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NCI Enterprise Vocabulary Services (EVS) provides controlled vocabulary that is the semantic base for caCORE, CORE infrastructure, and caBIG® tools and collaborations as well as CBIIT Semantic Infrastructure 2.0. EVS is a project of the National Cancer Institute Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology (NCI CBIIT). EVS activities include terminology development, terminology licensing, software development and licensing, and operations support. Projects center on development and maintenance of vocabulary and servers.


Vocabulary Servers and APIs

LexEVS 56.0 introduced is the next generation current release of EVS Enterprise Vocabulary Services (EVS). In this release, the LexBIG Java API and LexGrid model became the EVS interfaces, replacing the EVS API and the EVS 3.2 model. LexEVS 5.1 is an enhancement version based on the new architecture introduced in LexEVS 5.0. Release highlights and release notes are available. Because adoption of the LexEVS terminology server is a major change for EVS users, NCI CBIIT is continuing to operate the previous EVS/caCORE 4.x server. The caCORE 3.x APIs and EVS 3.x Grid services are retired. Refer to the retirement announcement for detailsKey features are:

  • Implementation of the draft specification for HL7 Common Terminology Services 2 (CTS 2)
  • Support for mapping associations between terminologies
  • Value set, pick list, and versioning support
  • Authoring API and loader enhancements
  • New OWL/RDF Exporter

Related efforts in support of LexEVS 6.0 include:

  • NCI Term Browser will soon support new LexEVS 6.0 and other features. A test version will be made public in the next few weeks, with final release scheduled for May.
  • Other EVS tools are also being migrated, and a new NCI Value Set Editor is in development.
  • A LexEVS Boot Camp is being proposed for this summer to support migration efforts and new users.

For information about the status of earlier releases of LexEVS, visit the LexEVS home page on the Vocabulary Knowledge Center.

The underlying software code, object model, use cases, and user documentation are available for use under an open-source license. Developers are encouraged visit the EVS download page for the relevant files and licensing information.


Files from caCORE EVS version 5.x, 4.1.x, 4.0, 3.2.1, 3.1,,, 3.0.1, 3.0 are made available for download from the EVS Archives. Note that the 4.x license terms still apply.The EVS Grid Service 1.0 (pointing to the caCORE 3.1 EVS Services) is still available. It will be decommissioned with next major release of the LexEVS (v5.0). Therefore, the EVS Team encourages migration to the LexEVS Grid Service (v4.2) at minimum. As of the 4.1 Release of the EVS Grid Service, the service is no longer part of the caGrid infrastructure and has been deployed as a separate unit. For access to the EVS 4.1 Grid Service, visit the EVS Archives. Note that the 4and 5.x license terms still apply.