Frequently Asked Questions
Ancestral Quest has a unique feature that allows you to work with other family members on a single collaborative file. Each collaborator takes a turn to check out and edit the file. Changes that are made by one collaborator can be seen by the other collaborators after the file has been checked in.
What are the details on what Collaboraton is and how it can be used?
Collaboration Account Questions
I have forgotten on my Collaboration Account Password. How do I recover it?
- Go to the Menu Bar and select Collaborate > Sign Up.
- The Collaboration Sign Up Wizard appears. Click the Next > button.
- Click the dot next to Recover my password and/or user ID, then click the Next > button.
- The Recover Password and User ID screen appears. Within the text box labeled email address, type in the email address that you had used when you created your collaboration account.
- Then you will need to enter either the Collaboration User ID or the Full Name you had entered at the time when you created your Collaboration Account.
- Click the Next > button.
- Ancestral Quest will access the Collaboration Server to confirm your account details. You will experience one of two results:
- A message will state that your user ID and was not recognized. Click OK and you will be returned to the previous screen. Repeat steps 4-6, making the appropriate change to what you enter to add the correct email address, User ID, or Full name.
- A message will state that your password was successfully recovered. Click the Finish button to close the recovery screen.
- You will now want to go to your email account for the address you had entered, and open the message that was sent containing your Collaboration Account login details.
Collaboration File Questions
My hard drive crashed and now I have a new one and am back onto my system...
I bought a new computer...
and I have a collaboration file.. how do I get back into that file?
You will need to install and register Ancestral Quest. Once that is done, proceed with the following.
- Start up Ancestral Quest
- If you see a screen asking how to get started, click the Collaborate button, then click Open Published File.
- If you do not see that screen, then from the menu bar, select Collaborate > Open Published File.
- You may be prompted to sign in to the Collaboration Server. Use your Collaboration User ID and Password to do so. If you need help recovering these, please see that question on this page.
- An Open dialog box will appear. The database(s) to which you have been granted rights will appear in the list.
- Click on the desired file, then click Open.
- The Create or Find Local Working File window will open. The dot will appear next to the option, Create a new local working file. Click OK.
- Within the New Local Working File window that appears, you can name and choose the location in which to save the file. Usually, you will go with the default name and the [My] Documents folder (unless you wish to choose a different folder where you keep all your genealogy data). Click Save.
- The file will be downloaded from the server (this step may take some time), and will be saved to your hard drive as a working file.
I have a collaboration file on the server that I no longer use or need. What do I do with it?
- From the Menu bar, choose Collaborate > Open Published File.
- Make note of the names of any old collaborative files that you are no longer using. These are the files you will be deleting.
- Locate the first collaborative file to be removed.
- Position the mouse on this old file's name and click the secondary (right) mouse button once.
- From the shortcut menu that appears, click on Delete.
- A window will appear to confirm that you wish to delete this file. Note that this step cannot be undone. Click Yes to delete this file.
- The process to delete the file from the server could take some time, depending on how large the database is. Please wait for this process to complete: the file name will disappear from the list once the file has been successfully removed from the Server.
- Repeat this process to remove all the Collaborative files that you are no longer using.
- Cancel or Close the Open dialog box to close this window.
My computer froze while I was editing my collaboration file in Ancestral Quest. When I restarted my computer and opened AQ, it opened into my collaborative file like normal and I continued to make several changes to the file. When I went to check in the file, it said the file is no longer checked out to me and that my local file is not the most recent copy. What do I do?
In this situation, you do not want to select Undo Check Out as that will cause you to lose all of the changes made to your file since your check out. What you want to do, instead, is re-publish the file to the server. If you are not the owner of the collaborative file, please contact the owner and explain the situation and have the owner refer to this page of instructions, as well.
Please read through all of these instructions before doing anything, so you understand the procedure. Then, you may wish to print this out so you can more easily follow the steps.
- The Owner of the Collaborative file should document the Current Rights to the File:
- In Ancestral Quest, go to the menu bar and select Collaborate, then Admin/Owner, then Rights.
- The Users with Rights to Access This File window appears. You will be listed as the Owner of the database. You will want to write down the complete User ID and E-mail address of each user of the file, along with their rights level (Guest, User, Administrator, and so on).
- To verify the exact rights a user has been granted, click that user's name, then click the Change button.
- On the Change Rights window that appears, you will see the currently selected rights. You will want to click the Advanced button to see any advanced options that have been granted. Once you have any specific rights documented. Click OK then OK to return to the Users with Rights window.
- Repeat steps A3 and A4 for each user in the list.
- Once you have documented all the Users and their current rights, click OK to close this Users with Rights to Access This File window.
- Before proceeding, you may wish to backup your copy of the collaborative file as a precaution. Just do a standard backup of the database; you may wish to name it something like Backup before removing from collaboration server.
- Close the database by going to File, then Close.
