Setting up a database for GNUmed

Terms which will be frequently used:

Database - a powerful system of storage provided by separate software on which GNUmed relies, and for which GNUmed has been purposely built. We use the free and open-source SQL-database software PostgreSQL, known also as "Postgres". Postgres must be installed on the main machine on which you are going to operate (i.e. store, and make available, and keep safe) the GNUmed backend.

Backend - a term for the specially-prepared area within the database from which the GNUmed client will read its data (e.g. medical records, lab results), and to which the GNUmed client -- as well as fetcher-importer software -- will write data. The backend need not be a single place, nor even necessarily a physical place.

Let's just say Postgres is a large cabinet which can hold one or more "drawers", with each drawer capable of holding charts. One such drawer of charts will be GNUmed's backend. One drawer (one backend) can hold many charts (many files, data records).

So setting up a database here means to configure an already-installed Postgres, so that the GNUmed backend can be installed into it. This makes it possible for the GNUmed client program to store data in a prepared area of the database. Client and database don't have to reside on the same machine, in fact, GNUmed has been tested successfully over WAN links, including via internet and wireless UMTS links from arbitrary locations. Caution, of course, is required when connecting from any untrusted machine or across any untrusted network – see for example WirelessSecurity.

Before you proceed to install a backend for GNUmed, you must install, if necessary, and configure Postgres.
Topic revision: 13 Jan 2009, JamesBusser
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