An open invitation to join the Fileman/Lab Agile Project (FLAP):

VA has recently funded a small project to be completed by T3 Tiger Tech, with sub-contracting provided by the VISTA Expertise Network. This project will use already-completed open-source improvements, and some new code, to create and distribute a new version of the VISTA File Manager (Fileman) package. This in turn will enable future development of VISTA Lab and Fileman.

In the first phase of the project, we will be creating a new version of the Fileman code, incorporating all the features of the current MSC Fileman, along with some DIFROM improvements, an update to the Language file, and a number of bug fixes. The new version can be installed as part of VISTA, or stand alone as a separate database management system. This phase will also serve as a demonstration project, in which we will be documenting processes, not just for achieving OSEHRA certification, but for supporting VA in testing and deploying the resulting package within their organization.

In parallel, we will be beginning development of some exciting new features for future phases of the project. We will be adding APIs for web- and mobile-enabling of functions in Fileman, and creating corresponding EWD user options. In addition, Fileman will be enhanced to add support for computed pointers, support for computed variable pointers, and extensible data types.

Our vision for the project calls for complete development transparency. All code-in-progress will be housed in publicly available Git repositories, and the project team welcomes suggestions and commentary. This will be an excellent opportunity for developers to increase their in-depth knowledge of VISTA’s infrastructure. We would like to emphasize that any code coming out of this project should not be placed in production environments prior to testing and certification.

Though the first phase does not yet involve VISTA Lab, future project phases will begin a joint refactoring of Lab and Fileman, with the goal of achieving consistent maintenance, auditing, and transport of Lab Data File elements using Fileman. This will result in providing more powerful data management throughout all of VISTA and greatly facilitating future VISTA development, particularly within the Lab system.

If you are interested in FLAP, please join our OSEHRA group. We also invite you to follow our progress in the OSEHRA JIRA system. For more information, please contact Carol Monahan, VISTACarol@gmail.com.

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