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HL7 Interface Engines

What do you really look for in an interface engine?

SOA World Magazine

So what do you really look for in an interface engine? There is more to an IE than just being a pass-through of messages.

Some good features of an interface engine –

1) Store and forward capability
2) Auto-acknowledgement
3) Guaranteed message redelivery
4) Rollback and retry capabilities
5) Reliable messaging, Once only delivery
6) Message Ordering, Error-free, Sequential
7) Disconnected Operation
8) Message Logging
9) Message Security
10) Consistent Routing
11) Message Monitoring
12) Exception/Error Escalation
13) Uptime Quantification
14) Persistent Messaging
15) Timely Delivery
16) Failover
17) Fault Tolerance
18) Load Balancing
19) MTTF (Mean time to Repair), MTBF (Mean time between Failure) management
20) Disk I/O performance monitoring
21) Continuous Availability
22) Transaction-aware distribution
23) Loosely coupled asynchronous messaging framework
24) Dead letter / exception mechanism
25) Messaging logging and auditing
26) Message Parallel Processing
27) Exception & Error Handling / Escalation
28) Deployment Infrastructure
29) Message Correlation
30) Message Routing Mechanism
31) Test messaging (ability to check if services are operational)
32) Reliable messaging
33) Store and Forward Configuration
34) Concurrency Management
35) Aggregation Locking Mechanisms
36) Response Timeout Configurations
37) Message Payload Optimizations
38) Conversational Capability
39) Component Failover Management
40) Cache management
41) Database Availability
42) Redundancy
43) Error escalation
44) Protocol independence
45) Adapter extensions
46) Best practices & reference architectures, implementation of enterprise integration patterns

Most of the interface engines range from 50,000 – 150,000$ / CPU license. HL7 IE’s are Vitria Businessware, Interfaceware, eLink, Oracle SOA Suite, Orion Health Rhapsody, Cloverleaf, OPENLink, Sybase e-Biz Impact, ConnectMate, BizTalk etc. Others are generic IE’s where we would need to buy/develop a HL7 adapter which include BEA, Websphere integration, Tibco, WebMethods and Ensemble.

Some IE’s require development licenses as well. Open source HL7 IE’s are SeeBeyond eGate and Mirth. Mirth is a great open source product as a HL7 interface engine used by various government entities.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Julian Jewel

Julian is one of the country's foremost experts in software design, process, and construction. He regularly speaks at major technical conferences. Not only is Julian an expert architect and programmer, he excels at passing his knowledge on to others as both a consultant and educator.

Having worked as a CTO, Julian is also in a unique position to assess and improve both your software and your software-development process. If you're a nontechnical CEO, he can help you bootstrap your startup or analyze (and help you improve) your existing software organization. He regularly does one-on-one CEO and CTO-coaching sessions, and can train individual teams and entire departments on Object-Oriented design/UML, Agile process, and languages.