What Genealogy Tool is best?

Many search but few find…

I think that old quote pretty much sums up what happens when searching for the right genealogical toolset.

ToolsToo often, people believe that their hardware or operating platform defines their selection choices.  In truth, it rarely does.  Almost any tool can be run on any platform.  Certainly a bit of technical prowess may be required in order to achieve interoperability but it is very doable.

No, the reasons for picking a genealogical toolset should be based on your genealogy management needs not operating or hardware systems. What follows, in no particular order, are most of the factors that I personally see as being important (and I used for my choice of GRAMPS):

  1. ease with which a web display version can be created
  2. the ability to share Events, Places, Media (in technical terms– genealogy objects)
  3. robust database facilities (in other words it supports large databases)
  4. adherence to GEDCOM standards
  5. easy Export and Import facilities
  6. excellent backup, archive and restore capabilities
  7. open software architecture (does not rely on numerous proprietary packages, tools, software or databases)
  8. effective and helpful documentation
  9. an active online support/ user community
  10. robust bug reporting system (so that problems may be communicated to the developers and addressed in future releases)
  11. easy integration with my WordPress BLOG and themes
  12. simple image and document library functions

To me, these factors are much more important in determining whether or not any software package is going to do the job you want. Do not confine yourself to the narrow realms of your operating system or hardware platform. Pick the tool you think best satisfies your actual needs and find out how to make it work on the hardware or OS you have.

Here are a couple of examples of my tools at work