- The Owner of the Collaborative file should delete the Collaborative file from the Server:
- Now we want to erase the collaborative version of the file from the server by going to the menu bar and selecting Collaborate, Open Published file.
- In the window that appears, locate the file you want to delete and click on that file just once to select it.
- Now, click the secondary (right) mouse button once on that file, and from the shortcut menu that appears, choose Delete.
- A window appears to confirm that you wish to delete this file. Click Yes.
- The file will be deleted from the server. Give it a little while. You will know the file is deleted when the file name disappears from the filename list.
- Click the Cancel button to close the Open window.
- The Collaborator with the most current file will need to Convert the Collaborative (.ac) file to a Local (.aq) file:
- In Ancestral Quest, go to the menu bar and select Collaborate, then Convert to Local to turn it into a normal AQ database file (.aq).
- When prompted for a location to save the file, save it to your hard drive.
- Once the conversion is complete, the new .aq database will open up in front of the Collaborative database window. If you look at the Status Bar of Ancestral Quest (the very bottom of the AQ program), over to the right, you will see the name of the file, and you should see that the extension at the end of the filename is .aq.
- Leave the .aq database open, but now switch over to the previous AQ window that has the Collaborative (.ac) file -- check the Status Bar of Ancestral Quest and you should see that the extension at the end of the filename is .ac. Make note of this complete filename.
- Exit out of this window of Ancestral Quest. You should probably now see the AQ window with the .aq database reopen on your screen. If not, restore that AQ window to your screen.
- The Collaborator with the most current file will need to Check/Repair the local file:
We want to be sure that we do not place corrupted files on the server, so let's run through a database repair routine on the local copy of the database.
Please complete the following procedure, inserting the current date into the file names (we suggested using the format of YYYY-MM-DD, such as 2022-01-01):
- Backup your database to a new backup file. (From the menu bar, choose File, Backup; give the backup file a unique name like 2022-01-01 Before Repair.aqz - do not save over a previous backup file).
- Next, run Database Repair. From the menu bar, choose Tools, then Database Check/Repair. On the left side of this screen, click the dot next to Check and Repair. Click the Check button on the right. On the next window, click the CheckRepair button, since we have already backed up the database. In the next window, name the repair report something like 2022-01-01 Repair 1.rpt. The database will be repaired. Close the report window that appears.
- Now, perform the above step (D2) again, as needed. Each time, give the report the next number (2022-01-01 Repair 2.rpt, 2022-01-01 Repair 3.rpt, etc.). If you do this sequence more than once a day, be sure to name the files appropriately so as to not overwrite an earlier report.
- Once you see a screen stating that there are no errors reported, the database is error-free and you can continue on to the next step.
Note: If you end up running Repair more than about 4 times, take a look at the repair report. Make note of how many errors it found, and a specific error that it says was fixed. Then the next time you run the repair, look at its report and see if you see the same thing. If the same errors are listed as (Fixed) in both reports, then the standard Repair is not resolving the issue. Please send an e-mail, with a copy of the latest repair report and the backup file as attachments, to email@example.com with an explanations of what is going on, so we can assist you.
- Once the database is completely repaired, backup your cleaned database to a new backup file. (From the menu bar, choose File, then Backup; give the backup file a unique name like 2022-01-01 After Repair.aqz - do not save over a previous backup file).
- If you are not the Owner of the Collaborative file, send the owner this backup of the cleaned database so they can use it to republish the file.
- The Owner Republishes the File to the Collaboration Server and Grant Rights:
With the cleaned up file ready to go, we will now publish the file to the server.
If you have received a backup of the database from a fellow collaborator (from previous step), you will need to get the database opened into your copy of AQ. Run AQ and close any databases (File, then Close), then select File, Restore and restore the repaired file to your hard drive.
- Be sure that you are in the file that you wish to republish to the Collaborative Server.
- From the menu bar, choose Collaborate, then Publish Current File.
- Follow through the wizard to publish the file. Take all the defaults. You may be asked whether you wish to replace the existing file, choose Yes.
- Check out the newly published file, then go to Collaborate, Admin/Owner, Rights, and grant the rights as previously were granted (refer to steps A2 - A4, above).
- Once the rights are granted, click OK to close this Users with Rights to Access This File window. That should take care of things.
- Go to Collaborate, Check In File to see that the file checks in properly.
- Then go to Collaborate, Check Out File to see that it checks out, again. If you have no problems, you are back in business. If you do experience any issues, contact Incline Support.
- All Collaborators that use this file should update their local file to this new re-published file:
- Start up Ancestral Quest, go to the menu bar and select File, then Close.
- Now, go to the menu bar and select Collaborate, then Open Published File.
- In the window that appears, locate the file you wish to open and click on that file just once to select it.
- Click the Open button.
- If prompted, you want to create a new local copy of the file.
- If prompted to replace the existing file, yes, you do wish to replace the file.
- Check out the file, then check in the file. If everything works fine, you are good to go.