In this module you will learn how you can get the best out of Simplifier. It will give you a general introduction to the process of creating a project, editing your work using the Simplifier-Forge integration, and publishing & validating your work on the Simplifier registry.
The topics covered in this module are:
Simplifier.net is a collaboration platform for developers, designers, architects and product managers.
Many people are working on interoperability projects worldwide. One of the problems with interoperability, however, is the amount of variance between similar solutions that were approached from different viewpoints. The motivation to create Simplifier.net was to enhance interoperability in the following ways:
FHIR is profiling. The FHIR standard creates a common foundation that supports many different contexts in healthcare. This foundation is very broad and may not be suitable enough for your project. Therefore the specification usually requires further adaptation to particular contexts of use.
In order to adopt and use FHIR, you will most likely use profiles specific enough for your project. As FHIR is picking up in speed and is increasingly being implemented, the number of FHIR profiles that have been created or that are needed is increasing. So we need to ensure that we can still find what we need and we won’t end up searching for a needle in a haystack. Simplifier.net is created as a registry for all FHIR profiles used in adaptions of FHIR. This is aimed to help prevent reinventing FHIR profiles by enabling the discovery of existing profiles.
On the other hand, as an author you may want to make your own work visible to others, so it can be explored, reviewed or implemented. On Simplifier.net you can edit and publish Implementation Guides and upload your profiles to make sure everyone can find and use your profiles.
And that’s what Simplifier enables. To find and be found!
One of the goals of creating Simplifier.net was to facilitate collaboration by creating a collaboration platform for developers, designers, architects and product managers. Simplifier.net has now become the most obvious place to start your FHIR project. Create Simplifier projects and start sharing your resources in a human readable format, such as a structured tree or a table. Edit them directly from Simplifier or use the Simplifier-Forge integration. Create and publish Implementation Guides. Link your projects to a GitHub repository for optimal collaboration and synchronization. Use the issue tracker to discuss your work with your team members or enable issue tracking for the community to discuss it with anyone from the FHIR community.
A common problem that profile authors face is how to deal with the versioning of profiles. Profiles often contain constrained references to other profiles used in the same use case (for example hospital X has profiled the Patient resource and wants to constrain all references to Patient in their other profiles to their specific Patient profile). This means that if a breaking change in the Patient profile leads to a new version, all references to this profile need to be updated and all updated profiles need to be (re)published at once as a batch. Simplifier.net aims to offer solutions that help to address versioning problems of profiles. For example, Simplifier.net allows you to compare different versions of resources and roll back to an older version, or to (re)publish a set of resources at once.
On top of that, Simplifier.net offers beta functionality to handle packages and dependencies. This functionality allows you to create and publish packages based on your project resources, which can be immediately installed and used by people who want to use your profiles. You can use a NPM client to connect to the fully working, NPM compatible, Simplifier FHIR package server. Another option is to use our cross platform FHIR command line tool Torinox, which allows you to use packages for validation, snapshot generation and creating your own profile projects with package dependencies.
Last but not least, it is important to validate your work to save you the time of running into errors later. Simplifier.net is linked to the .NET API making it possible to validate all your uploaded resources directly against the API ensuring that you produce valid resources. Simplifier.net supports both conformance resource validation and instance validation against the core specification or your own profile. To ensure valid implementations of your profiles you can also upload examples, which will automatically be listed under the relevant profiles. Finally, Simplifier.net offers a tool called Snippet that can be used to quickly upload and share a piece of XML or JSON code. You can also validate your code using Snippet, although this is not required.
In this chapter we'll explain the basics of Simplifier and how it can be used to obtain the goals we described above: 1. how to search the registry (to find and be found), 2. the process of working on projects together (collaboration platform), 3. versioning and 4. verification and validation. As the primary goal of Simplifier.net is to enhance interoperability, the most important features of Simplifier.net are freely available to everyone. Advanced features that, for example, facilitate better collaboration are part of the paid account plans. This also includes support by our FHIR support engineers.
You can search for existing projects and FHIR resources in one of the following ways:
The search box at the top of the Simplifier homepage enables you to browse through all publicly available organizations, resources and/or projects on Simplifier.
