Reviewed by Morten Meldal, Carlsberg laboratory, Denmark
CambridgeSoft’s new release of ChemOffice Ultra is a major leap forward in software development for chemists and molecular biologists. The package is fully integrated, containing all of the necessary tools and with full compatibility between each program for easy transfer of information from one module to the next.
E-Notebook 10.0 has been modified to allow the user to set up easily new reactions based on templates. The interface is now really easy to use and for the untrained user it only takes minutes to set up a new reaction.
Inventory 10.0 is quite comprehensive in terms of the information that is entered for each compound. Using the inventory with a database of chemicals, as supplied with ChemOffice, makes compound registration far easier. This program may well prove to be a very powerful inventory system. Again, the initialisation of the database is straightforward and the user interface is easy to use.
BioAssay 10.0 also seems to be a great tool for registering data from standard biochemical screens. The user is met by the task screen where different tasks can be selected. Everything is registered in an underlying database and is easily retrieved by clicking in the folders menu.
All in all, the new ChemOffice package comes with most of the tools a scientist needs on the desktop during the average working day. It efficiently organises experimental and provided data securely in a local environment. It may well constitute the first true possibility for the average chemist, not endowed with significant company-based support, to switch completely to an electronic format for all components of research.
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