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Template:SAIF Generic IM Technology

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Generic Artifact Technology content for SAIF Information models.
         Only the content appearing below in black font will appear in the inclusion.
These elements are intended to appear under the following section:

Artifact Technology

The primary distribution technology for this model SHALL be in a file that conforms to the HL7 Model Interchange Format (MIF).

"Ideal" model creation tool for this artifact

Would be a UML Modeling tool that has been customized to:

  1. Capture and represent the HL7-defined properties that are applicable to this model
  2. Able to "read" and "write" the content in MIF format
    1. Including the graphic layout of the model
  3. Able to define and document:
    1. Entry Points
    2. Common model (CMET) references
    3. Other model references, and
    4. "Stub" classes
  4. Able to enforce derivation constraints on the model using the RIM and Vocabulary Model (from MIF files) to configure these constraints dynamically
  5. Able to configure the tool user interface using the RIM, Vocabulary Model and InterfacePackage (CMET file), provided as MIF files) to provide selections that are proper constraints and/or content from, these key derivation sources.
  6. Able to represent the graphic expressing on model classes using the HL7 Static Model BNF Grammar

Current (April 2011) model creation tool for this artifact

HL7 RMIM Designer in Visio accomplishes all of the functions listed above, except 2., 2.1 and 3.3. This tool is:

  • Written in Microsoft Visio VBA (releases 2002, 2003, 2007, or 2010)
  • Has configurable editors - Clone [class] Editor, Vocabulary Selection pane, and CMET Selector - all of which
    • Get RIM configuration from a Design Repository via RoseTree DLLs
    • Get Vocabulary configuration from a Vocabulary "core MIF" file via RoseTree DLLs
    • Get data types content and constraints from an RMIM Designer-specific text file
    • Get Interface Package contents from an RMIM Designer-specific text file
  • Saves primary content in dual files as:
    • Using Visio "VSD" files as the Visio-readable source and as the primary graphic storage
    • Using an HL7-defined XML file of all content and annotations that includes all data needed to create a MIF representation.
  • Has VBA functions to extract the graphic data as PNG files and a corresponding "mapped overlay" to provide "clickable graphics" that link to textual renderings of the model
  • Requires support functions from the V3 Generator to:
    • Create a MIF "output" file that includes graphic data (starting with the XML output from the RMIM Designer), and
    • Produce "table views" of the data to which the mapped overlays link.


This information model artifact has several primary characteristics that act as requirements for the selected technology. These characteristics are:

  • The model is a UML Class model with extensions to UML to represent:
    • New shapes to represent Entry Points, Interfaces and stubs
    • HL7-defined properties for many elements
  • The model must be distributed as a machine-processable model represented in the HL7 Model Interchange Format (MIF) in support of:
    • Using any particular model artifact as the "derived from" source for another model;
    • Support V3 Generator process that creates schemas for HL7 V3 specifications
    • Support V3 Publishing and Normative Edition packaging processes
  • The model must be derived from a predecessor model whose ultimate derivation source is the Reference Information Model (RIM)
  • The model must declare bindings to:
    • A Data Types Model to which its attributes are bound
    • A Vocabulary Model to define the terminology bindings for its encoded attributes
    • An Interface Package from which its interfaces are drawn
  • Within the model the textual representation for properties governing class attributes is governed by the Static Model BNF Grammar specified by the Modeling and Methodology Work Group.


An alternative tool, the NHS-supported Static Model Designer (SMD) has intended characteristics that meet all of the characteristics of the "ideal" tool (above) (except, in the early releases, 2.2 and 3.3) has been under development. As of April 2011, there is not sufficient funding to advance the tool to the point that it could replace the current tool suite.