See Advanced Topics.
Information from Open Dental HQ
On Wednesday, July 14th, 2021, Open Dental released a new trial installer package. The new trial installer package contains the MariaDB application in place of the MySQL application. There is no reason to worry. We will be slowly transitioning our users from using MySQL version 5.5 to having them use MariaDB version 10.5 and this is the first step: all new Open Dental users will use MariaDB. Many new customers will not realize that we are transitioning from MySQL to MariaDB, because for them, there is no transition.
Existing Open Dental users may upgrade from MySQL to MariaDB if they choose, but it is not a requirement. See Upgrading from MySQL to MariaDB 10.5 below for details.
The Open Dental application will work with either MySQL or MariaDB, so you can anticipate that Open Dental will remain compatible with MySQL versions 5.5, 5.6, and 5.7, in addition to all versions of MariaDB up through version 10.5.
The MariaDB application was created by the original developers of MySQL, so you can think of MariaDB as an extension of the MySQL application. When MySQL version 5.6 was under development, the company was bought out by Oracle, and Oracle took over the development of MySQL starting at version 5.6. The original MySQL developers had concerns at that time that Oracle might slowly try to kill MySQL since MySQL was in direct competition with Oracle. As a result, the original MySQL developers created a new company called MariaDB, and they took a copy of the MySQL source code for versions 5.5 and 5.6. The MariaDB company then continued developing the MySQL application (but under the new name MariaDB). The MariaDB company has a philosophy that is closely aligned with that of Open Dental, in that software should remain open source as much as possible, and it is unknown if Oracle will continue to allow MySQL to be completely open source into the future. MariaDB currently has the following versions: 5.5, 5.6, 10.0, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, 10.4, 10.5, and 10.6. Open Dental will be using MariaDB version 10.5 for the time being since that version was released as stable about one year ago.
The Open Dental database runs on MariaDB 10.5 which is a very robust and reliable database. See www.mariadb.com
The MariaDB was created by the founders of MySQL. MariaDB and MySQL are closely related, some windows in Open Dental will continue to use MySQL as the terminology.
- A database is simply a collection of tables (about 390 in this case). The database server runs on one computer and every copy of Open Dental that connects to it is referred to as a client. The MariaDB connection from the client is created after clicking OK on the Choose Database window. The User and Password boxes must match a MySQL username and password (MySQL Security).
- Overall configuration of MariaDB is controlled by the my.ini file on the database server. Inside of the my.ini file is a data path Variable which is set when MariaDB is installed or upgraded. The database files themselves will always be located on the same computer where MariaDB is installed, not to another computer or NAS (too slow).
- In MariaDB, certain words are reserved and cannot be used as identifiers for the database, tables, columns, etc. See MariaDB Reserved Words. Also, databases should not be named only numbers (e.g. 2021). Do not use databases named mysql.
- MariaDB Server Variables: There are some users who do not use the Open Dental Installer (Trial Version) to install MariaDB. We only support MariaDB 10.5 in our installer. Any other versions of MySQL or MariaDB installed outside the Trial Version are not supported by Open Dental and may cause problems with your database. In addition, MariaDB must be installed using the myISAM default engine, not InnoDb or other storage engines (e.g. Aria). If you do not use the installer provided by Open Dental, you may end up with extra server variables as part of the installation.
- MariaDB server variables are stored in the my.ini file that is part of the installation process. If you do not use our installer, you will tend to get a variety of errors. Errors will also tend to happen during an update process, corrupting the database. If you are not sure if server variables are the problem, look at this file: C:\Program Files\MariaDB\my.ini. It should look like the examples in my.ini.
Upgrading from MySQL to MariaDB 10.5.11
Existing Open Dental users can run the following tool to upgrade from MySQL to MariaDB 10.5.11: ODDbmsUpgradeTool
We recommend contacting Open Dental Support for assistance with the upgrade.
How to Determine if MariaDB is Installed
MariaDB should be installed on the server. To ensure MariaDB is installed:
- On the server, go to Services. See if the MySQL service is listed. Right-click and select properties. The Path to Executable should include a MariaDB folder.
- On the server, go to Add or Remove programs. See if an existing installation of MariaDB is listed.
How to Determine if MySQL is Running
The MariaDB server will run as a service (named MySQL) on one computer. To easily determine if MySQL is running, open Services and look for MySQL.
How to Determine your current MariaDB Version
- On the server, open Services.
- Navigate to the MySQL service, then right-click to view properties.
- In the Path to Executable, find the path to mysqld.exe. (Typically, C:\Program Files\MariaDB 10.5\bin\mysqld.exe)
- Open that path, then right-click on mysqld.exe and select properties.
- In the details tab, note the version.
How to Start/Stop the MySQL Service
Reminder: The MariaDB Service is named MySQL.
- Run CMD as an administrator.
- To start the MySQL service, type net start mysql.
- To stop the MySQL service, type net stop mysql.
- Open Services.
- Find MySQL in the list.
- Click Start or Stop.
- Open the Service Manager.
- Double-click MySQL from the list.
- Click Start or Stop.
To access the data in your MySQL database, use the table viewer in User Query.