Friday, June 26, 2009

NFS Rollout News: Read-Only Access Becomes Wait-Only Access

On 18 June 2009 FamilySearch announced that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Idaho and Utah could get read-only accounts for the New FamilySearch (NFS) if they didn’t otherwise have full accounts (see “By July 2009 NFS to replace IGI”).

Wednesday, FamilySearch abruptly “rescinded” the program, as was announced in Help Center document 107353:

Read Only Access to members in the Wasatch Front has been rescinded (stopped). Members who already had read-only accounts will no longer be able to access new FamilySearch.

Help Center document 107347 has been reworked to eliminate reference to read-only access. (See Renee Zamora’s “New FamilySearch Access” for the full text of 107347 as it was before.) Now the document instructs members that in place of using the IGI,

Members should meet with a family history consultant or visit a family history center [FHC] to view and verify the latest ordinance information. Family history consultants and family history center staff have the information necessary to help members view completed ordinances using the new FamilySearch system.

After verifying that an ancestor needs temple ordinances, members may continue to prepare ancestral names for temple ordinances using the TempleReady process. After a TempleReady submission file has been created, the family history center staff can assist the patron to create and print a Family Ordinance Request form that will be taken to the temple, and used by the temple staff to print temple name cards.

Alternately, consultants or FHC staff can use the Helper Feature of NFS and assist the member in directly entering information into NFS, checking for duplicates, and printing an FOR, thus skipping TempleReady altogether. Consultants are responsible to supervise members when using this approach.

And Then There Were None

To allow members to comply with the new policy, consultants in the final two temple districts received notification and access to NFS yesterday. The final Logan stakes received word that they would go live on 29 June 2009. With Logan finished up, Boise received word that her stakes would be next for the stake-by-stake rollout.

Temple Stakes Process
Temple on NFS Consultants on NFS Members on NFS
* Boise 29 Yes 22-Jun-2009 19-May-2009 Soon, by stake *
Bountiful 32 Yes 16-Jun-2009 4-Jun-2009 No
* Draper 25 No * 14-Jul-2009 18-Jun-2009 No
Idaho Falls 45 Yes By end of July 18-Jun-2009 No
* Jordan River 87 Yes By end of July? 25-Jun-2009 * No
Logan 43 Yes 2-Jun-2009 8-May-2009 (All) 02-Jun-2009 (5)
08-Jun-2009 (10)
15-Jun-2009 (7)
22-Jun-2009 (7)
29-Jun-2009 (14)
Total (43 stakes)
Mt. Timpanogos 61 Yes 8-Jun-2009 26-May-2009 (60)
6-Sep-2007 (1)
No (60)
6-Sep-2007 (1)
Ogden 76 Yes ? 11-Jun-2009 No
Oquirrh Mt.
—open house--
* Provo 74 Yes 7-Jul-2009 ? 25-Jun-2009 * No
Salt Lake 71 Yes 15-Jun-2009 4-Jun-2009 No
St. George 44 Yes 23-Jun-2009 8-May-2009 No

Abruptness of the Change

The cancellation of the Read-only program happened so suddenly, not all help documents have been updated to reflect the change. A search for “Read-only” from the Old product support page still returns these documents about Read-Only Family Tree access:

A search for “Read-only” in the Help Center returns these results:

Two Rowboats

I would have thought FamilySearch would have released the schedule of temples switching over to the new system. Don’t switch to FORs in Draper until 14 July 2009; apparently they can’t take them.

With so little warning in our district, it was a nightmare at my FHC Wednesday, swamped with patrons sent back from the temple with TempleReady floppies. I personally offended patrons at the rate of one per hour, pleading to get them to check for duplication in NFS instead of the IGI, and refusing to convert their TempleReady submissions without the check, as consultants had been doing.

Don’t be fooled. Converting a TempleReady submission to an FOR does not do an automatic duplication check. I’ve already come across two submissions that created duplication. These were duplicates from the same patron with the data entered exactly the same both times! NFS gladly produced duplicate FORs with nary a complaint. The same wasn’t true when I told the patron that he’d been led astray by his ward consultants and FHC staff earlier in the week. He complained.

I explained to another patron that we were currently operating as though we were standing with one foot in one rowboat (without patron access to NFS) and one foot in another rowboat (temples using NFS). It’s a lot of work to keep from falling into the water.

It’s going to be a long year.

Unanswered Questions

Since FamilySearch isn’t saying, maybe some of you know. When will Ogden start keeping ordinance records in NFS? How about Jordan River? Will Provo be using it when they reopen so close to the 4th holiday, as rumors have reported? What about Idaho Falls? Inquiring minds want to know. Please, no confidential information.

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