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Foundation and Technology Steering Division Conference Call

FTSD - Foundation & Technology Steering Division


Julian, Knight, Singureanu, Beeler, Rock, Mulrooney


  1. Approve previous meeting minutes September 30th 2008 - Unanimous
  2. Adopt Agenda - Unanimous

Discussion of "HL7 PING" Proposal


In the Infrastructure and Messaging Q1 session on Wednesday, September 17, 2008, A motion was made by Rene Spronk, seconded by Mark Tucker, and passed by 10-0-0 to wit:

"Infrastructure and Messaging(InM) has created a HL7 Ping artifact. InM recommends to the Technical Steering Committee(TSC), and to other relevant parties within HL7 that it support a policy decision that the HL7 Ping interaction SHALL be mandatorily supported by all applications that claim conformance to any part of the HL7 v3 messaging standard.”

InM therefore requests that this item be placed on the agenda for the steering division, and that upon passing the steering division, it be forwarded to the TSC for action. Reference: http://www.hl7.org/Library/Committees/Inm/20040827%5FHL7%5Fprop%5F908%2Edoc

Moved/Seconded Julian/Beeler (to get discussion on table)


  • Requirements arose under Shared Messages (MT) domain. Objectives are to discovery capability and to assure a receiving application is running. Initial requirement was for PING (apparently) with discovery added.
  • Utility of the PING was challenged, and response was:
    1. Is heavily useful in the arena of multiple routers and interface engines, where the identity and direct path to the responding application is masked by the intermediaries; and
    2. When designed, it is not possible to know whether a given application will be used behind routers and relat4ed interface engines, therefore, to be useful, the PING must be mandated.
  • What is the "state" of this interaction? Not yet balloted. Should it not be balloted and have the issue of mandatory part of the ballot, and/or undertaken after that event?
  • General consensus that one should separate PING from discovery, as the latter has a variety of solutions (WSDL, registries, etc.) and is optional in the current proposal in any event.
  • Believe that this should be an effort led by the Conformance and Implementation Work Group.


For: Julian
Against: Beeler, Mulrooney, Rock
Abstain: Knight

Summary of negative and abstention reasons

These should be treated as the "negative comments" and addressed in future proposals. The numbers represent (approximate) number voicing a particular reason:

  • Should separate PING from discovery (3);
  • Not convinced that the PING is wrong, but question making it mandatory(2);
  • This must be considered by the Conformance and Implementation Work Group (3);
  • Backwards compatibility, makes existing implementations non-conformant (1).