iawards winner 2012

Minnow was a browser for SNOMED CT-AU and the Australian Medicines Terminology.


Minnow is now superseded by Shrimp, which is HTML5, SVG, and Javascript based, and runs in most modern web browsers (IE8 and earlier are not supported).

Minnow was a browser for SNOMED CT-AU and the Australian Medicines Terminology (AMT) and was based on components developed for the more comprehensive Snapper Platform, a semantic mapping and reference set editor.

minnow ontology view


Minnow allowed the user to:

  • Search SNOMED CT-AU and AMT content;
  • Browse the SNOMED CT-AU and AMT hierarchies;
  • Display the definition of SNOMED CT-AU and AMT Concepts using the (draft) Diagramming notation; and
  • Compare post-coordinated expressions for subsumption.

In addition to now supporting AMT v3, Minnow has also undergone changes to bring it up to speed with technology.

    • Works with Java 7 instead of being limited to the outdated Java 6.
    • Has a fresh modern look thanks to the latest version of Eclipse (4.3)
    • Latest versions of SNOMED CT and AMT without updating.

Minnow now uses our cloud-hosted terminology server to provide its content. This means that you won’t need to download Minnow in the future to get the latest version of the terminology – once it is available on the server, Minnow will automatically show you the latest version.

System Requirements

  • Java 7

Minnow is now being made available with and without Java. If you have Java 7 installed on your computer already, download the version without Java. If you don’t have any other need for Java 7, you can download the version with Java 7 pre-packaged. If you would like other applications to use Java 7 then you can install java 7 separately and then download the version without java.

Your local IT support should be able to help you determine if you have Java 7 already installed, and if not, help you decide if you should install it separately or bundled with Minnow. Please note, installing Minnow with Java does not make Java available to your web browser and therefore does not expose your machine to Java plugin-related security risks.

Installation Requirements

  • Identify the appropriate ZIP file for your computer

When you have registered for the download, you will need to select the appropriate ZIP file to download.

Operating System Filename Includes Java
Windows Minnow-win32-yyyymmdd.zip No
Windows Minnow-win32-yyyymmdd-incl-Java7.zip Yes
Mac OS X Minnow-OSX-x86_64-yyyymmdd.zip No
Mac OS X Minnow-OSX-x86_64-yyyymmdd-incl-Java7.zip Yes
Linux Minnow-linux-x86-yyyymmdd.zip No
Linux 64 bit Minnow-linux-x86_64-yyyymmdd.zip No
  • Start the download process by following this link, fill out the registration form, then download and save the appropriate file.
  • Extract the ZIP file.
    Windows users should extract the files into a folder near the top of the drive (for example, C:Program FilesMinnow ) to avoid Microsoft Window’s Maximum Path Length Limitation.
  • If required, follow these detailed instructions for the Windows installation.
  • Run Minnow by double-clicking the Minnow icon.
  • If you need to configure Minnow to use your proxy server if your organisation sits behind a firewall, follow these proxy configuration instructions.
  • Documentation is available here and via the Help menu:
  • An FAQ is available here.
  • Minnow version information (including bug fixes) is available here.


Minnow FAQ

Q. When I start Minnow, I am presented with the following dialog box. What is happening?
Minnow FAQs

A. Minnow gets its data over the Internet from Ontoserver. If Minnow is unable to communicate with any of the Ontoservers it is configured with, it will present the dialog box you are seeing. There are a few reasons this could occur

  1. All the configured Ontoservers are currently offline
  2. You could be experiencing Internet connectivity problems
  3. Your organisation sits behind a firewall and is preventing Minnow from communicating with the configured Ontoservers.

If this is the very first time you are starting Minnow, the 3rd reason is your most likely reason. You can get around this issue by using your organisation’s proxy server. To do this you will need to find out the details of your proxy server from your IT department and then follow these proxy configuration instructions.

In some organisations, an exception might be added to the firewall to allow Minnow to talk to Ontoserver. This would be done by your IT department and no configuration of Minnow would be required. The firewall would need to be configured to allow HTTP requests to ontoserver.csiro.au on port 80.

If you have successfully used Minnow before, the first two reasons are more likely to be the cause. Make sure you are connected to the Internet or try later if you are connected to the Internet.

Q. I am getting some strange search behavior from Minnow. For instance if I search for the letter “b” I get nothing returned and a red bar at the bottom of the search results. And sometimes when I apply a filter, results that were showing up disappear. But my colleague doesn’t get any of these problems on their computer!?

A. If you have had a previous version of Minnow on your computer, then the workspace may be causing problems for you as it may have data in it that is not compatible with your new version. The workspace is located in your user directory under “minnow-workspace”. This could be something like C:Users<userid>minnow-workspace. You can rename this directory to something else so that Minnow will recreate the workspace the next time it starts which will hopefully correct your problems. The Minnow workspace contains your application preferences such as window sizing and licence agreements so it can be safely renaming or deleting. You will be returned to a freshly installed state of Minnow.

Q. I am getting an error message that says “The folder C:minnow-workspace.metadata” is read-only. What’s going on?

A. The default location for the workspace is in your user directory. It sounds like someone has changed the location of the workspace in order to share it between multiple users on the one computer. You need to also make sure that this new location is one that all users have (write) access to.

Minnow Version Information

Minnow Version Information

20140806 – Fix added for proxy servers that require authentication. The “Manual” Active Provider for Network Connections will now supply a username/password to a proxy server. Logging has been configured for the application and goes to “application.log” in the same directory as the executable.

20140723 – Bug fixes for the group button (Search View), “Clear All” option for Reference Sets, and Reference Set membership in the Ontology Viewer. Updated Ontoserver client for improved search results.

20140711 – Only Mac OSX without Java versiondownload made available after issues with Minnow not launching were rectified. This issue did not appear in the version that had Java packaged with it.

20140709 – Bug fix for “Manual” Proxy Server configuration

Minnow Documentation

  • Help Manual
  • Installation (Windows)
  • Proxy Configuration