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Database for Dentists

I'm a dental surgeon and work in a dental office in Israel. We have in Israel three major dental office menagement softwares. None of them is suficiant enough and some of them realy suck. The price of the softwares is very high and you get almost nothing for this price. Two of the programs are ACESS based and the other is FIREBIRD DB based.

I've decided to create my own program. When it is perfect, I'll maybe sell it. I have no knowledge with databases and never even seen one. I'm a fast learner and weeling to learn from scratch.

I have some requierments from the software:
1. Light weight - the program shouldnt' overload and put pressure on the clients computer.
2. As little mouse clicks as possible - the dentist that works with the software should easly navigate between windows.
3. complients to all OS (XP, MAc, Linux etc.)

The program must contain:
1. Patients database which includes their address and medical records
2. Dentists database - if more than one doctor works in the clinic, all doctors should work with the program smuthly.
3. Calendar database with all the appointments of the patients and doctors. There should be some web interface for patients to schedule their appointments online.
4. Inventory database - which automaticaly updates wuth every treatment that patients undergoes.
5. Treatment database - which treatment did the patient undergo.
6. option to SMS patient and remind him of his schedualed appointment.
7. option to syncronize calendar with PDA.

And here comes the question: Which database is most reccomended fro creating such software?
MySQL? Oracle? Ms-SQL? Firebird? or maybe I don't need a database program at all?

please give me your honest opinion
I'd suggest you to write your program in Java. Then you gain portability, and you gain very easy access to multiples databases.

Java used a standard method of access for all databases, you just have to load the appropriate driver - 2 things have to change when you change your database : the driver and the url. Doing so, you can begin writing your program with any database (e.g. Access since it's easy), and then switch database if you need to.

I used this when I had to write a student project, it worked completely with PostgreSQL, MySQL and Access, while just having to change 2 parameters in order to decide which database to use.

Good luck !
Oracle/Java, if you want a high secure database, but if you begin in programmin, i suggest VB/Access and after that you switch...(very different but vb/access is good to beginners)
Before you re-invent the wheel, or if you would like to examine other programs for reference, be sure to go to and search for "dental" (the search box is in the upper right). I just tried it, and found a number of alread-existing packages. Although I didn't examine them any more closely, you may be able to get some ideas or, perhaps, even a fully developed system suitable for you.
Traveller wrote:
Before you re-invent the wheel, or if you would like to examine other programs for reference, be sure to go to and search for "dental" (the search box is in the upper right). I just tried it, and found a number of alread-existing packages. Although I didn't examine them any more closely, you may be able to get some ideas or, perhaps, even a fully developed system suitable for you.

The main problem is that all other programs all over the world are not in the Hebrew language. My product should be in Hebrew.
That would be a difficulty. Of course, the thing about anything from Sourceforge is that it is Open Source, and you could make the translation yourself (then, perhaps, contribute it back to the original authors for inclusion in a future version).

Again, I did not look into any of the details of what was there (or if there may have been anything additional on, but sometimes the better-developed open-source projects actively SEEK people to provide translations for their software.

As far as the other recommendations you requested: it depends upon your ultimate goal. If the project will lead to a very large database with a need for high security, etc., then Oracle is the best way (but not without a price tag, of course). If you are a very small office, and can get by with something ginned together haphazardly within an unstable environment, then MS-Access can do a decent enough job (as long as it's not TOO big or complicated). MySQL and PostgresSQL are excellent, FREE packages that would probably be excellent choices unless you need something more along the lines of Oracle.

Java has its uses, and its adherents, but since you would probably want to use Windows-based systems for the end-users, and that Windows is not THAT stable, especially when you ask it to do the client-side Java or an entire application, you would probably be better off going with PHP or JSP so a good Linux, Solaris (or other UNIX variant) server can handle the grunt work.
My honest opinion is that you should not try to build this.

You will risk your patient's well being by building a faulty application that is not only insecure, but also a financial risk to them and you.

Consider it fertile ground for a new breed of malpractice suit.

Hire a professional to build this.
I would recommend Oracle 10g for you. It works on multiple platforms and provides high security for transactions and all. You could set it up such that you have a thick client application such that not much pressure in put on the Client's computer. Also I would recommend you to use Laszlo for developing the application...It is also an open source Smile
Two things you could investigate are using Filemaker Server or MS Visual FoxPro. Both are designed to make database programs from the ground up. As far as the back end, both programs give you plenty of options for designing it the way you want and for the potential customer you may market the finished product to.
How many clients are you expecting?

Seeing as you're going to do a lot of networking to a main database server and we're on a web hosting forum, why don't you simply make this a web application? Forget about having to use Java just because it's cross-platform.

Your requirements:
1. You'll have a main server or two and people will access it through their browsers, thus virtually no pressure on client computers
2. You'll have to be smart with ajax and preloading things to make the interface really really smooth, but simple things will probably do
3. All your client needs is a modern browser - the platform is not a problem

The choice of database shouldn't be that critical, most of your work will be elsewhere. Just do mysql; it's both recognized and free.
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