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Update Installation Guide

This Installation guide will assist you in updating the MacPractice software. Before any MacPractice installation, please confirm your machines meet the System Requirements.

Update Considerations
Generally, updating MacPractice as soon as possible is preferable as it will allow you to use the best version of the software. However, the decision on whether or not to update right away may need to be balanced with factors such as your office schedule, patient appointments, and the availability of your IT professional. You will also need to consider the availability of a few key items, such as computer passwords, before you begin updating.

When to Update
If you are short on time, you may wish to delay the update for another day. You may also wish to know more about the specific version of MacPractice which has been released to you. The MacPractice Software Update window (MacPractice Menu > Update MacPractice) presents the following information to make the decision on whether to update now or to delay:

  • Version and Build numbers: For example, Version 5.1(Build 6.1.2-1) 
  • Update package size: The size of the package will vary by both version and build
  • Release Notes: A list of the specific changes within each build, organized by category (generally, a MacPractice Ability)
  • Change History: A list of all changes within a version, organized by build and category (generally, a MacPractice Ability)
  • New System Requirements: Changes to the system requirements for the MacPractice software or iPad Requirements
  • Installation: Step by step instructions on how to update

What You Will Need
Before you update the MacPractice software, consider that you will need the following:

  • Make sure your computers meet the System Requirements for any version before you attempt to update to it.
  • If you need to access the download or help site at any time during the update, you will need your serial number. Your MacPractice serial number can be obtained from MacPractice menu > About MacPractice.
  • You will need the Mac OS X Administrator password and the MacPractice Database Encryption password to complete any update.
  • Choose a time to complete the update when you will not need the software for daily functions. For example, you may wish to update when your practice is not seeing patients.
  • The update may take several hours, depending on your internet connection, database size, and computer specifications. Once you start the update, you will not be able to access your MacPractice data until the server has been updated. Once the server computer has updated, you will be able to access your data on the server, but client computers will be unable to access the database until they have also completed the update.
  • MacPractice recommends updating while logged in to the computer as a Mac OS X administrative user. Updating while logged in as a standard Mac OS X user may prevent Attachments and Digital Radiography/Imaging files from migrating to the new version.
  • Only use Ethernet. Wi-Fi is not a suitable connection for downloading the update.

General Update Workflow
If you have updated MacPractice several times before, you may only need a general workflow to refresh your memory on the steps involved. The workflow below offers a summary of each step needed to update the MacPractice Server and Client machines. If you have any questions on the steps below, please continue reading the Installation instructions for more information on the topic.

  1. Before updating, make a backup of your MacPractice data and confirm all computers in your office have quit MacPractice.
  2. You should be prompted to update when logging in to the server. You can manually check for updates in MacPractice > Update MacPractice. If this window is blank, then no updates are available to you at this time.
  3. In the Update window, check the box next to the version update and click the Download and Install button.
  4. On your server, double click the ServerInstaller.mpkg file after the download completes. Follow the installer instructions.
  5. Once the installation completes, log in to MacPractice on the server. Enter the database encryption password.
  6. Update the database, if prompted. Do not quit during the database update as doing so will damage your data.
  7. Visit each client computer and log in to MacPractice. You will be prompted to download the update from the server.
  8. Enable the checkbox next to the version update and click the Download and Install button. Download the update, then click on the file to launch and follow the instructions in the installer.
  9. You may log in to all computers as the update is finished.
  10. Pair each MacPractice installation (desktop or app for iPad) with the MacPractice Server using the 4 digit passcode displayed within a prompt on each device. On the MacPractice Server, enter the passcode in Preferences > Database Access as shown in the instructions.

MacPractice Server Update
The MacPractice Server computer hosts the MacPractice database to which each of your MacPractice Client machines will connect. The MacPractice Server installer will install MySQL, the MacPractice application, the background application MacPracticeServer, the MacPractice Frameworks, and all other components that are necessary for MacPractice to run as a server on your office computer.

