Steps for getting started implementing OpenMRS?

Hello Guys, I wish to become a good implementer please can someone direct me on the steps i will take on going about with openMRS implementation phase. Thanks In advance on your help

Did you get a chance to read this?


thanks @dkayiwa but before using this document do i have to do the normal developers setup?

First read the document.

ok thanks for the encouragement

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Hi Egbe,

We are currently working on ideas for making it easier for implementer’s to become involved in the OpenMRS community and to find guidance on implementation. In the meantime, the floss manual is a good starting place to better understand the overall process. I’m also happy to share some of the work that we’ve done in Mozambique regarding planning for and conducting implementations of HIS/EMR’s. The following page has a list of documents that is used in Mozambique to do OpenMRS implementation.

What kinds of things could we do here in the community to make this easier for you to get the information and discussions to help you achieve the goal of becoming a good implementer?


we have launched a project on th implementation of OpenMRS in our country and we wish to request how we can get all the already built-in forms in openmrs and how we can just add them on our system, if at all there have been some existing forms. thanks

Dear @eugene23, There are the basic vitals, visit note, admission/discharge/transfer forms included with the Reference Application. You just need to add the Reference Application related modules.

After that, there is the form bank. Unfortunately, most of these forms were from older versions of OpenMRS, and my not work with the latest versions.

Hi @arbaughj, thanks for the Help I wish to obtain directives on how i can add the Reference Application related modules. thanks

What version of OpenMRS are you using?

I am using version 2.2

@darius or @mseaton - can you add htmlforms to the RefApp now? I’m unsure of this with the latest version.

Hi @janflowers , yes since Reference Application 2.1 you have been able to add implementation defined HTML forms.

Hi @eugene23, If you’re already running OpenMRS 2.2, then you’ve got the Reference Application.

You might want to upgrade to 2.3 since that’s the latest, but the forms that are available in both versions are basically the same.

To do this, download here…

Extract and copy the omod files to the modules folder.

You should also upgrade to the latest WAR file while you’re at it; OpenMRS 1.11.5.

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thank you very much i have just downloaded

Hello @arbaughj, i dont know if you can help me with obtaining the reference application which is used here, because after deploying the war file I only get the legacy application, is there a way to get the reference application and implement it instead? thank you

Hi @eugene23.

You just need to download and install the Reference Application modules from…

After you download the modules, unzip them, and copy them (only files with extension “omod”) into the modules directory.

To find the modules directory, log into OpenMRS. Click Admin --> Module Properties. See on the page where it says “Modules stored in”. The path to the right of this lists where the modules are stored, for example… /usr/share/tomcat7/.OpenMRS/modules

After the modules are in place, restart Tomcat.

If you don’t see the new UI after adding the modules and restarting, perhaps there is some other error. Ensure the modules were added, and review the logs to see what went wrong.

I recommend you use the latest version of the Reference Application, which the link for the downloads reflects. The documentation for the latest version is at…

Good luck!

Thank you very much @arbaughj I followed the steps and they worked out perfectly well. What I wish to find out now is that now that the older forms find it hard to be installed on the latest version, what is the best approach to handle that? Is it to build new forms or what?.

Hi @eugene23, I’m glad you’ve got the Reference Application up and running.

I recently I ran into the same problem where a form in the Form Bank was for an older version of OpenMRS than the one I was running. I downloaded the standalone version (the same as the version that the form was exported from). I then attempted to import the form into the standalone. Not sure why, but I ran into errors importing some of the related concepts. I ended up giving up and designing a new form. Had it worked, I would have upgraded the standalone and tried to export the form from that.

Thank you very much for the advice @arbaughj I will go ahead and build forms too. Pls could I obtain resources which could help in making the form building process faster. I mean what I can follow in order to build new forms. Thank you

Hi @eugene23, If you want the same design as the vitals form, with each field in a separate tab, you can copy from the vitals form. You can view the HTML code behind the form under the Legacy Admin page, Manage HTML Forms.