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Installation of Open Clinica for a small trial in the intranet of my institution

chrisgchrisg Posts: 3

I'm currently planing a small trial and thinking about an electronic CRF, which would make things easier. OpenClinica is not available yet here and I would like to install it on the Windows server at the institute (working on the intranet only). Having heard from OpenClinica, I think it might well be perfectly suited.

My question: How much time should I take into consideration for installation and maintenance of OpenClinica?
Is it possible to install OpenClinica without much knowledge of Windows servers (but reasonable experience with php/html/sql-db..)?

I would highly appreciate any thoughts on this. Thanks in advance,

Best Answer

  • lindsay.stevenslindsay.stevens Posts: 404 ✭✭✭
    via Email Accepted Answer
    If you've never done it before, it will probably take a few hours to one
    day to install properly for the first time. After that, very little if any
    maintenance is required.

    Some might scoff at this estimate but there are a few things to consider
    which the OpenClinica wiki install instructions don't cover:

    - setting up SSL/TLS on tomcat (mandatory, imo)

    - backup script / scheduled task (pg_dumpall for database, and zip it with
    the tomcat/openclinica.data folder, and move somewhere safe if you don't
    have incremental backup on your server storage) (also mandatory)

    - server firewall rules (443 in for https, 3389 for remote desktop, plus
    any active directory stuff)

    - server monitoring (you can at least use uptimerobot.com, or monitor logs)

    - creating role based local accounts for running each service with least
    privileges (e.g. folder permissions and system rights) for tomcat and
    postgres and the backup job

    - deploy a test instance for development of studies and user training

    - tuning postgres for performance (search for "OpenClinica user Manual
    optimising postgresql")

    Upgrades are relatively simple. The application manages database updates so
    all you have to do is stop tomcat, replace the app files under /webapps and
    start tomcat again.

    It is a good idea to re-do some UAT in test before each upgrade, to make
    sure your study forms etc still behave as desired - occasionally new
    versions have bugs in them.

    Alternatively, don't bother upgrading if you don't need any of the new
    features or bug fixes (I don't think there has ever been a "security


  • chrisgchrisg Posts: 3
    Dear Lindsay,
    thank you for your fast and detailed response that will definitely help me to get started and take some extra considerations on the points mentioned, in particular SSL and optimising postgresql.
    Thanks and kind regards! c
  • kristiakkristiak Posts: 1,339 ✭✭✭
    via Email
    Hi Chris,

    The installation of OpenClinica does not atke more that 30 minutes if you have all the required software available, see the installation manual. If you have an automated backup the maintenance is minimal. Just the user administration takes a little time but not more than an hour a day depending on how many user . The build of the system depends on the study design but for a simple study it does not take more than 2 -7 days.

    Good luck, OpenClinica is a good choice !!

  • kristiakkristiak Posts: 1,339 ✭✭✭
    Reading the excellent detailed advice from Lindsay, don't get discouraged. One you have the server installed and OpenClinica configured it is very straight forward and all of us in the user community are there to help you!!
    Best regards
  • chrisgchrisg Posts: 3
    Thank you also for your answer kristiak!
    Both, your and Lindsay's advice convinced me to pursue the plan of using OpenClinica for our purposes at the hospital. I'll post here about my progress/result of this project and am happy to know that there's an active community to rely on.
    Kind regards, c
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