Backend service

A service that provides the infrastructure and functionality needed to run applications, to which the workflow engine dispatches workflows for execution on computational resources.

Compute environment

An environment, such as a commercial cloud or on-premises HPC, with compute resources for executing computational tasks.

The not-for-profit Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) sets standards and frames policies to expand genomic data use within a human rights framework.


A web application that provides access to most Workbench capabilities in a point-and-click way.

Workbench CLI

A Python library that provides command-line access and scripting capabilities for utilizing Workbench capabilities programmatically.


A set of instructions for processing or analyzing data, in the form of a script describing a series of steps, each of which performs a specific task (written in workflow description language (WDL) code) ( see also “Finding or importing a workflow”).

Workflow engine

A software package that provides workflow execution capabilities (Cromwell or miniWDL).

Workflow Run

A single execution of a workflow that has been submitted to a workflow engine.

A GA4GH standard for programmatically submitting and managing workflows.

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