VISTA/DHCP Activities in Finland

During the week of December 2, 1996, Dr. Yrjo Jokinen of University of Kuopio, Finland, visited the San Francisco IRM Field Office. On his first visit, he described the software development work underway for the hospitals in Finland using much of the VISTA/DHCP Infrastructure (did you know they used FileMan before the VA did?). The issues they face are virtually the same as we do - how to shift to client/server, what to buy/what to build, the speed of technology change, and so on. Dr. Jokinen was provided a copy of the RPC Broker v1.0 and its associated (preview) developer kit. In the spirit of continuing to foster a closer working relationship with these pioneers, we will ship him the 32-bit version when we have it ready for field testing on a wider scale than we have today (as intend to do for many of our VA colleagues as well!). Dr. Jokinen also offered us a draft paper - Application Development with Vas FileMan: From Terminals via Client/Server to Web - which they are planning to present at MTA in May 97.

On Friday, Dr. Jokinen returned to demonstrate some of their prototype applications that use the RPC Broker. He had received an overview of work in progress for VISTA/DHCP and he was very interested in CPRS. We went to the Intranet and gave him a very good overview of the extent of the functionality and the overall design metaphor, printing out the information from the Visual Design page for him. Dr. Jokinen is interested in maybe funding someone to visit Finland in early May to show things like CPRS to a meeting of folks who will be planning informatics solutions for their hospitals. He will get back to us on that (talk about an incentive to master CPRS!).

We also agreed, at Dr. Jokinen's request to consider any way the Finns could do some development that would contribute to VISTA/DHCP. For now, we have asked that they get their feedback about use of the Broker and VA FileMan Components to us as we are actively working in these areas.

Dr. Jokinen was a wonderful guest. He had attended a meeting in which there were lots of presentations about the Web and was amazed by the frenzy to use this tool. He sees the value, but is amused by the stampede to use a tool without much planning on the part of many of the enthusiasts. Like us, his colleagues are wondering if they should jump past Client/Server and just do Web front ends. And like us, he feels the security is not sufficient enough just quite yet.

As we showed him the Intranet content, he was very complimentary. We looked at VA FileMan, CPRS, the Visual Design Page and the general overall structure. He would love to access it from Finland!