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Ported SOAPWare to MySQL

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  • #16
    You can use ODBC drivers to connect to the SOAPWare database. There are "DSN-less" ways of connecting to MSSQL databases as well--there are lots of books and websites that describe how to do this within almost every language out there.


    • #17
      We are in early beta with v5 right now. I predict (not promise) a usable beta by the end of 2004 with product release sometime in 2005.
      We are taking out the open database connectivity (ODBC) and will only support SQL. The free-standing EHR product will use MySQL as the default. The fully integrated (EHR, Billing, Scheduling) product will probably require Microsoft SQL. We are taking out the ODBC interface primarily to get everyone off Access. Access is just not stable enough or powerful enough for a widely distributed EHR. It is particularly problematic in wireless environments when connections are lost and the database gets corrupted.
      Being completely honest, we really don't know when in 2005 it will be usable in real time. Most of 5.0 should come together fairly smoothly and be surprisingly bug free simply because some of what has been problematic has recently been removed for the 5.0.1 release. BUT, “SmartText” is the big unknown and most complex part of 5. It basically has to work perfectly and will most likely take a fair number of testers to find everything hidden in all the dark corners before we can consider it a released product. SmartText is a very elegant means of using XML to allow very complex use of well-defined and discreet objects (multiple layered, nested objects) in what otherwise appears as free text. This will also allow us to greatly enhance integrations, (e.g. X-Link). The whole interface is different with v5 being Tablet-Voice and “task” centric whereas v4 is keyboard and “soap note” centric.
      The conversion, v4 to 5 should be pretty straight forward. We've learned a lot over time with this being our third major conversion in 10 years. Also, the long-term annual costs will be lower for those who get v4 and upgrade to v5 ( e.g. $400 vs $500).

      Randall Oates, M.D.
      President, DOCS, Inc.


      • #18
        Originally posted by DOCS
        We are in early beta with v5 right now. I predict (not promise) a usable beta by the end of 2004 with product release sometime in 2005.
        Randall Oates, M.D.
        President, DOCS, Inc.
        Randall, thanks for the update


        • #19
          I am considering using Soapware and Lytec for a new solo family practice. Anybody have any thoughts about using these products together?

          My real question is what backend database to use for Soapware? Originally, I had the idea of using the Soapware recommended/supported Microsoft SQL Server. Since I've learned that version 5 is going to default to MySQL, I am considering starting with MSDE (to save money) and migrating to MYSQL when version 5 is stable. Any thoughts on this path, as I'm not very saavy with computer issues?

          Thanks for any advice.


          • #20
            What I did was install the product with the included MSDE server, according to the instructions. One could then install MySQL on either the same machine or a different one, then port the databases to MySQL using the instructions I provide above.

            I have been using a MySQL backend for about six months now, and I haven't had any problems. I also have an automated plain SQL dump set up to back up my tables daily. The system was kind of a pain to set up initially, but works well now.

            I would be happy to help you set up your MySQL system for a fee . The main advantage is that there is no limit to the database size with MySQL, and performance may be a teeny bit better than MSDE. Since the limiting factor with using Soapware is how fast you can type (or dictate), the database performance is not a huge issue.

            I have five desktop PCs hitting the same MySQL database over the wired LAN in the office. The database server is running on an AMD 2400 HP. I also use this PC to run the client program.

            I offer the advice in setting up the MySQL server as a way to give users the ability to run Soapware on an industrial-strength database platform. If this appeals to you, go for it. If you don't know what this means, you are probably better off sticking to MSDE.

            Rereading your question, you seem to be implying that you can migrate data server architectures when you upgrade to Soapware v5. I'm not sure that's a valid assumption. They sound like they are going to have a new data schema with the new version, and this may complicate the upgrade. Dr. Oates and co. will probably give us tools to simplify the upgrade, so one should wait and see what happens, and just do what feels right for the time being.


