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A Better Way to Start Amicas RadSuite PACS - Part 1

posted Jan 29, 2010, 11:07 AM by Matt Granger   [ updated Jan 29, 2010, 7:02 PM ]
     I'm starting a multi-part article describing better ways to start Amicas' RadSuite PACS (formerly Emageon's Ultravisual or Advanced Visualization).  In the Programs section of this site I describe PI (PACS Installer) that creates desktop shortcuts to launch PACS.  PI didn't work out so well because I didn't write it so you could create the customized version yourself.  So let's change all that.  I've decided to walk you through the steps to create your own program to start PACS or install a shortcut to launch PACS.  In the process I'll be introducing you to my favorite program scripting language called AutoIt.  For today, let's start off with the two ways that RadSuite creates shortcuts to start PACS and compare them to the way that I suggest is better.  Then in future blog posts I'll show you how to make my method even better.

Amicas Method #1 - Install a desktop shortcut:

  1. Open a web browser to your RadSuite's IP address
  2. Choose the correct amount of RAM to allocate to PACS form the drop down menu
  3. Install Java if necesary
  4. Click "Save Settings"
  5. Click "Run [EVMS] Advanced Visualization"
  6. When Java prompts you about creating a desktop shortcut, click YES
The shortcut that gets created is to some cached Java files in the logged in user's profile.  You could copy that shortcut to the All Users Desktop, but then you are referrencing a different user's cached Java profile.  If something happens to that user's profile, the shortcut stops working.

Amicas Method #2 - Enterprise Deployment System (EDS) (v5.30+ only)

  1. Download the EDSinstaller.exe file through a web browser by opening a web browser to you RadSuite's IP address and add a "\EDSinstaller.exe" to the URL
  2. Make sure the correct version of Java is first installed (or deployed via whatever software deployment solution your enterprise uses)
  3. Run the EDSinstaller.exe and it will install a service that calculated the memory settings and Java version to use when PACS gets launched via a newly available batch file located at C:\EmageonDeploy\
I don't think this installer actually creates any shortcuts so you must have to do that part yourself, but in my testing I could never get it to work.  Regardless, having a background service running all the time just to perform the tasks of deciding how much memory to use for PACS and which version of Java to launch with seems a little silly.  There is some more info on EDS in the RadSuite online help file.

PACSMatt's Method

  1. What version of java are you using?  Go browse to that folder in C:\Program Files\Java.  I'm currently using 1.5.0_11 so I would go to C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.5.0_11
  2. Find the javaws.exe file.  For Java 1.5 and above it's in the "bin" folder.  For Java 1.4 it is in the (surprise!) "javaws" folder.
  3. Right click on javaws.exe and choose to create a new shortcut.
  4. Go to your RadSuite website described above in "Amicas Method #1" step #5 (setting the memory appropriately first), but don't click on it to run it.
  5. Right click the "Run [EVMS] Advanced Visualization" button and choose whatever option your browser gives you to copy the URL path.
  6. Go back to the javaws shortcut you just created and right click on it and choose "Properties".
  7. At the end of the "Target" line add a space and press CTRL + V to paste down the URL that you copied.  (Add this info to the end of the target line, don't replace it).  The target path should look something like this:
    "C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.5.0_11\bin\javaws.exe"
  8. Click OK and rename the shortcut to something that describes your site's PACS.
  9. Move that shortcut to the All Users Desktop so everyone who uses that box has access to it.
Why is this better? 
  • It doesn't matter if Java gets updated now, your PACS will run with the correct version.
  • This method doesn't use one person's cached Java files for all users.
  • The shortcut still works after PACS upgrades or patches (unlike method #1 most of the time).
  • This method centralizes the Emageon.log and the monitor properties file into the same location as the javaws.exe file.  It's nice not to have those cluttering up the users' desktops (or have them deleting them).
What's still wrong with this way?
  • What if you need to use a newer version of Java?  Whoops!  All your shortcuts are referencing the old version.
  • What if your PC's memory gets upgraded?  As it stands you are locked into a certain RAM setting with this method.
  • What if your PACS URL is different on your LAN vs. your WAN?  If you want one shortcut that will launch PACS regardless of the network you are on the above method won't work.

...and more, but we'll dive into cool ways of fixing all these issues in Part 2 and I'll start showing you how to write some scripts that automate this process.   Until then, test this out and see how it works for you.