Setting up a FHIR server on your local machine in 5 minutes

Creating and connecting to a cloud FHIR server is hard work. Same with a commercial server. How do you run FHIR locally for free?

Microsoft provide a step by step guide for running their open source FHIR server in a Docker container.

If you’re familiar with Docker Desktop, this should take you about 3-5 minutes. If you’re new to Docker it may take you an hour or so to get everything installed and running.

Links are at the bottom of the post. Here are the steps:

1. Ensure you have Docker Desktop installed. [1]

2. Pull the Microsoft Docker image for FHIR R4. [2]

3. Create the FHIR network. [3]

4. Pull and run SQL Server. [3]

5. Run the FHIR instance. [3]

6. In Postman, add your first Patient. [4]

That’s it. Six steps and you’re up and running.

Anyone can do this. All it takes is a little knowledge and a little time. No accounts required — everything is open source and free to use.

Perfect for building and testing FHIR apps!

[When you get to step 5 above, if you’re running .NET 6 on your local machine there’s a bug in the SQL Server authentication that will cause the server to fail. If you encounter it, add Encrypt=false; to the step 5 connection string and run the command again.]




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