Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Custom Fields in DentaLab for QuickBooks


Within DentaLab for QuickBooks (DQB) you may setup your own custom fields for these records:




In addition, you can setup QuickBooks custom fields from a list of case fields for use in QuickBooks invoices, purchase orders and reports.

How to Setup  DQB Custom Fields

For each of these, you can establish up to 10 custom fields, each with a name or identifier.   These can be setup in Options/Custom Fields.   For Customers or Items, these can also be setup in Basic Lists- Customers or Items.

Note that for Items, the custom fields can be entered in Case Entry/Case Items.

Here are some examples of names/identifiers:

Cases:            Referenced By, Special Medical Issue, Priority

Customers:    Specialty, Referenced By, Rating, Status

Items: Shade, Tooth, Category

For the case and customer list screens for these, from the Actions Menu you can customize the grid to include columns for these custom fields.

Keep in mind that these extra fields can be useful for analysis, business development, marketing, and customer relationship activities.


How to Use DQB Custom Fields

For each of up to 10 custom fields for each type of record that you have setup, you may enter up to 50 characters of information for each individual case, customer or case item.  Once you have made an entry, it will appear on the drop-down selection list for subsequent entries.   Here are some examples:

Case – Priority:         in Case Entry, you can enter one of your standards for priority such as Rush, One Day Turnaround

Customer – Status:   in Basic Lists – Customers or in the Customer Center, you can enter one of your standards for status.   You may want to use Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze or A, B, C or still another standard list.

Analysis and Reporting on DQB Custom Fields

There are a variety of ways custom fields are used for analysis and reporting:

Display in Grids       

In Basic Lists-Customers and Case List you can use the Action Menu to indicate that you want to see the custom field(s) in the column(s) of the grid.  The custom fields can also be viewed when you elect to see the details of any record in the grid.

Customer Profile    

The profiles include the custom fields entered for each customer. These are available in Basic Lists-Customers, Customer Center and Reports and may be displayed or printed.

Custom Field Analysis (available 2014 Q3 release 1.40)

This option is available in the Reports menu.  You can choose to view/print:

            Case Custom Fields by a range of entered dates

            Case Item Custom Fields by a range of entered dates

            Customer Custom Fields

Each analysis provides a count and percentage for each unique entry in the custom fields.

Custom Forms, Labels and Reports

When requesting custom forms, labels or reports, keep in mind that you can include one or more of your custom fields.

Transferring Case Fields to QuickBooks (QB) Custom Fields

 In DQB Options/Invoice Settings/Custom Fields, you can setup to transfer information to QuickBooks with each creation of an invoice from a list of case fields including:

            Pan Code

            Patient Name


            Short Memo


            Entered/Received Date

            Request Date and Time


When you click the button to create the QuickBooks custom fields to hold this information, QuickBooks must be in single-mode.  Check your QB version to determine its limit on the number of custom fields.

In addition to specifying the information to transfer, you should also setup the QB invoice template to display and print the selected fields.  You can access your template from the top List menu, then Templates.   The layout designer also allows you to place the fields where you would like to have them on the invoice. The designer is easy to use with extra guidance available from the QB Help system. 

 If creating QB purchase orders from DQB cases, you can also go to DQB Options/Purchase Order Settings/Custom Fields and follow the above pattern.

If you have further questions…

You can contact the support team at Mainstreet Systems at:

Voice :            215-256-4535

Fax:                215-256-1594


Skype:            mainstreet-systems

Web:      or



Friday, October 10, 2014

Dental Lab Software Topics

The articles we have included in this blog have come from educational articles written for the dental lab trade journals and from white papers for guidance on DentaLab for QuickBooks (DQB).  


