear and distinct third group for SaaS has been evident for five to ten years. Some of the Saas providers likely in this group are MyFamily.com, SharedTree.com. WeRelate.org, Familypedia.com, WikiTree.com, MyHeritage.com, TribalPages.com, Geni.com and almost a dozen others (some providing the service for more than 10 years). The goal here is not a listing but a feature comparison like provided for Desktop and Web-Based software packages. As it is, we already have a SaaS group break-out in the form of WeRelate.org. Break-out as the majority of their tool is simply MediaWiki -- the software empowering this site -- and not developed and private to them. But their additional work is so effective and useful, and part of a non-profit and public library collaboration, that one cannot ignore its contribution to the Genealogical SaaS landscape. They recently reached over 2 million individuals captured in their short time available.
The Genealogy software as a service [SaaS] tools and providers should not be confused with vendors that attempt to provide multiple technologies bundled in a single product or license. Like Ancestry.com who provides both the Genealogy SaaS and research document access intertwined. Or MyHeritage.com that provides a Genealogy SaaS and a separate desktop tool that allows data flow back and forth (supports editing on both and keeps both in sync). These are bundling of more distinct products into a single licensing model and service. Such providers may charge for all, some or none of the bundled components.
So a proposal up for discussion is to:
- In the Template:Genealogy_software:
- relabel non-web tools to Desktop,
- add a third group labelled SaaS with the appropriate listing of providers,
- remove the reference Genealogy software in the general group as redundant with the label at the top of the template (or add Category:Genealogy software if allowing the redundancy)
- and add a reference in general to a newly created page for Comparison of Genealogy SaaS (see below).
- Further changes outside the Template:Genealogy_software to support this update:
- edit the pages Genealogy software, Comparison of genealogy software, Comparison of web-based genealogy software, category Category:Genealogy software, and category Category:Genealogy websites to reflect the Template:Genealogy_software changes
- clarify in page Comparison of genealogy software that it pertains to Desktop software only
- create a new page Comparison of genealogy SaaS to explain this group and provide tables of comparison features,
- and edit page Genealogy software to have a table showing general features distinguishing the three groups of software and then clearly link to the three comparison pages.
- In support of the above and changes proposed awhile ago:
The last bullet is to clearly separate out software tools and services for (personal) family tree development from research and similar genealogy sources and services. Or simply drop both pages as they are not really in the guidelines of wikipedia anyway (lists of external links) and simply rely on the Category pages as appropriate. The above referenced page discussion areas will have a link back to this discussion made as well to pull in people watching those pages.
Personally, I have a private Wiki page with well more than a dozen SaaS tool providers and some feature lists that can be the basis of this new SaaS comparison page and group, if acceptable. Discussion is invited on the topic in general and any specific points, missing or listed, of change proposed.
Randy Sevni.com (talk) 23:23, 22 March 2011 (UTC)
- Well put. I agree that this is a very distinct kind of genealogy software which deserves its own category. It differs from desktop genealogy software on the one hand in that it is Web based. On the other hand it differs radically from the classic genealogy "resource" web sites in that the data is provided by the user.
- The operative word here is probably "container": The service provider will supply a framework and an empty database, and will do administrative work like backup, as well as software development and maintenance. The user is totally in charge of the data. The contents is often collaborative in nature, but does not need to be so. Your data don't even have to be public. leifbk (talk) 08:54, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
- First attempt at adding SaaS as per above
- Only added those from list above that have a wikipedia article
Ancestry.com, WeRelate.org,Familypedia.com, MyHeritage.com, Geni.com,
- No wikipedia article
WikiTree.com, , TribalPages.com, MyFamily.com, SharedTree.com.
Map My Ancestors
Should we add this Map My Ancestors to this template as a GEDCOM utility?
- gioto (talk) 07:55, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
Why was Geni.com added in the open source section of this template? It seems to be an online service with no capability to distribute the same software that the service itself is running.
- It really belongs in the proposed "Software as a Service" category. leifbk (talk) 11:19, 23 March 2011 (UTC)