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July 2012

DentaLab NewsJuly 2012
from Mainstreet Systems & Software

FAQ  DentaLab News

 

Filling a Gap:  Providing for Multiple Companies on One Network

When thorough reviews have been performed on DentaLab for QuickBooks, there have been many favorable comments.   Some have even stated that it is the best offering for the dental lab industry because it is so rich in features and benefits, yet very easy to use and understand.  For some, however, there has been one omission and this has been that it could not handle multiple companies on the same network.  For those who had setup two or more labs under the same roof,  a separate hardware configuration was needed for each company.

The advances in security in Windows systems have now, however, provided a basis for setting up multiple companies within the same network.  Following government regulations, you will still need to setup  for each lab a separate company file in QuickBooks and a separate SQL database in DentaLab for QuickBooks, but the good news is that they can co-exist on the same network and each workstation can work with every company.

If you are interested in pursuing this possibility, contact our technical support team.


An Unexpected Bargain from Microsoft!

We have been told a number of times that the Starter version of DentaLab for QuickBooks is one of the best bargains on the planet.   An upcoming offer from Microsoft may be one to add to this list.   They have announced that for the fee of $39.99 (USD), they will upgrade a Windows XP, Vista or 7 license to Windows 8.  Right now, Windows 8 is still in beta testing.   The official release is expected to be in October 2012 and the special promotion will run through January 31, 2013.  

Windows XP has been considered a very good operating system, but support from Microsoft will end near the end of 2013.   Vista has been considered a difficult awkward release with perhaps too much emphasis on security.  Windows 7 has been considered by most in technical circles the most excellent of the three and will be incorporated into Windows 8 along with the Metro view that includes the touch technology now in use by tablets and smartphones.

The design work for new modules for DentaLab for QuickBooks that will include tablet technologies has already been underway. After DQB 1.31 is released (see this topic below), we will begin code development and testing.  


And an Expected Bargain from Mainstreet...

We always offer a summer special in July.  This year's will be image scanning.  The standard license fee for this supplement is $400 (USD), but from now through August 20, we will offer a 20% discount to bring the fee down to $320 (USD). 

If you have been licensed for DQB Starter and want to implement image scanning, you will need to update to the standard version.   The standard fee for this update is $200, but we will also offer a 20% discount on this.   The combined total for the update to standard plus image scanning would be $480 (USD). 

 

    Easy, versatile software for the modern dental laboratory.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  Do we have to give up control and privacy of our information to take advantage of access via the internet?

A: No. There are a number of ways already available and even more under development as the use of mobile devices and wireless networks increase in popularity.  Although cloud technology is being promoted from many directions, it is important to maintain control of your essential business information and provide access via the internet to only the extent you wish.   Which techniques you choose should be aligned to the frequency and purpose for which you want to grant access or open up communication.  Use of the internet requires that you choose carefully and implement security measures.   We recommend that you work with your technical support team to assure that you achieve your goals. 

Q:  We occasionally receive a timeout error message.   What does this mean?

A:  As you are working with DQB, there are continual requests being made for resources.  Typically, if a request can not be honored immediately, there will be continued requests to obtain the resource but a timer will be set so that the request does not continue forever.  When the time period has ended and the resource is still not available, a timeout message will be issued.    If timeouts become frequent, it is best to consult with a computer professional to see if your computer and/or network needs to be upgraded in terms of capacity and/or speed to meet the traffic demands of your users.   

Q:  Another term we sometimes see in error messages is parse.   What does this mean?

A:  Parsing is the breaking down into smaller components.   An easy-to-understand example of this is in the Find features when you attempt to match characters either at the beginning or anywhere in the field for a patient or customer name.   To to this, the program must parse the name.   Much of what we do in software development is to break down a larger task into small pieces and then architect these pieces into a useful application.  

The concept of parsing is also very useful when dealing with time management.  If faced with a large undertaking or learning curve or workload, it is a very useful skill to be able to break it down into small steps and then perform these one by one to build or achieve that big thing.   

      With the same look and feel of QuickBooks.

The Inevitables:  Death, Taxes, Change and the need for Security

These four inevitables are very much a part of your business information systems. If you need to collect or pay taxes, you can easily setup QuickBooks to calculate and track these.  But in terms of the other three on the list, all too often we find that those who are responsible for computer information systems in the lab do not give much thought to these.   This is particularly true if everything seems to be humming along and working well.

On the topic of death, it is true that computers--just like human beings--will not go on forever.  As technology has moved along, the failure of computers and their components often happens suddenly with no advance warning, no sputtering.  It is important to always be cognizant that this can happen and to have a plan in place so that when you have to move on to new equipment, you can easily restore your programs and data and get going again quickly.   

You just need to look back a bit in time to know that change is continually occurring from many directions.   There are now a number of new techniques, new business models, new competition, new regulations and compliance requirements that did not exist in the not-too-distant past.   The software that is the backbone for so many of the things you do must be capable of adapting to these changes in as smooth a way as possible.

With computers and business, a part of what we do is directed toward the logical applications of capturing and recording information and then accessing this information in ways that are useful for tracking, monitoring, responding to the needs of our customers, vendors and our business.  In recent years, a much greater effort has become necessary to assure security for this information to prevent potential unauthorized access, corruption and loss.  All too often we find that those who have come to depend on their computers and the business information they hold do not pay enough attention to the need for reliable data backups, for high levels of security when entrusting data to the internet, for training personnel on the daily measures required to maintain accuracy, control and security.

Those who are trained and experienced with computers are very much aware of these inevitables and know how to handle them.      


And Finally, the July Release for DQB 1.31

The July release, known at DQB 1.31, has a number of new convenience features that were suggested or requested by experienced users in the labs. Two of the new features that we think many of you will really like are:

1) the ability to track Fedex, UPS and USPS shipments directly from the case entry/edit screen and

2) the ability to browse through your invoice register in DQB for review and/or to catch errors before printing. 

On behalf of the user group, we heartily thank all of you who contributed your ideas for this release.

In addition, our programmers have worked with the new MSSI connector that replaced the one originally provided by IBIZ to intercept the more technical messages provided by QuickBooks and replace these with ones easier to understand.  At the points when QuickBooks is needed for your request, you will be given an alert if it is not loaded and an opportunity to either send a message to Mainstreet's weblog or to launch it.

This release along with the full list of enhancements is now available for downloading at your convenience from our website.   Those with up-to-date service agreements can call when ready to download to get the current authorization codes.  

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Customization is available for all products.

Contact us at 1-800-257-4535 or www.mainstreet-systems.com.

"I was amazed how easy Dental Lab for QuickBooks was. I have been looking for new software for our dental lab for quite some time but most dental lab software is either too complicated or requires you to buy modules that you may not need but also must purchase to get to the level you want. Dental Lab gives you everything you need in one package at a reasonable price. The support from Mainstreet has been great with them answering all my questions….I highly recommend this software to any dental lab wanting one system that works well and works with QuickBooks so easily."

Mary Brown
Brazos Laboratories
TX


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