Dentrix Ideas

Disable automatic updates

One of the most dangerous time for software to become unstable, crash, and lose data is during a software update. For the past decade, I made sure to apply a software update only during downtime after checking that we have an up-to-date good backup copy. I made heavy use of Defer Update feature. In fact, I wish there was a Defer Update for 1 year option.

Recently, Dentrix appears to start installing updates automatically. This will increase the likelihood of running into problems in the future.

Please provide a way to disable automatic updates. We would like to maintain control over when we update our software.

  • Stefan Saroiu, PhD
  • Dec 8 2021
  • Already exists
  • Jan 24, 2023

    Admin response

    In the Update Manager (auto launched after an update runs or found under Help | About | Check for Updates), one can customize when updates are installed. Please note that Dentrix is committed to improving quality as we push to the future with smaller, more managable updates that create less impact when installed. Here is an article with details If you have further questions, please contact our support department.

  • Attach files
  • Maddy Moses commented
    16 Jan 05:13pm

    I know you can turn off automatic updates in the Updates Manager Settings but it doesn't seem to matter. I am diligent about checking several settings each time Dentrix updates (including turning automatic updates BACK OFF since they always automatically turn back on after every update). But EVEN THEN, some updates seem to install automatically, even when automatic updates is turned off. I don't understand why settings like that would change after an update - same for claims AOB settings, statements settings, etc. Offices set those settings a certain way for a reason and they should remain the same after updates.

  • Joseph G commented
    21 Jul, 2023 04:53pm

    There is no option to COMPLETELY disable the updates. As you can see from the screenshot of a server, there is no way to stop updates to procedural codes or hotfixes.

    The feature role out has been horrible at best. It fails in the following ways:

    We want stability, not rapid release!

    No way to disable it entirely on the server, no real app to manage or check status of client/desktops.

    No real technical documentation on the feature. It doesn't detail if there is a way to completely disable or not. It doesn't show if there is a way to control updates from a Dentrix server. Ex. Is there a requirement for the Windows user to be an Administrative user? If so, you need to check your understanding of HIPAA. Also, users don't understand the process and or notifications and that isn't documented.

    Updates should be scheduled on OUR time frame and during our maint. window.

    When updates are pushed centrally, they often fail and cause downtime. This has happened 3 times now to more than half of our workstation. Support has not been able to help properly.

    Automatic updates on clients only show a small notification in the bottom right of the screen. To an end user this means nothing. They keep clicking on modules and then it failes or breaks the install. There is also no notice on the screen that says:

    Dentrix is updating: Please wait for it to finish.. And also no notice of % complete.

    The entire process is not well thought out and is making me question our relationship after an eternity as a customer.

    Please fix this!

  • Joseph G commented
    20 Jul, 2023 07:49pm

    This is bad idea as a feature and it has caused a LOT of downtime for many of my users. Delivering software updates requires careful planning and testing in a clinical environment. Downtime COST serious money. Your automatic update feature has already caused some time time and annoyance and you need to fix this.

    There are a bunch of incorrect assumptions here:

    New is better - No, it is not. We want stability, uptime and compliance. This provides none of those but it could introduce new bugs, so there is that. We should be able to make the decision like 100% of the other software out there as to when we update. We don't wanna be beta testers!

    Updates don't need testing - No, they do. We cannot make an assumption that the latest and greatest will work in all environments, in order to assure this we should do testing in our own environments. Your current forced updates effectively mean we have more downtime, potential data loss and additional costs.

    Users Run as Admin -The fundamental assumption that users are running as a local administrator without least privilege is incorrect. Users in a regulated HIPAA world should NOT be running as anything other than a regular (non administrative) Windows user. When they run as a regular user they should NOT be able to install ANY software, never mind software updates. Your software updates will not run properly in a HIPAA compliant configuration where users have least privilege. Worse yet, they break existing installs if you force the updates from your servers.

    We need the abilty to completely turn off this feature and PLAN to do our updates. Why? Because downtime, dataloss, new bugs and vulerabilities happen all the time with new software.

    Please enable an ON and OFF switch on the server that let's us control this. I have spoken with support multiple times and they don't seem to get it but I hope someone finally does understand the issue at some point or I will move to another software package with well thought out update features.

    FYI, ALL other PMS have the ability to plan, control and deploy software updates, none of them have the absurd force update system you do.

  • Joseph G commented
    20 Jul, 2023 07:32pm

    This is a serious fundamental flaw and needs to be fixed. WE should choose when we apply updates/patches and we should have 100% control of when that happens.

  • Stefan Saroiu, PhD commented
    23 Jan, 2023 05:30pm

    Thank you to Admin for posting a response.

    I performed the steps in the Admin Response. They do not work. I do not see a way to disable automatic updates. Instead, the Admind Response lists steps to Defer Updates for a period of time. That is different than what this Idea asked for.

    Please remove the Already exists label to this idea or re-post a response describing how updates can be disable.

    Thank you so much.

  • Stefan Saroiu, PhD commented
    23 Jan, 2023 05:28pm

    This idea was marked as "Already exists".

    I do not know of a way to disable automatic updates in Dentrix G7.x. Can you please post instructions on how to do this?

  • Daniel J. Oehler, DMD commented
    20 Jan, 2023 09:00pm

    I agree 100%.