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Creating a new NHS England: NHS England and NHS Digital merged on 1 February 2023. More about the merger.

Part of Integration Patterns Book


A list of technical definitions used within the Integration Pattern Book.

Current Chapter

Current chapter – Definitions

Term Definition
Anti-Pattern An anti-pattern is a common response to a recurring problem that is usually ineffective and risks being counterproductive.
Asynchronous messaging

Asynchronous messaging is a communication method whereby the message sender does not expect an immediate response from a message receiving system which indicates the result of message processing.

A response for an asynchronous message is not sent on the same channel as the request and requires the use of a correlation identifier (unique message ID) to match a request to a response.

Broker A broker is a logical hub that copies and resends messages to one or more destinations. A broker can be used for:
  • translating a message from the messaging protocol of the sender to the messaging protocol of the receiver
  • routing a message from a sender to one or more receivers
  • applying logic to determine receivers of a message
  • service orchestration
Data repository A data repository is database infrastructure which clients can query or submit updates to.
Event An Event is a thing that happens or takes place, especially one of importance, examples of events in the real world include:  Admittance to hospital, birth, discharge from hospital, change of GP, emergency care attendance, change of address. 
Idempotent transaction A transaction which can be applied multiple times without impacting the outcome.
Integration Integration refers to the process of joining together different systems so that the data contained in each becomes part of a larger more comprehensive system which allows data to be quickly accessed where needed.
Interface An interface is a shared boundary across which two or more separate components exchange information.
Master data Master data is used to represent key business entities such as citizens and organisations in all their necessary detail (such as Organisation ID, name, address). Master data is expected to be shared and provides context to business activities and transactions (who, what and where). 
Mediation Meditation refers to:
  • modification or transformation of a message
  • routing of messages (or clones of messages) to additional destinations
  • allowing or disallowing a message to be delivered based upon some conditional logic in the mediation
Pattern A general, reusable solution to a commonly occurring problem in architecture within a given context.
Point to point Integration method whereby information is directly sent from one application to another, meaning there is no intermediary with the information sender having to know the address of the recipient.
Policy A policy is a deliberate system of rules to guide decisions and achieve rational outcomes. A policy can be considered as a simple statement of the organisation position on a chosen topic (the 'why') and is implemented as a procedure (the 'how').
Polling Polling is where a client connects to a server to check for the existence of new information or messages.
Registry A database containing pointers to where information/documents are stored and maintained.
Secondary uses The term ‘secondary uses’ or ‘secondary purposes’ refers to uses of patient data other than for the direct care of the patient.
Standard An agreed way of doing something. A standard can be defined internally or externally defined standards. For example ISO can be adopted.
Synchronous interaction Synchronous interactions are two way communications whereby a client waits for a response to a message from the server.
Transformation Data transformation is the process of changing the format, structure, or values of data.

Last edited: 2 August 2021 3:16 pm