Locate the MacPractice Server
The MacPractice Server must be updated before any of the client computers. You can determine what computer is the MacPractice server by looking in the drawer of the MacPractice login window. The MacPractice server will likely list localhost as the Server IP Address. For most offices, the database name will be macpractice.

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Server Update
When a new release has been made to your MacPractice Server computer, you will be prompted to update with the MacPractice Software Update window.

If you do not see the Software Update window, open the MacPractice menu and select Update MacPractice.

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When to Update
Generally, updating MacPractice as soon as possible is preferable as it will allow you to use the best version of the software. However, the decision on whether or not to update right away may need to be balanced with factors such as your office schedule, patient appointments, and the availability of your IT professional.

If you are short on time, you may wish to delay the update for another day. You may also wish to know more about the specific version of MacPractice which has been released to you. The MacPractice Software Update window presents the following information to make the decision on whether to update now or to delay: 

  • Version and Build numbers: For example, Version 5.1(Build 6.1.2-1)
  • Update package size: The size of the package will vary by both version and build
  • Version Changes: A list of the specific changes within each version, organized by build and change category (generally, a MacPractice Ability)
  • New System Requirements: Changes to the system requirements for the MacPractice software or iPad Requirements
  • Updating MacPractice: Step by step instructions on how to update
  • Update Notes: Changes to be aware of right away, including Database Access, Code Mapping, Care Slips, and the Validator
  • New Features: A selected list of important new features to help you get started with the new version

If you decide to delay the update for another time, click the Cancel button and continue using the MacPractice software as you would normally.

If you decide to update MacPractice, click the Download & Install button to begin the installation.

Download & Install
As the update package begins to update, the progress indicator at the bottom of the Software Update window informs you how much of the update has downloaded. This may take several minutes, depending on the size of the package and the speed of your network.

Once the download has completed, an alert explains that MacPractice will now quit so that it can be restarted. The alert also lists the location where the installation package has been downloaded, which is generally the desktop. Click the OK button to quit MacPractice.

MacPractice Installer
Once the MacPractice software has quit, the Installer window also opens automatically.

The Installer window presents with a Mac OS X alert that explains that the installer will first determine whether the software can be installed.

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Click the Continue button to continue the installation.

The Installer begins with an Introduction, which welcomes you to the MacPractice DDS Server Update Installer. It explains that this will update the MacPractice Server.

The Introduction also presents a reminder to create a backup, if you did not do so earlier in this process.

If you did not create a MacPractice backup, quit this installation and do so before installing this package.

Creating a backup is the only way to recover from data loss. Do not ignore this warning. Create a backup of your data as described in Create a Backup.

When you are ready to proceed with the installation, click the Continue button.

The Installer will then offer a Read Me file with important information

  • This will install the MacPractice practice management system.

  • It is recommended that you start from a fresh install of Mac OS X v10.9 or greater before installing MacPractice.

  • Versions of Mac OS X prior to version 10.9 are not supported.

You can print this page with the Print button or you can save this page with the Save button. You can also go back to the Introduction with the Go Back button.

Click the Continue button to continue following the installation prompts.

Once you click continue, a browser window opens in front of the Installer window. The MacPractice Installer Support page lists the version from which you are updating and offers additional assistance with the update, should you require more help.

Within the Installer, the Software License Agreement displays. This is the standard MacPractice application software license.

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You can print this page with the Print button or you can save this page with the Save button. You can also go back to the Introduction with the Go Back button.

Click the Continue button to continue following the installation prompts.

The Installer will ask you to agree to the license to continue installing the software. You must agree to the terms of the software license agreement to use the MacPractice software.

Click the Read License button to return to the standard license panel. Click Agree to continue or click Disagree to cancel the installation and quit the Installer.

The Installer will then explain the default Installation Type, or allow you to customize your installation. By default you will be offered a Standard Install on your server's hard drive. The amount of space this will take on your computer will also be described.

