Melbourne Bioinformatics Common Workflow Language workshop.

News > Published on 06 August 2017 > By merryn.pearce

Earlier this this year Melbourne Bioinformatics hosted a talk and workshop for researchers, led by Community Engineer and co-founder of the Common Workflow Language Project, Michael R. Crusoe.

Common Workflow Language (CWL) is a specification for describing analysis workflows and tools in a way that makes them portable and scalable across a variety of software and hardware environments, from workstations to cluster, cloud, and high-end computing environments. CWL is designed to meet the needs of data-intensive science, such as Bioinformatics, Medical Imaging, Astronomy, Physics, and Chemistry. CWL has been developed by an informal, multi-vendor working group consisting of organisations and individuals aiming to enable scientists to share data analysis workflows.

Michael's talk and workshop were recorded and have been shared by Melbourne Bioinformatics below:

TALK (1 hour)

Michael's facilitation, technical contributions, and training on behalf of the CWL project draw from his time as the former lead developer of C. Titus Brown's k-h-mer project, his previous career as a sysadmin and programmer, and his experiences in various Free and Open Source Software communities.

View video

WORKSHOP (2 hours)

In July 2016, the CWL team released standards that enable the portable, interoperable, and executable description of command line data analysis tools and workflow made from those tools. These descriptions are enhanced by CWL's first class (but optional) support for Docker containers. The state of CWL adoption and examples of bioinformatic collaborations across many continents using CWL are reviewed here.

View video


For those interested in an introduction to CWL, view a "Gentle Introduction to the Common Workflow Language" is available.

View the guide here


About: Melbourne Bioinformatics is the next evolution of the Victorian Life Sciences Computation Initiative, which was funded by the Victorian Government and contributing institutions, and hosted by The University of Melbourne. This initiative built up a team of experts and infrastructure to better equip Victoria’s exciting biomedical, agricultural and biotechnology industries for the fast-growing era of life sciences computing. As new knowledge is generated, the broader Victorian community will benefit through improved medical, environmental, agricultural and health outcomes.

The institute empowers the life science research community through access to state-of-the-art resources, centralised computational expertise, know-how and training services.

Read more about the Australian Genomics data program and people, and the Melbourne Bioinformatics and Australian Genomics partnership here.