Copyright©2008 Antony Williams
Don’t be surprised if you visit ChemSpider in the next couple of days when you are addressed with a comment saying that ChemSpider is under maintenance.
As many of you will know we integrated to SureChem online chemistry patent search a few months ago . We are now upgrading the system. We learned a lot during our proof of concept integration and are presently stripping all 8 million structures associated with SureChem off of the database and depositing the LATEST files from SureChem, almost 9 million chemical structures. If you look at the SureChem homepage you will see the exact number…as of today it says: 8,995,224 unique structures. When we did the initial integration we used SMILES strings to connect but due to the need to convert to SMILES on the fly and the heterogeneity of SMILES converters it was far from perfect. So, this time around we will be hooking together using InChIKeys. This will make direct connectivities far easier. We expect the entire process of stripping the old records, depositing the new structures and deduplication to take a few days and you might get timeouts on your searches because of the load on the database. We simply don’t have the system resources offline to do this and will be working directly on our live servers running the system. We hope to get some form of support eventually for ChemSpider but for now we have no choice other than to do what we can in parallel to running the service. Add to this the >1 million additional structures to be deposited from chemical vendors and the system will be under a bit of stress for a while.
We apologize in advance for the poor system performance as we perform this major upgrade but people that what is waiting on the other side of this work is going to provide a far better integration to SureChem.