Publishing Templates


Implementation guides require templates to build. When you build an ig implementation guide, one of the three parameters you provide is the id of the template to use. In general, the template ID generally points to one of these templates.

During publishing of your IG, when you define which template you want to use, you can specify a version. This version can be either one of the release versions, or current. It is important to understand the distinction between the two. Current is the latest mutable CI build. If you label the IG as current it grabs the latest package off of Otherwise, if you can specify one of the built versions in the template directory. If you don’t specify a specific version, you will get the latest, immutable, published version.

Moving Parts

package templates

The templates used for publishing are located in the templates directory in the web source repository on GitHub. If you look in the templates directory, you’re going to see a bunch of different built templates, each with their own sub-directory:

- hl7.base.template
- hl7.cda.template
- hl7.fhir.template
- hl7.utg.template
- ihe.fhir.template
- fhir.base.template

Each of these directories contains a list of published versions, each with their own sub-directory. For example, if we look in fhir.base.template, you should see a list of directories for the published versions, including 0.0.2, 0.1.0, 0.1.1, and so on. These directories contain the Jekyll html file, in addition to any necessary templates and assests used to build the pages required by the implementation guides.

template entry list

Similar to packages, templates also use a package-list.json file to manage release versioning. An example of this would be the package-list.json file for the hl7.fhir.template project.

Each of the entries in the list of released packages contains information like the version, desc, date, and others. The key difference here between package publishing and template publishing is that there are two entries labelled current. The actual current CI build, and the current release.

Looking at our example we mentioned above, the first two entries in the package-list.json are:

      "version": "current",
      "desc": "Continuous Integration Build (latest in version control)",
      "path": "",
      "status": "ci-build",
      "current": true
      "version": "0.3.2",
      "desc": "Fix search link",
      "path": "",
      "status": "release",
      "sequence": "Publications",
      "current": true,
      "date": "2020-09-29"

You will never need to touch that top entry during the publication process, only the bottom one. When publishing a new template, you would just need to add a new 2nd entry that is labelled current: true, and then take away the current: true from the 0.3.2 entry (in this example).

template releaser tool

In the IG Publisher repository, there is a tool that does the necessary change analysis and publishes the resulting templated for us. It is called the TemplateReleaser.

This tool takes in two arguments, a source and a destination. The source is the local path on your computer, to a directory that contains all the cloned template directories from the templates in the web source project and nothing else. You need to copy these directories into their own folder on your computer, such that you get a folder structure that looks like this:


The destination is the local path on your computer, to the cloned packages directory in the web source project.

inter-template dependencies

One important thing to note about the template publication process is that the templates can have dependency relationships between them…unlike the packages. Some templates depend on other templates, so if you make a change to a template that other templates depend on, it does a cascading release. This is all done automatically by the code, and will generate any output directories.

Publishing and Uploading a Release

At some point, someone will contact you to let you know that changes have been made to the packages, and a new release needs to be cut and published. When this happens, do the following:

  1. Clone the IG Publisher, and the web-source, and ensure they are up to date.
  2. Update the appropriate package-list.json file entry list with the new entry for that template release.
  3. Run the TemplateReleaser with the in source defined as the local directory that contains all the up-to-date, cloned template directories from the templates, and the out destination pointing to the locally cloned packages directory in the web source project.
  4. In the web-source project, run the run-jekyll.bat script to generate the new Jekyll website. This will generate the output folder in the source directory.
  5. sftp the contents of the generated output folder to the /var/www/html/ directory on You will need the proper credentials to do this. Currently, this is done by either Grahame or Mark, so please contact them to get this done.