Portable Bioinformatics Pipelines

An open-source toolkit for developing and running portable workflows based on the Common Workflow Language specification and Docker.

  1. Wrap
  2. Wire Up
  3. Share
  4. Run

About Rabix

  1. Wrap

    Rabix lets you wrap your data analysis tools so that they can be run on any infrastructure, across diverse environments. Tools are installed inside Docker containers, and their behavior is precisely specified using our graphical editor or, if you prefer, via a JSON document that you can import. Tools wrapped in this way can be directly deployed on any platform: on your laptop, for low data volumes or during testing, with seamless integration to the cloud when demand for computational resources spikes.

  2. Wire Up

    Once you’ve wrapped your tools, wire them together into a data analysis workflow with our simple pipeline editor. The workflow can be fully specified---right down to each tool’s parameter settings---in a single JSON document in accordance with the Common Workflow Language.

  3. Share

    Workflows described using the Common Workflow Language are portable. This allows you to distribute workflows to colleagues without any reconfiguration, and submit your workflows to journals and conferences with the guarantee that your results are perfectly reproducible.

    Even if you don’t have plans to share your tools, Rabix’s precise specification can help you keep track of which inputs, parameter settings, and tool versions were used in every workflow you execute, making it easy to reproduce analyses any given results.

  4. Run

    Anybody who has the CWL-description of your workflow can execute it, with your precise configurations. Simply pass the JSON document describing your tool to Rabix, along with the data to be analyzed and hit run.


Rabix is an open-source creation of Seven Bridges Genomics’ engineering team.

We first got excited about the Common Workflow Language because we didn’t want to restrict scientists (or ourselves!) to a proprietary format when developing tools to run on our data analysis platform. Recognizing that a common workflow standard would support everybody’s work in the field, we built a toolkit to make working with the Common Workflow Language straightforward. This became Rabix.



  1. Visual tool editor
  2. Visual workflow editor
  3. Local runner
  4. Update to CWL draft-2
  5. Mesos-based runner
  6. Integration with related efforts such as Bioboxes and WDL.