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You can click the Customize button to change the installation or you can click the Go Back button to return to the previous Installer panel. If you do not wish to change the installation location, click the Install button to continue with a standard installation.

A Mac OS X alert will then present to request the administrator password.

Installer is trying to install new software. Type your password to allow this.

MacPractice will not have this information. Contact your administrator if you do not have these credentials.

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Generally, the Username field has already been populated and you will only need to add your password to the Password field and click the Install Software button to continue.

The Installer window will then inform you that when this software finishes installing, you must restart your computer.

Click Cancel to end the Installer or click the Continue Installation button to continue installing MacPractice.

The installation will then begin. The progress indicator explains the specific installation steps. It also offers a visual indicator as to how far along the process is currently.

Do not force quit this process; allow MacPractice enough time to complete this installation.

When the update has finished, you will see a message informing you the installation was successful. Click the Restart button to finish installing the software and restart MacPractice.

Your server has now been updated.

Launch MacPractice and log in using your username and password. The Server IP address and Database Name within the Database Connection settings should be the same as they were before the update.

As the MacPractice Server has been restarted, the MacPractice Security password created during the initial installation will be required to access the database and log in to MacPractice. Add the Security Password to the field and click the OK button.

Database Update
To complete the update process, you may be prompted to update the database. If so, click the Update button.

Do not force quit the database update. It may take some time, depending on the version of MacPractice you are using, the specifications of the server computer, and the database size.

Authorization may be required to reset the system sleep time. Click OK and enter the Operating System administrative username and password, then click Continue.

Once finished, MacPractice will open and all client computers can be updated at once, if desired. Continue reading MacPractice Client Installation.

Create a Backup
Before updating the MacPractice Server, log out on all MacPractice Client machines. Make sure a current backup of your MacPractice data has been made just prior to updating. Create a MacPractice Backup on the local hard drive or an external device in MacPractice Preferences > Server Backups. Click the Backup button and select the location in which to create the backup within the resulting prompt. If a location is not specified, the backup will be created to the Default Backup Directory. Click Save Backup to start the backup process.

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The backup may take several hours, depending on the size of your database. Allow the backup process to run until the backup is complete. Do not force quit this process.

MacPractice Client Update
Before updating any MacPractice Client computers, confirm that the MacPractice Server has been updated and is logged in to MacPractice. The download may take some time, depending on your network set up, the specifications of the computer, and the MacPractice version. Allow enough time for the update to complete.

After the MacPractice Server has been updated and successfully logged in to MacPractice, all client computers can be updated at once, if desired.

Efficient Client Update Workflows
The right tools can make installing the MacPractice software or updating to a new version across multiple machines on a MacPractice network even more efficient. Two such tools to consider are already built into Mac OS X. Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) allows you to install MacPractice on multiple computers at the same time, whereas Apple Screen Sharing allows you to manage all updates from a single location.

Select one of the following chapters to continue updating the MacPractice Client machines.

  • Download the Installer from the Download Site: obtain the install package outside of updating a MacPractice Client
  • Update MacPractice Client with Apple Remote Desktop (ARD): install MacPractice on multiple client computers at the same time
  • Update MacPractice Client with Apple Screen Sharing: manage your MacPractice updates from a single location
  • Standard Client Update

Download the Installer from the Download Site
If you are using a remote management technique or downloading the client installer on a new machine, you may wish to obtain the Client Installer from the MacPractice Download Site at https://www.macpractice.com/download/.

On the site, log in with your serial number, followed by your download site email address and password.

  • If you do not know your serial number you can find it in the MacPractice menu under Preferences.
  • If you do not know your download site email address and password ask your office administrator or contact MacPractice Support to reset the credentials.

The download site provides server and client versions of the installer. Click the client installer to download the installer file, which will appear in your browser default download location (generally, this is the Downloads folder.) Double-click the installer to uncompress it. The file can then be moved to any location.

