Creating examples in FHIR

One of the things that the FHIR project team is particularly keen on is having lots of examples in the spec. People (especially implementers & developers) understand examples more easily than just plain text – and an example helps illustrate what the spec is trying to say.

And the examples in the spec are guaranteed to be correct – they are automatically validated as the spec is generated.

Creating examples of FHIR resources is actually quite easy – all you need are the schema and a validating XML editor (like XML Spy or Oxygen) and you’re good to go (a validating editor will ensure that the example you create is valid according to the schema – which is 90% of the way there).

There’s a couple of ways of doing this – those who are actually building the spec can do it from their local copy of the spec and commit directly to the version control system – but this does require setting up the environment and having commit privileges into the repository, so is not suitable for everyone.

In this post, we’ll assume that we don’t have that, and will create the examples externally. It’s actually quite easy.

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