Additional Features

… more improvements and fixes

Updated 16 Jun 98 for Alpha2


Reworked Database Code

The main thrust of ChemFinder 5 development was to rewrite the core database functionality. We are now using Microsoft DAO classes instead of the less-capable ODBC. New ChemFinder classes were developed to handle tables and stored queries in a uniform way. The structure-specific portions of the storage and search code were extracted into a compact, portable, documented library. Code was cleaned and tightened everywhere.

Benefits of this work include new features, tighter code, easier maintenance, better performance, more use of Microsoft code, and closer integration with the Windows environment.

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Reworked Error Handling

Much of the error handling in ChemFinder 5 has been rewritten, using exceptions instead of standard function error returns. Benefits of this work include cleaner code, more consistent error presentation, and more robust error recovery.

Note: in Alpha1, resources were not built correctly and many new error messages did not appear.  This problem is fixed in Alpha2.

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Copy/Paste SMILES

In ChemFinder 5, you can directly convert structures to and from SMILES.

To convert a structure to SMILES:

  1. Retrieve the structure into a structure box in a form.
  2. Right-click on the structure box. In the context menu, select Copy As SMILES. The SMILES text string will be copied to the clipboard.

To convert a SMILES string to a structure:

  1. Copy the SMILES string to the clipboard. For example, type it into WordPad, then select and copy it.
  2. Right-click on a structure box. In the context menu, select Paste SMILES. The SMILES text string on the clipboard will be converted to a structure, with coordinates generated by the ChemDraw's Clean Up Structure function.

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32-Bit Only

ChemFinder 5 runs only under Windows 95 and NT.

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Menu Extensions

ChemFinder 5.0 supports menu extensions which also requires OLE Automation support to change ChemFinder's menus.  See the ChemFinder 5.0 Menu Extension Interface and ChemFinder 5.0 Menu Automation Interface documents for description of menu extensions and how to make them availible via the menus.

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Sounds

If you have a functioning sound card, ChemFinder 5.0 plays little sounds on various occasions.  There is a click sound when data is committed to the database (edited or added), a beep upon error, and others.

To hear the sounds:

  1. Ensure the appropriate .WAV files are installed in your ChemFinder system directory.   The names of these files must not be changed.
  2. Try registering some data.  You should hear a click.
  3. Try bringing up the About Box.

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OLE Automation Enhancements

The OLE Automation interface is changing in order to look more like a real OLE Automation interface with collections and such. See ChemOffice/SDK ChemFinder Changes for details.

To see the entire interface:

  1. Start a blank project in Visual Basic 4.0.
  2. Click on "Project->References".  This will bring up a list of automatable components.
  3. Make sure the checkbox next to "CS ChemFinder 5.0 Library" is checked.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Press F2.  This will bring up the object browser.
  6. Choose ChemFinder from the top dropdown list.  This will select only the ChemFinder interface.

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