Posted by Ancestry Team on June 3, 2014 in API, has awesome software engineers, products, and APIs. However, programmers are not always trained as API designers and when it comes to API development, consistency matters. As companies build their API programs using multiple teams, APIs tend to develop their own personalities and become radically different from one another. That’s a problem.

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. Companies can get consistency in their APIs through development standards as well as engineer training. If all developers adhere to one set of guidelines and standards, all your APIs will feel similar.

“What’s the benefit of that?” you might ask. “Why should I take the trouble to make similar APIs throughout the company? That’s a lot of work, time, and coordination.”

Great questions! The lessons learned from our efforts in creating clean, easy to use, and accessible APIs have been featured in the InformationWeek Strategic CIO section online. You can view our full story here.


  1. Jeff Epstein

    Hi, I appreciate your writing about APIs at Ancestry. I’d be interested to know if you can make some of these APIs available to users. I’d be interested in building scripts that interact with my family tree on Ancestry. For example, I’d like to be able to include index records from linked databases in the “Notes” section of the appropriate event, so that it won’t be lost when I download the Gedcom. Doing this by hand is obviously arduous for a tree of several thousand individuals and several tens of thousands of records, but it would be easy if Ancestry opened its FTM APIs to user-built scripts. I’d be interested in dialoging with you on this, feel free contact me with your thoughts.

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