Replication is a technology built into MySQL that continuously keeps a slave database synchronized with its master. To learn more, read chapter 16 in the MySQL 5.1 Manual regarding replication configuration.
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Open Dental no longer charges extra for replication support. For customers on normal support, our replication support services are limited to general advice, startup assistance, and troubleshooting the cause of replication failure when asked.
Daisy Chain Replication
This also works well for mobile vans that service children or nursing homes. You want all patients in one database, but your network connection may be slow and intermittent, or you might only be able to connect to the network when you return from the field. So instead of the usual single server, you would have multiple servers, one for each mobile van. If you take laptops to nursing homes, then each laptop would be a standalone server. The servers at each location have identical data and they stay in synch using replication.
There are, of course, limitations to this solution. It takes a very skilled database administrator to keep the synchronization running smoothly and to properly handle a downed network. Setting up the servers is time consuming and requires expertise that we might not be able to provide. Replication also requires that proper safeguards be put in place to monitor and repair any replication problems. We have found that many offices tend to jump right into replication without having any recovery skills and without a monitoring process in place.
You cannot run daisy chain replication on live databases without a monitor that immediately notifies all users and IT staff at the exact moment that replication crashes. We cannot stress this enough. We are not responsible for the damage done when databases continue to be used after an error crashes replication. 2/8/2012 Version 12.1 has new features to prevent usage of a database where replication has failed. See Replication - Slave Monitor.
Features that won't work
EHR users: There are no known issues for using replication with EHR features. If you are an EHR user who uses replication, please let us know so we can monitor and track your success. If you have any issues, please notify us immediately.
Open Dental Software 1-503-363-5432