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  1. #1
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    Default Another Dentrix thread, advice sought.

    Hi there, I came across a thread in this forum while searching for troubleshooting information about the Dentrix dental software. For reference, here is the other thread:
    EDIT: apparently I can't post links yet either, but here is the end of the URL: untangle.com/off-topic/18322-anyone-out-there-use-dentrix.html

    In particular I was trying to contact Untangle member [link removed]proactivens[/link], as he stated in the above linked thread that he had experience in this area. I can't send PMs or emails yet (too few posts), and obviously the more who are in on this conversation the merrier, so here goes:

    Long story short, I've kind of inherited a mess of a network at a dentist's office who is still running Dentrix 11 (which is about 4 major versions old at this point). My primary task is to install the client suite on a new laptop, which I've done, but some of the versions of the different apps are slightly mismatching with the other clients and the server. My minimal previous experience with Dentrix (mostly versions G2-G4) tells me this can cause problems.

    Dentrix has little to no public documentation, and even less regarding version 11. I will probably end up having to call them on the dentist's behalf at some point (which will be expensive), but I was hoping to at least get a feel for what I'm dealing with here.

    More specifically, Dentrix 11 is working and reading information from the DB on all the machines, but after installing the suit from the discs I scrounged up, and any relevant updates I could find, both hidden in shares, and [link removed]online[/link], the new laptop appears to have an older version of the "Appointment Book" and "Office Manager" apps of this suite, and the server appears to have yet a different version of "Office Manager". As I've said everything seems to pull info down correctly through my minimal tests, but I'm concerned that these different versions may cause problems when the faculty go to actually edit anything in the database.

    Apparently the old net admin skipped town (possibly 1 or 2 years ago) and left this heap of badly outdated software and OSes. As you might expect, the situation is a little time-sensitive, so any insights anyone can give are greatly appreciated. This is all still a bit new to me (managing the server/database side of Dentrix), so please let me know what other relevant information about the setup would be useful.

    - Server: Win 2003, appears to be using some sort of file-based DB, and not SQL
    - Primary clients: Win XP Pro
    - New laptop: Win 7 Pro 32-bit
    - I don't have all the different app version numbers on-hand at the moment, but can get them tomorrow.

    Thanks in advance for any assistance,
    == Matt

  2. #2
    Master Untangler SirBC's Avatar
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    First step is to get the dental office to become current on their support policy with Dentrix. A current support policy allows for free updates to the client/server software as well as support calls. Dentrix does not write their software to allow for wildly different version numbers amongst the clients to be able to function as expected. The software I use in my office (not Dentirx) does not even allow for one client on the network to be running a different version.

    You can't work miracles. Insist that the office becomes current on their support with Dentrix, update all clients to the most recent build, and then call support (for free) as needed from there.

  3. #3
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    I should mention that in a cabinet I found boxes (and software) for G2, G3, and G4. But I have no idea if these are just promotional or if the office actually has licenses for these versions. Over the weekend I was just working with a friend of the dentist's who contacted me because all of this was beyond his expertise. I will be speaking with the dentist this week and should hopefully have more answers as to exactly what the office has licensed and is paying for.

    For all I know the dentist could have been paying for updated licenses and the old tech just never installed the new software.
    Last edited by mmseng; 05-08-2011 at 05:10 PM.

  4. #4
    Master Untangler
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    Pm me as I can try to help some.

  5. #5
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    Default Dentrix

    Hi, I'm work with a computer consulting firm in Portland, OR that specializes in Dental Software, including Dentrix and Eaglesoft. Email me if you have any questions.

    If you installed any of the "G suite" on the network all the PC's must run the same suite (i.e. g3 db and g3 client or g4 db and g4 client) as well as productivity pack.

    My current recommendation is to get everyone to G4 Productivity pack 7.2 as productivity pack 8 seems to cause some general issues.

    Michael
    michael @ p-mconsultants.com
    Last edited by cornjobby; 05-08-2011 at 06:38 PM.

  6. #6
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    @bigdessert: can't PM yet.

    I wouldn't mind upgrading this office to g4, assuming they are willing to pay for it and my time. However prior to discussing that kind of change, it's way outside the scope of what I was hired for.

