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  • #30905

    Support
    Keymaster

    This article contains some tips and tricks which may help to improve the performance of ClinicOffice on your computer.

    Configure your Virus Scanner Correctly

    Some anti-virus programs come pre-configured to run scheduled hard disk scans. While the scanner is running, the performance of your whole computer (and especially a database application like ClinicOffice) will be severely impacted.

    If you’re experiencing intermittent slow performance at certain times of the day, then it’s possible your anti-virus software is running scheduled scans and it would be a good idea to disable or change the schedule to run at a different time. Most anti-virus programs also have a ‘resident shield’ which actively scans files as they are accessed. Ideally you should configure your scanner to exclude your ClinicOffice database folder from being scanning.

    Defragging

    Check to see if your Hard Disk needs defragging. Over a period of usage, your database files can become fragmented across your hard disk, thus taking longer to retrieve records from the database. Windows has a built in defragmention tool which may improve your performance. Please see this link for more information :-
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314848

    Network

    Are you accessing the database over a wireless network? Even a wireless network with a full strength signal cannot match the performance of a standard wired network. If you’re already using a wired network and performance still seems sluggish then upgrading to the Server Edition will probably have a big impact on performance.

    Low Graphics Mode

    ClinicOffice was written using Microsoft’s .NET Framework and is quite a visually intensive program (which is why it looks so nice! :wink:) This does mean however that some older computers, especially those with slower processors (i.e. a single core CELERON) may struggle to run the program adequately.

    You could try running ClinicOffice in LOW GRAPHICS mode to see if this improves the performance on your computer. To tell ClinicOffice to run in low graphics mode, please do the following :-

    [1] Close down ClinicOffice

    [2]RIGHT -click on the ClinicOffice v5 (or v4) icon on your desktop (the one which you usually use to launch the program)

    [3] Click Properties

    [4] Click in the TARGET box, move the cursor to the end of the text that is already in there, then add a space and then /lowgraphics. For example :-

    “C:Program FilesPioneer SoftwareClinicOffice v5ClinicOfficeV5.exe”

    becomes :-

    “C:Program FilesPioneer SoftwareClinicOffice v5ClinicOfficeV5.exe” /lowgraphics
    (NOTE: for COv4 it’s the same but with “v4” rather than “v5”)

    [5] Click OK
    [6] Launch ClinicOffice as usual (by double-clicking the icon)

    Hopefully that should improve the performance somewhat as it removes the more graphically intensive features from ClinicOffice.

    Other Suggestions

    If performance is still not acceptable, then it’s probably time to take a look at your computer hardware. The required hardware specifications for ClinicOffice are outlined here :-
    http://pioneersoftware.co.uk/co-specs

    We ourselves use DELL PCs which are excellent value for money (especially the VOSTRO range). For example, you can purchase a new base unit (i.e. just the computer without a monitor) from around £200+vat and even a low spec VOSTRO computer will run COv4 or COv5 without any problem.
    Click here to see DELL’s Vostro range.

    Please feel free to contact us if you need some help or advice in purchasing some hardware for ClinicOffice and we’ll be happy to help!

    #32058

    tried the above, am running on dell vostro intel dual core processor (bought 3 months ago, running XP), still pretty lethargic, any other ideas?

    peter

    #32059

    Have you got enough RAM? My home computer runs it fairly fast with 2 gigs of RAM but processor in fairly fast.

    I have opted to to upgrade my computers at work which I’m currently running in and it’s running fast with 512mb which I’m just about to upgrade to 2 gig…. i’ll let you know how I get on…

    Failing all that, turn of all the visuals on windows that will speed up your overall performance..

    Colm

    #32060

    Support
    Keymaster

    @Peter wrote:

    still pretty lethargic, any other ideas?

    Can you give us some more details on exactly what seems to be slow? For example, would you say it is the User Interface (UI) OR accessing the database which seems to be the problem?

    Here are a couple of points to bear in mind :-

    The User Interface (warning: this bit gets technical! :-k)

    ClinicOffice v4 is written in the Microsoft .NET 2 Framework. The .NET Framework uses something called “Just-In-Time Compilation” (JIT). This means that rather than ClinicOffice v4 being pre-compiled to a Windows 32 bit executable file, the program actually gets compiled to your specific computer processor while it is being run (i.e. at “run-time”).

    There are many advantages to this, but one down-side is that the FIRST time you start the program (after a reboot) it will take a little while to startup. Typically, COv4 may take between 5-10 seconds (depending on your PC specification) when it first starts and then about half as long on any subsequent startups.

