Everybody trying to implement a solution that uses HL7 Version 3 standards faces a pretty steep learning curve. This is not specific to HL7, but to any industry standard and can be extended to include company guidelines for software development as well.
In a world where solutions are required yesterday (at best), this is unsustainable.
Now, imagine for a second, you open up Visual Studio, choose New | HL7 Application, click through a wizard and bada-bim! your application skeleton is created with full support for HL7 Version 3 Messaging, HL7 Web Services Profile, queues for messages and all the rest of the plumbing that is *always* needed.
Well, that version of Visual Studio is 2005 and the magic is done by the Software Factories and Domain-Specific Languages plus the HL7-specific domain knowledge.
You can download the latest version of the HL7 Software Factory (HL7SWF) from GotDotNet and start playing with it today. It's based on beta 2 of Visual Studio 2005, but we plan to upgrade to RTM very soon.
HL7SWF is not a product, it's a proof of concept of what can be done with technology that we ship today.
We're hoping to engage the community to develop it further so sign up to the GotDotNet Workspace and start having a look at it.
The overall objective of Software Factories in general and of the HL7SWF in particular, is to make development and standards compliance much easier for the implementers, by embedding all the knowledge in a domain specific software factory. By doing this, we relieve the implementer from the burden of learning a ton of details and enabling him to focus on the goal of achieving business collaboration.