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Set Up a Program Link/Bridge 

Open Dental interacts with many external programs that can be beneficial to your practice. All you need to do to is set up a program link (also called a bridge) and enable it within Open Dental. Often you can select to show a button in a module toolbar to quickly launch the program from Open Dental.

This page explains how to set up program bridges. See Interoperability with Other Software for a list of all bridges included with Open Dental, and specific setup information for each. Additional companies are also listed on Vendors - Supplemental Services.

To activate a bridge, in the Main Menu, click Setup, Program Links. 

Double click on a program to edit settings and enable the bridge. If the program is not listed, see Custom Bridges.

Many of the settings will automatically be filled in. To see specific setup details for each program, see Interoperability with Other Software. Also see the Notes area on each window for instructions. 

For each bridge, the following options are available:

  • Description: How the program is listed in the Program Links window.
  • Enabled: Check this box to enable the bridge. Uncheck it to disable the bridge.
  • Path of file to open: Enter the path to the program's executable (.exe) on your computer or network. It can be a local path or a server path. This path will be used by all computers connected to the database, unless you enter a local path override on an individual machine. If the path is inaccurate, and Open Dental cannot find the .exe file, then the program bridge will not work. 
  • Local Path Override: On an individual machine you can enter a path to a program's executable (.exe) that will override the Path of file to open. This is usually left blank.
  • Optional command line arguments:  If a program bridge requires a command line argument, it will be specified in the Notes area. Otherwise this is usually left blank.
  • Text on Button: The text that will appear on the toolbar button, if you select to display a button in a module.
  • Plug-in dll name: See Plug-in Framework.
  • Additional Properties: You can edit values, but cannot add new properties. To change a value, double click on a row.
  • Notes: Any program specific details.
  • Add a button to these toolbars: Highlight the module(s) where you would like a button to appear in the toolbar. Press Ctrl while clicking to select more than one module.
  • Button Image: Import an image that will show on the button, if you select to display a button in a module. The imported image must be 22x22 pixels. Click Clear to remove the button image.
  • Output File: Build your own output file (for example, .txt or .ini) for Custom Bridges.

Remote Desktop Solutions
If you have a server using terminal services that users remotely connect to, consider using the RemoteExecuter program by MQ Technologies. RemoteExecuter passes the command to launch the software to the local computer, instead of launching the program on the server computer.

  • The Path of file to open should contain the path to RemoteExecuter.
  • Enter the path of the program to launch (e.g. VistaDent.exe) in the Optional command line arguments field.


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