    They are not using various versions of 11, g2, g3, g4. Everything is some form of 11. But there are 5 primary apps they use in this suite:
    - Office Manager
    - Appointment book
    - Ledger
    - Patient Chart
    - Family files (i think it's called)

    Ledger, Patient Chart, and Family Files have the same versions across the board of clients, respectively. Appointment book has the same version on the XP clients and server, but not on the new laptop. And Office Manager has the same version on the XP clients, but a different version on the server, and a different version on the new laptop.

    What I don't really understand is whether the versions of these apps have an effect on the usage of the database, which is also hosted on the server. If the different versions are just front-end changes in the apps, then I don't see a problem and I can let these guys trod on with their old software. But if these different versions are going to cause database corruption then I will need to get the versions sync'd before calling it good.

    I'm not the dedicated net admin of this office. I was just hired to do this new install (and fix some other, unrelated connectivity issues with their client-server antivirus/backup solutions).

    At any rate, the database should be safe for the moment. I've made a direct-copy backup of the entire Dentrix folder (and from what I can tell they also have daily backups of some sort going on). It doesn't appear as though they actually use the apps on the server for day-to-day operations, and I've instructed them not to use the apps on the laptop until the version inconsistencies are sorted. So from what I can tell, as far as they're concerned, nothing has changed yet.

    Thanks again for your time.
    Last edited by mmseng; 05-09-2011 at 02:33 AM.

  7. #7
    Master Untangler
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmseng View Post
    @bigdessert: can't PM yet.

    I wouldn't mind upgrading this office to g4, assuming they are willing to pay for it and my time. However prior to discussing that kind of change, it's way outside the scope of what I was hired for.

    They are not using various versions of 11, g2, g3, g4. Everything is some form of 11. But there are 5 primary apps they use in this suite:
    - Office Manager
    - Appointment book
    - Ledger
    - Patient Chart
    - Family files (i think it's called)

    Ledger, Patient Chart, and Family Files have the same versions across the board of clients, respectively. Appointment book has the same version on the XP clients and server, but not on the new laptop. And Office Manager has the same version on the XP clients, but a different version on the server, and a different version on the new laptop.

    What I don't really understand is whether the versions of these apps have an effect on the usage of the database, which is also hosted on the server. If the different versions are just front-end changes in the apps, then I don't see a problem and I can let these guys trod on with their old software. But if these different versions are going to cause database corruption then I will need to get the versions sync'd before calling it good.

    I'm not the dedicated net admin of this office. I was just hired to do this new install (and fix some other, unrelated connectivity issues with their client-server antivirus/backup solutions).

    At any rate, the database should be safe for the moment. I've made a direct-copy backup of the entire Dentrix folder (and from what I can tell they also have daily backups of some sort going on). It doesn't appear as though they actually use the apps on the server for day-to-day operations, and I've instructed them not to use the apps on the laptop until the version inconsistencies are sorted. So from what I can tell, as far as they're concerned, nothing has changed yet.

    Thanks again for your time.
    Back in 11 there was a separate install disk with a different appointment book version. So it could be that all the workstations have this, but the new laptop doesn't.

    I actually think I have a copy of this laying around still.

  8. #8
    Untangle Ninja YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Haven't worked with Dentrix in a while, current dental clients run Patterson/Eaglesoft, or Kodak PracticeWorks and Dexis.

    But my rules for being an SMB consultant and taking on clients..."You need to be current with your line of business software support"....or find some other IT guy that will paperclip and duct tape your network together on a budget..and that ain't me.

    Will running different versions of clients damage the database? Most likely not. Will you end up having quirks across the network...something works on <those> workstations, but somethings wonky with <those other> workstations? Probably so. Waste time, energy, and cause interruption of production? Possibly..why risk it. Being cheap up front usually ends up in higher cost over time.

  9. #9
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    How do I edit my post to take my email address out of it? I woke this morning at 630 AM with my manager extremely unhappy that someone grabbed my email, went to our website, and called him at 6 in the morning.

  10. #10
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    Oh, and get out of that office before something breaks and it's deemed your fault.

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