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Stage 3: Development

The information and resources below (and in Stage 4: test and assurance) are for the supplier to use during development and testing of the SMS client, as part of the overall process to achieve NHS Digital technical conformance approval for the product.

SMS cheat sheet

SMS Developer cheat sheet shortcuts for the technical build of SMS clients accessing the web service APIs.



Three functional requirements are included in the requirements pack:

  • PDS Message Specifications within the ‘’
  • SMS Functional Requirements – Foundation in the ‘ITK Spine Mini Service – Common Client Requirements-v1.0.pdf’
  • SMS Functional Requirements – Demographics in the ‘PDS – Spine Mini Service Client Requirements-v1.0.pdf’


  • Java Reference Implementation – see below
  • .NET Classes for ITK SOAP Services


See SMS Test Environments

SMS developer requirements

As described in the NHS Digital compliance process, if a supplier does not already have a conformant product (client), technical conformance approval must be obtained. This begins with developing the client in line with the necessary requirements (including specifications) and policies.

The main resource for development is the downloadable requirements pack, containing functional requirements, policies and guidance relevant to the technical build of SMS clients accessing the web service APIs .


SMSP Reference Implementation (Java)

The ITK API provides a Java abstraction to the ITK transport and distribution mechanics. As such it aims to simplify the task of exchanging ITK based messages between applications whilst maintaining all of the benefits that the ITK “on the wire” specifications bring.

The following reference implementation (a client accessing Spine Mini Services for PDS) provides a set of examples scenarios that show how the API can be realised and used in real world uses. One such reference implementation is a client accessing spine mini services for demographics.

Learn more about the interoperability framework.  

You can try it.  

Artifacts that are direct products of the ITK, API and reference implementation project.

Further information


Last edited: 19 July 2019 1:18 pm