Researching OpenDental Software



  • Anyone have any experience or knowledge of OpenDental closed source software for dentists? We know it uses MySQL but that the database portion is six years old (it only supports MySQL 5.6 which was replaced three years ago with 5.7 and since then by 8.0, and they claim that MariaDB doesn't work!) And it uses .NET for the application layer, but not full, modern .NET as it needs Mono to run on Linux rather than using .NET Core which is cross platform. So we know, really out of date and not written to the standards of the tooling that they chose to use. The documentation is insanely bad and full of misinformation, we've found it getting absolutely everything about Windows licensing wrong and actively promoting violating the EULA to get it to run unlicensed on Windows desktops.

    It looks like an outright scam, actually. The website is a total joke, the documentation is a joke, the name is clearly designed to make you think that it is "open" when it is actually closed, they encourage hacking Microsoft software to not pay for what you use, etc.



  • I've never heard of OpenDental, nor would I have had a reason too, but now that you bring it up I've looked for FOSS dental practice software and found https://openmolar.com/

    Seems like a cool (albeit dead) piece of software from a preliminary scan of their website.



  • @scottalanmiller From the little I remember of it, it is nothing but s*** all around. Former workplace supported a bunch of dentist offices that used it. Support was always able to get things up and running, but required a phone call.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Researching OpenDental Software:

    Anyone have any experience or knowledge of OpenDental closed source software for dentists? We know it uses MySQL but that the database portion is six years old (it only supports MySQL 5.6 which was replaced three years ago with 5.7 and since then by 8.0, and they claim that MariaDB doesn't work!) And it uses .NET for the application layer, but not full, modern .NET as it needs Mono to run on Linux rather than using .NET Core which is cross platform. So we know, really out of date and not written to the standards of the tooling that they chose to use. The documentation is insanely bad and full of misinformation, we've found it getting absolutely everything about Windows licensing wrong and actively promoting violating the EULA to get it to run unlicensed on Windows desktops.

    It looks like an outright scam, actually. The website is a total joke, the documentation is a joke, the name is clearly designed to make you think that it is "open" when it is actually closed, they encourage hacking Microsoft software to not pay for what you use, etc.

    As you already know - this is beyond common.

    Just curious - mind quoting the parts where they promote hacking Windows to avoid licensing? or whatever it is that they are doing that's illegal.



  • @DustinB3403 said in Researching OpenDental Software:

    I've never heard of OpenDental, nor would I have had a reason too, but now that you bring it up I've looked for FOSS dental practice software and found https://openmolar.com/

    That website is way nicer. Seems less abandoned from that alone.



  • @Dashrender said in Researching OpenDental Software:

    Just curious - mind quoting the parts where they promote hacking Windows to avoid licensing? or whatever it is that they are doing that's illegal.

    https://www.opendental.com/manual/clinuxmac.html

    Open Dental on the Server

    Your Open Dental server can always be Linux (tested) or MacOS-X (not tested).

    The server needs to be able to host the MySQL server and the image files, but does not need to be able to run Open Dental itself.

    • Unlimited computers can connect to the MySQL database on an ordinary Windows workstation in spite of the 10 computer limit.
    • To get around the 10 computer limit for the A to Z Folder, simply get a network attached hard drive.
    • Windows 7 and 8 also get around the 10 computer limit because they have a higher limit of 20 computers.

    Every statement here is false.

    1. MySQL is not allowed any external connections according to the EULA. None. Windows workstation has no allowed database server workloads, there is no 10 computer limit of any sort.
    2. There is not a ten computer limit, there is a 20 TCP connection limit. That's a very different concept. This line has bad info, but their solution of using a NAS instead of a Windows workstation is fine. But bizarre in "to get around that your car doesn't float, buy a boat instead" is a weird thing to say kind of way.
    3. Again with the fake limits. All Windows in the last many, many generations have a 20 connection limit, nothing to do with computers, and isn't applicable to the software. But they are portraying it in such a way to make it sound like using Windows workstation as an application and database server is allowed up to 20 computers, when in fact, it is not allowed whatsoever. They are using false information about a different limit to make it sound plausible, but every aspect of it is wrong and including it in the application server hosting section puts a context of telling people to work around the EULA.


