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Backend application setup

The backend requires these pieces of software, with an optional fourth:

  1. FHIR Store, e.g HAPI FHIR - How to set up HAPI FHIR
  2. FHIR Information Gateway with OpenSRP plugins - How to set up OpenSRP FHIR Gateway
  3. Identity and Access Management server with Oauth2 support e.g. Keycloak - How to set up Keycloak
  4. [Optional] the fhir-web admin dashboard.

For deployment to production, see our Production configuration recommendations.

User management

You can manage users manually via the APIs and/or user interfaces for keycloak and your FHIR API, or via the fhir-web user interface. See Keycloak for details.

FHIR API user management

  • For each Practitioner resource, create a corresponding Group resource with the referenced in the Group.member attribute.

    1. This Group resource links the Practitioner to a CarePlan resource when the Practitioner is the CarePlan.subject.
  • When creating a Practitioner resource, create a PractitionerRole resource.

    1. This resource links the Practitioner to an Organization resource when the Practitioner is an Organization member.
    2. The PractitionerRole resource defines the role of the Practitioner in the Organization, e.g. a Community Health Worker or Supervisor role.
  • Assign the Practitioner a CareTeam by adding a Practitioner reference to the CareTeam.participant.member attribute.

    1. Assign the CareTeam an Organization by adding an Organization reference to the CareTeam.managingOrganization attribute.
    2. Add an Organization reference to the CareTeam.participant.member attribute of the CareTeam resource for easy search.
  • Assign the Organization a Location via the OrganizationAffiliation resource.

    1. The Organization is referenced on the OrganizationAffiliation.organization attribute.
    2. The Location is referenced on the OrganizationAffiliation.location attribute.
  • The Location child parent relationship is defined by the Location.partOf attribute.

    1. The parent Location is referenced on the child's Location.partOf attribute.

Android application

  • Update file

    • Update FHIR_BASE_URL value to the url of the FHIR Gateway Host
  • Data Filtering - configure sync strategy

    • Update the application_configuration.json with the sync strategy for the deployment, e.g. for sync by Location:
    "syncStrategy": ["Location"]

Note: Currently the configuration accepts an array but a subsequent update will enforce a single value. See application_config.json

  • Composition JSON

    • Update the identifier to the value of the application id
    "identifier": {
    "use": "official",
    "value": "<app id>"

Note: identifier.value above should correspond to fhir_core_app_id mentioned in the user management Keycloak section below.

  • Update the sync_config.json to remove all the non-patient data resources. These should be referenced from the Composition resource so they can be exempted from the Data filter. See sync_config.json

FHIR API and configuration resources

  1. Deploy the FHIR Store, e.g HAPI

    • The steps here depend on what FHIR Store your are using. To deploy the HAPI FHIR Server using JPA, follow these steps.
  2. POST the binary resources referenced in the composition_config.json

Note: As described in the FHIR Gateway section, the server should be in an internal network behind a DMZ and therefore not require authentication, which will be handled by the FHIR Information Gateway.

Deploy the FHIR Gateway

  1. Link to the Docker image
  2. The main documentation for deploying can be found in the Github READ MEFor configuration parameters, check out Read Me file for setting environment variables.
  3. For configuration parameters, check out Read Me file for setting environment variables.
  4. OpenSRP nuances: Provide/export the System variable ALLOWED_QUERIES_FILE with value "resources/hapi_page_url_allowed_queries.json" HAPI Page URL Allowed Queries
  5. For each deployment the configuration entries for resources here should match the specific Composition resource ID and Binary resources IDs for the android clients
  6. Refer to the FHIR Info Gateway extension documentation
  7. Gateway with the help of the plugins currently handle both andriod and web client requests

Deploy fhir-web

  1. The OpenSRP 2.0 web portal deployment docs can be found here
  2. This platform is now supported by the Gateway server through the FHIR Info Gateway extension.


  • Keycloak redirect - You need to disable keycloak authentication in HAPI FHIR

  • Binary resource base64 encoding - You need to make sure that you properly set the Binary resource for application configuration

  • Keycloak/Role configuration - Roles for all the different resources - including PUT, POST, GET for Binary should exist, Client Mapper for the fhir_core_app_id and corresponding user attribute should not be missing

  • The TOKEN_ISSUER specified in your backend deployment should be the same Realm used by the application to fetch an access token for authentication and authorization.

value: https://<yourkeycloak>
  • Remove Resource entries from the sync_confguration.json file that should not be part of the normal data sync but rather part of the Composition file e.g. Questionnaire

  • When testing the set up DO NOT use debug app ids e.g. app/debug. The Gateway’s implementation is tightly coupled with the server hosted application resources

  • In the HAPI FHIR application.yaml disable validations by setting to false*. This is however not highly recommended.