Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) has announced that the SciFinder interface now includes a series of APIs that allows researchers and developers to integrate SciFinder functionality and the CAS database with third party research tools and workflows. SciFinder constitutes the world's largest chemistry database, and many scientist use the service to launch new research and as a reference check throughout the research process. Chris McCue, CAS Vice President of Marketing, commented:
"When evaluating leads; analyzing synthetic pathways; researching other studies; and validating novelty, scientists want to be more effective in sharing information from SciFinder across internal platforms and tools. We are excited to better empower scientists with more variability in how they integrate vital CAS content with their internal data collections and systems. This new functionality will save time, reduce data recording errors and help produce better results overall."
Initially, CAS has targeted a corporate audience with the API release. Several customers have already integrated SciFinder with existing systems, and have been pleased with the results. Vertex Pharmaceuticals was one of the first to test the SciFinder API and saw immediate results and future potential. Pat Walters, Vertex head of computational sciences, commented:
"Integrating with our research applications is a natural next step and will enable our scientists to more easily keep abreast of vital information. The API enables us to seamlessly link our drug discovery data with the organized, high quality and current information from CAS."
APIs clearly sit as the easiest way to access huge datasets. The databases that drive SciFinder and all of CAS represent critical masses of big data that researchers exploit and utilize on a daily basis. API access to such a tool could lead to groundbreaking explorations and quicker time to discovery.