  • LOL

      • they said can, not that it was legal
      • yeah, they are definitely being weird about that NAS statement.
      • point three doesn't really provide enough information, If you assume point three has to do with point 2, A-Z folders, then the connections (not computers) is relevant, but still pointless as far as connecting to MySQL is concerned.


  • It's stupid shit like this that vendors, consultants, etc will claim it must be legal because the vendor they bought it from 'says' it's OK.

    Same thing that happened here where my HVAC vendor supposedly contacted Unifi and Unifi told them that it was 100% legal to run Unifi Controller from a Windows 10 PC.



  • @Dashrender said in Researching OpenDental Software:

    Same thing that happened here where my HVAC vendor supposedly contacted Unifi and Unifi told them that it was 100% legal to run Unifi Controller from a Windows 10 PC.

    Why is your HVAC people doing anything with Unifi?



  • @DustinB3403 said in Researching OpenDental Software:

    @Dashrender said in Researching OpenDental Software:

    Same thing that happened here where my HVAC vendor supposedly contacted Unifi and Unifi told them that it was 100% legal to run Unifi Controller from a Windows 10 PC.

    Why is your HVAC people doing anything with Unifi?

    They install a USG and Unifi switches to manage their gear... yep, it's pretty lame!

    I just found out today they are blaming Cox for making some change to their network (Cox's) that prevents them from using OpenVPN... and they are being forced to use "Windows VPN" now.. whatever that means.



  • @Dashrender said in Researching OpenDental Software:

    They install a USG and Unifi switches to manage their gear... yep, it's pretty lame!

    Can you not setup a vlan for them with your own network and bypass whatever BS Cox is shoving down their and your throats?



  • @DustinB3403 said in Researching OpenDental Software:

    @Dashrender said in Researching OpenDental Software:

    They install a USG and Unifi switches to manage their gear... yep, it's pretty lame!

    Can you not setup a vlan for them with your own network and bypass whatever BS Cox is shoving down their and your throats?

    No, because I want absolutely no connections between that HVAC network and my own.
    Now you're going to say - but once you do that VPN thing, you're bridging the networks - yes I know that.. and i'm trying to get my boss to not have that... but it will be an uphill battle. At least with the VPN, the main network would only be at risk when the VPN tunnel is up from one of my user's machines, where the VLAN would always be there.

    Of course in typing that out - I wonder if I could do a VLAN that's limited to only 3389 from my network to that one, but nothing allowed back? something to consider.

    Another alternative would be to use ConnectWise. Of course, I just read how hackers spread cryptoware through the Webroot console (The credentials were compromised, not Webroot Console). But in this case, that would mean my network would already be compromised for them to get access to the ConnectWise system... so less of a concern.



  • @DustinB3403 said in Researching OpenDental Software:

    @Dashrender said in Researching OpenDental Software:

    They install a USG and Unifi switches to manage their gear... yep, it's pretty lame!

    Can you not setup a vlan for them with your own network and bypass whatever BS Cox is shoving down their and your throats?

    As for their claim on Cox - I don't believe them. I believe that the staff they had able to do the VPNs either quite or got fired... and the new people are clueless.



  • @Dashrender said in Researching OpenDental Software:

    LOL

      • they said can, not that it was legal
      • yeah, they are definitely being weird about that NAS statement.
      • point three doesn't really provide enough information, If you assume point three has to do with point 2, A-Z folders, then the connections (not computers) is relevant, but still pointless as far as connecting to MySQL is concerned.

    Yes, but you can't make that assumption in point 3. The defined context was from the list, not from another point in the list. Now you are assuming that they don't know how bullet points work to try to make it still not make sense.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Researching OpenDental Software:

    @Dashrender said in Researching OpenDental Software:

    LOL

      • they said can, not that it was legal
      • yeah, they are definitely being weird about that NAS statement.
      • point three doesn't really provide enough information, If you assume point three has to do with point 2, A-Z folders, then the connections (not computers) is relevant, but still pointless as far as connecting to MySQL is concerned.

    Yes, but you can't make that assumption in point 3. The defined context was from the list, not from another point in the list. Now you are assuming that they don't know how bullet points work to try to make it still not make sense.

