Long Tail Tale – Getting an Auth Token, sure OpenHealthVault can!

Alrite finally i got the OpenSSL Crypto to work HealthVault. It took some Ninja hacking and quite a lot of debugging to figure out what was going wrong with signing of a xml for getting an authentication token from HealthVault. Turns out that my signing code was dead on but HealthVault didn’t quite like the white space in the “content” section. I wont belabor you more but the short of the long is that now OpenHealthVault can talk to HealthVault and get itself authenticated. As usual the code is at http://svn.vitraag.com/openhealthvault and the application in action is at http://openhealthvault.vitraag.com. Well now its time to get a user to be authenticated with HealthVault Shell and the Rails goodies, I expect these to flow rather smoothly.

Next part : Doing User Authentication

Microsoft and Opensource – a new age

This post by John Lam, highlights the change of tide at Microsoft. The company is actively trying to court opensource, notable measures in this direction are:

Well, you might argue that these are tactical moves and not a strategy. I let that be dictated by time and persuasion ….

Talking to the public methods of healthvault platform

My last post explained a little about challenges of OpenSSL to achieve the healthvault signing for opensource LAMP/R platforms. In this post i’m showing below an actual snippet for talking to the public methods of healthvault platform.


Sean is starting a series detailing his adventure with healthvault .NET applcations. In the same spirit i’m going to build the ruby on rails application and library through a series of posts here. The application is live at http://openhealthvault.vitraag.com and the source code is in the SVN repository at http://svn.vitraag.com/openhealthvault.

Next part: Getting the Auth Token

OpenSSL and working with HealthVault

This is my first post in an N-series indulgence in trying to evaluate HealthVault to work with Ruby On Rails or Pythons DJango. As you know we HealthVault released a Java library – and it works in a platform independant fashion on most of platforms. I will attempt to outline some of the challenges here lets starting with –

Step 1: Authentication & Authorization –

  • Support for Crytography – RSA and Hash Method Authenticaion Code (SHA1/ SHA256)
    • The Java library comes with Sun’s implementation of the above Java.Security. However in LAMP/R world the only respectable alterative is OpenSSL.
    • While Java is everywhere but you might have to install your flavor of OpenSSL in addition to the web-framework. However having a robust framework makes rest of work easy.
  • Exporting the private key from Windows generated pfx certificate to be used with one of the offerings.
    • While in theory it should just work but their are some format issues which will need to be dealt with getting key material to be used with the above option.

I’m going to try the Step 1 with Python & OpenSSL and lets see where I go with it.

Next Part: Talking to the public methods of healthvault platform.

HealthVault Opens Up!!!

As detailed by Sean Nolan on FamilyHealthGuy – HealthVault now has

1. A Java wrapper library on available now on codeplex under Microsoft Public License.
2. Complete .NET SDK Source tobe released in Spring 08 under Microsoft Reference License.
3. Commited for Open Specification Promise process to be launched in Fall 08.

What this

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means is –

1. You can work with HealthVault using non Microsoft Technologies
2. You can refer to the .NET SDK if you want to develop a wrapper library to work with your technologies.
3. You can implement healthvault yourself!! – so no lock-in!
4. Transparent and Comminity driven – the process by which healthvault gets developed is transparent and open to participation by the community.