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  2. Technical Guides (DentalWriter Desktop)

How to setup and use the Backup Feature

Setting up the back feature for your DentalWriter software in case of a power failure or server crash


The purpose of this document is to familiarize yourself with the Backup feature built within DentalWriter.  This document will define where to setup, suggested settings for backup, and if in the event of a server failure or crashed system server, what files will be required to restore the application, database, and all files pertaining to DentalWriter™.   This document will first define how to setup File shares and security as this this will be an important part of generating successful backups.Understanding Windows Folder Sharing and Security

This will describe how to set sharing permissions on a Windows folder that is being used to hold DentalWriter information. The permissions affect how other users can access the files over a Network File System (NFS) or Server Message Block (SMB) share.  During the completion process of the setup of DentalWriter, once clicking the ICON for DentalWriter from the desktop, a dialogue will be displayed suggesting that the data folders for DentalWriter be setup so that access to these folders can be available to all other workstations within a workgroup or domain.

Setting Permissions for a File or Folder

  • Use Windows Explorer to locate the file or folder for which you want to edit the permissions.
  • Right-click the folder, and then click Properties.
  • Click the Security tab.
  • To add a new access control setting to the folder, click Add.
  • Select the users, computers, or groups that this access control setting is applied to, click Add, and then click OK. Everyone Group is suggested for all Nierman Folders.
  • To remove an access control setting, click Remove.
  • To edit the permissions for any group, select the user or group, and then use the corresponding check boxes in the Permissions pane.
  • Click OK to accept the settings, click Cancel to cancel any changes you have made, or click Apply to apply the changes without closing the file or folder properties.

Now that you have a basic understand of File shares and security, and have applied these attributes to those folders to access over the network, its time to setup DentalWriter and defined these paths where DentalWriter™ will hold all data contents of the application including the backups. It is recommended to share your DentalWriter™ data folder name as: NiermanData with Everyone having Full Access for security.

Setup paths for DentalWriter Backups

As described earlier, DentalWriter™ will prompt you to setup the paths where the data will be contained on the server shared folders.  You can also do this manually by selecting ICON for DentalWriter on Desktop, and from the menu bar selecting SetupàConfiguration OptionsàFile Locations.  By Selecting the Change button on the top location for Documents, will launch another dialogue allowing you to browse your network to locate the shared folder to access data for DentalWriter™.  Navigate to: Your DentalWriter Server Name\NIERMANDATA\DentalWriterNet\ and select the Documents folder.  By doing so, will populate the remaining folders to be accessed from all workstations, including Backups. Select to save these settings.

Accessing the DentalWriter Backup Features

Now that the data folders have been setup with sharing and security, and those paths have been defined within DentalWriter™ file locations Navigate to the backup tab by selecting Setup Configuration Options Backups tab.

Because the paths to the shares have been defined previously, the application prompted to apply those paths for the remaining folders.  Those file paths were also defined for the backups and where they are contained.

The illustration below should reflect those changes to point to appropriate shared folders.

Where to store backups

The backup folder is now designated to go to: Your Server Name then the NiermanData Share and the remaining child folders.  The first being the Database backup folder, the second is where the Documents, Images, and Backup Folder reside.

NOTE:  If the File locations were never changed within DentalWriter™ during setup, the DentalWriter Server will be the only machine that can:

  • Perform a successful backup
  • Access any of the data pertaining to patients entered into DentalWriter™.  That being Documents, Images, Reports, or Templates.

If the backups are to be staged at a different location or server (Recommended), insure that the correct Sharing and security attributes are setup for that location as described previously.  That server or location can be accessed by selecting the Change button for the database and data (Documents, images, and backup folder).  It is recommended to keep the file path as short as possible.  This will increase the time it takes to perform a backup and to access that directory.

Backup Frequency

The Backup Frequency feature

  • How often users will be reminded by a message dialogue to perform a backup (Default is 7 Days)
  • The date of the last known good backup.

What to backup 

There are 4 options to select as part of the backup process.

  • Backup Database-  This option will capture all patients listed with DentalWriter™
  • Backup Documents- This option will backup all capture all documents created for patients as narratives, quickletters, etc.
  • Backup Images- This option will backup those images created for patients, such as those created in the images tab for patient, or from within the Document center of DentalWriter™.
  • Backup Availity EDI files- This option will back up the location of file created for EDI transmissions.
Number of backups kept

The value set here determines the number of backups that will be kept in the backup location. As necessary older backups will be automatically deleted to make room for new backups.  Insure that the backup location has enough space to accommodate all backup files.

Backup Method

There are 3 values to define for backup

  • Manually backup only- This is the most popular as this value is selected by default upon installation.
  • Use backup service- Typically setup by local-IT or by user with knowledge of domain server, shares, and has administrator permissions.
  • Disable all Backup Messages- Not Recommended.  But should the decision be made not to remind users to perform a backup by selecting this value, will no longer prompt for a backup from DentalWriter™.
Use backup Service 3 Steps to configure

By enabling feature Use backup service, will enable the backup service tab.  There are 3 steps to configure if this feature is enabled and will be used.

  • Tell the Service which login account to use.
  • Install the service on this computer. (Typically setup on Server)
  • Select the Backup time and start the service.

Step 1

Tell the service which login account to use.  Select button Select user account (Local Account Must have Admin Rights)

If DentalWriter is installed only on 1 machine and no folders have been shared or will be accessed by any other Workstation in the domain or workgroup then select value NO, IF any of the folders used by used by DentalWriter™ network shared folders.  Otherwise select YES.

If DentalWriter is installed only on 1 machine and no folders have been shared or will be accessed by any other Workstation in the domain or workgroup then select value NO, IF any of the folders used by used by DentalWriter™ network shared folders.  Otherwise select YES.

Step 1 (Continued)

Network Type value will need to be defined.  There are 2 options to choose this setup from depending on the environment setup. Either a domain or a workgroup. 

  1. The network uses a Dedicated Windows Server (And is part of a domain)
  2. The network uses a peer-to-peer network (Such as Windows 7 homegoup or Workgroup)
  3. Selecting either Domain or Workgroup, administrator account credentials will need to be entered on either one.
Step 2

Install the Service on this computer

By selecting the button the backup service feature will be installed and service will be started.

Step 3

Set the Backup time and Start the Service.  Define the time at which to perform the backup service.  Settings include Hour and minute, AM or PM. Insure that the Status States Running.