The third and final mapping sets video demonstrates importing and exporting mapping sets.

This is the last video of a three-part series about mapping sets. You can find the other videos of this series at

You might also be interested in our other videos about mapping:

Once you’ve seen the video, you can find additional documentation at:


In the last video of the series about mapping sets I would like to demonstrate how to import and export mapping sets.

Last time I showed how to create mapping sets – which was down here with this button – but you might have a mapping set already in an Excel file that you want to import. To do this, go to File > Import, and then in the Snow Owl folder there’s “Mapping Sets from Excel file,” Next, and then just browse for your mapping set file, mine is called dermatitis.

There are three different types of import:

  1. You can either clear the existing mapping sets. This overwrites all the existing mapping sets in your view and you start out from scratch. You can also use this option when importing for the first time when your mapping sets view is empty. But you have to be careful because all the other mapping sets will be gone if you run an import this way.
  2. The second option is to merge. This means that new content is added to the existing database without removing or changing existing content. So all of the other mapping sets are kept and you could add a new mapping set or you could also add new members to mapping sets that already exist in the database.
  3. The last one would be to replace. This will update existing mapping sets by adding, modifying or removing mappings. Existing content that is not part of the import is kept and not changed. So this is updating and not just adding.

I would like to add a new mapping set to my existing data so I’m choosing the Merge option, Finish and we’re already done with the import. You can see I just imported one mapping set called Dermatitis, this is the first version of this mapping set, here we can see all the different components that were imported so these are all the mappings and then down here there’re also some metadata that were imported from this mapping set. OK. Here is the new mapping set that we just imported, we can see it’s an ICD-10 to SNOMED CT mapping set. I could move it here in the “ICD-10 to SNOMED CT” folder, so when you’re importing a mapping set it’s always here as a first level mapping set in the hierarchy. So much about importing.

Now I would like to show how to export as an Excel file. You cannot export in RF1 or RF2 format. If you needed a file like this, you would have to create a Map type reference set – we talked about this in the first video – so we will export an Excel file. Exporting is like taking a snapshot of the current data in your system so you would export all the mapping sets that are here in this view at the current state. You have to make sure that all your changes are saved before the export.

To start an export, go to File > Export and then “Mapping Sets to Excel file”, Next and I would like to export to the desktop. Let’s just call it “Export_MS” and run the export. Now all these mapping sets that are here and some of them are quite big like this one, are exported as an Excel file. It’s already done.

After the export we are presented with a link to the export file. It’s here, let’s take a look at it. We exported several mapping sets. They are listed alphabetically; each mapping set has a separate spreadsheet. On the top of the list we have what we could find in the properties tab, so the name, definition. This is the name of the version, this is the effective time so this one was already published and some optional fields in there’s some information that we would find on the metadata tab of the mapping set editor and down here, these are the mappings. It’s pretty much what you could see in your mapping set editor.

If you recall there was the option in the Table preferences to display a lot of information. By default we just display the most important information, such as the Target code system, the Target code and the Target term, and the same for the source but there’s a lot of other information that could be displayed and when you’re exporting all this information is exported into separate columns. We have effective time, the status of the mapping, if it’s active or inactive. Here is some information that is not mandatory that’s related to complex maps; then here we have the Source code system name so this is SNOMED CT, the ID of the source code system. This one hasn’t been versioned yet so there were some changes made to SNOMED CT that were not versioned. Here is the concept ID and this is the preferred term.

The target was local code system – that’s the ID of the local code system the local code system hasn’t been versioned; here we can see the identifier and the term of the local code. So it’s like what you would see in your editor. If a mapping set hasn’t been published, like for example, Diabetes – this is the one that we were just creating in the previous video – you can see this one is unversioned. It does not have an effective time because when you’re exporting you’re not making any changes to the content, you are just exporting whatever is in the system at this particular moment.

If you want to create an export file for an official release, you would need to update unpublished components first. For this you would create a new version of your mapping sets – which is this button up here – and then go to Next, enter a name for your version and a description. You can see there’s already an existing version of the mapping set. So I’m already creating the second version of the Mapping set and then you can specify an effective time here and this is the effective time that will be associated with the components that you’re versioning at this particular moment. This affects the unpublished components in your mapping sets. For example the unpublished components in the diabetes set that we created last time would get this new effective time. Then you would run an export just the way we did before, which could be used as the release file.

It’s also possible to switch between versions. F or example, if you wanted to work with an older version or export an older version, then you could use this button here. MAIN is always the latest version but if there are older versions like for example here where we’ve made changes since the last versioning of mappings sets, I could click this version and then see the older version of the mapping set. But I will make a video just about versioning and talk about this in detail. I just wanted to show these features quickly.