ADL 2 Specifications

Project Overview

This is the home page of the ADL / AOM 12 project. ADL = Archetype Definition Language, AOM = Archetype Object Model. For newcomers, here is a primer on archetypes.

NOTE: until Sep 2014, the development ADL / AOM specifications were designated '1.5'. However, the openEHR Working meeting in Oslo 2014 decided that it should be renamed to '2' due to breaking changes. Additionally, backwards compatible post-ADL 1.4 versions of ADL / AOM will be retrospectively introduced, to support openEHR vendor migration, and also the ISO revision of 13606.


The following people are involved in the work reported on this page. Please email the project leader if you would like to be involved, or post on the openehr-technical mailing list.

Project LeadThomas Beale
EditorsThomas Beale
/ Reviewers* 

Koray Atalag, MD, PhD, Sen. Researcher, National Institute for Health Innovation (NIHI), NZ
Linda Bird PhD, IHTSDO
Diego Boscá, Technical University Valencia, VeraTech for Health, Spain
Rong Chen MD, PhD, CMO Cambio Healthcare Systems, Sweden
Borut Fabjan, Program Manager, Marand, Slovenia
Sebastian Garde, Ocean Informatics UK
Peter Gummer, Ocean Informatics
Sam Heard MD, Ocean Informatics UK
Stan Huff MD, Intermountain Healthcare, UT, USA
Dipak Kalra MD, PhD, Professor Health Informatics, UCL, president Eurorec
Shinji Kobayashi PhD, Kyoto University EHR research unit
Bostjan Lah, Architect, Marand, Slovenia
Ian McNicoll MD, Ocean Informatics UK
David Moner, Technical University Valencia, VeraTech for Health, Spain
Pablo Pazos Gutierrez, Tarmac IT, CaboLabs, Uruguay
Harold Solbrig, Mayo Clinic
Erik Sundvall PhD, Linkoping University, Sweden
Alessandro Torrisi, Code24, Netherlands 

*please add yourself if we missed you (also feel free to correct any errors)!

Current status

The ADL and AOM specifications have been replublished in a close to final form in Q4 2014, containing what are considered to be all of the changes. The ADL Workbench includes all of the semantics documented in these specifications.

Development history

The specifications proposed on this page have been developed after some years of experience of building archetype tools (based on ADL 1.4, aka ISO 13606-2) and template tools (using the de facto .oet XML standard) by various organisations, including:

  • Cambio Healthcare Systems (Sweden), 
  • Kyoto university, Japan
  • Ljubljana medical centre
  • Ocean Informatics (Australia & UK), 
  • Technical University of Valencia (Spain), 
  • Linköping University (Sweden), 
  • the UK NHS, 
  • Queensland Health (Australia), 
  • Victorian Dept. Health (Australia).

[please add your organisation]

Clinical modellers and users of the Clinical Knowledge Manager (CKM) (at and in various countries) have provided crucial feedback on the challenges of identification, lifecycle management, versioning and namespacing. This has been captured in the Knowledge Artefact Identification specification, as well as the AOM and ADL specifications.

During 2011 - 2013, input and review feedback has also been obtained from participants in the Clinical Information Modelling Initiative (CIMI) forum, set up by Dr Stan Huff at Intermountain Healthcare, and including US DoD, VA, Nehta (Australia), CHI (Canada), Singapore MOHH, Mayo Clinic, Intermountain, GE Health, openEHR, HL7, 13606 Association, and others. CIMI chose ADL 1.5 (now ADL 2) as its default content modelling formalism in 2011. Due to CIMI, the OMG RfP 'Archetype Modelling Language (AML)' was created, and the work performed to ready this RfP has also resulted in detailed review of the ADL and AOM specifications. These two sources of input have been invaluable, and have led to a series of innovations which make the archetype formalism truly reference model independent, and more terminologically capable.

During the process of developing the new specifications, the models and syntax for ADL 12 archetypes and templates has been implemented in the Archetype Workbench so that a) the specifications can be validated and b) the community can see them in action.

Specification Resources

Tooling Resources

Archetype Resources

Numerous archetypes can be found at openEHR / adl-archetypes Github. These can all be downloaded in one go by doing a Git clone of the whole repository in the normal fashion. If you just want to browse archetypes to get an idea of what they look like, the following direct links will help:

ADL 1.4 archetypes can be found in various locations, including the following (some of which have live tracking mirrors on Github):