In January 2022, SNOMED International moved to releasing the International Edition of SNOMED CT at the end of every month, rather than just twice a year. Today, we are announcing the move to a new release day: the first day of each month.
In this blog, SNOMED International Release Manager Andrew Atkinson explains why we made the shift, how it reflects our ongoing commitment to innovation and evolution throughout the entire lifecycle of a release, and how it benefits our users.
Q: What change will users see as of September 2023?
AA: The International Edition packages will be released on MLDS on the first of each month, instead of the last day of the month. The final release on the old schedule will be on July 31, 2023, and the first release on the new schedule will be published on September 1, 2023. This means there will be no release in the month of August 2023, as there would be no new content to publish on August 1 after just having deployed the July release on the day before! This will be the only month to go without a release (including August 2024), as after that there will be a new release published indefinitely on the first of each month.
Q: Why did SNOMED International and the Community decide to change the release day to the first of the month?
AA: There were multiple drivers for this change, from removing the ambiguity of release dates to preventing conflicts with certain types of extension content. However, the predominant reason is to improve the efficiency of the release cycles, in order to provide benefits such as additional time for those stakeholders who base their extension and derivatives on the International Edition releases.
Q: What problems will the new release day solve?
AA: As mentioned, it removes any confusion as to which date releases will be published (previously they could be on the 28th, 29th, 30th, or 31st).
Q: What kind of stakeholder engagement did we conduct to get feedback on this change?
AA: We have discussed this proposal at great length with a variety of stakeholders, across multiple conferences. We also published early visibility notifications in the recent April 2023 International Edition announcements and Release Notes, and put a notice in our Early Visibility page - both providing the means for users to share their comments with us: https://confluence.ihtsdotools.org/display/RMT/2023+Early+Visibility+Release+Notifications
Q: What impact does this have on national extensions or derivative releases?
AA: This should have very little impact on extensions and derivatives, other than a positive one, which is to provide a bit of extra time for translations and migrations that are based on the “January” and “July” releases. That’s because these dependent releases will be brought forward from January 31 and July 31, to January 1 and July 1 respectively (instead of being moved back to February 1/August 1). This will prevent any confusion as to which releases are termed “January”/”July,” and will provide additional time for stakeholders to prepare their extension/derivative content that is dependent upon these releases.
Q: What does this mean for the next monthly release?
AA: The May 2023 International Edition release will be published as normal on May 31, as will the June and July releases (on June 30 and July 31 respectively).
The first release on the first of the month will be published on September 1, 2023, and we will then continue to publish all subsequent releases on the first of each month.
Concerns or questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.