The following recommendations should deliver adequate performance in each indicated category. If your implementation is particularly demanding, you want better than just “adequate” performance, or your database is large, you should increase both RAM and processor speed to compensate. Simultaneous usage of resource-hungry applications such as Microsoft Office also demand more RAM.
Windows 32 bit Software
(Compatible with Windows 64 bit)
At present, SOS applications are distributed as 32-bit software. They will, however, install and run in a Windows 64 environment and both 32 and 64-bit database engines are provided. The minimum version of Windows supported by SOS is Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012R2 and Windows Server 2016.
Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 will no longer receive security updates as of January 14th, 2020 and therefore will not be supported. SOS users are strongly encouraged to upgrade operating systems to assure compatibility with the next generation of SOS products.
Standalone Computer or Network Workstation
- A 1 GHz or faster computer with at least 1 GB of RAM, running Windows 8/8.1, and Windows 10. For satisfactory performance, SOS recommends a 1.5 GHz or faster computer with at least 2 GB of RAM.
- A faster, multi-core processor and more RAM is even better, especially if you will be running two or more applications at the same time, or if your SOS database will be large. The ideal is to have enough RAM to match the size of the database running on it.
- A minimum of one GB of free hard disk space for a small practice; much more for large groups and agencies.
- A CD-ROM or DVD drive, or high speed internet connection. The CD or DVD is used only for installation. On networks, a shared drive may be used. Software is generally available for download as well.
- A 17″ or larger CRT or 15″ or larger flat panel display, running 1024 x 768 resolution or higher. Multiple monitor configurations are supported and encouraged.
- TWAIN compatible scanner to scan documents from within SOS applications. WIA compatible scanners can be used, but do not provide either multipage or duplex capabilities. Scanners used by SOS customers include: Docketport 687 card scanner, Canon N670, Xerox Documate 252, and Fujitsu FI-6130. TWAIN is the industry standard scanner interface, so most scanner manufacturers, including Microtek, Umax, VistaScan, HP, Fujitsu have TWAIN models. Note, however, that certain scanner models, even from these manufacturers, do not support the TWAIN standard. For example, HP’s Officejet multi-function printers support WIA, but not TWAIN. Likewise, the popular Fujitsu ScanSnap 500 series uses a proprietary interface and software package that supports neither WIA or TWAIN. If purchasing a new scanner, confirm that TWAIN drivers are included or are available for the desired model and the version of Windows that you are using. Scanners that are not compatible with SOS’s scanner interface can, of course, be used to capture documents as computer files, and those files can be incorporated as attachments to patient records in SOS. Although not quite as convenient, it is still a workable solution.
- Tape backup or a similar robust backup system that permits easy media rotation and off-site storage of archival backups. Depending on the amount of data to be backed up, some installations will be able to use writable CD or DVD. Supplemental internet-based backups are strongly encouraged for redundancy and disaster-recovery purposes, but be sure that the backup vendor conforms to HIPAA requirements, including execution of a Business Associate Agreement. Your backups, whether local or online, must be encrypted.
A note concerning the next generation of SOS software: The SOS software currently in development, G5, will be run on web and database servers located on a local network, in a data center, or on a cloud service like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. If you host the software on your own server or servers, you may need more server resources than with SOS’s current client/server deployment model. If purchasing new hardware these considerations should be factored into your equipment selection. Please see: System Requirements for Next Generation SOS Products
- A server running 32 or 64 bit, Windows Server Server 2012 or newer are recommended. It is also possible to use Windows 8, or Windows 10 as your database server. For best performance and data security, SOS recommends that the designated server computer not be used simultaneously as a workstation and as a server. Performance, database security, and integrity may be compromised when the server doubles as a workstation.
- Many SOS customers use virtual server environments such as VMWare and Microsoft Hyper-V, but SOS cannot provide anything beyond the most basic assistance for these environments. If you install on a virtual server and unusual issues should arise, SOS may require that the installation be moved to a traditional non-virtual platform before providing additional assistance. That said, we intend to have a deployment option for our next generation software in the form of a pre-configured, ready-to-run, virtual server package for Microsoft’s Hyper-V and, possibly, for VMWare.
- Servers should have no less than 2 GB of RAM. In general, additional memory is more important than a faster processor, but processor speed and multiple cores/CPU’s are also important, particularly on larger networks. The amount of RAM recommended is directly proportional to the expected size of your database. Large transaction volume organizations should think in terms of a 64-bit platform with at least 4 GB of RAM and the ability to easily add more. The included database engine will use multiple processors or processor cores to improve performance, if present.
- Hard drive space proportional to the size of the organization. Assuming that an average patient account includes about 20 journal entries (charges and credits), you should estimate at least 35K – 70K per patient, or 35 MB – 70 MB per 1,000 patient accounts, plus up to 1 GB for the program files. SOS would recommend that you double this figure to allow ample space for temporary tables, transaction logs, and other needs. Use of both SOS OM (receivables and billing) and CM (clinical records) will increase the amount of drive space required. Large groups and agencies can expect databases of several GB and up.
- Performance and data safety can be enhanced on an active system through the use of multiple hard drives or SSD’s, with the transaction log stored on a second drive in the same server and perhaps the index files on a third drive. Moving the transaction log to a different drive is straightforward but relocating the index files requires unloading and reloading the database with a custom reload script. If you would like to implement a more complex installation of this sort, call SOS to discuss whether such a modification would be worthwhile. By default, all data and transaction log files will be installed a DATA directory located within the SOS program directory on the designated server.
- One or more high performance hard disks. Ideally, the database files should be located on a separate, dedicated partition on a drive other than the primary system drive.
- If setting up a dedicated database server that will not also be used for file or printer sharing, you may use Windows 8 Pro, or the comparable version of Windows 10 to host the database. That is also a possibility if setting up a small “peer” network with 10 or fewer users. It is neither required nor recommended (for security reasons) to configure a network share for the database. All communication between the workstations and the database is done through TCP/IP messaging, without any need for users to log into the database server computer. As a result, the Windows 8 limit of ten connected users does not apply for SOS database access. Be sure to disable power saving options that will cause the system to go into sleep mode!
- CD-ROM, CD-RW, DVD or DVD-RW drive or high speed internet connection.
- Tape backup or a similar robust backup system that permits easy media rotation and off-site storage of archival backups. Depending on the amount of data to be backed up, some installations will be able to use writable CD or DVD. Supplemental internet-based backups are strongly encouraged for redundancy and disaster-recovery purposes.
- SOS products include SAP/Sybase SQL Anywhere as the back-end database engine. The next generation SOS product will permit the database to be run on your existing SQL Server back-end, if preferred.