The blog can be viewed from our older website  under Support/Knowledge Base or our new website under Blogs.  You can also access it directly with this link:


The blog provides an index to the right based on the date the topic was first published.  Here are the topics:


An Overview of DentaLab for QuickBooks                                2013

Artistic, Creative, Custom, Elite, Precision, Quality                   2012

Custom Fields in DentaLab for QuickBooks                              2014


DQB Coordinating the Desktop and the Cloud                          2013

DQB Dental Lab Case Scheduling                                             2011

DQB Image Supplement                                                            2014

DQB Understanding Price Levels                                              2014


Patient Safety Compliance for Dental Labs                                2012

QuickBooks Synchronization vs. Integration                              2011

Smart Pointers (to select software for your dental lab)              2014


Surmounting the Rx Scrawl                                                       2013

Surrounding Yourself with Good People                                   2012


We invite you to add your suggestions for further educational topics and to leave constructive comments on any of the above topics. 


Mainstreet Systems & Software Support Team

Voice :            215-256-4535          Fax:    215-256-1594


Skype:            mainstreet-systems




DQB Image Supplement


The Image Supplement to DentaLab for QuickBooks provides for capturing and storing images of the prescription, photos, diagrams, and other documents associated with a case. The image(s) stored for a case can be easily retrieved whenever needed by the same criteria as cases.  You may store multiple images for each case. 

This feature can provide great benefits in a number of ways:

·       time and expense for filing and retrieval
·         prevent  loss of vital documents due to misfiling or catastrophe

·       greatly reduce physical space requirements

·         easily make electronic or printed copies for archival or requests

Images in JPEG format can be obtained in one or more of these ways:

1.   WIA or Twain-compatible scanner, flatbed  or automatic feed

2.   USB camera or webcam

3.   Electronic transmission sent by the dental offices

Documents can be in a variety of industry-standard electronic formats.

Hardware Requirements

Scanner:  Installation of a WIA or Twain-compatible scanner capable of capturing JPEG formats with availability to the case entry station. The JPEG graphics format is a widely used format for compressed images for high quality image resolution.

Various scanner types are available from a number of vendors with a variety of speed, image quality, scanning mechanisms and other features.  With WIA compatibility, you can preserve your settings to achieve speedy one-click scanning.

Camera:   USB camera or webcam,  capable of capturing JPEG format.  The IPEVO Point 2 View was used in the development of the camera feature due its affordability and  features.

Electronic transmission:  For communication from and to the dental offices,  a broadband internet connection will be needed.

Licensing  Requirements

The Image Supplement can be licensed as an addition to the DentaLab for QuickBooks Standard/Enterprise versions.  It is not available for the Starter version. 

Capture and Retrieval of Images

Once licensed, In Case Entry there will be a separate tab called Images. Click this to enter the screen for the images.  Here you will be able to:

·      scan case documents such as the prescription, work ticket charts, photographs

·      capture photographs with a camera or webcam such as impressions, completed cases

·        browse to locate images sent by the dental offices

·      view, edit,  crop, delete,or print already captured images

·        adjust  settings such as brightness, resolution  

For Scanning In Options/Settings/Case Settings/Images tab, you can specify:

Page margins to use when printing images (entry) hundredths of an inch. If this is set on (checked), the program will use the specified margins when printing the images;  if off, no setting will be applied so the default value will be used. This option is saved locally on each client station and therefore applies only to that client station.

Scanner Setupthis will be for the selected scanner

Auto CropWith WIA compatibility, you will be able to select scanning options such as brightness, resolution, color, whether to scan from a flatbed or document feeder, auto- cropping, and then preserve your settings. The default or preserved scanning form automatically displays. (This will vary depending on which scanner model is chosen).

If you wish to use Twain rather than WIA, you can check the indicator on to use the previous scanning method.   

The typical steps in scanning an image are:

1.   Place the document on the scanner and click Scan Image at the bottom right.

2.   A Select Source box will pop up listing any available scanners. Highlight the appropriate scanner and click Select.

3.   Now click Scan and the image will automatically display.

4.   The image will be named with the case number plus and underline character and the image sequence with a .JPG extension, e.g. 3045_1.JPG for case 3045, first image, JPEG format.

5.  The  image will be stored in:
Program Files\Mainstreet\DentaLab for QuickBooks in the DQBData\Scans

 Capturing  Photographs

Working with a USB camera or webcam, you can select the device and set its resolutions, then click Start Camera.  The image in focus will be shown on the screen, you can adjust this as needed.

