Frequently asked questions about Daylight's HTML interface to WDI.

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Why is there a special interface for WDI?

The HTML interface to WDI is designed to make access as simple as possible, implementing a "what do you want -- here it is" interface. The end-user does not need to know about servers, database names, datatypes, datatrees, thesaurus-orientation, ambiguous cross-references, etc.

WDI contains mainly pharmacological information and trade names. This interface is designed to deliver this information quickly and reliably to users who do not need to be chemical information specialists.

WDI isn't unique in this respect: Daylight produces simplified interfaces for other databases also.

What can I ask for?

You can specify any identifier in the database, specifically: SMILES, CAS numbers, and all kinds of names (Trade name, Derwent preferred name, International name, United States Adopted Name). Except in the case of SMILES, queries are case-, whitespace-, and punctuation-insensitive.

Doesn't it get confused by ambigous trade names?

No, the Thor (thesaurus-oriented retrieval) methodology used here is good at dealing with ambiguous identifiers (e.g., two chemicals with the same name). All matching references are shown any time there is an ambiguity. For instance, if you look up "SULFAZOL", you will get the data for both SULFATHIAZOLE (SULFAZOLE is WELT's Trade name) and for SULFAPHENAZOLE (SULFAZOLE is BARLOCCO's Trade name).

Is WDI the same database as SDF, the Standard Drug File?

Sort of. The WDI database evolved from SDF. The current version of WDI covers is more comprehensive than SDF was.

Is this the same WDI database as used by Derwent?

Yes. Each version (e.g., "wdi971") is derived from the data copyrighted by Derwent and is distributed under license with Derwent.

Does the Daylight version contain all entries in the original?

Yes, as nearly as possible. Over 99.2% of the entries were converted without error; most of the remainder contained structures which didn't make sense and were loaded without an associated structure.

Can I do substructure and similarity searching?

No. The current HTML interface is limited to looking up specific chemicals. However, catalog entries are shown for enantiomers, isotopes, and other isomers of the requested chemical.

How can I draw in a structure (rather than typing SMILES)?

Your choice of an editor depends on the kind of machine on which you are working. This can be customized by editing the dcgi_env.sh file.

The product table depictions are hot. Why bother?

Clicking on a depiction on a page brings up the "Depict" (Interactive depiction of SMILES) page. Editing the SMILES on this page changes the picture but does not affect what data is shown when returning to the interface.

Invoking the Depict page is simply a way of providing the SMILES for any structure in a cut-and-paste-able form.

Why are "black-on-paper depictions" offered?

Depending on how your computer system is set up, color-on-black graphics may not show up well when printed to monochromatic printers. The "black-on-paper" option produces nice output with most browser/printer combinations.

Can I save specific WDI pages as a bookmarks?

Yes. Most users save the initial "WDI" page as a bookmark to allow convenient access to this interface. You can also add specific WDI pages to your bookmark list: they will appear in the list named by database and preferred name (or query string, if query is ambiguous) e.g., "wdi971: sulfazol".

Sometimes a depiction appears, but with no data. Why?

The World Drug Index contains some entries that are not drugs, such as BIPHENYL. They are included in WDI for reasons known only to Derwent. In such cases, there no data is available except the structure.

There are also entries in WDI which correspond to chemicals sold by pharmaceutical suppliers which are not drugs, e.g., if you look up AZULENE, you will find the Trade Name AZUNOL but no pharmaceutical information.

Is the complete WDI database available online?

No. Our license with Derwent permits online distribution only for demonstration purposes. Daylight can supply the WDI database and the software to deliver it from your own server. Hardware requirements are minimal for the HTML interface (a UNIX workstation and about 100 MB free disk space).

Where can I get more information?

For general information about the WDI database and Daylight's products, click on the "Daylight Chemical Information Systems, Inc." link to the Daylight Chemical Information Systems, Inc.