I just signed up for an OpenTest / Spine Demo Access account but found the documentation on the HSCIC site is a bit lacking, hence have written up a bit of a guide here:
What is OpenTest?
OpenTest is an Internet-facing development/testing environment for NHS Spine Services APIs
Why would I need an account if I’m coming to a Connectathon?
You probably wouldn’t need one while you’re actually at the Connectathon, as we usually have HSCIC Spine Team members there, with a portable dummy Spine Services instance running on a workstation laptop. You would connect to these via the LAN/WLAN at the Connectathon and would be able to interact with the Spine that way.
However, if you wanted to carry on working with a development/testing instance of the Spine Services after you left the Connectathon, then you’ll need to register for an OpenTest account.
How do I get an OpenTest account?
- Go to the OpenTest registration page here: http://systems.hscic.gov.uk/ddc/oats and email the HSCIC Solutions Assurance Helpdesk firstname.lastname@example.org
- At present, registration is via emailing the HSCIC Helpdesk. (The turnaround time for me when I registered was pretty fast, approximately 12-18 hours)
- Compared with signing up for access to other developer/sandbox APIs, though, it’s a clunky and apparently manual method of signing people up, and hopefully there will be a way we can help the HSCIC to create a ‘developer portal’ such as we have with other web services that a developer might interact with.
- further information is here: http://systems.hscic.gov.uk/ddc/oats/opentestinfo.pdf
What happens next?
- You get an acknowledgement email from the helpdesk first.
- In my case I then got another email saying they were going to send me an email with the credentials in it
- and then I got an email like this:
Service Desk SA (HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE INFORMATION CENTRE)
Attachments11:00 (33 minutes ago)
Thanks for your interest in Opentest. We’ve set up a VPN login and a Spine Endpoint for you:
ODS code: *******
Party key: **********
Point a browser at https://opentest.hscic.gov.uk and login using the above login/password details (login, do not connect). This will take you to a page where you can download a connection profile and/or pre-configured client software for your operating system of choice. The same login/password is used when you use that client to connect to the VPN.
We advise that you avoid using the “connect” option on the web page. We’ve had issues reported with people trying to use that with some versions of Firefox. If you’re using OSX “El Capitan” you’ll need to turn off SIP.
Once you’re connected you can check by pinging the Spine 2 Core instance on 192.168.54.6.
For talking to Spine, the SDS instance is the “core” SDS that is accessed in clear on ldap://192.168.54.6/ with an anonymous bind to (o=nhs).
Test data for PDS is at the moment available on request but in future we’ll be adding a “self service” facility for test data.
A PKCS#12 containing your endpoint certificate, key and the certificates from the trust chain is attached. There is no password on the key. Separately these are:
-----BEGIN RSA PRIVATE KEY-----
-----END RSA PRIVATE KEY-----
Solution Assurance Service Desk
- So hopefully you would get something similar!
In the coming weeks I will publish a step-by-step HOWTO: guide for connecting to the OpenTest instance from Linux, and I’m happy to add HOWTOs for other operating systems contributed by the community.