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Implementing RxNav, a RxNorm Browser
The RxNorm Navigator (RxNav) is a browser that allows users to query the RxNorm database by any of its components (ingredient, clinical drug, brand name, etc) and displays all the information related to a given component on a single page. RxNorm data are extracted from the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS). The client/server architecture was chosen over a local installation of the data because drug information is updated frequently. RxNav is implemented in java and makes use of several open-source software resources, including Java Web Start, Apache Axis, Apache HTTP Server and GSpell. More specifically, the Apache HTTP Server hosts all the application files; Java Web Start serves as the deployment mechanism; the spelling suggestion module, based on GSpell, is implemented as a web service via Apache Axis. These open-source software components enabled an efficient implementation, and a flexible and extensible architecture.