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    The Server Edition of ClinicOffice is, to all intents and purposes, identical to the Professional Edition, except that it uses a different database engine.

    The Professional and other Editions use ElevateDB – see
    The Server Edition uses PostgreSQL (aka PGSQL) – see

    What’s the difference?

    ElevateDB is a file-based database engine. This means that your database files passively sit in a folder somewhere on your hard disk. When ClinicOffice wants some data, it opens the appropriate database files and sifts through them to retrieve the required data. When ClinicOffice is running over a network, then the networked computers can also access the database files via Windows File Sharing.

    By contrast, PostgreSQL is a Client/Server database engine. This means that the PGSQL engine is installed on a computer (usually called your ‘Server’) and it runs as an ‘active’ process whose sole job is to manage your database for you.

    To illustrate: imagine a busy clinic with several clinicians and a couple of receptionists all requiring access to patient files. There is a very large filing cabinet containing all the files.

    Whenever someone wants a file, they have to go to the filing cabinet, open it, sift through all the files to locate what they’re looking for, pull it out and take it back to their room. They then have to return it in the same manner. When it’s busy, the clinicians and receptionist often find they’re getting in each other’s way as two or more of them are trying to sift through the filing cabinet at the same time. Obviously, the more people trying to get at the filing cabinet at the same time, the longer it takes each of them! There’s also a lot foot traffic to and from the filing cabinet.

    Now imagine that a secretary is employed and she sits at a desk in front of the filing cabinet. She’s an expert at locating files, handing them out, taking them back (when they’re finished with) and re-filing them. When a clinician or receptionist needs a file, all they have to do now is call to the secretary “I need Mrs Smith’s file please” and by the time they get to her desk, the file is there waiting for them. The secretary has massively reduced the ‘bottleneck’ as well as foot traffic to/from the filing cabinet.

    The difference between the two scenarios illustrates the difference between a passive file-based database engine (running over a network with Windows File Sharing) and an active Client/Server database engine.

    When should I choose the SERVER Edition?

    We recommend that if you have 5 or more people simultaneously accessing the system, then the Server Edition will be the best choice. Other factors weigh in too, for example the Server Edition also significantly cuts down the amount of network traffic, so if you have a slow network (or a wireless network) or a very large database, then you will see a big performance increase with the Server Edition.

    We hope this article helps to explain the advantages of the Server Edition – please feel free to post a reply if you have any more questions.


    Hi, I was just wondering about the differences in the setup of the database, between that of the Professional edition and Server edition.

    Say, if I want to upgrade subsequently from the Professional edition, to the Server edition later, would the upgrading process be simple, or would that require a great change to my existing server setups?

    Also, would it be easy to update the database easily, from the file-based version to the server version?

    Hope to hear a reply soon.


    Hi – thanks for your post.

    The Server Edition requires the installation of the PostgreSQL (PGSQL) database engine on your server computer, which takes about 5-10 minutes to install. If you’re upgrading from the Professional Edition to Server Edition, then we would also need to convert your database to the PGSQL format which will take a few more minutes depending on the size of your database (normally it’s no more than 30 minutes even for very large databases).

    It’s usually a pretty straight-forward process which can be done quite quickly with minimal disruption.

    Hope this helps!


    Hi, thanks for the prompt reply!

    So for the upgrading of Professional to Server edition, it seems fairly quick. Is it straightforward enough that I can do the upgrading by myself, or is it very technical to warrant me calling tech support?

    Sounds like it might make sense for me to buy the Professional version first, and then upgrade when my clinical practice becomes bigger.



    You would need to contact us as we would have to upgrade your database for you. As regards how to install the PGSQL engine on your server, we have a document that you can work through yourself or alternatively if you’re on our Support Plan, we can connect in remotely and do it all for you.


    Ah, for the database upgrade, is there any additional charge, or is it included in the price difference that I pay for the upgrade from Professional to Server edition?

    Sorry for all the questions!


    It’s all included in the upgrade charge.

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