When ready,  click Save Image

The naming convention and location will be the same as described above for scanning. 

Additional Actions

Once the image is stored and associated with the case, you can click the Images tab to perform additional actions.

To View/Edit, double click the appropriate thumbnail image to enlarge it. You can also select  from the toolbar icons to Print, Enlarge +, Decrease -, Fit to Screen, or show the Actual Size.  The program will automatically determine whether to print in portrait or landscape mode, based on the width and height of the image.

To Delete, right-click on the image and choose Delete or select the image and click the Delete icon at the top of the screen.

To Crop a selected  image, use your mouse/pointer to draw a box around  the area you want to retain, then click Crop. When ready, click Save.  You can choose to retain or delete the original image.

Document Center

 If you have additional documents associated with a case that do not meet the
formatting requirements of the Image Supplement described above, these can be stored in the Document Center, available from the Documents tab in Case Entry..

This feature can provide great savings in time for filing and retrieval, prevent loss of vital documents due to misfiling or catastrophe, and greatly reduce physical space requirements.

In the Windows/Tools/Folder Options/File Types folder, there are the industry-standard extensions for the more commonly used formats such as .XLS for Excel, .DOC for Word documents. If the document you are adding to the document center has an extension not already in this folder, you may add it with its identification. Access to this folder can be found in the top toolbar of Windows, beginning with Tools.

Backup and  Restoration of Images

You will need to add the DQBData\Scans folder described above to your daily backup procedures. You can restore either the entire folder or individual images as needed. 

Import/Export of Images

The .JPG format is widely used, allowing the images to be used by a variety of graphics software systems. Individual images can also be sent as email attachments or copied to computer media such as zipdisks, CD's and removable disks.

You can add to each case images received from other sources such as email attachments or CD's provided they use the JPEG (extension .JPG) format.  Use the Browse button to locate the image(s) that are stored on your disk or other media and then add these to the set for the case.  Note that you can browse and select multiple images at the same time.

When you save these with the case, the system will automatically name them in the same convention used for images captured by a scanner or camera

Government Compliance

Government laws concerning the duration and physical requirements for paper prescriptions with the completed work tickets and store them by date. Should retrieval of the paper document become necessary, the case records can provide the appropriate date.

The number of government bodes accepting electronic facsimiles of paper documents continues to increase.




Friday, August 22, 2014

Smart pointers to select software for your dental lab

Over our years in providing software for dental laboratories, we have noted the ways dental labs have selected their software.   Some have been wise, others less so.  We have seen some labs go through as many as six different systems while others have been able to stick with their choice over the years through many transitions in technology and business practices.  If you would like to be one of the smart ones, here are some pointers for you.

Develop your list

Begin by developing a list of the criteria, your requirements, wishes, limitations for your system.  Be prepared to change and enhance as you continue through the rest of these pointers. You may want to set up a spreadsheet to make your comparisons.

Do your research

Take the time to do your research.   Use your trade journals and the internet search engines to find the software designed for the special needs of this industry.  Take the time to review the offerings, determine which of these might serve your criteria, then talk to each provider.  This should narrow your list of possibilities. If an interactive webinar is available, use this to preview the features of the system.  Ideally, if it looks like a good possibility, the next ideal step is to move on to a demo or trial version to actually work with it over a number of days.

Review the basics

Working with your list, review whether the features of each of the software possibilities meets or exceeds your basic requirements. The ideal is standard software that covers the needs of the industry at an affordable price but allows for growth and customization whenever needed. 

Special features

If there are special features you would like to have now or in the future, determine whether customization will be available or whether you will have to make do with a standard system. Note that customization can be performed on multiple levels:

1)    Through options, preferences, choices built into the software

2)    Customization of forms and reports with a reporting tool

3)    Enhancements to the standard system based on your suggestions and requests

4)    Special features or unique business practices that require custom programming

 Will it keep pace with technology, compliance, security?

