VisTrails is a new scientific workflow management system.
Recently, workflows have been emerging as a paradigm for representing and managing complex computations. Workflows can capture complex analyses processes at various levels of detail and provide the provenance information necessary for reproducibility, result publication and result sharing among collaborators. Because of the formalism they provide and the automation they support, workflows have the potential to accelerate and transform the information analysis process. Workflows are rapidly replacing primitive shell scripts as evidenced by the release of Apple's Mac OS X Automator, Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation, and the SGI Scientific Workflow Solution.
VisTrails is a new scientific workflow management system developed at the University of Utah that provides support for data exploration and visualization. Whereas workflows have been traditionally used to automate repetitive tasks, for applications that are exploratory in nature, very little is repeated---change is the norm. As an engineer or scientist generates and evaluates hypotheses about data under study, a series of different, albeit related, workflows are created while a workflow is adjusted in an interactive process. VisTrails was designed to manage these rapidly-evolving workflows. VisTrails streamlines the creation, execution and sharing of complex visualizations, data mining or other large-scale data analysis applications. By automatically managing the data, metadata, and the data exploration process, VisTrails allows users to focus on the task at hand and relieves them from tedious and time-consuming tasks involved in organizing the vast volumes of data they manipulate. VisTrails provides infrastructure that can be combined with and enhance existing visualization and workflow systems.
Although VisTrails was originally built to address the needs of exploratory scientific applications, the infrastructure it provides is very general. This became clear as the system was demoed to people from different domains, both from industry and academia. VisTrails has the potential to reduce the time to insight in virtually any exploratory task.
What's New in This Release:
· Version tags can be edited directly by double-clicking the tree nodes
· Added basic support for package management on Fedora Core through YUM
· Added compatibility with Qt4.4
· Added support for dynamic addition of modules in packages
· Pipeline, Query and History views are now reset with Ctrl+R (Command+R, on a Mac) so that it does not interfere with version text items
· Add a transparent overlay to the version viewer that shows the selected version's properties. By default this is turned off, but can be enabled under the view menu.
· Added standalone functions that help third-party applications that need an API into VisTrails, located on vistrails/api directory.
· Improvements in the command-line for both non-interactive and interactive mode:
+ Added support for executing more than one workflow at a time
+ Included support for opening a vistrails from the database
· Now a version (tag or id) can be specified in the command-line
· together with the filename (or vistrails id when opening from the database).
· Added support for opening special vistrails files (.vtl files) on the web (wiki integration)
· WebServices package: added support for loading wsdl urls automatically when opening a pipeline using them
· Improved handling of faulty packages
· Vistrails having groups with annotations or functions did not open correctly
· Query display didn't ghost module fill
· Query execution and reset didn't update pipeline view
· Connection line was drawn twice in query canvas
· Editing parameters in query mode was cumbersome because of bad focus management
· Fixed database support to pipelines with groups
· Fixed "Add Database" dialog confusing behavior
· Fixed a long-standing bug on PythonCalc where ModuleError was being called without the self parameter
· HTTP Package: slightly better error handling with malformed URLs
· Improved general GUI performance when changing versions, including Undo/Redo
· Removed obsolete command-line options
· Refine in the search box was not working
· Spreadsheet: Saving a spreadsheet also included cleared cells.
- Qt4.4 specific code is only run if Qt4.4 is available. This affects only the source version.