Design Decisions in the Translator

Aren’t GUIs easier to learn?

The Translator is a GUI. Just not a conventional one, in a good way.

The reality is that if you talk to our existing customers, people that have really had to make Chameleon work vs. doing the equivalent work in the Translator they find the new environment a lot more straightforward and easy to work with. Look at the comments on my blog about the failed promise of graphical mappers.

One comment I really liked was from Danney Cairney from MD Staff:

After receiving a demo regarding the Iguana 5 beta, I decided to create a new channel from scratch. Despite having no experience with Lua, I was able to complete the channel and begin inserting records in the database in just a couple of hours. With previous versions of Iguana, it could take days to create the the mapping and then debug and test the Python snippets that were needed to keep track of the relationships between all the items.

With Iguana 5, not only is it much easier to keep track of the relationships between repeating segments, but testing and (more importantly) debugging is much easier with the real-time preview that includes both the data contained in the message and where it is mapped in the table. At any point in time you can see the values that will be going into the database tables for any sample message you may have.

Although this blog post focuses on how scripting is better than the graphical mapper, scripting in Iguana 5 includes the most useful portions of the graphical mapper allowing you to bring up segments and fields based on their names (or even their values) rather than having to know their position. More importantly viewing and filtering the available columns, segments, etc. as you type makes mapping and transforming data much faster and easier to follow than the various mapping and Python scripting windows found throughout the previous versions.

Another one was from Tony J Julian Sr from the Mayo Clinic and Co-Chair of HL7 Infra-structure:

Scripting is the only answer when you have a large quantity of interfaces to handle.

People that actually know what HL7 interfacing is really about do get it.


Next: Let’s compare mapping patient demographics with Chameleon and the Translator

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