Database 101-6: What does Page Life Expectancy (PLE) do to your database?

Database 101-6: What does Page Life Expectancy (PLE) do to your database?

So how can you tell if you’re giving SQL a big enough “desk”? There are different metrics around memory usage that can help you figure that out, but the most common one is called Page Life Expectancy. 

Database 101-4: Why should you care about Index Maintenance?

By Rick Magill

A continuation of the blog post Database 101-3: What is Index Maintenance?

In our last post, we said why it is extremely important to perform routine Index maintenance for your SQL databases. I thought we’d walk through a few cautionary tales of how not maintaining these indexes can impact your pharmacy. (Spoiler alert: all are less than ideal situations for your staff and customers!)

Database Best Practices

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·       Run daily / weekly Index Defragmentation

·       Ensure proper backups / disaster recovery

·       Install appropriate database integrity checks


What happens when the above isn’t executed? Here are some real-world issues that have been called in to SoftWriters, and how each situation resulted.


Issue: Over the last few months our system has slowed down.


Discovery: There was no blocking on the SQL server. Ran an index fragmentation script. Over 100 indexes were over 80% fragmented.

Solution: Ran index maintenance overnight.

Results: Improved performance speeds achieved.

Best Practice: Run index maintenance at least once per week.


Issue: No one can log in. It shows an error about something missing?!

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Discovery: FrameworkLTC error that a stored procedure was missing. SQL was missing the entire FWDB; other databases were in a state of disarray. Ticketing system showed a recent upgrade from an older version that required a database migration. IT at the pharmacy had reverted from a backup of virtual machine that was mid-migration. SQL backups were being run daily, but were left on the virtual machine.

Solution: Restored the databases.

Results: The pharmacy lost three weeks of data.

Best Practice: Establish more efficient disaster recovery procedures like moving backups offsite for disaster recovery.


Issue: Complete pharmacy down!

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Discovery: All users were receiving the same error. Upon checking SQL, “FWDB (Suspect)” = Data corruption

Solution: Ran index maintenance overnight

Results: Restored the database

Best Practice: Follow better database maintenance procedures such as running index maintenance at least once per week.


Rick Magill is a Solutions Consultant at SoftWriters, a Pittsburgh-based company that offers pharmacy management software solutions to pharmacies serving the long-term care community. Rick is an integral part of our customers’ success with his forward thinking and commitment to excellence.


Database 101-1: Tables and Indexes

Database 101-1: Tables and Indexes

Ryan Huber and Rick Magill presented “Database Optimization and Performance Improvements” as a breakout session at our conference last month, and due to it’s popularity we’re sharing it as a series of blog posts. This post covers tables and indexes.

The Impact of Disruptive Technology

 Shan Bhide, Vp of Technology, SoftWriters

Shan Bhide, Vp of Technology, SoftWriters


Our very own Shan Bhide, VP of Technology, was interviewed by ComputerTalk last month. He talked about how software development requires innovation and creativity, and the disruptive technologies that could transform pharmacy practice.

Read the full ComputerTalk interview at

Making software, in my mind, is more of an art than a science. It takes so many different things, like teamwork, collaboration, thinking outside the box, and creativity, to build an amazing software solution.
— Shan Bhide, VP of Technology at SoftWriters, in an interview with ComputerTalk's Maggie Lockwood

A Summer Intern's Experience At SoftWriters

A Summer Intern's Experience At SoftWriters

SoftWriters is excited for the opportunity to bring interns into our organization. The internship program allows students to use their knowledge in a real-world environment and we welcome the fresh and relevant perspective they bring to collaboration and project design.

Read Nick Hutchison’s experience interning with SoftWriters technology team!

FrameworkLTC Suite of Products: August Release Is Now Available

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The release notes and software are available on the Customer Engagement Zone (CEZ). Join us September 5, 2:00 p.m. EST for the FWLTC Release Notes Webinar. We will review these updates with a special focus on the Prospective Billing functionality. If you are not yet registered for the webinar series, the link is available on the CEZ under SUPPORT > WEBINARS.

Quality First!: Known Issues and Limitations (KIL) Document

Quality First!: Known Issues and Limitations (KIL) Document

In an ongoing effort to be proactive, transparent and forthcoming with errors, observations, issues and limitations related to FrameworkLTC software suite, SoftWriters has started publishing  Known Issues and Limitations document  (KIL) on the Customer Engagement Zone.

How Will Emerging Technology Trends Transform Long Term Care?

How Will Emerging Technology Trends Transform Long Term Care?

Our team recently presented some bold and exciting technology predictions that are likely to accelerate the digital transformation across the LTC industry at the 15th Annual MHA Business Summit. Here is a quick recap of their presentation, highlight reel included! 


SoftWriters Moves to a Quarterly Release Schedule

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As FrameworkLTC is evolving into an enterprise-level clinical platform, it continues to offer end-to-end support for the majority of LTC pharmacy workflows. In order to deliver a stable and robust software upgrade and migration experience on enterprise scale to our customers, SoftWriters is moving towards a quarterly release cadence beginning Q1 2018. The first quarterly release is planned to be generally available by end of March 2018. This move fits very well with the overwhelming support that was shown by our customers during the 2017 Softwriters User Conference last year.

Cross Functional Rapid Response Teams Implement the Enhanced Development Request (DR) Triage Process at SoftWriters, Inc.

Cross Functional Rapid Response Teams Implement the Enhanced Development Request (DR) Triage Process at SoftWriters, Inc.

More than just a catchy title, these Rapid Response Teams have been formed to review, investigate and triage the current queue of DR’s and to expedite the process for the future.