Update MacPractice with Apple Screen Sharing
Apple's built in Screen sharing application allows you to manage your MacPractice updates from a single location. To begin, ensure that screen sharing is enabled on your client computers. On each computer, open System Preferences > Sharing and enable Screen Sharing by click the checkbox next to it.

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When screen sharing is turned on, you may restrict this to only certain users, such as administrators. An administrator can then access these computers remotely from a single computer, as long as they are on the same local subnet. Enable the Only these users radio button and click the plus button to select the users.

On the administrator's computer within Finder, the Network or Shared list will display each networked computer.

Click the screen sharing button next to each computer with screen sharing enabled to open an authentication dialogue. Enter one of the computer's usernames and passwords to share the screen.

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Within the share screen windows, you can easily install MacPractice on several client computers at once.

You will first need to obtain the MacPractice Client Installer. See Download the Installer from the Download Site for instructions on using the download site.

Once you have obtained the package, drag the installer package to the screen sharing window to easily drop it to that computer. You can then run the installer as you normally would. This can be done on multiple client computers at once. If the computer needs to reboot, the screen share can remain open, and will reconnect automatically as soon as the computer comes back online.

Update MacPractice with Apple Remote Desktop (ARD)
You can install MacPractice on multiple client computers at the same time with Apple Remote desktop.

The server computer will need to be updated first as described in the MacPractice Server Update chapter. You will also first need to obtain the MacPractice Client Installer file from the download site as explained in the Download the Installer from the Download Site chapter.

Before using Apple Remote Desktop (ARD), make sure your client computers can be managed remotely. On each client computer, go to System Preferences > Sharing and make sure that remote management is enabled.

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You can restrict this to only Administrators. Click the Options button to enable specific remote management options.

On the Administrator computer, launch the remote desktop application. Within Finder, select Scanner in the sidebar to see all computers on your local network. To run the client installer on another machine, select it individually or select multiple computers by holding down the Command key or Shift key. Drag the selected computers to the All Computers sidebar node. Enter a username and password. If you have the same administrator username and password on each computer, you will only need to enter it once. Otherwise, add the credentials to the prompt for each machine. Once the computer has been added to list, a blue dot will display in the scanner sidebar.

In the All Computers list, select the specific computers. Click the Install button, then select the Client Installation package. Click the plus button or drag the installer to the packages list. You have several options in the control, such as not allowing the computer to restart, encrypting the network data, and so on.

Click Install and the installation will run on each computer. Apple Remote Desktop let you know how far you are long this process and whether the task has succeeded or not. You can install a MacPractice client software on multiple computers at once in just a few seconds all remotely from the Administrator's computer.

Standard Client Update
To begin updating, log in to MacPractice and open up the MacPractice Software Update window within the MacPractice menu, under Update MacPractice.

Click the Download & Install button to begin downloading the update. Next, read the MacPractice License Agreement, and click the Agree button.

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After accepting the license agreement, you may be asked to enter the Mac OS X administrator account's username and password for the computer. Enter the administrator user's credentials and MacPractice will download the update. After the download has completed, the Introduction window will open. Click Continue to start the updating process.

Read the MacPractice License Agreement, click the Continue button and confirm you agree with this information by clicking the Agree button to continue the update.

If you have multiple hard drives on your MacPractice Client, make sure to select the correct drive. Once this has been confirmed click the Install button.

To authorize the installation of the update, you will be asked to enter an administrator account's username and password for the computer. MacPractice will not have this information; the update process cannot continue without this information. Enter in the administrator account's username and password, then click the Install Software button.

After entering the computer's Administrator username and password, a confirmation window informing you that your computer will reboot when the installation is complete will display. If you click Cancel, the installation process will quit. Otherwise click the Continue Installation button. The installation process will start. Do not force quit or interrupt the installation process until it has completed on its own.

