The DentaLab System... serving dental laboratories since 1979
Support :: Newsletters

May 2014

DentaLab NewsMay 2014
from Mainstreet Systems & Software

FAQ  DentaLab News


Good news for those using starter...

We have good news for those using the starter version of DentaLab for QuickBooks.   To give you some background, several years ago during the height of the economic recession,  the publisher of LMT asked if we could create a version for small labs to provide them with very competent case management at an affordable price.   We agreed and the result was DQB Starter.   We held the changes to this version to those critical to keeping the labs in compliance with government regulations and with computer technoloogy.  Even with its limitations, DQB Starter has been a very popular well-liked system. 

Since then, the standard version moved forward at a much faster pace.  With the popularity of the DQB systems and our steady beat of custom projects, we have been finding it harder to find the time to keep up the development of two separate systems with increasingly different code.   At the urging of our programmers, we have decided to merge the starter version into the standard.   We will, however, keep the home page for starter much the same as it has been.  This will mean, however,  that those with starter will now have included some of the more detailed aspects of the standard such as:

  • the ability to print invoices in DQB rather than having to switch to QuickBooks
  • the  handy availability in DQB of case invoice history, which can be particularly useful when billing multi-stage cases
  • tracking shipment codes with links to the websites of the major delivery services such as Fedex, UPS
  • reporting on case item completions by technician, date and time to comply with government regulations

And many more.  This project is underway and is planned to be available as part of the July release.

For you to do this month

If there are others in your lab that are involved in the computer information systems or could benefit from greater knowledge of them, be sure to share this newsletter with them and point them to our website ( to access prior newsletters, release lists and blog topics in the Support tab. 

If any of them would like to be added to our newsletter list, send in their name and email address.

These and other educational resources on our website are free for everyone.  Our software and its support programs are all about meeting your case management and business needs and requirements.  One only needs to look back a bit in time to realize how flexible and dynamic these must continually be.

Our late spring specials and a day off 

A number of labs have asked us if we are offering any here are two late spring specials for you, effective through June 20, 2014:

  1. If you wish to add another user to the standard DQB version, the fee will be reduced from $300 to $240, a 20% saving.
  2. If you wish to upgrade from starter to standard in order to add image scanning or email notifications, the combined fee will be reduced from $600 to $480, a 20% saving.

For the USA Memorial Day holiday, we will be closed on Monday, May 26.


  Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.

To answer your questions...

Q:  With all the hype for moving computer systems to the cloud, will Intuit continue to offer the desktop versions of QuickBooks?

A:  Yes, all indications are that they will.  The statistics we were given said that there were more new licenses for the desktop versions sold last year than the total number of users for the online editions.   Approximately 6% of desktop licensees have switched to online.   Keep in mind that every Windows-based computer is capable of being a web host through the Internet Information Services (IIS) features that are part of all recent versions of the operating system.   This combination can provide control over the aspects of your business that you wish to keep private and protected while providing those that can benefit from internet access.  

Q:  We skipped a few releases, but want to update now.   Will the latest release include the ones we missed?

A:  Yes, each update is designed to include all of the prior updates.   We recommend that you view the progress of the update to make sure the updates to the SQL database take place.   Typically, downloading and installing an update takes just a few minutes, but if you have missed a number of updates to the database, this will add to the time. 

We find that some labs update with every release, some skip a few and then update.   It is recommended that you update at least once each year to stay in sync with government regulations, industry standards, and computer technology.

      With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.

Resources for outsourcing

For some, outsourcing is a new concept but the capability to track work sent to other locations has always been a part of the DentaLab systems.  The purposes have been varied:

  • To handle work overloads to assure case completion by the request date
  • As an interim measure when not ready to hire more employees and/or acquire specifiic equipment
  • To accomplish work requiring special skills
  • To acquire the advantages of expensive technology and/or equipment
  • To incur less expensive labor costs

To track the work sent to another locaton, it is best to setup the location as a work center.   If appropriate to address special work items or schedules, you can setup items and/or standard procedures specifically for the outsource location.

To convey the work to be performed along with any special instructions, you can print the work tickets in a format specifically designed to have the left half with doctor information kept inhouse and the right half with work information sent to the outsource location.  When appropriate, you can also send case plans, communications, images and documents either electronically or in printed format.

If you wish to include the fees you will be paying or add legality to the transaction, you can create a purchase order to which you can add case-related information such as tooth numbers, shade, patient name.

If the case will require work beyond what is being performed at the outsource location, you can easily stop scheduling for the remaining items until the case is returned from the outsource location.

For the speediest tracking of the exact time and date each case was sent and then returned to the lab, we recommend use of the DQBT tablet workflow app with its easy touch technology.   Doing this can also give you accurate statistics on the actual turnaround times from each outsource vendor.

A number of reports are available to track cases by work center, critical dates, quality control.  These reports can be printed or saved to various electronic formats such as PDF and Excel for easy transmission via the internet.

We will be adding even more resources for those providing and receiving outsourced work.  If you have a suggestion or two on this topic, be sure to send it in.

What to do with your old XP? 

Before Microsoft ended its support for its Windows XP operating system last month, we helped many labs in the transition to Windows 7 or 8.  The question became what to do with the XP stations that had too little resources to upgrade to a later version of Windows.   Here are some of the answers:

One lab wanted a new fresh start so that they could setup their DQB basic lists and procedures in a better way, but they did not want to lose their customer and case histories.  They decided to keep the XP as an independent station dedicated to these histories, but did elect to transfer their QuickBooks company file to the new computer to continue on.

Some labs decided to make use of the XP stations at additional locations in the lab but disconnected these from the internet, as this became the major concern when Microsoft would no longer be issuing security updates against internet malware.   These could be used for DQB functions not requiring internet access such as:

  • tracking cases closer to the work areas
  • keeping an eye on dashboard graphics to see how workloads are progressing throughout the day
  • responding to telephone inquiries from dental offices
  • support and record-keeping for business development activities
  • generating and then analyzing production and sales reports

If you wish to add more DQB users to do this, take note of our special offer above. 

Should you decide to scrap your old XP, be sure to remove all data that should be kept confidential and private even if the database or datafile is password-protected before sending it out the door.

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"I am really impressed with your newsletter and responses on the IDF(internet dental forum)...given me an education."

Randy Hicks, CDT
R & R Restorations
Texas, USA

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