Renamed the developer hub

Back in March 2023 we asked you about the name of our developer hub. We’d had some feedback that the name might not resonate with some of our users. Many of you said it was fine as it was, but quite a few of you said it wasn’t - many of you don’t identify as developers - you are testers, managers, product owners, onboarding leads and more. The alternative many of you preferred was ‘integration hub’ - which says what it does, rather than who it’s for.

Based on your feedback, we have renamed the hub. We have opted for a compromise: ‘developer and integration hub’. We decided to leave ‘developer’ in the title for familiarity, and because it’s an industry standard term. It also means we haven’t had to change the URL - so you can see the renamed hub at Developer and integration hub.

Please do tell us what you think about this change in the comments below.

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I hope I am not the only one who considers the constant re-branding of NHS product and services to be an annoyance. It looks really unprofessional in my opinion. Everyone I speak to (technical and non-technical) still use ‘NHS Digital’ because it provides a very clear boundary unlike ‘NHS England’ which can mean anything.

I would rather see your time and money spent simplifying thing like the ODS XML (hscorgrefdataxml_data) file which is horrible to work with (in python or Powershell at least) due to it’s nesting level and lists/array values. This is the FULL file I’m referring to. Perhaps this could be broken up and simplified a better?

Now what I do love is that someone (somemultiple?) takes the time and effort to produce Python and .Net examples on working with the API. The crew behind this deserve big praise as it is by far the best documentation of anything that comes out of NHS digital (England).
Even the SDE (TRE, re-branded, shocking!) has good documentation. I just don’t understand why TRUD cannot offer the same amount of explicit clarity.

Back to renaming. I just consider this to be “NHS Digital API site” which actually describes what it is. I’ll never remember “Developer and Integration hub”. Sounds like someone is trying to be fancy rather than keeping it simple.

Hi Robert, thanks for your feedback.

Setting priorities is always difficult - we have to take into account both value and cost. Re-branding the developer hub was actually pretty low cost - just a few hours of content work - and whilst the value isn’t as high as making APIs like the ODS XML API easier to use, there is value - we’ve heard a significant number of users saying they assume the developer hub contains only technical resources, whereas there is way more to it.

The change from NHS Digital to NHS England is another matter of course - that’s too big a thing for me to comment on.

Silver lining (perhaps) - the ODS team is working on a FHIR R4 API which will hopefully be easier to use than the XML API.

Thanks Team, we welcome this change as it now represents the National Integration Adaptors and APIs for New Market Entrant System Suppliers

Seems slightly odd to jointly name something after both a role and an activity, but naming things is never easy and user research showed that the new name better reflects what users expect to find within the hub, then it seems like a sensible change.

So this portal is no longer the developer community?

You make a good point.

There’s a similar question about the “developer account” - the account you need to contribute to the “developer community”, as well as set up access to environments and complete digital onboarding.

We have lots of people who are responsible for onboarding to our APIs and services that don’t consider themselves “developers” (because they are not software engineers) and feel a bit weird signing up for a “developer account”.

And we’d like the “developer community” to be a place where people can discuss all topics relating to integrating with our APIs and services. Or maybe even more broadly, all topics related to what I call “building healthcare software” (or perhaps “building health and social care software”).

In truth, there is no one name that will work for everyone - we are left with choosing the least bad option.

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@tony.heap a great point. Good hard working NHS doctors in the community. Their insights would be appreciated.