An Interoperability Test Framework for HL7-Based Systems

Namli T., Aluc G., Dogac A.

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN BIOMEDICINE, vol.13, no.3, pp.389-399, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1109/titb.2009.2016086
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.389-399
  • Keywords: Collaborative eHealth processes, health level seven (HL7), interoperability and conformance testing
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Health Level Seven (HL7) is a prominent messaging standard in the eHealth domain, and with HL7 v2, it addresses only the messaging layer. However, HL7 implementations also deal with the other layers of interoperability, namely the business process layer and the communication layer. This need is addressed in HL7 v3 by providing a number of normative transport specification profiles. Furthermore, there are storyboards describing HL7 v3 message choreographies; between specific roles in specific events. Having alternative transport protocols and descriptive message choreographies introduces great flexibility in implementing HL7 standards, yet, this brings in the need for test frameworks that can accommodate different protocols and permit the dynamic definition of test scenarios. In this paper, we describe a complete test execution framework for HL7-based systems that provides high-level constructs allowing dynamic set up of test scenarios involving all the layers in the interoperability stack. The computer-interpretable test description language developed offers a configurable system with pluggable adaptors. The Web-based GUIs make it possible to test systems over the Web anytime, anywhere, and with any party willing to do so.