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2018 - December Newsletter

This edition will cover the following topics:

Upcoming March Changes

⚠️ Warning: The following contains changes that if ignored, could break your integration!

The September 2018 newsletter announced changes to go live beginning December 11, 2018. These changes have been delayed until the March 2019 release.

Family Tree Search Changes

We are introducing our new next generation of search technology. It will replace our existing tree search system. Important details regarding the changes:

  • It is available now in beta and production with the "new.tree.persons.search" experiment.
  • It will be turned on for all beta searches during the week of Jan 7th.
  • Some differences are to be expected between the results returned by the legacy system and the new system.
  • The score values are changing. The score value should only be used to sort the results for a given query. No other meaning should be derived from it. In the past, it was possible to map the score to a measure of confidence - this is no longer the case.
  • We are removing the searchInfo section. The searchInfo.totalHits can be pulled from results. The searchInfo.closeHits is not being replaced.
  • We are removing the confidence attribute. Those that need a confidence score should consider using Match-By-Id or Match-By-Example services.
  • We are removing the christening and the burial search parameters. The birth parameter will be interpreted to include all "birth like" events. Likewise, the death parameter will be interpreted to include all "death like" events.
  • Searching on the following fields will no longer be supported: [father|mother|spouse] and [Birth|Marriage|Death] and [Date|Place]. For example fatherBirthDate is no longer supported.
  • Use of an un-supported search parameter will be ignored by our API.
  • The new system will be turned on for all production searches beginning as early as April 2nd 2019.

OpenID v2 End of Life

We are going to stop support for OAuth OpenID v2 and will only be supporting OAuth OpenId Connect. This change will take place on April 1, 2019. Please make sure you are using OpenId Connect by that time. Please review our authentication guide for more information. For an example on how to use OpenId Connect click here

New Features and Updates

Beta Environment Refresh Update

The Beta environment has undergone a refresh of data. Our beta reference does not have enough space for all the memories in our production system. The memories uploaded into production over the last year will not be copied to beta. However, beta will contain the meta data for the memory just not the binary itself. Beta will continue to allow uploading of memories for testing purposes.

September Changes in Review

Changes scheduled for December have been delayed for the March 2019 release. These changes include the retirement of the Redirect Resource and a change to the Descendancy Resource.

Deprecation and Retirement of Redirect Resource

The Redirect Resource (/platform/redirect) has now been deprecated. Beginning the 2nd Tuesday of March 2019, the Redirect Resource may be turned off. If your integration provides hyperlinks to tree person pages, your integration should use Persistent Identifier URLs. If your application uses the Redirect Resource to link to other pages on FamilySearch.org, you should update the links to point directly to the respective pages without using the Redirect Resource.

Descendancy Resource Changes

Beginning the 2nd Tuesday of March 2019, the Descendancy Resource will be changed to no longer support the spouse parameter and will change the numbering scheme for the first spouse. This change is available to test by using the Pending Modification tag remove.descendancy.spouse.filter.

Discontinued Spouse Parameter

The Descendancy Resource spouse parameter has been deprecated and will no longer be supported. When this change goes live in March, all spouses and descendants will be returned on all requests.

Spouse Numbering

The first spouse will begin numbering with -S1 instead of -S.

descendancy number description
1 The root person.
1-S1 The (primary) spouse of the root person.
1-S2.2 The second child (via the second spouse) of the root person.
1.2.5-S1 The primary spouse of the fifth child (via the primary spouse) of the second child (via the primary spouse) of the root person.
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