Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about Iris.

FAQ General Information on Iris

The download and the use of the Iris software is free, there are no licences. Except: You have to accept the download condition at the time of the download.

In ancient Greek mythology, Iris is the goddess of the rainbow and the gods’ messenger. The rainbow is the bridge that Iris travels when carrying messages from the gods to humans. It is also her duty to fetch water from Styx, the river that separates the realm of the living from the realm of the dead, whenever the gods take a solemn oath. Any god that tries to cheat will fall asleep when drinking the water, and stay asleep for a year.

We chose the name of Iris for our software because of the associations with message-bearing and bridging. The aim was to develop a common mortality coding system that could be used for coding death certificates in any language. In that sense it constitutes a bridge between the language, which is local, and the ICD mortality coding instructions, which are international. The association with the river Styx is a further bonus - and it is also the name of a previous coding software developed in France, which has now been replaced by Iris.

In the logo the rainbow is indicated by the curved lines. There are 5 lines representing the 5 countries that founded the Iris Institute.

Yes, there are interfaces in: Czech, English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

Apart from the existing adaptations the Iris interface can be translated in any language.

You can create your own dictionary and standardizations in your language or you ask other countries if there is a dictionary available in your language.


You can subscribe to our newsletter to receive all relevant information on Iris, including updates.

No, fields like firstTime, EntryLevel, PswEntryOnly, PswCoder, PswHyper, PswAdmin and UserRights in the config file are not related to the maintenance password. They are used for specific adaptations of Iris.

Yes. To change the maintenance password, the user needs the present password (see Iris Reference Guide). If he knows this password, he can change it.

You can use Iris under these systems:

  • Microsoft Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10
  • Microsoft .Net Framework (since 4.5.2)
  • Microsoft Access 2003 or later, if no other database manager is available (it is not possible to use "Open Office" database)
  • or a robust relational database server like Oracle, MSSQL or MySQL directly
  • or any through OLEDB, parameters described on

Iris is independent of your browser and you can use Iris in a server environment for multiple users.

No, that is not possible. All users should use the application in the same way.

The Iris Institute no longer supports Iris versions older than version 5. The updated tables in Iris version 5 can no longer be handled by MMDS.

The structure of the unicausal tables has changed a little bit:

SENMC rule is replaced by IDMC and SENDC rule is replaced by IDDC in Iris version 5. IDMC is a new rule and it cannot be handled by MMDS. We also deleted all obsolete codes in the unicausal tables. Therefore the TABA and TABB would not work in the right way and it is not possible to produce MMDS tables for these technical reasons.

In addition, the ICD-10 updates for 2016 involve some algorithm changes which are implemented in MUSE, but not in MMDS. So the new tables and the new rules for selection of the underlying cause will not be applied in MMDS.

Please find more information about the unicausal rules at the Iris Reference Guide.

FAQ Installation

You can change the path were you store the "spec" folder.

Click the tab "Tools" and select "Options". A new window should appear. Click the tab "Coding" and click on "Version". Another new window should appear. Click on "Change Path" and select your "spec" folder.

First set the location in MMDS.ini. Then start Iris and within the Tools menu choose the Options item. On the Coding tab you can set the locations of the MMDS DATA folder, Micar.exe and Acme.exe.

No, there is no registry update done by the Iris installation. It just installs files at the specified location and creates shortcuts.

Yes. The paths are supplied in the Iris.exe.config and can be defined relative to the .exe place.

FAQ Database

Following the links below you will find scripts and screenshots on how to create an Oracle or MSSQL database (e.g. for dictionary, certificate, standardisation).

Qracle settings
MSSQL settings

The Iris Institute provides two different tables for the time intervals ("TimeIntervals" and "TimeIntervals_Ref").

"TimeIntervals_Ref" is using the round bracket "()" as delimiter and the "TimeInterval" table is using the paragraph "§" as delimiter for the time interval. So it depends on what you would like to use as delimiter. The round bracket is set as default. You can select the paragraph as delimiter in the options window (Tools >> Options >> User). Please tick the checkbox "use '§' as delimiter for intervals".

Yes, it's possible: [servername]; Port=[port number]

In the following example the default is 3306, but it can be any arbitrary port number.
Example: Click the "Tools" tab and select "Options". A new window should appear. Click the "Certificate database" tab or "Table database".

Select the checkbox "MySQL ADO.NET". Into the field "Server" type 'localhost;Port=3306'. Into the field "Database" type 'iris'.

The user needs permission for all the lot tables (all tables suffixed by 'Ident' or 'MedCod'):

Ident tables: SELECT, UPDATE (there is no creation or deletion of records in Ident table)
MedCod tables: SELECT, UPDATE, DELETE and CREATE (causes of death can be deleted and / or created during the coding process).


If you use Microsoft Access 2007 or higher, then you have to change the provider string in the "Options" (Click the tab "Tools" and select "Options").

For example if you want to change the standard settings from Microsoft Office Version 2003 to Version 2010, you have to change the provider from 'Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0' to 'Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB.12.0'.

When you use the link below, you will find the connection strings for each Microsoft Office version. You will find the link below as well at your Options tool for Tables database and Certificate database.

As Iris is developing rapidly, you should consult the table definition in the Access databases supplied by Iris. The Iris Reference Guide is updated with every new version of Iris.

Yes, Iris detects access conflicts and warns the coder if the record has been changed by another user. This should be avoided because it can result in data loss. The same warning occurs when using Iris on a write-protected database.

We use Windows or user authentication. Iris doesn't manage application roles at the moment. This is something that could be implemented later if there is a strong need.

"U" stands for Unknown and "N" for No. These values appear in the certificate database in the Ident table in columns like AutopsyRequested, AutopsyUsed, RecentSurgery, Stillbirth and MultiplePregnancy. These text fields are optional.

FAQ Batch Processing and Interactive Coding

No, it is not possible to run Iris on other programs. There is no specific program to process batch coding. However, Iris can be launched two times on the same machine: One, for instance, can process a lot in batch, while the other can be used to process another lot in interactive mode. Note that the two lots must be different, otherwise access conflicts may occur. This way the coders do not lose time for batch processing before they start coding.

Iris cannot be launched by another process and the Iris executable file doesn't accept parameters. All parameters needed for a specific implementation are defined in Iris using the options item within the Tools menu.

Please check the "Disable logging" settings option. Click the tab "Tools" and select "Options". A new window should appear. Then click the tab "General". The checkbox "Disable logging" should not be ticked.

MUSE can handle a maximum of 12 codes in one line. Ideally, the death certificate contains only one term in each line. Usually, not more than 12 codes are needed.