CSD Database Evolution

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Written by

Matt Lightfoot

Posted on

September 14, 2022

The Cambridge Structural Database, CSD, is at the heart of our plan to advance structural science. Our software and services use the database to provide insights and drive decisions based on high-quality, trusted data.

Here we'll update you on what's changing with the CSD as we undergo the database evolution project.

By evolving our database, we're strengthening our very foundation — so that in the future we can help you to store new data types, get updates faster, and access CCDC tools in the cloud without the need for installation.

You'll start to see some changes as we progress, and we will update you in our newsletter and regular What's Up webinars.

Read more: News story — Science is changing, and so is the CCDC.


What is the CSD Database Evolution project?

We are evolving the architecture of the Cambridge Structural Database, to provide a better foundation for our future plans.

In time this will allow us to support you better, as data types and working practices continue to evolve.

If you have questions or feedback, get in touch here.

Why is the CSD changing?

You need the best data and tools to bring your work to life.

The CSD evolution is our first step towards providing you with;

  • More data types
  • Faster updates
  • Easier access to our tools without installation

When will I see changes?

The timeline below illustrates the stages involved in this project. We'll update this page with details as we progress.

This project will not cause any downtime for our users.

Stay informed on major updates and changes through our monthly newsletters or regular What's Up webinars.



  • April 2021, launch: A new database handling all text and numeric searches (CCDC-hosted Access Structures and WebCSD services only)
  • August 2021: display of associated data from the new database.
  • October 2021: optimizing the storage of 2D and 3D data to support future substructure searching.
  • December 2021: new edit flow service to enable future bulk improvements to CSD entries.
  • March 2022: addition of a results store to enable the future caching of results and storage of searches.
  • June 2022: release of 2D substructure searching, 2D display with hit-highlighting, and 3D display with hit-highlighting.
  • September 2022: release of formula, unit cell, and similarity searching.

Stay informed

Get the latest updates on this project and more in our monthly email newsletter.

Register here.


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