Do I need an FHIR server to implement FHIR service

I have a SQL server [third party owned], and want to build a FHIR service. I am planning to use PHP. Do I need to use a FHIR server? or can I simply build a restful API connecting to the database?

Is there any tutorial I could follow? or a book that can guide me on the steps that I need? What is the meaning of FACADE? Can I use the HAPI FHIR server to connect to a SQL server?

Sorry so many questions, but I am new to FHIR, and want some advice on how to start developing a FHIR service. Even if there is an example implementation that I could follow that would be great.

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You can do either. Which is better depends on your requirements. There’s tutorials, yes, but the ones for this question are $$ ones. I think that there’s a module about this in the HL7 FHIR online course.

Facade = ‘a front door (the API) where what’s behind that is up to you’.

You can use the HAPI framework (not the HAPI server) to connect to an SQL server, and there’s lots of people doing that

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We are using the centralized service (built in node js) at state level without FHIR server. This service connects multiple FHIR servers in backend to pull the data and model it as per specification. I think you can use build the service which can pull the data from SQL and format it as required and open the service as FHIR API.

FHIR defines an API. How you satisfy that API under the covers and how many systems it exposes data from is up to you. Logically, the data exposed over the API needs to behave as though the client is interacting with a single system.