ChemSpider was released with the ability to initiate searching of structures using two drawing tools – an Applet and ACD/ChemSketch. Other ways to submit structures include the copying and pasting of either SMILES strings or of InChI strings. We have just celebrated 2 months online and are averaging about 800 users per day at present. Examination of the usage has shown that, in order, users submit structures in the following rank order: SMILES strings, applet, ChemSketch and then InChI.
During the two month beta period we have received numerous suggestions about how to improve the system. A number of these have included new ways to query the database with a chemical structure input. Specifically, some of the statements have been: 1) Use a better structure drawing applet, 2) Provide integration to ChemDraw, 3) Provide integration to ISIS, 4) Allow copying and pasting of a molfile. All are feasible of course…it is all about priorities.
In terms of applets we already have permission to use Peter Ertl’s JME applet and are aware of other potential options including Marvin, the JChemPaint applet and the MCDL applet. We’re very happy with the present applet ourselves but welcome your comments if you believe that other applets should be made available as an option.
Your comments as welcome either as a response to this blog posting or directly at development AT chemspider DOT COM (longhanded to prevent spam).