Does the software provider have a commitment to keep pace with technology, compliance and security both in the lab and with computers?  You only need to look back a short period in  time to recognize that change and progress are inevitable.  Evaluate whether the business practices of the developer provide for funding the dynamic nature of software.  Since we became involved  with software for dental labs, there have been 36 companies who have come and gone, typically because they did not have this commitment. 

Talk to others

Talk to others, if possible seek out those knowledgeable both in dental laboratory production and in computer software, ask the provider for references, but do not rely on these solely.  Labs that have chosen their system primarily on price or by copying the choice of one of their friends tend to be defensive about their selection.  Theirs may not be the best choice or the right choice for you.

Consider your budget vs. benefits

You will, of course, need to consider your budget.  Price has to be a factor, but  take care to evaluate your expenditure over the long term and the benefits it will provide.   Among the benefits to consider are greater speed and accuracy to:

                        Locate cases and case histories

                        Respond to customer requests

                        Comply with government regulations

                        Create accurate billings

                        Resolve issues

                        Spot trends in customer behavior

                        Reduce lost revenue from remakes

                        Measure productivity, costs, sales

                        Handle special preferences

                        Smooth workflow to meet request dates without overtime

                        Enhance customer relationships

 Be sure to protect your information 

 There are a number of ways you will need to protect your information:

                        From unauthorized access

                        Data entry errors

                        To meet HIPPA privacy regulations

                        From being sold without your knowledge

                        From internet hackers and malware

                        To prevent loss due to hardware failure, weather disasters


We have found that some labs think they are too small or insignificant to be a  target for data breach.  This is not true.  The nature of their business, their customer list, credit card numbers—all may be of interest to someone else.

When you are evaluating software, be sure there are substantial and up-to-date measures for protecting your data.  These will include backup and restoration  methods, authorization codes, privacy measures such as encryption, readily  available information and support.

Be particularly careful of software providers that base their fees on your volume of transactions or that have the software to easily be looking at your information for any other purpose.   In addition, be certain you can always access, control and take possession of your own datafiles.


Learn the history and business model of your software provider      

This step involves looking both backward and forward to learn both the history nd the future forecast for those providing your software.  Software is an entity that must be dynamic and responsive to support changes in technology, in compliance, in business trends.  Does the business model of the software developer provide for this, does it have the expertise and experience to do this, does it encourage or discourage adaptation?  Does the software reflect the practices of just one lab or of many labs?

 Are ongoing education and guidance part of the picture or do you have to learn and cope on your own?   Does the company direct most of its resources to selling or does it strike a good balance between developing software, training  and education, and marketing?  If you have a good idea for the software or want to try an innovative concept that needs software support, will this company be responsive to working with you on this?

Does this company want to serve customers of your size and specialty? Has it  shown a commitment to not only providing the initial software but also the modifications and enhancements that will surface in the years ahead?  Does the basic technology it uses provide for these adaptations?            

Software first, then hardware             

The capabilities of software and its ongoing support should be the first consideration, then hardware. Do not make the mistake of first purchasing new  computer equipment and assuming you will find software for it.   If, however, you want to continue to use computer equipment you already have, you will need to review whether your software choice is a match.
There have been a number of advances in the industry that promote greater compatibility between software, hardware and the operating systems that tie the two together.  For example, if software is based on Microsoft Windows, you can still use Apple Macs or run the software over the internet with desktop-as-a- service or remote access services.    

If you want to use special hardware such as barcode readers, cameras, image scanners or tablets, review whether your software choice can accommodate these.
Be discerning

 Be particularly discerning when presented with:

o   Promises that seem too good to be true such as free lifetime support

o   Vaporware—software said to exist and be proven but not yet developed

o   Statements that issues surrounding your system will never arise

o   Software whose chief attribute is cheap

o   Software that is very limited in the name of simplicity

o   Lack of security measures for your information

o   Offerings that do not address future changes and needs

o   Software providers you cannot visit who have only an internet address


If you have further questions…

You can contact the support team at Mainstreet Systems at:

Voice :            215-256-4535          Fax:    215-256-1594


Skype:            mainstreet-systems

Web:       or