When the update has finished, MacPractice will quit. Click the OK button. You can then reopen MacPractice and log in to the new version.

Connecting the Client and Server
Generally, your software settings will remain after updating and will not need to be re-entered. If you do need to reconnect the client machine to the server, open the Drawer on the Login window and enter in the IP Address of the MacPractice Server computer along with the name of the MacPractice database.


Database Access (Passcode Pairing)
Each MacPractice Client will need to be paired with the MacPractice Server using a passcode presented on the device. If you have installed a version of MacPractice 5+ previously, this step has likely already been completed and will not need to be repeated.

If you have not previously installed 5.0+ or this is a new device, you will need to complete this step before you can access the MacPractice database. When a MacPractice Client attempts to connect to the MacPractice Server, a 4 digit passcode is generated and remains open for 60 minutes. Print the instructions, which include the passcode and the expiration time.

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On the MacPractice Server, add the passcode in Preferences > Database Access as shown in the printed instructions. The device will be added to the Database Access list and paired with the MacPractice Server.


Updating MacPractice
Download and install the appropriate MacPractice Server or MacPractice Client Installers, depending on whether the computer is a server or a client. For this initial update to 5, install the MacPractice Installer, rather than the Updater package.

It is not possible to update directly from MacPractice 3 to MacPractice 5. Please contact MacPractice Support for assistance, which will include updating to MacPractice 4 before updating to MacPractice 5.
 
If you are updating from MacPractice 4:
  • Before updating, make a backup of your MacPractice data and confirm all computers in your office have quit MacPractice.
  • You should be prompted to update when logging in to the server. You can manually check for updates in MacPractice > Update MacPractice. If this window is blank, then no updates are available to you at this time.
  • In the Update window, check the box next to the version update and click the Download and Install button.
  • On your server, double click the ServerInstaller.mpkg file after the download completes. Follow the installer instructions.
  • Once the installation completes, log in to MacPractice on the server. Enter the database encryption password.
  • Update the database, if prompted. Do not quit during the database update as doing so will damage your data.
  • Visit each client computer and log in to MacPractice. You will be prompted to download the update from the server.
  • Check the box next to the version update and click the Download and Install button. Download the update, then double click on the XXXClient.pkg file to launch the client installer, and follow the instructions in the installer.
  • You may now log in to all computers as the update is finished.
For detailed instructions please see the Updating MacPractice Installation documentation.

Update Notes
As you update to MacPractice 5.1, note that there are some changes to be aware of right away.

Database Access
In MacPractice 5, each MacPractice installation (desktop or app) will need to be paired with the MacPractice Server using a passcode. When a MacPractice installation attempts to connect to the MacPractice Server, a 4 digit passcode is generated and remains open for 60 minutes. The instructions within the prompt include the passcode and the expiration time. On the MacPractice Server, enter the passcode in Preferences > Database Access as shown in the instructions. The device will be added to the Database Access list and paired with the MacPractice Server. For more information, see the Database Access Preference or the Installing the MacPractice Client documentation.

Code Mapping
The Code Mapping feature in MacPractice 5 connects different codes systems to one another so that they can translate across unique MacPractice features such as billing, clinical summary export, and ePrescribe interaction checks. Some practices that do not use multiple code systems will require minimal Code Mapping, as long as the Problems, Assessments, and Billing Diagnosis code systems have been set to the same system in Preferences > Code Mapping. We generally suggest ICD-9, as the only requirement for many practices is that payers require this code system for claims. Review the Code Mapping documentation for more information and configuration instructions.

Care Slips
After you've updated, you will need to update your Care Slip codes to the coding system you've set in your Coding Preference. A Care Slip can be updated by clicking the Update to Coding Preference in the Diagnoses tab of the Care Slip Reference, however it is important to note that you will need to update ICD-9 codes before you update Custom codes. Also note that you can now only add billable diagnoses to the Care Slip.
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