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Sometimes, one local system needs to talk to another local system - for example to get a patient's records from their GP.
Often, local systems communicate via an intermediary, also known as a 'proxy'. The intermediary makes sure the communication goes to the right place.
Intermediaries are usually national systems that can route traffic to any local system in the country. For this to work, all the local systems must talk the same language, so the intermediary includes an API specification that all sending and receiving systems must follow.
NHS Digital has been developing APIs for quite some time. We always aim to adopt the latest standards for new APIs. But it’s costly to rebuild APIs when technology changes. As a result, our APIs use a variety of technologies, including: