What is PPS Sync Server?
PPS Sync Server is an additional PPS application that synchronises data between two or more separate PPS systems. Each syncing PPS system will host its own Sync Server which will upload changes from its respective system and download those made on the others.
There are various scenarios in which your PPS system may require Sync Server including the following:
- You are a PPS Local system and you need to share data with other Local systems, perhaps in the locations of your other clinics.
- You are a PPS Local user who synchronises with an Express, Online Booking, or backup system hosted on our servers.
Note: You will only host, access, and control sync server for any systems you have that are locally hosted. All Hosted, Express and Online Booking sync servers are hosted on our servers.
Sync server needs to be running and connected to the internet in order to operate and upload/download transactions for its respective system. If you are not running sync server or if you are not connected to the internet then it will simply catch up on all changes the next time it's able to run successfully.
Important: PPS Sync Server uses a transaction database and will only be able to upload changes from a system once. As such, it cannot be used or relied upon to backup or restore your PPS systems.
Using PPS Sync Server
PPS Sync Server can only be run from one machine per PPS system. Running PPS from more than one location can cause splits in your PPS data and even data loss. To prevent these issues sync server is locked to a single machine and you will be unable to run it from anywhere else.
If you're moving PPS Sync Server and/or your PPS database then you'll need to contact our support team to have sync server unlocked so that it can run from the new location. Find details of this here.
In most cases, PPS Local users will find that Sync Server runs from their main database location, though some users opt to host it on a workstation machine making it more readily accessible. See further on in the guide for details on running PPS Sync Server on a machine other than that which host your main PPS database.
Launching Sync Server
If Sync Server is hosted on a machine that is regularly powered on and off you may want to look into adding it to your Startup programs so that it is automatically launched with each Windows startup.
Sync server needs to be running in order to keep your system and those you sync with up to date. If you log into PPS on the Sync Server machine and it is not running you'll get the following pop-up:
Click Yes to launch sync server.
If you do not get this message or want to otherwise launch sync server then you may have a shortcut to do so on your desktop.
Tip: If you do not have a shortcut to launch sync server then you'll need to launch it from the PPSv4.0 folder of the machine sync runs from. This, in many cases, will be located on your C Drive but may be elsewhere. Navigate to the PPS-Database and launch the pps4-sync-server application. You can also Right-Click this file > Send to > Desktop to add a shortcut to your desktop for easier launching in future.
When Sync Server is Running
You can open up sync server and press "Sync Now" to kick off a new sync process. Sync will automatically process by itself at an interval set by you in the Sync Interval field.
With sync server open you can check everything is functioning normally. Click More Details for a more detailed view of sync activity.
Minimise sync using the option in the top corner. Sync will then continue to process in the background. You can open or access it at any time by locating and double-clicking the icon in your system tray in the bottom corner of your screen.
Closing Sync Server
You'll need to close sync server at times, e.g when re-indexing your system. To do this open it up and click the red X in the corner to close. If sync is minimised you can open it on screen from the system tray and then close.
Maintaining Sync Server
As well as maintaining your PPS systems re-indexing is a vital part of keeping your sync server running as intended. Failing to re-index all PPS systems at least once every two weeks can cause issues with data synchronising.
Firewall and Anti-Virus
Updates to your computer protection software may possibly, inadvertently prevent PPS Sync Server from working correctly.
In most cases adding the sync server application to your "trusted" list should resolve this. It's worth consulting your IT support if you're unsure about this.
Sync Server FAQ
My Sync Server says my systems are on different versions.
This message is letting you know that not all PPS systems in your sync family are on the same version. It's important that this is not the case as with new PPS releases there are often changes made to the way data works and is stored. Having systems on different versions means older systems may not be able to adequately display or store data from newer systems. If this message appears then ensure all your PPS systems are up to date and on matching versions as soon as possible. If you sync with a PPS Express or Online Booking system that you do not have access to then email our support team at email@example.com and they can conduct the Hosted update for you.
Sync Server is telling me that it’s not connected to the internet but my connection is fine.
Sync Server may be struggling to confirm it has an internet connection due to anti-virus interference. You can turn off the internet check feature with no interruption to your normal syncing functionality.
In the PPS-Database folder, locate the file “PPS4-Sync-Server.ini”. Open this file in Notepad and then on a new line enter the following text:
Hit Enter on the keyboard to create a new carriage return then save and close the file.
I can't find the Sync Server icon in my System Tray but I know that it is running.
If you cannot stop Sync Server or run a new instance because your computer states that it is already running you can use Task Manager to end the process and restart Sync Server.
Press CTRL+ALT+DELETE on your keyboard and choose Task Manager. From here click on the Processes tab and choose More Details. There will be a process entitled “PPSv4 Sync Server”. Select this and choose End Task. You can then re-launch Sync Server in the usual manner.
Sync Server is stating that it isn't running from the default location.
Sync is designed to run from one location only and is locked to run from a specific PC and User. This is to protect from split databases and potential data loss.
Ensure you're launching sync from its usual machine.
If you've moved PPS sync server or renamed your machine contact our support team via firstname.lastname@example.org to have sync unlocked.
We'll need written confirmation from your registered email address that any changes to your data have been checked and verified and that you've logged into and checked your PPS system. We'll also need you to confirm that Sync Server is running from the correct database location and has not synced since before any changes were made to the data or its location.
Running Sync Server from a machine that is not your main PPS database.
If you wish to run PPS Sync Server from a machine other than the one that hosts your main database then it's important that you follow these steps. Failure to do so could cause your PPS data to sync to the wrong location and split your database.
a. Sync will need to be installed on your main database machine within your main PPS database. Click here to download Sync Server or access the link from our Downloads page.
b. You'll then also need to install sync server on the machine you want to run sync server on. This machine will need to be connected to your main database over the local network. If you have an existing PPSv4.0 folder on that machine then you can install sync server to that location.
c. Once this is done you'll need to create a shortcut to the pps4-sync-server application in the PPS-Database folder on the main database machine. Then, transfer this shortcut to the machine you'll be running sync server on. You can use it to replace the pps4-sync-server application on that machine as that should not be used. Run sync server on the networked machine using only the shortcut created on the main database.
d. When you come to launch sync server on the networked machine ensure the Database listed is the main database on your network and not pointed to your local drives.
How will I know my sync is working?
We can enable notifications that will send you an email whenever your local PPS sync does not run for one hour during set times of operation. This way, you can always ensure your systems are up to date. To set these up email email@example.com with the below information:
- The registration number of the system we're setting notifications up for.
- The email address these notifications should be sent to.
- The days of the week (e.g Mon-Fri) you want to know if sync isn't running
- The hours of operation on these days you'll want to know when sync isn't running. Please note, we cannot set particular running hours per day, this will apply to all days of operation.