Create a Profile from Messages
The Reverse Engineering tool enables you to create a profile from an HL7 log (or HL7 message file). A profile (also known as a specification or message definition) documents the message structure and content, including the use of Z-segments and custom data types.
Note: the flow in the Reverse Engineering tool has changed in Conformance v2.5. Rather than 8 steps, Reverse-Engineering now goes through a few setup steps, and then you can iterate through different applications as needed.
Setup: Choose Log Files
To open the Reverse-Engineering tool, click Tools, Reverse-engineerer HL7 profile... The tool opens to Choose Log Files.
- Select messages from files
- Click the Add button to load one or more HL7 logs.
- Optional: Check Use Large File mode when loading files above 10MB in size. (This option is selected automatically if file size reaches 25 MB)
- Alternative: Select messages from a database or Connector
- Click on the Database tab and select a Data Source. Click on Sources… to configure a Data Source.
Then click Next to go to the next step. You can also load messages by querying a database.
Setup: Choose a Reference Profile
To begin building a profile based on the messages you just loaded, the software needs an established profile to compare against. Select a profile that most closely matches your messages, then click Next. (Note: the software picks up on the HL7 version specified in your messages, but you are free to choose another reference).
Setup: Filter Messages
The messages load.
(If they load too slowly, you can click the Cancel button in the Loading dialog box and only messages that have loaded thus far will appear.)
If there are files, events, segments, or other data elements you don’t require for the profile, filter them out in this step (read Filter an HL7 Log to learn more), then click Next to go to the next step. To reverse-engineer all messages without filtering, simply click Next.
Setup: Sending and Receiving Application Filters
This step is optional. The software will detect all sending and receiving applications present in the messages. If only one combination is detected, this step is skipped.
You have two options here. You can either generate a single profile combining all applications represented in the message file, or you can create separate profiles for each sending and receiving application combination. The second option offers you the possibility to choose specific combinations; it will also run the next 5 steps consecutively for all selected combinations.
Step 1: Initialize New Profile
The software sets up the reference profile and messages you selected. Once the processing is complete, simply click Next to continue, as specified on-screen.
Step 2: Analyze Messages and Segments
The software reads through the messages and segments to begin building the profile. When processing is complete, click Next to continue, as specified on-screen.
Step 3: Analyze Fields and Data Types
This step creates the field structure in your profile, assigns data values to user tables, and associates data types to fields and values.
Choose between Basic and Advanced field analysis.
Basic Field Analysis
This choice lets you analyze fields and data values and assign known data types. If Conformance finds data values and fields that do not match known data types, an new data type will be assigned. You can manually edit the data types later, when the reverse-engineering profile appears in the Document Library.
Select Basic Field Analysis if:
you are not sure that data types are important to your analysis.
you want to speed up your analysis and focus on identifying details in other message elements such as events and segments.
Advanced Field Analysis
This choice lets you fully analyze fields and data values. Data values and fields that do not match expected data types will be flagged. You will have the opportunity to either create custom data types to handle non-HL7-compliant data, or assign an existing data type.
Select Advanced Field Analysis if:
you need complete data type analysis for your interfacing project
you are comfortable creating new data types for further analysis
Data and Field Options
This section allows you to set more specific options for data and field analysis.
Once you make your selection in Step 3, click Next.
Step 4: Analyze Fields and Data Types – Basic Mode
If you selected Basic Field Analysis in Step 3, Basic Mode appears in Step 4. Conformance processes the fields and data types automatically. When the processing is finished, click Next.
Step 4: Analyze Fields and Data Types – Advanced Mode
If you selected Advanced Field Analysis in Step 3, Advanced Mode appears in Step 4. Conformance analyzes each segment for data values and fields that do not match expected data types. In other words, the software automatically performs a conformance check. When non-compliant elements are flagged, the software automatically suggests a data type and field structure. You can accept the suggestion, assign another data type, or create a new data type to handle the non-compliant values and fields.
- Add a description or notes if needed.
- Select a data type from the drop-down list.
- Or click the New link to create a new one. If you click New, the Data Type Creation dialog box opens.
- Select a data type from the drop-down list, click the items in the Data Type Details pane to edit as appropriate.
Edit as needed to reflect maximum field length
Flagged Data Values
This tab provides a list of the data values that were flagged as non-compliant, as well as how many times they were found in the messages.
When processing is complete, click Next to continue.
Step 5: Save New Profile
This is the final step in the Reverse-Engineering wizard. Specify a folder to save the profile to or browse your computer to save it locally. Name the profile. And provide a description if needed. Click Save to close the Reverse-Engineering wizard and go to the Document Library. (If multiple Sending and Receiving Applications were selected, the wizard will start a new analysis on Step 1)