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Database Integrity

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Our Database Integrity feature ensures that if any outside party directly makes changes to your database, it will trigger warnings. This prevents malicious alteration, and it also prevents unintentional database corruption.

Warnings

Warnings show up in various places throughout Open Dental if the database is being altered by third parties. Offices will want to know how to get rid of these warnings. There are two steps:

1. Stop using the software that is making the changes. This will prevent new warnings, but will not remove existing warnings.

2. Update to a slightly newer version (the third "build" number). This will remove older warnings up to a certain date, but will not prevent new warnings.

There is no tool to remove the warnings. Both of the steps above must be taken. The first step is the most effective because it can be done immediately. The second step might take a week or two, depending on our release cycle. The warnings should not be annoying, and should not interfere with efficiency or usage of Open Dental.

Technical explanation

On certain tables in the database, we choose columns that we need to protect. We hash all the column values and store that hash in a column in that table called SecurityHash. In certain places throughout the program, we display warnings and popups if the hashes don't match. We only look for SecurityHash matches as of a certain hard-coded date. Each build has a slightly newer hard-coded date so that only fairly recent changes are ever considered. At any time, we can change which columns we protect so that we can be responsive.

Guidelines for Companies

You are not allowed to send queries to the database that would alter data in any way. You are instead required to use our API.

Transition Timeline:
We need to give you time to transition to the API. Here's a rough idea of how that transition will work. Version 21.4 will be released approx 12/2021. Users will start to see small notifications in various screens indicating data being changed by third parties. The warnings should not be scary and there will be lots of explanation so that they won't be concerned and they won't call anyone. Every three to four months, as new versions are released, users will see more notifications in more places. They might eventually start to see some popups as well, but not too soon. So it will be a gradual process that should give you plenty of time. Eventually, these warnings will use harder language with words like "unsafe".

Specific Companies

We try to list some status information for a few companies below in an effort to keep users informed.

RecordLinc Sync: This company has recently caused significant corruption by inserting duplicate patients into the Open Dental database. For now, we strongly recommend that you avoid using them. We will post updates as they become available.

Modento: They seem to be actively working on API implementation.

Flex: Actively working on API implementation.

 

 

 

 

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