PDB Lite is provided to make it as easy as possible to find and view a macromolecule within the Protein Data Bank (PDB). PDB Lite is aimed at students, educators, and scientists who are not specialists in macromolecular structure, a group which may be called "the general scientific public".
The original search interface offered by the PDB, the OCA browser, was designed primarily for specialists such as crystallographers, chemical structure theorists, and other macromolecular structure scientists. While it serves this community well, its many advanced options and abbreviated descriptions are not optimal for occasional use by members of the general scientific public. Recognizing the need for easier access by this large group, and the increasing prominence of three-dimensional macromolecular structure in education at all levels, the Protein Data Bank provided PDB Lite in May, 1998.
It is assumed that users of PDB Lite will be using personal computers with Windows or Macintosh software. Although Silicon Graphics workstations are popular with macromolecular structure chemists, software available only for SGI's will not be offered within PDB Lite.