Have questions about Ontoserver or SnoMAP?

See our FAQs below or contact us.


Ontoserver FAQs

Open allClose all

The Ontoserver terminology server facilitates and supports the correct use of national clinical terminologies, e.g. SNOMED CT-AU and LOINC, within healthcare organisations and systems in Australia and supports clinicians in providing better care for patients by having the correct information and researchers in accessing higher quality data.

Its prime objective is to enable easy access to terminologies, vocabularies and value sets which can be synchronised – ensuring that data collected across organisations is using the same “language”.

Organisations are able to license the Ontoserver technology through a sole-supplier framework. This will support innovation at the local level with the ability to add local content and to build local “apps” which access thousands of terminologies and value sets through a single API.

Ontoserver uses the world-leading FHIR native terminology to provide an end-to-end service to customers.

For more detailed information on Ontoserver see the Ontoserver product page

Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) is a standard for exchanging healthcare information electronically. HL7, the company that developed FHIR, recognised that there is an increasing requirement to make healthcare records available, discoverable, and understandable. In addition, structured and standardised data is increasingly required to support automated clinical decision support and other machine-based processing.

To meet these needs. FHIR was developed around a set of modular components known as “resources”. A number of standard resources have been defined within FHIR to support a range of different use cases, including those relating to clinical terminology. FHIR resources represent a domain model and serialisation format for healthcare integration solutions.

For more detailed information on FHIR, see the FHIR Launchpad for developers

Within Australia, you can email help@digitalhealth.gov.au to request a free Ontoserver licence. ADHA will then arrange authorisation for your quay.io account.

Elsewhere, email ontoserver-support@csiro.au to discuss licensing terms (both evaluation and production licences are available for single and multiple instances with no limit on the number of users). Once the licence is established, CSIRO will register your quay.io account name to enable access to their repository

Authoring, maintenance and distribution for those who want to:

  • make content readily available by the FHIR APIs and Syndication Service
  • author and maintain CodeSystems, Value Sets and Concept Maps
  • keep up to date with CodeSystems and maintain local content
  • collaborate with National Services or other HealthCare organisations to develop and publish content for others to use
  • readily adopt SNOMED CT and keep up to date with national releases, but don’t want to have to understand RF2.

Smart data entry and performant run time use for those who want to support:

  • performant smart search of SNOMED CT or other CodeSystems in clinical information systems
  • advanced use of SNOMED CT for decision support, subsumption etc

Information modelling and specification development allows users to:

  • bind terminology and value to sets to data models and specifications
  • validate the terminology content against the specifications
  • validate that the FHIR resources are compliant.

Interoperability/electronic health records/secure messaging to:

  • validate or translate content
  • validate that FHIR profiles are compliant.

Analytics for those who want to:

  • use terminology in advanced way in analytics queries- subsumption
  • to translate content on load or on demand as part of their analytics service.

Code systems, value sets and maps are currently maintained by a variety of different file formats where application code needs to understand the format and semantics and be coded specifically for the content being loaded. Ontoserver overcomes this by creating a common API for that content and encapsulates the semantics.

Adopting FHIR terminology services (which Ontoserver implements) means that all code systems, value sets and maps can be maintained and used from one API.

Ontoserver enables more frequent updates to newer versions of terminology, thus overcoming a consistent weakness of existing systems not using a terminology server.

For clinicians, Ontoserver can provide:

  • Better UI/data entry, improved implementation of terminologies when integrated into the UI of existing systems.
  • The ability to get more involved in the development of value sets and code systems through the community ecosystem approach.
  • The ability to take advantage of the data made available through analytics systems for data capture, exchange of data and analytics.

For healthcare organisations, research institutes and standards development organisations, Ontoserver can provide:

  • Faster and more meaningful adoption of terminologies and classifications to meet mandatory requirements
  • Local autonomy and governance over terminology management
  • Tools to enable the management of content in one place, syndicate to national CodeSystems, ValueSets etc.
  • Tools to enable content creation and content use
  • The ability to participate as part of the ecosystem, and work collaboratively with other organisations participating as part of the ecosystem

  • Pathways for more advanced use of terminologies – interoperability, advanced analytics etc.

For software developers or vendors, Ontoserver:

  • Offers a familiar development environment and technologies
  • Lowers the entry bar – resulting in faster and more meaningful adoption
  • Enables vendors to put development effort towards key features of their products
  • Enables a better data entry/UI/search experience for customers
  • Enables more frequent content updates
  • Provides a pathway for more advanced use of terminology
  • Offers a reduced education effort
  • Decouples implementers from native terminology release formats like RF2 and internal concept models
  • Negates the need to develop a high-cost solution for searching which usually curtails the effort and hence the effectiveness and utility of the search mechanisms.



SnoMAP Starter is a one -directional map from SNOMED CT-AU concepts to ICD-10-AM (11th Edition).

Access to the snoMAP Starter Web Service is free.

snoMAP starter is provided as a free service and there are resources available to support its use.  Please make sure you have read the “Web Service Usage Guide” for instructions and have a working knowledge/ understanding about maps and their use (see Terminology Map Implementation Guide).  If you still require further support, this can be provided under a service contract.  Contact snomap@csiro.au to enquire about these services.

Please request a logon by emailing snomap@csiro.au and providing your name, email and organisation name (or if you are an individual)

If the SNOMED CT-AU concept you have identified as missing meets the scope and design criteria provided, you can request for it to be added to SnoMAP Starter by emailing snomap@csiro.au

Mapping support can be provided under our contract services.  Please contact us at snomap@csiro.au to enquire.

You are required to hold an ICD-10-AM licence to utilise the snoMAP Starter.  You must be permitted to use ICD-10-AM based on your location and within a licensed country and you will be required to agree to the SnoMAP Web Service Terms and Conditions. 

The SNOMED CT-AU release used in this map can be found in the release note.  It is updated quarterly in January, April, July and October.

No match means that the code provided does not meet the scope of the map.  Please read the Web Service Usage Guide.

The map is updated quarterly in January, April, July and October.

You will require a working knowledge of both SNOMED CT-AU and ICD-10-AM to use the map provided by this tool.  Working knowledge of MS Excel and the use of csv files is also required.

All SNOMED CT-AU concept ID’s should be set to ‘text’ in excel.  There are some excel tips at the end of the Usage guide which you might find useful.

Your personal information is protected by the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and CSIRO will handle your personal information in accordance with this Act and the NH&MRC National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007, updated 2018), and as otherwise required by law. 

Your personal information including your login details, organisation name and system information such as internet protocol (IP) address, device number, browser and geolocation data, and log/usage data, will be collected for the purposes of facilitating your access and use of the snoMAP Web Service (the Service), and related scientific research.  

If you are a CSIRO employee, you can use CSIRO’s existing ‘Single-Sign-On’ process to log into the service. If you are an external user, you will be asked to apply for access and CSIRO will email you your pre-generated username and password, which you can then use to log into the Service. 

The snoMAP Web Service is hosted by CSIRO on Microsoft Azure servers based in Australia. 

CSIRO may disclose your personal information to third parties including Amazon, for the purposes outlined above. If you are a CSIRO employee, your login details will not be disclosed to Microsoft.

The information collected as part of your use of the snoMAP Web Service will be de-identified/aggregated and may be published/presented in an internal CSIRO report to assess the usefulness of the service and inform improvements. 

For further information on CSIRO’s privacy policy and CSIRO’s complaints process please read CSIRO’s Privacy Policy at https://www.csiro.au/en/about/Policies/Privacy or you can contact privacy@csiro.au.