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titleContents of this Page
Table of Contents

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titleAt a Glance Details
  • Version Number and Release Date: v6.0.4 April, 2012
  • Primary audience: System administrators (Server); Developers (API)
  • Installation Level: Intermediate - technical assistance may be required, download may require supporting infrastructure or software
  • System Requirements: Refer to Prerequisite Software and Supported Platforms.



Tool Overview


 LexEVS is the central EVS terminology server, developed by the Mayo Clinic with NCI and other support. LexEVS provides a common terminology model and open access to a wide range of terminologies, terminology value sets, and cross-terminology mappings needed by NCI and its partners. For users wanting to install and run a local instance of LexEVS, the LexEVS server package provides a comprehensive set of software and services to load, publish, and deploy vocabulary in a variety of web-enabled and grid environments. The LexEVS API serves users who want programmatic access to the data made available by LexEVS.

LexEVS 6.0 is the current embodiment of work started under the LexBIG project (LexGrid Vocabulary Services for caBIG®). This technology has been adopted as the strategic infrastructure for the caBIG® community and NCI's Enterprise Vocabulary Services (EVS).

NCI's EVS is a big user of the LexEVS services, but there are many others. You can consume controlled terminologies hosted by NCI's EVS without setting up your own servers to do so. Seeing what NCI has done with EVS is a good way to learn about what LexEVS can do. Refer to the EVS Wiki for further information.

LexEVS provides a collection of programmable interfaces, affording users and developers open access to either controlled terminologies available from the NCI EVS Project or their own terminologies. NCI's installation of LexEVS is not only a tool for the community to use, but also an example of what developers can build for their own organization. By building an installation of LexEVS, an organization can control the content and have any set or subset of terminologies and mappings. One installation can be used by multiple applications in an enterprise.


LexEVS includes the following components:

  • Terminology Server - An enterprise level terminology server
  • Java API - A Java interface based on the LexGrid Object Model
  •  REST/HTTP Interface - Offering basic HTTP-based query mechanism from which results are returned in either XML or HTML formats
  • SOAP/Web Services Interface - Providing a programming language neutral Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA)
  • Distributed API - A Java interface, based on the LexGrid data model and relying on a LexEVS Proxy and Distributed LexEVS Adapter to provide remote clients access to the native LexEVS API
  • LexEVS Grid Services - An interface which uses the caGRID infrastructure to provide access to the native LexEVS API via the caGRID Services
  • Developers GUIs - Allowing server administration, query testing, and value set development to be performed by a developer

The name LexEVS highlights the merging of LexGrid, LexBIG, and EVS technologies and designates an entire suite of tools. In this suite, LexGrid is the underlying model for standard storage of controlled vocabularies and ontologies. The LexBIG API is the set of services that EVS adapters use to store and retrieve terminology metadata. LexEVS APIs are a combination of convenience methods and the LexBIG API (combining LexBIG and the EVS adapters into one set of services). For detailed information, refer to the LexEVS architecture overview.

After you have a chance to get familiar with the LexEVS suite, consider looking through the [LexEVS:LexEVS 6.0 Functionality Overview]. This lays out everything that can be done from a developer's or ontologist's point of view.

Installation and Downloads

The installation overview provides an introduction to the different environments that can be installed. Refer to the LexEVS 6.x Installation Guide for more information.

The LexEVS 6.0 Installation Options identify the download files for each LexEVS environment that can be installed (Local Runtime, Distributed, and Grid Services).

The LexEVS Widget Library lists many widgets that have been developed for use by particular customers. These widgets have been found to be potentially useful to a wider audience. Each widget has a description for you to use in deciding if you'd like to dig deeper and find out the usefulness of the widget in your application.

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Forum and Support

Wiki Markup
{multi-excerpt:name=LexEVSSupportLinks}* [LexEVS FAQ]
Please visit our FAQs especially if you are new to LexEVS.

* [LexEVS End User forum |]
Forum for end users to discuss and submit support issues regarding the LexEVS application.

* [LexEVS Developer forum |]
Forum for developers to discuss and submit support issues regarding the LexEVS API.

* [LexEVS Documentation Feedback forum|]
Forum for all users to discuss and submit support issues regarding the LexEVS documentation.

* [Bug Tracker for LexEVS|] 
Please visit the LexEVS Jira project for bug and feature requests related to LexEVS.

* If you find the above mechanism are not going to work for you please contact [Application Support (email)|].{multi-excerpt}


  • LexEVS FAQ
    Please visit our FAQs especially if you are new to LexEVS.
  • LexEVS End User forum
    Forum for end users to discuss and submit support issues regarding the LexEVS application.
  • If you find the above mechanism are not going to work for you please contact Application Support (email).


What's New




Wiki Markup
{multi-excerpt:name=LexEVSPresentations}* [LexEVS 6.0 Highlights Presentation|LexEVS 6.0^LexEVS_6.0_Highlights.ppt] (397 KB)
Scott Bauer
February 17, 2011

* [LexEVS REST APIs demo at HHS and NIH the Health 2.0 Hack-a-Thon|LexEVS:Hack-A-Thon 2011 NCI Blue - LexEVS REST API]
Larry Brem
June 11, 2011

* [caBIG® Annual Meeting Semantic Infrastructure v2|]
Charlie Mead, Jane Brzozowski, Cecil Lynch, Raghu Chintalapati, Craig Stancl
September 14, 2010

* [LexEVS 101 Presentation|LexEVS:LexEVS Presentations^LexEVS_101.ppt] (1.6 MB)
Craig Stancl and Rick Kiefer
February 22, 2010

* [Value Domain and Pick List Support in LexEVS 5.1|LexEVS:LexEVS Presentations^CaBIG_ValueDomain_PickList_presentation_102009.ppt] (775 KB)
Sridhar Dwarkanath
caBIG® VCDE and Architecture joint workspace meeting - Atlanta, GA
October 20-22, 2009

* [LexEVS:LexEVS 5.0 Boot Camp] (Presentations Given at the Bootcamp)
LexEVS team
NCI CBIIT Training facility - Rockville, Md.
November 17-19 2009

* [LexEVS Overview|LexEVS:LexEVS Presentations^200907_LexEVS_Annual_Meeting_FINAL.ppt]  (12.5 MB)
LexEVS team
2009 caBIG® Annual Meeting - Washington, D.C.
July 20-22, 2009
Presentation to NCCH - Australia
March 2, 2009

* [LexBIG/LexGrid Services for LexBIG 2.3 Model and API for the Grid|LexEVS:LexEVS Presentations^LexBIG_LexGrid_(2).ppt]
H. Scott Bauer and Kevin Peterson
Presentation to NCCH - Australia
March 2, 2009

* [Terminology Tool Announcements|LexEVS:LexEVS Presentations^Terminology_Tool_Announcements2.ppt]
Kevin Peterson
caBIG®; VCDE and Architecture joint workspace meeting -  - Cambridge, Massachusetts
May 12, 2009{multi-excerpt}