Education: Getting Started with dEWDrop VM - Part II

Here we continue the quick tour of the dEWDrop Virtual machine, that we started here:


The dEWDrop Virtual Machine was kindly built and distributed by David Wicksell. It includes work from many members of the community. Many thanks to all of them for sharing their work so generously.

The VM can be downloaded from:      


Hands-on Session




  • Start by launching the VM
  • Log in with 

    username: vista    
    password:  ewd

  • Take note of your IP number in the guest system, by typing


    You may or may not get the same IP number of the previous exercise.

    For the sake of the example, we will use here the IP number, that happens to be what I got when preparing this instructions. You must replace this number with what you get from ifconfig.

    check IP with ifconfig
  • In your host machine (or actually any other machine in your local network), test that you can access the HTTP pages of the Guest VM.

    Do this by opening a web browser and using the URL:

    Note the use of "https://" (the encrypted connection) instead of the common "http://" (non encrypted connection). This is the recommended security practice to communicate between clients and the server in the VM.

    Your browser may complain about the certificates used in the VM, in which case you can add an exception for them.
  • To familiarize yourself with the main locations, do the following in the  VM:

    In the terminal type

    mumps   -dir

    This will open the GT.M prompt. In it type:

    zwrite ^zewd("config",*)

    This displays the content of the ^zewd global variable, and the main settings of EWD in this VM, that are stored in ^zewd("config").

    zewd config

    In particular, notice the following two entries:


    The first one "RootURL" tells us that every time that we want to communicate with EWD apps in the VM using a browser from another machine, we need to add "/vista/" to the basic IP number of the VM. That is, the URLs of all the apps are going to start with

    Note that this page itself has no content. But all apps will have URLs that start with that text.

    The second one, "applicationRootPath", tells us the directory inside of the VM where we have to add sub-directories in order to put new EWD applications.

    If you go in your VM an visit this directory, 

    cd /home/vista/www/ewd
    ls -l

    you will find the four sub-directories:


    ewd apps directory
  • Let's try each one of those applications.
  • EWD Manager

    In the web browser of your host, type the URL

    You will see something similar to:

    Screen shot of ewdMgr

    The first drop-down menu on the left, allows you to pick among the applications installed in the VM directory


    As we go adding new sub-directories to that directory, you should see them appearing in that drop-down menu after you refresh the web page.
  • VistACom
    This is an application that was developed to enable Meaningful Use certification for VistA.  More details on it in this Webinar.

    In the web browser of your host, type the URL

    You will see a screen similar to:

    VistACom log in page

    You can log in this page using the credentials that we copied when we logged in the dEWDrop VM:

    Access Code:    worldvista6
    Verify Code:     $#happy7

    After logging in, you will see a screen similar to:

    VistA Com patient selection

    You can start typing a name, and the page will show you the list of matches:

    VistACom typing patient name

    You can select a name, click SUBMIT, and then you will see a page similar to:

    VistACom mail page

    Clicking in the Files menu option at the top will display a page similar to:

    VistACom files

    Clicking on the "CCR" (Continuity of Care Record) in the top menu will generate a page similar to:

    VistACom CCR page

    Clicking on the "Quality" menu option will display some measures of quality in delivery of healthcare:

    VistACom quality measures for meaningful use

    and clicking on the "MU" (Meaningful Use) menu will display the measures that are computed to satisfy meaningful use certification:

    VistACom meaningful use screen

  • SMART Apps Manifest Manager

    SMART Apps are applications built on the smartplatforms.

    These are portable applications that can be run on top of different Electronic Health Record systems, and therefore can accelerate technological development.

    In order to get access to a SMART app, one must first load a "manifest" file that summarizes key information about the App, and then can make it available to the current EHR.

    More details on this in the great tutorial that Rob Tweed maintains here

    To launch the SMART Apps Manifest manager type the following URL in the web browser of your host machine:

    This should open a pages that looks like:

    dEWDrop SMART apps manifest manager

    Here you can login with:

    Username:    admin
    Password:    admin

    and then you will see a page similar to:

    SMART Apps manifests

    Where every row is a different SMART app.

    You could add more by clicking on the "Import Manifest" button, just below the "SMART Manifests" label, and just above the "Name" label.

    More on that in Rob Tweed's EWD+SMART tutorial in PDF

    We can now try these apps in the VistA SMART Container.
  • smartVistADemo
    This is a demo of the EWD-based SMART Container for VistA.

    The code for this application is in the dEWDrop VM directory:


    and you can launch it in the Web Browser of your host machine by opening the following URL:

    this will open a page that looks like:


    Here you can login with the VistA credentials:

    Access Code:      worldvista6
    Verify Code:      $#happy7

    (the same ones that dEWDrop displays when you log in the terminal)

    After logging in you will see a page similar to:

    smartVistADemo after logging in

    You must now select a Patient, by clicking on the button in the upper right corner, 

    smartVistADemo select patient

    and typing the initial letters of the name. The system will display the partial matches in a menu, and you can then select one specific patient.

    smartVistADemo select patient

    The Patient name will be displayed on the upper left corner

    smartVistADemo displaying patient name

    and finally, you can run the SMART apps, by simply clicking on their name in the left column.

    Try the classic :  "Got Statins ?" App

    smartVistADemo app Got Statins ?

This concludes our quick tour of the dEWDrop Virtual Machine.

There are many other capabilities wrapped-up in this VM. Please do not assume this quick tour to be a comprehensive overview of the VM. Here we are just scratching the surface.




Screen-shots in these blogs

Rupert Millard's picture


Thanks for making this tour of dEWDrop.  I've found it extremely useful.  However, I couldn't see the screenshots, until I created an account.  Now I have one, I can still only see them if I right click them, and choose "view image" - does the Moodle site ban hotlinking?



PS. Perhaps a PDF would enable us to see what you see?


Image URLs from another site

Luis Ibanez's picture


I'm glad to heard that this is useful.

Thanks for pointing out the issue with the images.

Looking closely, I think that the problem may have originated in that I copy / pasted (yeap, copy pasting is the root of all Evil...), the same content from the Moodle site of our open source class at RPI.  In that process, the links of the image remained pointing to our class site.  I'm not sure why this prevents you from seeing the images when you are not logged it (it shouldn't interfere...), but, it still looks like the right thing to do here is for me to copy the images (not just point with links to the original site).

I'll take a look at fixing the images next week, once I finish other deadlines...




VistACom is not like as in this blog

Asif Rehman's picture

Hi Luis...Nice article, just focussed and with screen shots...

However I have a problem that when I ran VistaCom the page is blank without textboxes of user Id and password. I can not put in userid and password and not able to navigate the other pages of VistACom as you have shown in this blog.

Can you help me with this.