Building your own FHIR server

Update: There is a more recent post about this here.

This is an interesting post describing the use of the HAPI library to rapidly build a FHIR server. Another option using the same library is the CLI Library which is even easier – a single file to download and run. (And can be used to populate the server with examples and standard profiles/valuesets)

I’m not sure whether these apps are suitable for production use (though the underlying libraries certainly are) – but they make it absurdly simple to get a FHIR server of your very own up and running so you can learn more about FHIR.

If you prefer .net, then the Furore API is available for you – and there are others available as well.

FHIR is becoming (has become?) the common language and API for exchanging healthcare information – a Lingua Franca if you will – and these apps and libraries are part of the reason why, by making it so simple to get started.

Oh – and don’t forget the test servers immediately available on the web…

Another part of the reason is the active community around FHIR, and it’s worth mentioning that the new chat is now running. It uses Zulip, and replaces the Skype chats which were not keeping up with the volumes. There’s also a more classic discussion group available, and the email based list server.

So no excuse not to get involved!




About David Hay
I'm an independent contractor working with a number of Organizations in the health IT space. I'm an HL7 Fellow, Chair Emeritus of HL7 New Zealand and a co-chair of the FHIR Management Group. I have a keen interest in health IT, especially health interoperability with HL7 and the FHIR standard. I'm the author of a FHIR training and design tool - clinFHIR - which is sponsored by InterSystems Ltd.

5 Responses to Building your own FHIR server

  1. eneimi says:

    Hi David. I’ve been trying to install the HAPI server for quite a while now without luck. I downloaded the CLI according to the documentation here:, on Windows, and the zip file contains a single jar file. I’ve set environment variables but nether msdos nor bash commands do anything. I’m pretty fresh; any help?

  2. Hello David. I’ve followed the CLI instructions as well as the jpa instructions both referenced in your article but neither appears to work for me. I just haven’t been able to successfully install HAPI. The CLI download is a single jar file and I can’t do anything with it in both msdos and bash. I’m a bit fresh and any additional help would be great. Thanks.

    • David Hay says:

      Hi Eneimi – well, the folk on the hapi support group will be more expert than I, but for me (I use a mac) I simply unzipped into a folder and run it with the command: java -jar hapi-fhir-cli.jar run-server

      But I’m not an expert in java by any means, so if that doesn’t work for you then I suggest you try either the HAPI forum at!forum/hapi-fhir or the general FHIR chat at (The fhir chat is an excellent place to contact pepole with fhir related questions btw

      good luck!

      • Thanks a lot, that did the trick. Not there yet, but at least there are signs of life. I guess I was stuck with the bash thingy forgetting I was running Windows not Linux. I was clueless about how to run a jar file using the CLI in windows.

  3. Pingback: FHIR Core Extensions | Hay on FHIR

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