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This guide provides a simple and practical example of how a relational database can be used to enable effective access to the content and features of SNOMED CT. The guide includes tested SQL scripts for loading release files into a relational database, searching the terminology and querying the terminology for concepts that meet simple but useful constraints.

The primary purpose of this document is to enhance understanding of the logical design of SNOMED CT and to provide practical ways to access the key features of SNOMED CT in a widely understood programming language. For more scalable and performant approaches to implementing SNOMED CT please visit SNOMED International's Github repository - e.g.

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This document is a publication of International Health Terminology Standards Development Organisation, trading as SNOMED International.  SNOMED International owns and maintains SNOMED CT®.

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1. Introduction

2. Objectives, Audiences and Uses

3. SNOMED CT Example Database

4. Database Design

5. Creating and Populating a SNOMED CT Database

Appendix A: Building the SNOMED CT Example Database

Appendix B: Obtaining SNOMED CT Release Files

Appendix C: Release Types and Versioned Views

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