ECLIPSE, SQL & ODBC: Under the Hood

2020 Update: ECLIPSE now includes custom statement design software with  Client/Server versions.

From 1985 through 1999, ECLIPSE had a proprietary database – designed by me. Performance was as much as 1000 times faster than competitive products. (I received research credit for some of these innovations as part of my graduate studies in computer science.) Of course, there were trade-offs…

So, 15 years later, in 2000, we moved to a widely used, well-documented, commercial database vendor that specialized in high-performance systems. The new database added a new twist – it was SQLODBC compliant, which provided an immediate advantage to clients. Today, companies from across (and outside) the United States have used SQL & ODBC to customize ECLIPSE, and some have released  their own complementary products to handle electronic sign-in, allow patients to schedule their own appointments, interact with social media, etc.

With an inexpensive ODBC driver (or a Server based version of ECLIPSE with SQL), you can create customized reports, databases and screens to link to and access your ECLIPSE data without waiting for us to fit your needs to our agenda (which is affected by thousands of offices)…  We try to handle “macro” issues – issues that affect all clients (e.g. Meaningful Use certification). ODBC allows you to handle your own “micro” issues – issues more likely to be specific to your office.

For example, one of the unfortunate things I’ve learned after more than two decades handling thousands of clients is that, when it comes to bills & statements, it’s rare that I can find three offices that agree with one another on the perfect statement. In fact, each office’s concept of “acceptable” seems to vary widely. SQL & ODBC allow you (if you’re a “power user” or a professional programmer) to create custom statements and reports with nothing from us but a set of specifications. You can even use off-the-shelf products such as Crystal Reports to interact with most ECLIPSE data. Companies that specialize in creating reports for ECLIPSE can usually be found by contacting the HELP Desk.

Among other things, this also means that terms like obsolescence don’t need to enter your vocabulary. (How many of your colleagues have replaced obsolete software over the past 25 years?). An open database means you can add features or port the entire database without worrying about the integrity of your data. And most data — including financial data that relates to the entire practice — can be directly accessed from programs that have an ODBC interface. Finally, a SQL/ODBC  interface means you interact directly with ECLIPSE data in real time — which is why 3rd parties prefer it.

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