    I completely agree with you... but point number 3 really doesn't matter after 1 and 2.



  • This piqued my interest enough to go looking for a EULA.

    MySQL is not allowed any external connections according to the EULA. None.



  • @EddieJennings said in Researching OpenDental Software:

    This piqued my interest enough to go looking for a EULA.

    MySQL is not allowed any external connections according to the EULA. None.

    Yeah, I didn't know that about MySQL either.. seems odd, from this person who's never used it directly before.



  • @Dashrender said in Researching OpenDental Software:

    @EddieJennings said in Researching OpenDental Software:

    This piqued my interest enough to go looking for a EULA.

    MySQL is not allowed any external connections according to the EULA. None.

    Yeah, I didn't know that about MySQL either.. seems odd, from this person who's never used it directly before.

    This was the first thing I found: https://downloads.mysql.com/docs/licenses/mysqld-8.0-com-en.pdf



  • You are out of context.
    @scottalanmiller is stating MySQL on Windows has that restriction.



  • @JaredBusch said in Researching OpenDental Software:

    You are out of context.
    @scottalanmiller is stating MySQL on Windows has that restriction.

    I see. I made the mistake of interpreting "the EULA" as "its EULA."



  • Doing a demo install of it so that we can learn about it. Apparently Patterson EagleSoft doesn't believe that their own product is production ready (no current Windows support, no VM support... basically unsupported and abandoned according to their own people, not even attempting to be a production system in a modern sense) so the number of viable vendors in the dental space are few and far between. We support a bit of everything in the dentistry space, and what people get is pretty unprofessional at best, most of the time.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Researching OpenDental Software:

    Doing a demo install of it so that we can learn about it. Apparently Patterson EagleSoft doesn't believe that their own product is production ready (no current Windows support, no VM support... basically unsupported and abandoned according to their own people, not even attempting to be a production system in a modern sense) so the number of viable vendors in the dental space are few and far between. We support a bit of everything in the dentistry space, and what people get is pretty unprofessional at best, most of the time.

    Seriously, does any software vendor just not suck? So many have turned out to be just junk recently.



  • https://www.opendental.com/site/sourcecode.html

    Tortoise SVN.............

    You have to install the trial version to get the initial database tables set up? What is this?



  • @stacksofplates said in Researching OpenDental Software:

    https://www.opendental.com/site/sourcecode.html

    Tortoise SVN.............

    You have to install the trial version to get the initial database tables set up? What is this?

    Everything on their site is crazy.



  • I'm honestly surprised it's not built with FoxPro.



  • @stacksofplates said in Researching OpenDental Software:

    I'm honestly surprised it's not built with FoxPro.

    It sure feels like it is!!



  • There's so many industries with niche LoB applications that are ripe for a shake-up by modern competitors. The issue is getting the business knowledge in order to make a competing product.



  • @flaxking said in Researching OpenDental Software:

    There's so many industries with niche LoB applications that are ripe for a shake-up by modern competitors. The issue is getting the business knowledge in order to make a competing product.

    And getting the customers to care. In many cases, just because you make a better mouse trap, doesn't mean that someone will buy it.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Researching OpenDental Software:

    @flaxking said in Researching OpenDental Software:

    There's so many industries with niche LoB applications that are ripe for a shake-up by modern competitors. The issue is getting the business knowledge in order to make a competing product.

    And getting the customers to care. In many cases, just because you make a better mouse trap, doesn't mean that someone will buy it.

    I've seen the prices they are paying, I don't think it would be hard to build a cheaper mouse trap too.



  • @flaxking said in Researching OpenDental Software:

    @scottalanmiller said in Researching OpenDental Software:

    @flaxking said in Researching OpenDental Software:

    There's so many industries with niche LoB applications that are ripe for a shake-up by modern competitors. The issue is getting the business knowledge in order to make a competing product.

    And getting the customers to care. In many cases, just because you make a better mouse trap, doesn't mean that someone will buy it.

    I've seen the prices they are paying, I don't think it would be hard to build a cheaper mouse trap too.

    Oh I know, but even cheaper often doesn't matter. There is a pain to switching, and that alone is more than many will contemplate, regardless of potential profits.