ADL versions 1.4, 1.5 and 2.0

Thomas Beale thomas.beale at
Thu Aug 13 00:26:17 EDT 2015


I'll try to answer a few.

Firstly, please treat the active specifications as what you find by 
going to the home page 'Specifications' button (top left), i.e. the HTML 
specs here 

Second point, 'ADL 1.5' was what we used for a long time as the moniker 
for 'next generation ADL', until we realised that we introduced breaking 
changes due to CIMI, OMG/AML and openEHR development work. So 'ADL / AOM 
2' is the 'modern' archetype formalism.

We never released any interim version, although some people think we 
should, as per this page 

The ADL / AOM 2 specs referred to above are not yet quite complete - 
there are a few more additions to the documents, and 2 very minor 
potential semantic changes - semantic slots and smarter annotations. I 
would expect these specs to be ready for release formal TRIAL in the 
next 4 weeks.

Why does ADL2/AOM2 exist? It addresses various limitations in ADL1.4, 
including lack of proper modelling for specialisation, templating, 
proper versioning and id rules, and proper value sets. A full list is 

The ADL Workbench 
<>will reliably (in 
most cases) convert ADL 1.4 archetypes to ADL 2 form. This transform is 
not trivial, so anyone who wants to do this conversion should use this 
tool, or the command line version.

CIMI is using only ADL/AOM 2, and CIMI will become a working group of 
some kind in HL7 (agreed but not finalised yet), so HL7 will potentially 
use ADL 2 at some point (but I assume jut the CIMI workgroup for some 

ADL/AOM2 is the basis for the OMG Archetype Modelling Language (AML) 
specification, which has entered the standards track a few months ago.

On the ground in openEHR implementation space, ADL 1.4 is being used. 
New tools that are internally ADL 2 will / do generate ADL 1.4 OPTs to 
enable these systems to keep running. The ADL Workbench doesn't yet do 
this but will.

There is an XML Schema for ADL / AOM 2 here 
also reachable from the current specifications page 

The tougher question to answer is when systems will move to ADL 2. THere 
are two questions: EHR systems, and tools. Tools can move faster, and 
are already being changed. CKM also incorporates some ADL 2 features 
already. EHR systems will move more slowly and carefully for obvious 
reasons, which is why we need ADL 1.4 OPT support in next gen tools. I 
would expect some vendors to eventually support ADL 1.4 and ADL2, and 
existing ADL 1.4 based deployments may stay on ADL 1.4.

- thomas

On 12/08/2015 04:32, Barnet David (HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE INFORMATION 
CENTRE) wrote:
> All
> Hope everyone is well.
> I have a few questions on ADL versions
> Is there a general view as to when archetypes will be created in an 
> ADL version other than version 1.4?
> I’ve sampled CKMs from various countries & found all archetypes (that 
> I sampled) were in the ADL 1.4 format.
> Some questions:
> Is anyone planning to use anything other than ADL 1.4 in the near future?
> How will CKMs cope with multiple ADL versions in a single CKM?
> When will tools be available to create archetypes in 1.5 and 2.0?
> How will the export format change from ADL 1.4 to 1.5 and 2.0?
> Will I be able to import an archetype in 1.5 or 2.0 into my CKM?
> Is there an XML schema available for 1.5 and 2.0?
> When do we expect archetypes in 1.5 & 2.0 to be the norm?
> What’s the driver to move to archetypes created to DL version 1.5 or 2.0?
> Are all the answers in the published document 
> ?
> Regards
> Dave Barnet
> Health and Social Care Information Centre
> NHS England, UK

Ocean Informatics <> 	*Thomas Beale
Chief Technology Officer*
+44 7792 403 613 	Specification Program, /open/EHR 
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