Journal of Medical Systems

, Volume 35, Issue 5, pp 1211–1224 | Cite as

Federated Querying Architecture with Clinical & Translational Health IT Application

  • Oren E. Livne
  • N. Dustin Schultz
  • Scott P. Narus
Original Paper


We present a software architecture that federates data from multiple heterogeneous health informatics data sources owned by multiple organizations. The architecture builds upon state-of-the-art open-source Java and XML frameworks in innovative ways. It consists of (a) federated query engine, which manages federated queries and result set aggregation via a patient identification service; and (b) data source facades, which translate the physical data models into a common model on-the-fly and handle large result set streaming. System modules are connected via reusable Apache Camel integration routes and deployed to an OSGi enterprise service bus. We present an application of our architecture that allows users to construct queries via the i2b2 web front-end, and federates patient data from the University of Utah Enterprise Data Warehouse and the Utah Population database. Our system can be easily adopted, extended and integrated with existing SOA Healthcare and HL7 frameworks such as i2b2 and caGrid.


Federated query Heterogeneous data sources Clinical and translational health informatics Web services OSGi enterprise service bus 

List of Acronyms


Aspect-Oriented Programming


Center for Clinical and Translational Science


Data source QueryContext


Data Source


Distributed Terminology Server


Enterprise Service Bus




Federated QueryContext


Federated Query Engine


Federated Utah Research & Translational Health e-Repository


Informatics for Integrating Biology and the Bedside


Java Message Service


Metadata Repository


Open Services Gateway Initiative




Service-Oriented Architecture

Spring DM

Spring Dynamic Modules


University of Utah Enterprise Data Warehouse


Utah Population Database


Utah Population Database Light


Virtual Repository



The authors would like to acknowledge Susan Matney for her work on the FURTHeR terminology server, and Richard Bradshaw for his work on the FURTHeR metadata repository. The present manuscript is an extension of our ACM IHI 2010 paper entitled “Federated Querying Architecture for Clinical & Translational Health IT” [16]; see Appendix for more details.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oren E. Livne
    • 1
  • N. Dustin Schultz
    • 1
  • Scott P. Narus
    • 1
  1. 1.Office of AVP for Health Sciences ITUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

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