View Full Version : Genealogy software - read only option?
12-06-2010, 11:46 PM
This question relates to genealogy societies compiling family trees and making those trees available to patrons.
Is there a commercially available genealogy program that would allow a society to compile family trees, make that information available on a computer to its patrons visiting their centre, yet lock the access to the program so that patrons could view the trees, but not alter that data or view information about living persons in the database?
Viewing the information on the internet is not being considered as the society needs on-site visitors.
I would welcome any suggestions, but as specified in our AUP, please don't post links to these software websites.
This question was posed to me by a non-profit historical society, but I'm certainly considering any answers relevant to the genealogy group to which I belong.
13-06-2010, 12:51 AM
I know with Family Historian that you can produce a read-only CD to send to other family members.
As you(should) know I'm not very technical, but presumably if you password-protected the main program I would have thought you could then instal the read-only CD on the same computer for general viewing.
Not sure if you could use the program for a sort-of commercial use, but there's a 'contact us' link on the main page.
A number of programs will allow you to create reports/charts which can be exported as PDF files or as RTF files which could then be converted to PDFs using a program such as Open Office.
Some years ago I created/printed a family tree chart in TreeDraw for a local Heritage Trust to display in their centre. I have subsequently exported the chart to PDF, with security settings preventing alteration and printing, and the chart is now available for viewing on the Trust's web site.
That sort of thing might give you what you want.
13-06-2010, 1:13 PM
The Master Genealogist and its companion program, Second Site, also allows production of a read-only CD that does not need the software to view it on a computer -- it opens in a web browser. GEDCOM, photos and all get automatically sucked up from the TMG file by Second Site, and essentially creates a website that you can then copy to CD.
The advantage to this one is you can create a new version of it very quickly from your main TMG file, whenever the original data have changed. I have a file with over 3000 people and it creates the site in about 5 minutes. Then I just copy it to CD and send that to the rellies.
13-06-2010, 5:36 PM
I think many programs now incorporate a feature to create a self-running read-only CD - I seem to remember reading about something like this in relation to Legacy and RootsMagic. With this sort of thing, everything required to run the program would be contained on the CD.
An alternative approach is provided by a program like GENViewer, from Mudcreek Software. This lives on the computer and reads files in GEDCOM format, as well as the native files of a number of other programs, and it's read-only. If required, it can also produce a self-running CD as described above.
I doubt you'd be able to implement any kind of privacy options within any of these solutions, and the best way to handle this would be to privatise or exclude people as the file is created out of the original database (and to check it before letting the public loose on it).
13-06-2010, 5:50 PM
Tribal Pages is a family history program that is not very expensive. You can hide the living person data easily. The site has two passwords levels, one for viewers and one for administrators. The viewers can only look or print trees and pictures but not alter the data.
I should imagine there are a few others that work the same way with administrators being the only ones able to edit.
14-06-2010, 11:43 AM
Oh, my goodness. These are all wonderful ideas. Thanks to all of you for your responses. You've certainly saved me a lot of time reading the specs on these various programs, and have brought up ideas for display that I hadn't thought of before.
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