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HL7 Messaging Architecture

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MessageCommunicationsControl subject area

Glossary definition: the definition of transmission oriented functions (at all layers of the ISO-OSI stack) which allow Interactions (e.g. Messages, Batches) to be exchanged. These functions are supported by the classes as defined in the MessageCommunicationsControl subject area of the RIM.


HL7 has defined a rich set of transmission oriented functions within the HL7 standards scope to deal with the fact that there is no de facto way of providing these functions in a single standard that could be adopted. Standards such as Webservices or ebXML provide similar functionality, whereas MLLP or FTP do not.

There are three architectural approaches to conveying the HL7 static model artefacts:

  1. HL7 Messaging Architecture
  2. Services Oriented Architecture
    1. Defining “the whole stack” in HL7 may still be necessary for MLLP, but probably not for Service Oriented Architectures (SOA, for discussion, see SOA versus Message Transmission).
  3. Clinical Document Architecture