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WebCSD: Fast web-based access to the latest crystal structures

[WebCSD screenshot] Search result showing 3-chloroflavanone (CSD refcode KEJBUW); the 3D structure can be manipulated within the embedded visualiser (Jmol).

The CCDC is pleased to announce that internet access to the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD) will soon be available.

WebCSD has been developed using CCDC’s C++ toolkit and enhances the search, analysis, exploration and validation tools already provided with the CSD System. The software searches on a relational SQL version of the CSD and affords convenient and rapid access to this unique database that is approaching one-half million crystal structures.

Convenient and rapid access: WebCSD does not require you to install and register software locally; institutions with a site-wide CSD licence need only to provide their IP range(s) and the CSD can immediately be searched or browsed from any computer across their entire site. Automatic software and database updates: Database updates will be made regularly providing you with access to the very latest structures. In addition, new features can be made available as soon as they are developed.

Searching and browsing results: WebCSD has been designed with speed, simplicity and convenience of use in mind. In addition to offering a full range of text, numeric and bibliographic search options, WebCSD provides reduced cell, 2D substructure, and similarity search options. Search results are displayed in your browser. This convenient new display offers a choice of embedded 3D visualiser: JMol or AstexViewer. All crystallographic information for a hit structure is presented in a single tabbed pane, including a 2D chemical diagram. Furthermore, selected text fields are hyperlinked allowing immediate retrieval of all other CSD entries containing a particular keyword e.g. plate, cyclopentadienyl, Allen.

Use in teaching: With WebCSD teachers obtain a tool that will have great value in the classroom. A range of illustrative teaching exercises that utilise WebCSD are available on the CCDC website: WebCSD used in conjunction with these teaching materials will help make crystallographic data accessible to the non-specialist. This provides opportunity to showcase the power of crystallography as a technique to a broad audience, and to demonstrate the utility of crystallographic information across the whole of the chemistry curriculum.

Gary Battle