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Replication is a technology built into MySQL that continuously keeps a slave database synchronized with its master. If you are interested in replication, contact technical support for general startup information.

Support: We charge an additional $100 per hour for replication support. We will provide 15 minutes of free diagnostic support, but anything in excess will be charged at the replication support rate. Services are limited to general advice, startup assistance, and troubleshooting the cause of replication failure when asked.

To learn more about replication, read chapter 17 in the MySQL 5.5 Manual regarding replication configuration.

Other Helpful Links


  • We don't support any database access outside of Open Dental. 
  • You will need to keep your A to Z folders (OpenDentImages) synchronized. See Shared Network Folder Replication.
  • Within Open Dental, (Query window) CREATE and DROP commands can only be run from 'report' servers because they have been known to break replication.  See Random Primary Keys
  • You cannot run Daisy Chain Replication on live databases without a Replication - Slave 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.
  • If running Database Maintenance, make certain all servers are connected prior to running (e.g. if mobile units). We also recommend making a backup of the database first, then running it after hours. You will need to 'Force Synchronization' after running, then check that replication is still running properly. You want to avoid a scenario where you run database maintenance at one location, then run at a second location while the first one is running.

TimeStamp columns, such as procedurelog.DateTStamp, will have different values in each database because of the inherent lag with replication.  When looking at the columns in the database, be aware that this is normal and expected.

One Way Replication

Daisy Chain Replication

Other Strategies
If you are just taking your laptop home at night or want access from home, do not use replication.  Instead, consider a different Remote access strategy. Also, before using replication, understand the alternative Multiple Location strategies.

Features that won't work
The following features will not work when using Random Primary Keys and replication.  There are no immediate plans to add support.

  • The Anesthesia feature was written by an outside developer and is not used by most dental offices.
  • Language Translation.  It uses strings for primary key instead of int. And because English phrases are added automatically and frequently, it would be hard (but not impossible) to adapt it for use with replication.  As long as each computer is set in the Control Panel for English-US, this will not be a problem.
  • The eCW bridge might not work. It assumes that various parameters are int32.
  • The Public Health School table and County table use strings instead of ints for primary keys.  May end up with a few duplicates if not synching in real-time.  Unsure what consequences would be.  Probably more annoying than critical.

Storing Images in Database: We do not recommend using replication with Images Stored in Database, except for distributions where the Images module is not used.

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