Choose Database

In the Main Menu, click File, Choose Database.

These settings allow your workstation to locate and connect to the MySQL database. If you install Open Dental on multiple computers, this window shows the first time you run Open Dental on each workstation.

To save the information, for the next time Open Dental starts up, right-click the Open Dental icon and Run as Administrator, then enter the Choose Database settings.

Connect to Middle Tier instead: See Middle Tier. Instead of connecting directly to the database, you have the option to connect to a Middle Tier which handles all of the database interactions. The advantages include better security and speed for multiple offices. Using the middle tier makes it impossible for the user to connect directly to the database. The user will never have access to the MySQL username and password used to access the database. It also prevents injection attacks when writing queries.

Advanced: Use connection string: Allows customizing the MySQL connection parameters (advanced users only). See also Oracle.

Dynamic Mode: Automatically downgrades or upgrades to server version.: Use when you need to connect to a database from a different version of Open Dental without updating or downgrading your local client.

When running Open Dental in Dynamic Mode, you must run that instance of Open Dental as administrator. Dynamic Mode cannot be run on the update server.

When checked, if the selected server and database are running a Version different than the currently installed version on the workstation, Open Dental will automatically create a temporary install of the server's version of the Open Dental client into a dynamic folder (typically C:\Program Files (x86)\Open Dental\DynamicMode) and launch the program from there.

Note: Dynamic Mode can be useful in a variety of situations. Including:
  • Multiple locations: Practice's with multiple locations can remote into each other without having to make sure every site is on the same exact version.
  • CEMT: Typically, offices using CEMT must have all databases on the same version of Open Dental. With Dynamic Mode this is no longer the case.
  • Verifying backups: You can launch a backup of Open Dental on a workstation using Dynamic Mode to verify a backup without it needing to process a database update.
  • Testing: If you have installed a new or beta version of Open Dental for testing purposes you can use Dynamic Mode to connect to your production database on the same workstation without needing to update the whole office.

For Advanced Users

The settings on this window are stored in the FreeDentalConfig.xml file in the installation directory. This data is not stored in the database because you have not yet established a database connection.

Multiple Databases: Most users will have only one database. However, in Open Dental you have the option of running many databases on the same computer. For example, you could make Backups of your database within its original folder. To access a historical snapshot of the data, simply select a database backup to open. You can also switch between your regular database and a backup that you take home on your laptop for read-only purposes. If you run a dental billing company, each doctor client can retain a separate database (each office must also have a separate Open Dental license).

To switch between databases, use the Database dropdown. This is only available when the Choose Database window appears upon startup.

Troubleshooting

Problem: Connection to the MySQL server has been lost.

Solution: This message pops up when the workstation cannot connect to the MySQL server. Open Dental will attempt to reconnect until connection is successful or the user aborts (Exit Program).

Problem: Error regarding too many connections.

Solution: In the my.ini file on the server, change the max_connections to 3,000.

Note:
  • For users on MySQL 5.5, this will use RAM on the server computer as connections are made.
  • For users on MySQL 5.6, it will immediately reserve RAM on the server computer
  • 3,000 connections is roughly 1GB regardless of MySQL versions.