Wednesday, February 06, 2008

News from FamilySearch

2008 FamilySearch Developers Conference

Inaugural Event Launches the Future of Genealogy Technology

SALT LAKE CITY—FamilySearch announced today its first annual conference for software and Web application developers. The 2008 FamilySearch Developers Conference will be held on Wednesday, March 12, 2008, in conjunction with the Brigham Young University Computerized Family History and Genealogy Conference in Provo, Utah. FamilySearch engineers and community developers will discuss new FamilySearch Web Services (API) and share best practices from its application to a variety of popular software environments. Attendees can register online at

FamilySearch now has a full platform for software developers—genealogy content, interfaces, tools, code, support, and training. This platform enables developers to launch a new business or boost their target markets by adding features that are programmatically linked to FamilySearch’s expanding online resources. “Developers can produce solutions that integrate private, shared, and public data about living and deceased individuals, including rich stories, photos, audio, and video. FamilySearch is putting developers into the driver’s seat to do what they do best—effectively create and deliver innovative products wherever there is a need and profit," said Gordon Clarke, FamilySearch Web Services Product Manager.

The developers conference is a milestone for FamilySearch, which historically has not shared technical information underlying its genealogy-related products and services. The needs of the genealogy and archives markets worldwide are diverse, numerous, and growing. “Industry needs are greater than any one entity can fulfill. In order to meet the tremendous needs in the marketplace, industry professionals and companies will need to work closely and collaborate on tools, standards, authorities, initiatives, and interfaces that reduce duplication and maximize returns while satisfying the customer,” said Ransom Love, director of Strategic Relations for FamilySearch and the keynote speaker at the inaugural conference.

The 2008 FamilySearch Developers Conference provides a unique forum and opportunity for developers of genealogy-related desktop and Web applications to meet with other professionals who use similar development technologies to confront common technical challenges and share effective solutions. Conference attendees will learn about the new FamilySearch Web Services (API) from FamilySearch engineers and best practices from current community developers. The new FamilySearch Web Services provides developers access at the programmer’s level so developers can ensure the data and functionality of their products and applications will interface transparently and effectively with FamilySearch and other industry applications as they are introduced or evolve.

The newly released FamilySearch Family Tree API and soon-to-be-released Record Search API will be main topics of discussion. Other popular topics will be how to read, write, combine, separate, and synchronize with new FamilySearch online resources, developer keys, tree cleaning, GEDCOM, and PAF.

Professional software and Web application developers interested in attending can register online at or call 1-801-422-8925.

FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization that maintains the world's largest repository of genealogical resources. Patrons may access resources online at or through the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries. FamilySearch is a trademark of Intellectual Reserve, Inc. and is registered in the United States of America and other countries.

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