Using the HL7 Simulator on Linux and Mac

Introduction

The HL7 Simulator is a Windows program, so you cannot use it on Linux or the Mac — or can you?

Actually you can send messages from any Windows machine on the same network — simply enter the network address or network name of the target machine in the Simulator Host field. A common way to set this up is to use a Windows VM on your Linux or Mac computer.

Task [top]

Using the HL7 Simulator on Linux or Mac.

Procedure [top]

  1. Use a windows VM — or a windows machine on the local network:

    The usual way this is done is by setting up a Windows VM (virtual machine) on a development or testing computer. You could also use another physical Windows machine so long as it is on the same network.

  2. Network the windows VM:

    You can use the Shared Network (usually default) or the Bridged Network option.

    Note: Your workplace may have a standard method of setting up Virtual Machines — if they do we suggest that you follow the recommended method.

  3. Get the IP address of your machine:

    Sometimes the address of your machine might not be 100% obvious but don’t worry you can safely try different addresses until it works. Using the wrong address can’t break anything — it just won’t work.

    1. Lixux:
      1. Terminal Command: Display the IP addresse(es) for the machine:
         ifconfig | grep "inet "
      2. Record the IP address:

        Usually the correct IP looks like something like a 192.168.x.x address — so try this one first. If that does not work you could try the other addresses or talk to the person who setup the Linux machine. In this case there are two IP addresses the other one looks like the DNS server (probably on the wireless router).

        ifconfig find ip address

    2. Mac System Preferences:
      1. Open System Preferences from Apple Menu or Toolbar.
      2. Click the Network icon:
        click network icon
      3. Select the network you are using from the list on the left:

        This will usually Wi Fi or perhaps Ethernet if you are using an ethernet cable.

        select network

      4. Click the Advanced button at the bottom right.
      5. Select the TCP/IP tab and record the IPv4 Address:
        find IP address
      6. Close System Preferences.
    3. Mac Terminal Command:
      1. Terminal Command: Display the IP addresse(es) for the machine:
         ifconfig | grep "inet "
      2. Record the IP address:

        Usually the correct IP looks like something like a 192.168.x.x address — so try this one first. If that does not work you could try the other addresses or talk to the person who setup your Mac. In this case there are two IP addresses as there are two virtual machine networks as well as the local network.

        ifconfig find ip address

  4. Setup the HL7 Simulator:
    1. Enter the IP Address of your machine.
    2. Enter the Port Number for the target channel:

      You will this is in the LLP Source properties of the channel that you are sending messages too.

      port number LLP source

    3. The HL7 Simulator Basic Settings will look something like this:
      simulator settings
    4. Run the receiving channel and the Simulator, should see something like this:
      HL7 Simulator

Note: You can also receive messages from a channel using the HL7 Listener in the same way:

  1. Enter the Port number from the LLP Client into the HL7 Listener:
    HL7 Listener
  2. Enter the address of the remote machine into LLP Client properties:
    LLP Client properties

How it works [top]

Basically so long as the machine that the HL7 Simulator is running on can see the target machine then this will work. The HL7 Simulator can be running on a virtual or a real Windows machine — though almost always this would be done by developers (or testers) using a Windows VM.

Using the Bridged Network option for your Virtual Machine works well — this means that the virtual machine is treated like another computer on the local network. The Shared Network (default) option should also work — this sets up a separate private subnet and uses NAT to translate addresses.

In fact any network setup that enables the HL7 Simulator to send messages to the target machine will work — you can discuss this with your network administrator.

More information [top]

 

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