ISIS/Base is the successor of the DOS program ChemBase. ISIS/Base is a Methuselah of a program. The first version was developed in1989. It needs constant effort by MDL because it serves a dual purpose. It is the client for ISIS/Host, and it is a stand-alone chemical database system for the PC or Macintosh.
I once calculated that MDL would have to charge 500'000 USD for ISIS/Base, if you compare it on functionality with what was sold in 1984. Today, the industrial price is around 1000 USD and 300 USD for academic users.
ISIS/Base was formed not by MDL programmers, but by MDL users. This is the reason that ISIS/Base is one of the best programs for single user who want to manage chemical structures, reactions and data on the PC.
Its main uses are:
Field Type Definition in ISIS/Base
Fixed Text Text of a specified number of alphanumeric characters. A fixed-text field can store any number of characters up to the maximum number specified in its definition. However, no fixed-text field can contain more than 80 characters. (For example, MDL-000001 is the maximum number of characters that can be entered for a fixed-text field that has been defined to have a 10 character length.)
Variable Text Alphanumeric text of an unlimited length (limited solely by computer memory).
Integer For PC and Macintosh systems, the value of an integer may range from -2147483648 to +2147483647.
Real A real number, such as 1.50. The decimal-place precision of the number varies with computer systems.
Range A range of real-number values, such as 2.0 - 3.5. The decimal-place precision of the number varies with computer systems.
Date The date format (such as day/month/year) specified in your windowing software configuration file(s).
Sketch An ISIS/Draw sketch.
Structure A molecule (including a 3D structure, reactant, or product). You can have multiple structure fields in your database, but each field must have a unique name.
Reaction A chemical reaction. You can have multiple reaction fields in your database, but each field must have a unique name.
Parent Parent fields do not store data. Instead, parent fields point to one or more fields that store related data. For this reason, the parent field name should be representative of the types of data that the lower-level fields will store. For example, <LITREF> is the parent field for journal and author. ISIS/Base displays parent field names in brackets to distinguish them from other fields.
The calculated field type only applies to remote databases and cannot be selected as a field type in a local database.
You need ISIS/Draw to draw structures. ISIS/Draw is free of charge for academic and private use. Instead of drawing structures you can download structures from many sources on the Internet, or convert them to Molfiles using the conversion programs ConSystant & Chemeleon provided with ISIS/Base.
For moe information go to MDL® ISIS/Base.