Becoming a Partner
Benefits of Partnering
Association with FamilySearch
FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.
FamilySearch is developing a technical platform to facilitate the development of more innovative and collaborative software products that leverage genealogical data and technical services. The purpose of the platform is to increases the number of contributors and relevant online conclusions, historical records, and media available to identify ancestors and gather artifacts that assist in telling their stories. This platform includes many large searchable databases, recommended standards and best practices, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), helpful support, training, websites, and sample code.
FamilySearch is developing a new API based upon the evolving Gedcom X specification which includes models for Conclusions, Source Metadata, Contributor Metadata, large field-based Record Extraction Model, and definition for RESTful Web Services. This platform has endpoints based on the Gedcom X specification and other important endpoints that will facilitate cooperation across multiple vendors products by using common interfaces for discussions, watch and notify, sharing sources, and other future collalboration tools.
Vendors of certified features will be licensed to use the "FamilySearch Certified" Logo on the product packaging, website, and marketing literature. Additionally, vendors can use the "FamilySearch Certified" Logo as a click-thru graphic for a designated page on the FamilySearch website where products will be listed with certified features. FamilySearch will promote Partners that are certified through its website, conferences, and other marketing communications. A "FamilySearch Certified Software Vendor" is an organization with at least one certified application or utility.
Partner software apps and websites can be listed in the FamilySearch App Gallery. Special recognition is given to apps that are compatible with FamilySearch for data access, update, and LDS features. All listed apps are easily browsed by category, platform, price, and language. Each listed app links directly to the vendor's website. These apps are mentioned in the support knowledge-base, trade-shows, and the FamilySearch Developers website.
All listed apps must undergo a business and marketing review. The candidate app partner must be an on-going entity with a business purpose and product plan including a roadmap and projected number of new users. The partner must have a website even if the partner is not offering a web app. The website must have a landing page specifically for traffic coming from FamilySearch that includes the following features.
- A video tutorial on how to get started using the features that interface with FamilySearch.
- Information and links for help, support, contact, and feedback.
- A full summary of the app features that interface using the FamilySearch API.
- Each app product page on the partner's website, the Apple Store, and on Google Play must have a copy of the "FamilySearch Certified" logo that links to the permalink address that was specified when the app was added to the App Gallery.
Family History Centers
Partners who provide FamilySearch compatible products may agree to provide free versions of their products through a worldwide distribution network of Family History Libraries (FHL) and Family History Centers (FHC). Special requirements are set for both web and Microsoft Windows applications. This is one of the best ways to get exposure for FamilySearch compatible products.
Web App Qualifications
Participating partner websites must have a landing page specifically for traffic coming from FHCs that recognizes FHC proxy IP addresses and redirects to the free services web page. The FHC proxy IP addresses will be provided upon approval of access from FHCs.
Windows App Qualifications
Microsoft Windows apps to be distributed through FHCs require a splash screen or warning notice that indicates this version of the partner’s software can only be used in a FHL or FHC. These versions are not licensed to an individual user but are freely accessible through computers in FHCs and FHLs. There should be a streamlined and “quiet” process for installing and updating versions of the software so that FamilySearch’s automatic distribution system can be properly utilized. “Quiet” mode is a required option for MSI Exec that makes installation possible without user interaction.
Partners must post the version of their latest release in a text file on their web page. The URL does not have to be the same for each partner, and can be stored anywhere as long as the INI file has a static URL so a script can always get it from the same location. The .ini file needs to contain the file names, file versions and release date(s). It may also include an MD5 hash and size for each file. Technical details on the .ini file and support can be provided.
FamilySearch has regular announcements, newsletters, and blog postings about new and updater products for FamilySearch employees, directors of Family History Centers, Family History Consultants, and users of FamilySearch.org that have opted in for email communications.
RootsTech is the largest genealogy conference in the United States. Over 4000 attendees came in 2012. FamilySearch is preparing to invite families and youth to increase the attendance in 2013. When Familysearch adds streaming capabilities to hundreds of Latter-day Saint meeting houses and Family History Centers throughout the country, over 40,000 viewers are expected. RootsTech is the best place to showcase certified products as an exhibitor or through classes, presentations, and unconferencing sessions. Handouts and speakers are often available from FamilySearch at all regional conferences to promote third-party products throughout the year.
