Listener Service Setup

The eConnector replaces the Listener Service in version 15.4 and greater. eConnector enhances and simplifies communication between Open Dental secure servers and your office server.

Note: If you are still using version 15.3 or earlier, we highly recommend you update to the most recent stable version. The Listener Service requires working with an IT professional to install. If you want to use the Listener Service, we recommend using a static public IP address, which can incur additional costs.

All eServices hosted by Open Dental use the Listener Service (version 15.3 and earlier). To install the Listener Service, there are three main steps:

  1. Configure the Open DentalWebConfig.xml file.
  2. Install and start the Listener Service.
  3. Set the Listener Port.

You can set up the Listener Service yourself using the instructions below, or contact Open Dental for assistance and to schedule a setup appointment. You will still need an IT professional or someone who knows port forwarding and has access to your router to finish the installation. We require 48 hours notice (not including weekends).

You only need to install the Listener Service once; it shared by all eServices. For uninterrupted service, we recommend that you obtain a static Public IP address from your ISP. This is not a requirement but can prevent eServices from temporary dropping.

Updating Versions:

Step 1: Configure the OpenDentalWebConfig.xml File

In using version 15.2 or greater, you may skip this step because this file is generated automatically when installing the Listener Service (see Step 2: Install and Start the Listener Service below).

Save the OpenDentalWebConfig.xml file on the computer hosting the Listener Service (usually the server).

  1. Open the OpenDentalWebConfig.xml file. For Open Dental versions 15.1 and earlier, you must download and save the file. Right click on OpenDentalWebConfig.xml and select Save As.
    • Hosted by Open Dental: Save the file in the OpenDentalCustListener directory (typically ProgramFiles(x86)/Open Dental).
    • Hosting your own: Save the file in OpenDentalWebService directory.
  2. Edit the file (right click, Open with, Notepad).
    • Set the user names and passwords. If you do not require tight security immediately, you may use root with no password for both users in the text file.
    • If the computer hosting the service is not the server, change the <ComputerName> to the name of the server.

Step 2: Install and Start the Listener Service

Only one Listener Service can be installed per database and each database must have a unique registration key. The connection to the database is established using the OpenDentalWebConfig.xml file.

  1. Open the Service Manager.
    • Locate the Open Dental application folder. Depending on how Open Dental was installed, this may be C:\Program Files (x86)\Open Dental or C:\Open Dental.
    • Double click on ServiceManager.exe to open.
  2. Click Add.
  3. Enter or choose the Service Name. It must begin with OpenDent (e.g. OpenDentalCustListener).
  4. Click Browse and select the OpenDentalCustListener.exe.Typically it is located in \Program Files (x86)\Open Dental\OpenDentalCustListener\OpenDentalCustListener.exe
  5. Click Install. If the installation is successful the status will change from Not installed to Installed, Stopped.
  6. In version 15.2 and greater, the window below will open. Enter configuration settings, making sure to set the Server to the name of your database host computer and verify the correct spelling of the database name.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Click Start to start the Listener Service. The status will change to Installed, Running.

Step 3: Set the Listener Port

The Listener Port must be set, then forwarded by your router to the computer running the Listener Service. Some of these steps are technical. For port forwarding, you may need an IT professional. You can also look online for resources or contact the router manufacturer for assistance. You will need the router password.

  1. Open the eServices Setup window. In the Main Menu, click eServices, Listener Services.
  2. Under Listener Service Settings, enter a Listener Port number of your choosing. The default is 25255. If you change it, click Save.If you change the Listener Port, you must restart the OpenDentalCustListener service using the Service Manager.
  3. Go to your router and forward the Listener Port to the computer that will be running the OpenDentalCustListener service.
  4. Allow all incoming TCP traffic on the specified port through any applicable firewalls.
  5. Forward the port on your router using these settings: In Windows Network Settings, set a static IP address for the computer running the Listener Service. In the router settings:
    • For Port / Port Range, enter the Listener Port. If using a port range, the start and end port should be the same.
    • Protocol TCP
    • The local IPv4 address of the computer running the Listener Service. See Listener Port Forwarding.
  6. Set your Update Server name to match the name of the computer on which the Listener Service is installed. To change the Update Server name, go to Setup, Miscellaneous. If this step is not completed, updating Open Dental may cause issues with the Listener Service.

Next Steps

Listener Service Monitor

Open Dental regularly monitors the Listener Service status to make sure Open Dental servers can communicate with your server.

Critical Status: If Open Dental servers are unable to connect to your server, the status will become 'Critical' and your eServices will not be accessible to you or your patients. As a visual indicator, the eServices main menu option will turn red on all workstations where users with the eServices Setup permission are logged on. As soon as possible, try to restart the Listener Service by clicking Start next to the status indicator.

Possible causes of 'Critical' status: loss of internet service, computer has been turned off.

If the eServices button turns yellow, this is a warning that the Listener Service has recently been down. It can remain yellow for a few days, even once the issue has been resolved. To return the button to grey, acknowledge the errors by clicking Ack under Listener Service History.

Stop Monitoring: The only way to stop monitoring of the Listener Service is to uninstall the Listener Service, then click Stop Monitoring. Uninstall the service using the service manager.