    [As a point of interest : Intuit’s Quickbooks 2008 was recently ported over to the .NET Framework and even on one of our high-spec QUAD Core PCs, it now takes over 30 seconds to startup! :shock:]

    The JIT compilation also means that the FIRST time you access any form in the program, it will take longer than subsequent accesses. This delay will be more noticeable on more complex forms like the Patient Editor, however after the form has loaded the first time, it should be almost instantaneous thereafter.

    The Database Engine

    If performance seems to slow down more when the program is accessing your database (e.g. when performing a search, running a report or reading appointments into the diary) then it may be something to do with the database engine.

    One thing which can hurt performance significantly is if your anti-virus software is actively scanning your database files. Certain versions of McAfee, Norton and AVG are particularly bad for this, but they can usually be configured to EXCLUDE your ClinicOffice database folder, which may result in a performance boost.

    Because ClinicOffice v4 talks to its database engine via TCP/IP, if you’re using a 3rd party software Firewall, then it may also be interferring. The ClinicOffice installer configures the standard Windows Firewall correctly, but if you use another software firewall, then configuring it to ignore/allow all traffic on port 12010 may help.

    On one of our test PCs (coincidentally a DELL Vostro), ClinicOffice v4 Professional Edition displays 11,000 patient records in under 3 seconds on the first attempt and then around 2 seconds on subsequent tries. That’s twice as fast as ClinicOffice 2005 could manage on the same database. The ClinicOffice v4 Server Edition (using PGSQL) is almost twice as fast again.

    Conclusion

    We’re actually very happy with the performance of COv4, bearing in mind the nature of Microsoft’s .NET Framework. We have noticed that sometimes perceived performance ‘problems’ are simply down to a user double-clicking on a patient record for the first time after logging on, and then having to wait a few seconds for the form to appear for the first time (even though it appears instantly thereafter). Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do about that. As computers get faster and Microsoft continue to optimize the .NET Framework, these little niggles will evaporate.

    If you’re still concerned about performance, then please feel free to contact our Support Team and we can configure a remote connection to your computer to take a look for ourselves and see if there’s anything we can do to help.

    #32061

    many thanks backman and support – will have a closer look at my security center and see whether it is the database engine or the user interface which is slow…..watch this space…
    peter

    #32062

    Support
    Keymaster

    *** Update ***

    For this customer, the problem turned out to be McAfee Total Protection which was seriously interferring with ClinicOffice. Once he disabled McAfee, performance increased massively.

    At present, it seems to be only McAfee which has this problem and we haven’t had reports of any other virus scanners with this issue.

    Here at Pioneer Software, we use AVG Anti-Virus.

    Here’s is a useful link to a “Top 10” site which compares the latest Anti-Virus software :-
    http://anti-virus-software-review.toptenreviews.com/

    For a FREE anti-virus solution, we recommend the AVG Free Edition, which actually scores better in many reviews than most commercial products. You can download it from here :-
    http://free.avg.com/

    Hope this helps!

    #32063

    Hi guys just revisiting this issue and I had a thought…. if the sever version is the fastest option there must be some reason why your just not using it…. is it a cost implication???

    Colm

    #32064

    Support
    Keymaster

    if the sever version is the fastest option there must be some reason why your just not using it…. is it a cost implication?

    The SERVER version is a more complex setup process, has a much larger installation footprint and is overkill for smaller clinics.

    Actually, we’re in the process of changing the database engine for the STARTUP & PROFESSIONAL editions. It will use the newest ElevateDB engine rather than the older DBISAM (see http://www.elevatesoft.com).

    This should improve database performance for the STARTUP & PRO versions.

    #32065

    I read about the performance problems with CO v4 related to McAfee.
    I have bought a new Dell Vostro laptop, with McAfee pre-installed and I experience performance problems as described.
    Is there a way to configure McAfee, so that it is not scanning CO v4 or the database in real-time?

    Please advise.

    #32066

    Support
    Keymaster

    Hi – thanks for your post.

    >> Is there a way to configure McAfee, so that it is not scanning COv4 or
    >> the database in real-time? Please advise

    There are currently about 13 different versions of McAfee and several ‘Editions’ of each version. I’m sure it will be possible to configure Exclusions, but you will need to look in your McAfee User Guide for your specific product to find out how to do this.

    Alternatively, you could ask McAfee or you can probably find the answer for your product by a Google search :-
    http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=mcafee+exclude+folders

    By default your ClinicOffice databases are stored in the “C:COv4_Data” folder, so excluding that folder and all subfolders will do the trick.

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