Three Ways Dentists Can Improve Backing Up Their Eaglesoft Server

Many dentists across the United States are using Eaglesoft for their Dental Practice Management software solution. Careful consideration needs to be given when deciding on a backup strategy for this software.

The biggest problem is that Eaglesoft uses Sybase for its backend database and not SQL. What this means is that we can’t leverage standard Windows backup technologies, because Sybase isn’t VSS aware!

This means you need to take a couple of precautionary steps to ensure that your backup strategy meets your needs and addresses the complexities of Eaglesoft.

 

Step One: Prepare the Database for a Good Backup

Before you backup your Eaglesoft server, you need to ensure that the database engine is stopped. It is possible that at the end of the day, not all of your staff have disconnected their clients from the server. Simply modify the database engine settings to automatically disconnect all users when the Eaglesoft server is shutting down.

  1. On the Eaglesoft server, click on Start > Programs > Eaglesoft > Technical Reference.
  2. Click on Database Setup button
  3. Check Disconnect active clients when shutting down the server

 Step Two: Automate the Database to Start and Stop Using Task Scheduler

We want the Eaglesoft database to stop before we take a backup. After our backup completes, we then want to start the Eaglesoft database.

Instead of performing these steps manually every day, we are going to use the Event Scheduler in Windows to perform these tasks for us.

Note that Patterson does not support this configuration, so you will need an experienced engineer to make sure that the tasks are created correctly and that the tasks complete successfully.

Add an Automated Task to Start the Database

  1. Click on Start > Control Panel > System and Maintenance > Administrative Tools > Task Scheduler
  2. Create a new task folder in the console tree called Eaglesoft Backup
  3. In the Actions pane, click on Create Basic Task
  4. Give the task the following name: “Eaglesoft Start Database”
  5. Under description, put “Automated task to start the Eaglesoft database after a backup of the server.”
  6. Set the event to start Daily
  7. Adjust the start time to a time of day after the backup will succeed. This could be 11:30 PM or later.
  8. Click on the Start a program radio button
  9. In the Program/script box input the following:
    • For Eaglesoft 15 and below: “C:\Program Files\Eaglesoft\Shared Files\techaid.exe”
    • For Eaglesoft 16 and above “C:\Eaglesoft\Shared Files\PattersonServerStatus.exe”
  10. In the Add arguments (optional) box put “-start”
  11. Click on the Next button
  12. Check the Open the Properties dialog for this task when I click Finish box
  13. Check the Run with highest privileges box
  14. OK button
  15. Provide administrative login credentials and click on OK

Add an Automated Task to Start the Database

  1. Click on Start > Control Panel > System and Maintenance > Administrative Tools > Task Scheduler

  2. Create a new task folder in the console tree called Eaglesoft Backup
  3. In the Actions pane, click on Create Basic Task
  4. Give the task the following name: “Eaglesoft Start Database”
  5. Under description, put “Automated task to start the Eaglesoft database after a backup of the server.”
  6. Set the event to start Daily
  7. Adjust the start time to a time of day after the backup will succeed. This could be 11:30 PM or later.
  8. Click on the Start a program radio button
  9. In the Program/script box input the following:
  • For Eaglesoft 15 and below: “C:\Program Files\Eaglesoft\Shared Files\techaid.exe”
  • For Eaglesoft 16 and above “C:\Eaglesoft\Shared Files\PattersonServerStatus.exe”
  1. In the Add arguments (optional) box put “-start”
  2. Click on the Next button
  3. Check the Open the Properties dialog for this task when I click Finish box
  4. Check the Run with highest privileges box
  5. Click the OK button
  6. Provide administrative login credentials and click on OK.

Step Three: Use an Image-based Backup Solution

The reason we recommend using an image-based backup solution is because you have more robust recovery options. If you were to just backup the Eaglesoft database, and your server crashed. The image below shows a simplified view of your system.

You server uses hardware like the motherboard, hard drive, and RAM to support an installed operating system. From within the operating system we have applications like Eaglesoft installed. The Eaglesoft application creates a database that only it is able to use.

When you use a File Backup Solution you only have backup data for the database. This means that if you were to have a hard drive fail, you would have to replace the hardware, then reinstall and configure your operating system. After you have reinstalled and configured your operating system, you then need to download, install, and configure Eaglesoft. Only after Eaglesoft is reinstalled and configured can you begin to restore your database from your file-based backup solution. This whole process could take days to complete.

When you use an Image-based Backup Solution, you replace the hardware just like the File-based Solution. From there you can restore the Operating System, Eaglesoft application, and Database. The whole process can take as little as 15 minutes if you use the right backup software.

 

 What Now?

We would love the chance to discuss your thoughts on backing up an Eaglesoft server. Let us know any alternative strategies that you have found useful. If there are any questions, put them in the comments below or give us a call and we are happy to help where we can.

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