How “Sunsetting” By Microsoft Could Affect Your Practice

Companies are constantly replacing older versions of their technology with the latest and greatest. This is often called “sunsetting,” and involves terminating support for older versions.

Microsoft is currently replacing old technology that could have a significant impact on practices using server-based practice management systems. In particular, there are two updates that have significant impact for OfficeMate users.

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#1. SQL Server Software Update:

Many practices that use server-based software, like OfficeMate and ExamWRITER, use SQL Server 2008 R2. Microsoft plans to end support for all versions of SQL Server 2008 on July 9, 2019. Without this support, Microsoft will no longer provide regular security updates. Running apps and data on unsupported versions creates security and compliance risks for HIPAA compliance and full MIPS feature support.

What You Need to Know: To ensure HIPAA compliance and your ability to participate in MIPS, we recommend you  update your SQL Server.

OfficeMate 15 works with many supported SQL versions (2012, 2014 and 2016.) OfficeMate 15.0.2717, released in Feb 2019, is also compatible with SQL 2017.

If you have an older OfficeMate version (14 or older), we advise not using SQL version 2016 or 2017, as it won’t be compatible with your system. Instead, choose SQL version 2012 or 2014.

Please see the chart below for specific compatibility by version:

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To determine your SQL server version, use one of the methods outlined by Microsoft. For more information, visit the Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 End of Support page on the Microsoft support site. While Microsoft offers an option to extend security options with your existing SQL version for up to three years, there is a cost associated with this stop-gap measure and you will still need to eventually upgrade.

#2. Windows 10 Update:

While the most up-to-date technology is built to work on newer platforms, systems built on older platforms often aren’t compatible when Microsoft updates its technology. This causes practices to receive error messages and disrupts workflow, which has been the case with the latest Windows 10 update.

What You Need to Know: When Microsoft issued the new Windows 10 version 1809 update in October 2018, many older versions of software, like OfficeMate/ExamWRITER 12, began to experience errors.  This update is being rolled out throughout the year, and if—like most users—you have Windows updates set to download and install automatically, you may not be aware that your computer has been updated until you receive a system error.

If you received this Windows 10 version 1809 update and experience errors, Eyefinity recommends one of the following two options:

  1. Upgrade to the latest version of OfficeMate 15, which is not affected by the Windows 10 version 1809 update. NOTE: If you are already an OfficeMate 14 or 15 user, you can upgrade to the latest release within your OfficeMate program.
  2. If you are unable or not ready to upgrade OfficeMate, Microsoft provides a 10 day window to revert to an earlier version of Windows 10 (version 1803 or older) which should function normally with older versions of OfficeMate, such as OfficeMate 12. If it is has been longer than 10 days since the update, please reach out to Microsoft Windows 10 Support to inquire about additional workarounds.

Tired of Maintaining Operating Systems and Hardware?

Upgrading to cloud-based solutions like Eyefinity EHR and Eyefinity Practice Management eliminates the need for servers on site at your practice. That means no more server updates, backups, or crashes. Click here to learn more about Eyefinity cloud solutions.

Just like the optical industry, technology is constantly evolving. We are committed to supporting you every step of the way, with the understanding and technology options you need to run your business efficiently and profitably.

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