Vendors of certified products can display the "FamilySearch Certified" logo on their product, website, and marketing material. FamilySearch promotes the value of certification through this logo, also encouraging the public to consider certified products first as they have been tested for quality and compliance with FamilySearch certification requirements. These logos, when placed on websites, will link directly to the FamilySearch products page so that the customer can verify the certification status.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the FamilySearch Platform?
- Who has access to the Family Tree?
- Will FamilySearch promote my app?
- What protocol does the API implement?
- Why is the platform API built on Hypermedia?
- Do I have to follow the Hypermedia principles?
- What is GEDCOM X?
- How does GEDCOM X relate to the FamilySearch API?
- What genealogy developer user groups can I join?
What is the FamilySearch API?
FamilySearch offers a technical platform for developers to access the FamilySearch Family Tree and related databases for building compelling applications and family history experiences. Read more...
Who has access to the Family Tree?
The FamilySearch Family Tree is a lineage-linked world family tree developed by FamilySearch, which is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All developers who agree to licensing and usage terms are invited to access this data using our API, regardless of religious affiliation.
Will FamilySearch promote my app?
FamilySearch has a products listing for end users to see what apps and services are available that use the API. Qualified applications will be hosted here and promoted in other ways as directed by our marketing organization. We value our third party partners and affiliates and believe that their success contributes to our success.
What protocol does the FamilySearch platform implement?
The FamilySearch platform is designed to conform to RESTful architectural principles, including the principle of Hypermedia. The state of the application is being driven by hypermedia. Many online resources are available on the topic of Hypermedia, and you can also learn more about how it applies to the API here.
Why is the API built on Hypermedia?
Hypermedia is built into the API to make it easier to navigate programmatically and react to changes. This offers great flexibility and stability for us and our partners and developer community.
Do I have to follow the Hypermedia principles?
No. While we recommend a sound architecture, we can’t prevent you from hard-coding URLs and implementing the API how you see fit for your product.
What is GEDCOM X?
GEDCOM X is a series of specifications for an open data model and an open serialization format to support genealogical data communications. These specifications address a new file format as well as data models and protocols for data exchange between both online and offline systems. Learn more...
How does GEDCOM X relate to the FamilySearch API?
The FamilySearch API is built on these specifications. Learn more...
What genealogy developer user groups can I join?
FamilySearch encourages participation in any community where technologists are working on family history solutions. Here are two groups you might find useful:
- RootsDev: Created by members of the FamilySearch developer network as a place for developers to collaborate on genealogy issues that aren’t specific to FamilySearch.
- FHISO: An international organization created to develop standards for the digital representation and sharing of family history and genealogical information.
Didn't find an answer to your question? Please see our support section for forums and more information.
How to Get Started
To become a development partner with FamilySearch, follow the steps outlined in our Getting Started Overview.
- API License Agreement (pdf)
- Compatible Product Affiliate Agreement (pdf)
- FamilySearch Trademark and Logo Guidelines (pdf)
Forms and Applications
- App Certification Application (MS Word Doc)
- Utility Certification Application (MS Word Doc)
- App Key Request and Use Agreement (MS Word Doc)
Logos and Artwork
FamilySearch Logo (available in color postscript format, JPG format, or PNG format, and gray PNG format)
FamilySearch Certified Logo (available in color postscript format or PNG format, black PNG format, and brown PNG format)
Tree Icons (available in large color PNG format and medium/small PNG formats in colors shown)
The Tree icons that can be used within a mobile, desktop, or web applications. These icons are not to replace the use of the FamilySearch Logo nor the FamilySearch Certified Logo. They are only to be used for programmatic functions within the applications including making calls to the FamilySearch API including authentication. They are not to be used as Favicons or Links to www.familysearch.org, new.familysearch.org, or any other pages on a FamilySearch website. The tree on these icons cannot be put on buttons with other words. These graphical icons need to remain as a 16 x 16 or 32 x 32 graphic in its entirety.
FamilySearch Temple Status Icons (black temple icon shown is available in multiple sizes)
FamilySearch Artwork (Complete set of files available for download in ZIP format)