FAQ

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Which Workflow Systems are supported?

You can use myExperiment to share workflows for use in any workflow system. We provide extra support (such as metadata handling, service extraction, visualisation, enactment) for particular systems. At this stage we are working foremost with the Taverna Workflow Workbench, we are beginning to provide support for Triana and we have recently started talking with our Kepler colleagues. Please contact us about your favourite workflow system.

Can I execute workflows from myExperiment?

As well as sharing workflows, our goal is that myExperiment will be integrated with remote execution services for supported workflow systems, so that users can run workflows from myExperiment and from other interfaces which use myExperiment functionality. Taverna execution support is currently under test and will be available soon; Triana execution is under development at University of Cardiff. Please contact us about your favourite workflow system. We anticipate that web-based interfaces and functionality mashups will become the predominant interfaces to workflow systems, especially in a multiworkflow environment.

Can I share things other than workflows?

Yes. You can share any files or blobs, within reasonable storage constraints. Support for sharing collections of things will be provided soon through Encapsulated myExperiment Objects (EMOs) which are designed to interoperate with the emerging OAI-ORE standard.

Do you support remote repositories?

We support remote objects that can be access via a URI. We are specifically looking at repositories supporting the OAI harvesting protocol, and will be working with ePrints. We have also conducted feasibility studies with S3 and SRB. Please contact us about your favourite repository.

Is the API available?

myExperiment has a simple RESTful API and we encourage you to use it. Our development team and developer community warmly welcomes new API users. Contact the team for documentation.

What are you working on at the moment?

The Development team is working on: attachments and packs, Taverna enactment, blogging the lab, Triana support and enactment, Kepler support, remote hosting, tagging of groups, support for Encapsulated myExperiment Objects (EMOs), interfaces and mashups using SilverLight 2, analysing trials data, myExperiment data model, extensions to the API.

What are others working on at the moment?

(Why not tell us what you are doing to add to this list...?) WHIP project at Cardiff. Google gadgets. Integration with "blogging the lab" work. Looking at integration with Research Information Centre (RIC), a virtual research environment being jointly developed by the Technical Computing Group at Microsoft and The British Library.

Why not use Facebook?

The myExperiment project is producing software that anyone can download and use, and it especially caters for the attribution, licensing and sharing models required by our science users, together with integration with their work and publishing environments. This makes it quite different to Facebook. We are very keen to see tools that bring myExperiment and Facebook together - for example we would like to work with people on Facebook apps that bring through myExperiment functionality. Contact us if you're interested!

Why not use a portal solution?

The first principal of the myExperiment design is "bring myExperiment to the user". Firstly, we have deliberately aimed our human interface at the next generation of scientists. Secondly, we have deliberately aimed our programmatic interface (API) so that our functionality can be made available through other interfaces - such as portals. That said, myExperiment could have been built using portal techniques and we deliberately chose not to do so (as part of "our experiment"!) We hope that myExperiment encourages and informs a debate about portal approaches.

Can I download the myExperiment software?

Yes. myExperiment is Open Source software written in Ruby on Rails, and is available on RubyForge under the BSD Licence. Please let us know if you are installing myExperiment as we can provide advice on installation.