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Computer Requirements 

The 'server' is the computer that runs the MySQL server program and stores the files. It is usually the same computer as the office server but does not have to be. See the section on networks for information on different types of networks.

The speed of the computer, the memory, the video capability, and the hard drive capacity all affect the performance of the program. An older computer slower than 700MHz will probably not be able to run Windows. Also a computer that old will probably be deficient in memory, video, and hard drive. Memory for older computers is significantly more expensive, and it is usually more cost effective to buy a new $800 computer than to put a few hundred dollars into an older computer to upgrade it. Any midrange computer sold within the last few years will meet the minimum requirements.

You should be connected to a highspeed internet connection for the best access to service and updates. Consider it a requirement.

Flat LCD monitor. All flat LCD monitors support our minimun resolution of 1024 x 768. We recommend 19" or greater LCD monitors set to a resolution of 1280x1024 so that you can see more information on the screen. These are available at online stores such as www.tigerdirect.com for under $200. Get one with speakers built in.

512 MB memory is the absolute minimum. 2 to 4 GB is best. Open Dental uses approximately 60 MB of memory. If you run more programs than you have memory, then your system will run very slow because it is transferring memory back and forth to the hard drive.

Operating system:
Any of the following operating systems are supported:

  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows Server 2008 (and Windows Server 2008 R2)
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8 and Windows 8.1
  • Windows Server 2012 (and Windows Server 2012 R2)

The following operating systems were formerly supported.  They are no longer supported because Microsoft has stopped supporting them.

  • Windows 2000 (July 13, 2000)
  • Windows XP (April 8, 2014)

All of your machines do not have to have the same operating system.  If you are purchasing new equipment and need a recommendation, we recommend Windows 7 or 8 (64 bit) for all workstations and the server.

Home editions of windows are sometimes unacceptable because of connection and networking limits, especially with Windows XP.  The best editions are Pro, Business, or Ultimate. Any version of Windows 7 will work unless you are using a domain instead of a workgroup (using Windows Server software).

As an alternative to Windows, the server can run Linux or MacOS-X.

This is a list of the maximum number of simultaneous connections for a windows file share:

XP Home Editions - 5
XP Professional - 10
Vista Home Basic - 5
Vista Home Premium -10
Vista Professional, Ultimate, Enterprise -10
Windows 7 Home Basic (not available in US and most other developed countries, cannot create can only join network, do not use for your OD server)
Windows 7 Home Premium - 20
Windows 7 All editions (incuding Home, Professional, Ultimate, Enterprise, N, VL) - 20
Windows 8 All editions except RT (Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro) - 20
Linux - No limit
Windows Small Business Server 2008 FE- 15 need CALs (Client Access License)
Windows Small Business Server 2008, 2011 - 75 need CALs
Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials - 25, No CALs needed
Windows Server 2003, 2008, EBS - No limit, need CALs for workstations
Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials - 25, No CALs needed

The newer and faster, the better. Recommended Intel.

Video Card:
Now that monitors are bigger, a video card can help. Not required, but recommend NVIDIA. Does not need to be high end.

Hard Drive:
Open Dental has very minimal hard drive requirements. It takes up far less than 1 GB, so any hard drive will work.

Open Dental requires both Microsoft dotNet 3.5 and 4.0.
Adobe Reader version 8.0 or later is needed to view PDF files.

Notebook Computers:
Any fairly new notebook, laptop, or Tablet PC that runs a full version of Windows (not Windows 8 RT) will work.  They all support our minimum screen resolution of 1024x768. But because of the large LCD monitors now available for desktop computers, notebooks may not be the best choice. If you get a desktop computer instead of a notebook, you will get a more powerful computer with a larger screen at a lower price .  Also, watch out for mini notebooks with screen resolutions less than 1024x768.

Before using a Tablet PC as a Kiosk device, see Tablet PCs.

Enterprise organizations may be interested in HardwareRequirements.pdf.


Open Dental Software 1-503-363-5432