The ‘server’ is the computer that runs the MySQL server program and stores the files. It is usually the same computer as the office server but does not have to be. See the section on networks for information on different types of networks.
The speed of the computer, the memory, the video capability, and the hard drive capacity all affect the performance of the program. An older computer slower than 700MHz will probably not be able to run Windows. Also a computer that old will probably be deficient in memory, video, and hard drive. Memory for older computers is significantly more expensive, and it is usually more cost effective to buy a new $800 computer than to put a few hundred dollars into an older computer to upgrade it. Any midrange computer sold within the last few years will meet the minimum requirements.
You should be connected to a highspeed internet connection for the best access to service and updates. Consider it a requirement.
Flat LCD monitor. All flat LCD monitors support our minimun resolution of 1024 x 768. We recommend 19″ or greater LCD monitors set to a resolution of 1280×1024 so that you can see more information on the screen. These are available at online stores such as www.tigerdirect.com for under $200. Get one with speakers built in.
512 MB memory is the absolute minimum. 2 to 4 GB is best. Open Dental uses approximately 60 MB of memory. If you run more programs than you have memory, then your system will run very slow because it is transferring memory back and forth to the hard drive.
We recommend Windows 7, 64 bit for all workstations and the server. Any of the following versions are supported: Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, or Windows Server 2011.
Home editions of windows are sometimes unacceptable because of connection and networking limits, especially with Windows XP. The best editions are Pro, Business, or Ultimate. Any version of Windows 7 will work unless you are using a domain instead of a workgroup (using Windows Server software).
As an alternative to Windows, the server can run Linux (tested) or MacOS-X (not tested). The server needs to be able to host the MySQL server and the image files, but does not need to be able to run Open Dental itself. If you are thinking about Linux just to get around the 10 computer limit in Windows, you should know that unlimited computers can connect to the MySQL database on an ordinary Windows workstation in spite of the 10 computer limit. To get around the 10 computer limit for the AtoZ folder, simply get a network attached hard drive. Windows 7 also gets around the 10 computer limit because it has a higher limit of 20 computers.
This is a list of the maximum number of simultaneous connections for a windows file share:
XP Home Editions – 5
XP Professional – 10
Vista Home Basic – 5
Vista Home Premium -10
Vista Professional, Ultimate, Enterprise -10
Windows 7 Home Basic (not available in US and most other developed countries, cannot create can only join network, do not use for your OD server)
Windows 7 Home Premium – 20
Windows 7 All editions (incuding Home, Professinal, Ultimate, Enterprise, N, VL) – 20
Linux – No limit
Windows Small Business Server 2008 FE- 15 need CALs
Windows Small Business Server 2008, 2011 – 75 need CALs
Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials – 25, No CALs needed
Windows Server 2003, 2008, EBS – No limit, need CALs for workstations
The newer and faster, the better. Recommended Intel.
Now that monitors are bigger, a video card can help. Not required, but recommend NVIDIA. Does not need to be high end.
Open Dental has very minimal hard drive requirements. It takes up far less than 1 GB, so any hard drive will work.
Any fairly new notebook or tablet PC will work because they all support our minimum screen resolution of 1024×768. But because of the large LCD monitors now available for desktop computers, notebooks may not be the best choice. If you get a desktop computer instead of a notebook, you will get a more powerful computer with a larger screen at a lower price . Also, watch out for mini notebooks with screen resolutions less than 1024×768.
Enterprise organizations may be interested in HardwareRequirements.pdf.