HealthVault Application Maintenance: Best Practices

Maintaining a live application

After your application has gone live on the HealthVault platform, there are a few Best Practices that you can follow to keep your application running optimally.

SDK Lifecycle and updates (.NET applications only)

If you built your integration on top of the Microsoft HealthVault .NET SDK then you should read our official policy on maintaining, supporting, and eventually retiring each version of the .NET SDK. In a nutshell the support for the SDK is comprised of the following:

· Each major version of the Microsoft HealthVault .NET SDK is supported for roughly two years unless there are any security vulnerabilities that require immediate patching

· Minor updates within a major release family are binary-compatible with one another

HealthVault Platform Announcements

Somebody on your team should subscribe to the RSS feed from our HealthVault Developer Blog. This is a rather low-traffic blog (usually one or two posts/month) where we announce new platform releases and service outages.

Required Updates

From time to time, Microsoft may release a security update which you may be required to install within a specified time window or risk having your application disabled. Please refer to your HealthVault Solution Provider Agreement for more details on this.

Contact Information

Your company is required to keep Business, Technical, and Security/Privacy contact information on file with Microsoft, or risk having your application disabled. Please refer to your HealthVault Solution Provider Agreement for more details on this.

Data Type Versioning

Please familiarize yourself with how HealthVault handles updates to our data type schemas (here and here). We retain backwards-compatibility for Read, Create and Delete operations but you cannot overwrite an instance of a newer schema with an instance of an older schema. If your application supports an “Update” workflow then be sure that you gracefully handle the case where your end users have read-only instances of a newer instance of a data type.

Requests for New or Updated Data Types

If you submitted a request for a new or updated data type during your development or go-live process, you should monitor the HealthVault Data Types Blog to see when your data type gets released. Then you can update your application to use this new type.

Updating Your HealthVault Application

If you are thinking of updating your HealthVault Application, please read these instructions on our process for updating a live application.

If you have questions on any of these practices, please ask on our HealthVault Developer Forum. We will update this document from time to time, as we identify additional Best Practices.