CSD-Core – Redefining the heart of the CSD Software Portfolio

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Written by

Pete Wood

Posted on

December 9, 2020

Our central suite for data search and visualisation is now called CSD-Core - and we wanted to explain why we've made this change.

Since the 1990s, the CCDC has referred to the collection of software provided around the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD) itself as the "CSD System" (see The Cambridge Structural Database (CSD): Current Activities and Future Plans). In the early days, this "CSD System" consisted of just a few programs, such as QUEST for searching, PLUTO for visualisation and GSTAT for data analysis.


In later years QUEST was replaced by ConQuest, PLUTO was replaced by Mercury and GSTAT was replaced by VISTA, as well as other CSD System programs being introduced such as IsoStar (1997) and Mogul (2004) for analysis of intermolecular geometries and intramolecular geometries respectively. Alongside these core programs for interrogating and understanding the CSD, the CCDC has developed over the years a series of more application-focussed products, such as SuperStar, Hermes and GOLD targeted towards protein-ligand interactions, plus more recently functionality targeted towards solid-state applications initially described as the Materials Module of Mercury (then later as CSD-Materials). 


In November 2015, the CCDC launched three new software suites to the user communityCSD-Discovery to support the discovery of new molecules, CSD-Materials for the study of crystalline materials, and CSD-Enterprise, which included the complete set of the CCDC’s applications incorporating both CSD-Discovery and CSD-Materials, as well as the database and all the core applications (the "CSD System"). At this point "CSD System" referred to the core suite comprising the CSD and central programs, like ConQuest and Mercury, and the name was simply hyphenated in keeping with the other new software suites to be called "CSD-System".


In the 2020.3 CSD Release we are re-naming our central CSD-System suite of programs as CSD-Core. This change in name emphasises that the collection is really the core of the CSD Software Portfolio and has strong applicability across all areas of structural science, all the way from chemistry and physics through to biology. The CSD-Discovery and CSD-Materials suites are more focused on specific application areas, but the functionality within CSD-Core is of relevance to all structural science applications including fundamental structural research, pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, energetic materials, paints, pigments, dyes, organic semiconductors, non-linear optics, ferroelectrics, magnetic materials, catalysts, gas storage materials, batteries, and many more. 


What is in the CSD-Core suite?

This re-naming and re-focussing of the suite as the core of the portfolio has allowed us to reflect on what is included in the CSD-Core suite as well.


We have now decided to additionally include Hermes in the CSD-Core suite to ensure that all the core capabilities are now covered, including visualisation of protein structures.


CSD-Core now encompasses:


Overview of the CSD Software Portfolio, including CSD-Core at the heart


More Information

Find out more about CSD-Core on the web page here.

You can also hear more about CSD-Core at our next CCDC Customer Update Webinar in early 2021, register here.