            • #21
              There has been a great deal of work expended on the SOAPware v4 to v5 converter. It appears that it should be a fairly straight-forward and lossless transfer. The only caveat is that some print report formats may need to be tweaked a bit. However, the process of report format creation has been greatly simplified into a “drag-n-drop to a lay-out form” instead of having to insert a bunch of arcane commands.
              MySQL is a pretty amazing database, and I can understand the eagerness to move to it sooner rather than later. However, at present, I would suggest using the default MSDE (not MySQL) simply because the converter is optimized and tested with MSDE (or Microsoft SQL) as storing the original data.
              The v5-beta has been in limited distribution for 5 months, and is on schedule for public distribution in June. The release candidate is not expected until late this year.

              OBTW: Please contact support at DOCS, Inc. so we can schedule your installation. We have been extending our support staff-services and are now encouraging SOAPware users to allow us to do installs and updates remotely (no additional charges for new users and those with a support/update agreement).
              All SOAPware users should plan for high speed internet access to take advantages of many new services and functions in development. For example, e-Prescribing will be available within a few weeks. e-Prescribing has turned out to be way too cool to have to wait for v5!

              Randall Oates, M.D.
              President DOCS, Inc.


              • #22
                At some point I will upgrade my sytem to a true server net work. Do I use Microsoft SQL or MySQL.


                • #23
                  Ok, so here's a thought a year later...

                  So, we got a snazzy networked scanner/MFP, so I will try importing a simple image into my MySQL/Soapware setup, right?

                  No, the client barfs on loading the imported image, calls the scanner utility, and gives the LEADTOOLS error. I think this is a simple database incompatibility. D'oh!

                  I thought I was so cool...

                  The system's worked well so far. The other docs in my community are impressed. It's slower than dictating or writing would be, but my stuff is all typed.

                  Next: consider "upgrading" to MSSQL... We'll see...Any thoughts? Randall?

                  BTW: if you wanna fire your copier lease, read my Epinion on the CX11NF...


                  • #24
                    Just curious as to the size of the databases after conversion. Were they the same or smaller?

                    I am doing a conversion at present to Firebird, and am stripping out all the extraneous formatting in the soap notes. Seems a 1.3Gb database can be reduced to under 100Mb in this way. But not sure if the problem is in the sql server table format, or just the way soapware stores the data.


                    • #25
                      Experiment over...failed

                      Hi there. I abandoned my MySQL project shortly after the October 2005 post because the MySQL MyODBC setup couldn't handle image files, and I started scanning some reports at that point. SOAPWare is still a great piece of equipment, though I dictate into it at $ .08 per line (thru human transcribers in India).

                      I don't remember the size of the MySQL converted databases, but I don't think it was near 1.3Gb. MSSQL hasn't complained about the size of the database yet, so I must be lower than 1Gb. Tomorrow, I'll check into this. I must learn how to backup the database file on the server.

                      It's an unfortunate choice of database platforms, this Firebird, for this task, since converting MSSQL -> MySQL and back is a (nontrivial) relatively simple task, while Firebird may be new enough that there isn't a MSSQL -> Firebird tool out there yet.

                      Writing Perl scripts to handle the conversion yourself is as much fun as eating cold soup.



                      • #26
                        Actually Firebird, being a fork of Interbase, is one of the oldest sql databases still in use.

                        I chose to use Firebird as it is free of the mysql licensing restrictions.

                        Perl ? Nah. I used something else to code the data transfer scripts, as well as rip out all the bloat caused by using RTF inside the clinical notes - this is what you get by violating basic database principles.

                        It's now looking more like 250mb from the original 1.3Gb, but the conversion is still in progress.


                        • #27
                          I cant answer your question but soap is now quitely supporting mysql for version 4.XX. They will convert you if you have paid fo support and your file size is too big for msde. Liger is based on my SQL. Talk to Mitch or Brad if you need this.


                          • #28
                            Sorry if I didn't make this clear, but I am migrating the data to a different EMR, and massaging it in the process. 30,000 encounters done overnight .. another 30,000 to go.