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How-to's
7 Min Read

Installing Your First FHIR Server with Firely Server

Frank Olthuijsen
Frank Olthuijsen

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In 2020 I joined Firely as the Product Owner for Firely Server (Vonk at that time). One of the first things I did was to download and install Firely Server onto my laptop. I was surprised to see how easy it was to get it running, especially with the help of some really good documentation. Now I have to admit I’ve been a software developer for 20 years, so maybe I’m not really a representative user. But then again, in the case of Firely Server maybe I am. ?

Regardless of your technical background, this blog post will hopefully show you that it is indeed really simple. I will guide you through all the steps: from downloading our FHIR server to firing it up for the first time!

0. Setting the stage

First, let’s set the stage. All of the steps described below can also be found in greater detail in the documentation. The goal of this blog post however is to show you the minimal steps you need to take to get a FHIR server up and running on your PC. Throughout this post you will find links to the documentation. You can follow these links if you want more information on a specific topic, but you don’t need to do so to complete the steps described in this post.

Firely Server can run on your PC, your own server or in the cloud. It can run on Windows, OSX and Linux and has a number of deployment options including Docker. In this post, we’ll install it on your own PC running Windows.

1. Obtaining a license key

Both Firely Server and its license file can be obtained from the Firely Server page on our website. Therefore, click on the following URL to open:
https://fire.ly/firely-server-trial
Fill out the form you see on the page, and you will receive a License Key via email (this can take a minute) and the files to download Firely Server.

Here you request a license key and download Firely Server

The Firely Server Trial allows you to use Firely Server with a MS SQL Server or MongoDB database. This does require additional configuration. Furthermore, Firely Server will have a limited uptime of 12 hours and the license will expire after 7 days. However, you can renew it as often as you like by requesting a new license key via the form at https://fire.ly/firely-server-trial/.

2. Downloading Firely Server

Once you received the license key in your inbox, you can start the download process of Firely Server. On the website, you have 2 options. The first button will start the download of the latest version of Firely Server (recommended). The second button brings you to an overview of all versions, and you can choose the one you want. By clicking on a version the download of the file will start.

Click on one of the download buttons for downloading Firely Server

3. Installing Firely Server

Create a folder on your computer where you want to install Firely Server, such as for example:

C:\Firely-Server\4.0.0

Now extract the contents of firely-server-latest.zip to this folder.

The contents of your local Firely Server folder after extracting the downloaded binaries

Copy the firelyserver-license.json license file from step 1 into the root of the Firely Server installation folder, e.g.

C:\Firely-Server\4.0.0\firelyserver-license.json

Now create a file in the same folder named appsettings.instance.json. This file will be used to store any custom configuration settings you want to apply. Open the newly created file and copy and paste the text below:

{ 
  "License": {
    "LicenseFile": "firelyserver-license.json"   
  }
}

Save and close appsettings.instance.json.

4. Starting Firely Server

Open a command prompt or PowerShell window and navigate to your Firely Server folder, e.g.

C:\Firely-Server\4.0.0

Then run:

dotnet firely.server.dll

Firely Server will now start. The window you just opened shows a number of log messages.

If you did not change the default configuration you are automatically using SQLite as administration database and the conformance resources for STU3 and R4 are preinstalled. If you did change the configuration in order to use either SQL Server or MongoDB as administration database, the first time you start up may take some time because the conformance resources need to be loaded first.

Now open up a web browser and navigate to http://localhost:4080/. You should see a page similar to the one below:

The start page
The Firely Server start page

Congratulations! You have now successfully installed Firely Server.

5. Wrapping up

We hope this step-by-step explanation helped you get Firely Server started in the smoothest way possible. Feel free to reach out if you have any comments or feedback.

Now that you have Firely Server up and running it’s time to start interacting with it. And that just happens to be the topic of my next blog post called Your first interactions with your FHIR server.

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