The search results can be filtered on FHIR version (DSTU2 or STU3), resource category (e.g. profile or value set), status (e.g. draft or active), scope (e.g. national project or test project) and (in the case of a national project) nationality.
From the homepage it is also possible to select a country on the world map to limit your results to organizations, resources and/or projects from this specific country.
The search results of Simplifier.net are RESTful, which means that you can share the exact search by sharing the URL. The person receiving this URL will obtain the search results just as you have filtered them.
The FHIR registry enables you to search for published FHIR resources created for STU3 in International, National, Institute or Regional projects on Simplifier.net. Test projects are excluded. The aim of this registry is to encourage re-use of profiles and extensions by providing a centralised search location for all of them. The registry supports free-text search as well as the following parameters:
Sharing your work on Simplifier always starts by creating a project. All work that is published on Simplifier (profiles, resources, implementation guides etc.) is organized into projects. Projects are a way to group your similar work together by keeping all related material in the together. Start creating projects on Simplifier to collaborate with team members and share your work with the community. By default each project is public as we highly encourage transparency, but you do have the option to make your project private. You can create both DSTU2 and STU3 projects. The scope of your project relates to whether it is a test project or a project at an organization, regional, national or international level.
Each project starts with an Introduction. To increase the understanding and clarity about what you are working on within you project, we highly recommend adding a short descriptive text. This makes it clear to other users what your scope is, what is contained in the project, and how it will be used. Now you're ready to start uploading your resources. There are different ways to do so, which will be explained later.
To learn more about Simplifier projects, please go to our Simplifier documentation page or watch one of our feature movies on this topic:
Connect your resources to any online FHIR tool. Forge, our FHIR profile editor, is tightly integrated with Simplifier.net. Public FHIR endpoints for resources enable FHIR integration with other systems. Forge provides the following options for importing and exporting resources.
|Import from Simplifier.net||Import resources from one of your Simplifier projects and edit them in Forge.|
|Import from FHIR server||Import resources published on another FHIR server that you have access to and edit them in Forge.|
|Publish to Simplifier.net||Publish resources that you created or edited in Forge to one of your Simplifier projects.|
|Publish to FHIR server||Publish resources that you created or edited in Forge to another FHIR server that you have access to.|
To learn more about the Simplifier-Forge integration please watch our feature movie on this topic.
There are a couple of options that you can choose to publish your resources to your project:
.xmlfile containing a single resource or a bundle of resources. You can also upload a
.zipfile to upload multiple
.xmlfiles at once
If you add a batch of resources (via a bundle, a zip, or a search query), you can choose how to publish the resources that are part of the batch. The following options are available:
When all your work is finished you can also use Simplifier to create your Implementation Guide. Learn more about implementation guides and publishing your work in our module called Publishing and validating your work.
With the issue tracker you can create new issues, comment on them and close them when they are resolved. In the project settings you can either choose to make the issue tracker available for other Simplifier users or your project members only, depending on whether you want to obtain feedback from others in the FHIR community.
Simplifier keeps track of the history of your project and resources. In the
Log tab of your project you can find the activity log. In the History tab of your resource you can find the version history of your resource. You can compare versions and roll back to an older version.
Simplifier allows you to create and publish packages based on your project resources. Visit the
Packages tab and click
Create to create a new package or create a new version of an existing package. The
Packages tab shows an overview of all released packages of a project. Click on a package to view install instructions (using either Torinox or NPM), release notes, dependencies, history and content. Click the
Download button to download the package.
To add dependencies to your project, visit the
Dependencies tab. Click
Edit to edit the JSON code for maintaining your dependencies or click
Manage to browse Simplifier for existing packages and add them to your project.
Validate button on the top right corner of your resource page to validate it against the .NET API. You may either validate it against your own profile or the core specification. Go to https://simplifier.net/snippet to quickly share a piece of XML or JSON code with others. You may also use this tool or the stand-alone validate tool to directly validate your code. Here below is an example of a Validation Result using the
Validate button on Simplifier.
To learn more about the Snippet tool, please watch the Snippet feature movie.
