MLLP Receive and Send Components

Microsoft BizTalk Accelerator for HL7 (BTAHL7) supports all Microsoft BizTalk Server native adapter types, including File, HTTP, SQL, and FTP. For HL7-encoded message receiving and sending, however, you typically use the MLLP adapter. This adapter is a TCP/IP socket adapter that uses the Minimal Lower Layer Protocol (MLLP). This protocol provides bi-directional message support and end-to-end health care application integration.

You can configure the MLLP receive adapter as either a two-way adapter or a one-way adapter. You can configure the MLLP send adapter as a two-way solicit-response send adapter, a one-way send adapter configured to receive acknowledgments (ACKs) on the same socket connection, or a one-way send adapter that does not return any messages. When you use the two-way solicit-response send MLLP adapter, you can configure the receive port to return either ACKs or response messages. For examples of MLLP send and receive adapters, see Interrogative Tutorial.

Messages that BTAHL7 receives or sends on an MLLP adapter require the following wrappers:

  • <SB> Start Block character

  • <EB> End Block character

  • <CR> Carriage Return Byte (optional)

MLLP adapters provide error handling for missing <SB> or <EB> wrappers, dropped connections, or timeouts. With an MLLP adapter, you can configure a limitation on the number of connections. You can use an assortment of acknowledgments with an MLLP adapter.