Connectathon Affinity Domain Metadata

The content of codes.xml has changed since the Jan 2018 IHE Connectathon.
Please continue reading.


Several IHE Profiles for Document Sharing rely on coded values provided in the metadata when documents are submitted and searched. IHE defines the structure of the document metadata as well as coded values for some metadata attributes; however, allowable values for many of the coded values are defined by the Affinity Domain that will deploy and support the document sharing systems.

For testing of Document Sharing profiles at IHE North America and Europe Connectathons, the set of allowable code values is controlled and documented by IHE Technical Project Managers and Bill Majurski of NIST (see history section below if you are interested). 

This page describes where to find the set of allowable codes for Connectathon testing and how those codes are managed.

Connectathon Metadata Value Sets: Distribution

For IHE NA and EU Connectathons, allowable codes for Document Sharing metadata are distributed in advance:

These codes are also available in two other formats, but values of codes in these formats may not exactly match those in codes.xml.  See comments on Change Management below.

  • Spreadsheet format - XDS Codes - Public Copy - This spreadsheet contains a tab for most of the metadata attributes that need to be configured.  The spreadsheet also has some additional detail that is not carried forward into the codes.xml file (too much bloat).  The codes.xml file contains coded values but no history or comments on specific entries. To find the original source for a particular attribute, you can read the summary tab in this spreadsheet. For detailed comments on individual elements, you can refer to the appropriate tab in that same spreadsheet.
  • SVS format - The Gazelle SVS Simulator tool hosts many value sets, including codes for metadata attributes. 

Connectathon Metadata Value Sets: Details on Specific Metadata Attributes

These documentEntry metadata attributes have defined codes for the Connectathon Affinity Domain.

  • associationDocumentation
  • classCode
  • confidentialityCode
  • contentTypeCode
  • eventCodeList
  • folderCodeList
  • formatCode
  • healthcareFacilityTypeCode
  • mimeType
  • practiceSettingCode
  • typeCode

Connectathon Metadata Value Sets: Change Management

We have a software process that converts the spreadsheet to the codes.xml file. We anticipate these patterns for managing these files:

Connectathon Week Change Management

We define what we hope is a simple process that does not introduce delays in testing.

  1. The XDS Codes - Public Copy spreadsheet and codes.xml files are synchronized and released in advance of any particular Connectathon.
  2. During the Connectathon week, participants can request additions to the codes.xml file. As in previous years, those requests go directly to Bill Majurski who will update codes.xml, republish that file and re-install in his toolkit running on the Connectathon test floor as necessary.
  3. The codes in the XDS Codes - Public Copy spreadsheet and in the SVS Repository will NOT be modified during the Connectathon.

Outside Connectathon Release Change Management

It is our goal to keep version of the code values synchronized when we are not working during a Connectathon week. As part of normal maintenance:

    • Directly after a Connectathon, we will make sure that codes.xml and the spreadsheet are re-synchronized:
      • If values added during a Connectathon week are to be carried forward, we will update and publish new copies of both versions.
      • If values added during a Connectathon week are not suitable for a general release, we will make sure the published version of codes.xml matches the spreadsheet version. Remember that we do not update the spreadsheet version during Connectathon week.
    • When codes.xml is updated, it is distributed and announced in an updated release of the NIST XDS Toolkit.
    • After codes.xml is released in the NIST XDS Toolkit, the codes in the SVS Repository will be updated.
    • Users can request updates throughout the year as they always have. Please contact Bill Majurski with your requests for additions to the code tables.

Connectathon Metadata Value Sets: History

The coded values used for Connectathon testing have been managed in the (well known) codes.xml file that is part of Bill Majurki's XDS Tools software. This file contains data structures that define the sets of legal values for various metadata fields required for Cross Enterprise Document Sharing. Entries we made in this file in response to certain demands, such as:

      • NIST wrote conformance tests that required a set of coded values to execute the tests.
      • An organization outside of NIST requested extensions to the code table for project specific testing. This is most likely a government agency that is testing in advance of an actual deployment.
      • We discovered a gap during a Connectathon and added a coded value.

Many of the coded values did not follow the structure that is normally used in the industry for coded values. This did not cause any software or testing problems, but many of the codes were clearly not intended for production use.

The HL7(R) FHIR(R) specification defines a different format for representing coded values, and this required a change in the format of the codes.xml file. Given this necessary change, this is a good opportunity to update both the structure and content of the codes.xml file and therefore the code values used for IHE testing of Cross Enterprise Document Sharing.