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  • #31257

    Support
    Keymaster

    A Network Attached Storage (NAS) drive is a data storage device which can connect to your network and operate as a ‘file server’. Effectively, it’s a “network hard-disk”.

    *** THIS FAQ HAS BEEN UPDATED FOR COv5 ***

    All editions of ClinicOffice v5 use a client/server database engine which requires server-side processing, hence it is unfortunately not possible to put your database on a NAS device.


    Here is the OLD answer relating to COv4 :-

    Firstly, if you’re using the ClinicOffice SERVER Edition then a NAS device is out of the question, as you cannot install a Client/Server database (which requires server side processing) on a NAS drive.

    The ClinicOffice PROFESSIONAL Edition uses file-sharing to share the database over your network, so a NAS drive will work, however it is not necessarily the best solution… why?

    Accessing data over a network connection is always going to be the slowest way of getting the data. For the PROFESSIONAL Edition, we’d generally recommend putting your database on whichever computer gets used the most (which should also be the most powerful computer) – usually, the RECEPTION PC. It’s true that the other computers will still need to access the database over the network, but this way at least the RECEPTION computer has very fast access to the data, whereas with a NAS drive all your computers are having to access the database over the network.

    We hope this information is helpful – please feel free to post below if you have any follow-up comments.

    #32885

    Thanks for this.

    I understand completely what you advise about performance but the potential advantages of 1) removing the dependence on the Reception PC being switched on and 2) linking to the datafiles over the internet connection may outweigh the degradation in performance.

    To answer the performance question, I can set up the infrastructure and experiment to determine performance against other advantages.

    Before I try it out, however, the question I have is whether this is a supported set up. Please could you confirm?

    Thanks.

    #32886

    Support
    Keymaster

    >> the question I have is whether this is a supported set up. Please could you confirm?

    We fully support the ClinicOffice-side of things regardless of whether you decide to use a NAS drive or opt for simple file-sharing. Obviously we wouldn’t offer support for your NAS device – that would come from the company who provided it. Similarly, if you experience network issues which makes the ClinicOffice database inaccessible then our technicians will try to make helpful suggestions, but ultimately your network infrastructure is something that your IT staff would need to support.

    #32887

    Perfect, thank you. 😀

    #32888

    Hi there,

    I’m having trouble running databases created on the local computer when moved to the NAS.

    If I create a database on the NAS, it all works fine.

    If I copy the database files from the local computer to the NAS, when logging in to the moved database I receive the following message:

    “An unexpected problem has occurred.

    The exception was of type: System.ArgumentException

    The exception message was :-
    The UNC path should be of the form \servershare”

    The steps I’m following are:

    1. In CO, Go into ‘Manage Databases’
    2. Right-click on the database and set to ‘Shared Database’
    3. Remove the database from the list
    4. In Windows Explorer, move the files from the local drive to the NAS drive, mapped on the local computer
    5. In CO, click on ‘Add Database’
    6. Find the moved database folder and click on OK

    Please point out the error of my ways…

    Thanks,
    Admin Boy.

    #32889

    Support
    Keymaster

    The problem is caused by the lock-file mechanism used in the database engine. In order for it to work correctly it needs to know where it is stored, and each client needs to access it via the same path.

    If you were moving it on to a different PC (rather than a NAS drive) then when you run ClinicOffice on that PC, it would detect the incorrect internal path and correct it for you. The problem is that when you create a database on a PC, then move it to a NAS drive (thus invalidating the internal path) then it’s not possible to update the internal path from the NAS drive which is a “dumb” device.

    To further complicate things, COv5 (just released) now uses a mini client/server database engine for the Startup/Professional editions. This will make it impossible to host a database on a NAS device.

    Perhaps a better method would be to run ClinicOffice from a PC and then have a backup routine to regularly copy the database to the NAS device?

    We’re updating the main FAQ article above to reflect this.

    #32890

    Thanks. Understood.

    #32891

    Hi Support,

    I completely understand the explanation for why a database created on a PC and then copied to a NAS will cause difficulties due to the internal path being incorrect and not correctable by the NAS. However what’s not clear in the response is whether there is a workaround or not.

    For example:
    – Is it possible to do a search-and-replace of the path assuming the affected files are text files?
    – Does a backup and restore as opposed to copying the database folder across get around the problem?
    – How about an export of data from original PC database in an intermediate format and import into the new NAS database?
    – Is the bottom line that only a database created on the NAS will ever work on the NAS. Is that correct?

    I would just like to know before I spend money on a NAS device that may never work.

    Thank you very much.

    We are using COv4 Professional Build 1085.

    #32892

    Support
    Keymaster

    Hi Hardy – thanks for your post.

    >> what’s not clear in the response is whether there is a workaround or not.
    No there is no workaround I’m afraid.

    >> Is it possible to do a search-and-replace of the path assuming the affected files are text files?
    No – they are not text files, the internal path configuration is embedded in the database metadata files.

    >> Does a backup and restore as opposed to copying the database folder across get around the problem?
    No – that simply compresses / extracts files – it doesn’t adjust the internal path configuration.

    >> How about an export of data from original PC database in an intermediate format and import into the new NAS database?
    No that’s not possible either.

    >> Is the bottom line that only a database created on the NAS will ever work on the NAS. Is that correct?
    Yes that is correct, but not recommended (please see the original OLD post above).

    The only recommended use of a NAS drive with CinicOffice would be to store backup files on it. We do not recommend you use a NAS drive for storing your live database… besides which, please note that we’re talking about a product (v4) which is approaching a decade old. As noted in the original post, version 5 Professional and version 6 (soon to be released) both use Client/Server engines making them impossible to run on a NAS device.

    Hope this helps to clarify!

    #32893

    OK, understood. Thank you.

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