This was just a basic introduction to Simplifier. Other features of Simplifier that we did not yet discuss are Implementation Guide editing and publication, custom workflows support and issue management, user management, private projects, GitHub integration and many more. Follow the module Publishing and validating your work if you are interested in editing Implementation Guides. If you want to learn more about Simplifier, please visit our Simplifier documentation page or contact us. More information on features and account plans can be found on our features and pricing pages.
Here below are examples of Simplifier projects of our customers.
Nictiz is the centre of expertise for standardization and eHealth in The Netherlands. HL7 Netherlands core and MedMij profiles are published on Simplifier. MedMij is a national project that aims to give Dutch citizens integrated access to all their health data in one personal health environment. FHIR is used as a standard to exchange health information between the involved parties. The profiles are based on standardized clinical building blocks called Health and Care Information Models (HCIM). The example below shows the public national STU3 Simplifier project that Nictiz set up to publish their resources.
On the Introduction page of the project there's a clear description of the project. The Introduction page also shows the number of resources in the project by resource type, a list of the most visited resources, the canonical base URLs used in the project and an overview of the possible statuses. From this page you can quickly filter the project's resources on resource type or directly visit one of the most popular resources. The statuses in this project are customized (and mapped to a FHIR status). This is a paid feature of Simplifier.
The Nictiz project is linked to the master branch of the Nictiz STU3 GitHub repository, so all changes in this project are automatically synchronized and published on Simplifier. The issue tracker of the project is not visible as community issues are not enabled.
To share our Profiling Academy we also set up a public Simplifier project with an International scope. Below you see the Introduction page of the project on Simplifier.
In the Introduction we provided a description of the goal of the project and a more detailed description of the Profiling Academy itself. At the left you see that this project contains the following type of resources: images, implementation guides, stylesheets and texts. These resources are all part of the Profiling Academy as it was built using the IG-editor.
We did not link this project to Github as all of our team members edit the IG directly in Simplifier using the IG-editer. Note that the
Issues tab is visible in this project as we did enable community issues. So if you have any feedback for us, please don't hesitate to add your comments in the Issue Tracker!
In this exercise you will set up a Simplifier project and publish profile(s) to your project from Forge. You will learn how you can optimally benefit from using Simplifier by using the Issue Tracker, version history, validation and GitHub integration. You will also learn how to browse the HL7 FHIR registry. Start by reading the case description. Here below are a couple of links that you may find useful during this exercise:
Test. Note that would this have been a real-life project
Regionalwould have been a better option.
Memberstab. Add your team members by their e-mail address and select their desired role (reader, writer or admin).
In this exercise you can use (one of) the profiles that you created in other modules (e.g. the Patient profile you created in the Start Profiling module or the FamilyMemberHistory profile you created in the Terminology module). You can also build a new profile yourself or use an existing one from another source.
Filemenu and selecting the option
Publish to Simplifier.
Issues Visibilityto Public to make them visible to other users of Simplifier. Note that they need to be logged in to see them. They can now comment on your issues, but they can't add new issues.
Community Issuesto public to allow other users of Simplifier to add new issues. Note that they can edit or close their own issues, but they can only comment on issues of others. As an admin member of the project you can edit or close all issues.
Issuestab and create a New issue, for example: "This resource needs review".
Updatebutton and selecting
Edit: Update by editing the last version. Add some additional text in the narrative.
Historytab and compare the two versions of the profile that you now have. Try out different options for comparison, such as
Downloadbutton and selecting
Copy to clipboard as XML.
Snippetbutton at the top right of the page.
GitHubbutton and selecting
Link to GitHub Repository.
Delete strategy. By default resources that are deleted in your GitHub repository will also be deleted in your Simplifier project, but you can also choose to keep them in Simplifier.
Import fail strategy. By default resource that can't be imported are skipped, but you can also choose to abort the entire synchronization.
We are always looking for ways to improve our products. The Profiling Academy was built using our own IG-editor in Simplifier. If you have any feedback on this module or on our Profiling Academy in general, please leave a comment in the Issue Tracker of the project.
Follow one of our predefined or tailor-made courses. We will make sure you know FHIR inside-out.
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