Taverna Player

The Taverna Player is a Web-based interface (implemented as Ruby on Rails plugin) for executing existing workflows through the Taverna Server. It can be considered analogous to playing videos on YouTube. Workflows can be run with data supplied by the creator, or with new data uploaded by the user, but the workflows themselves cannot be altered.

Taverna Player enables the running of Taverna workflows within a Ruby-on-Rails application. Taverna Player has a REST API that allows inputs to the workflow to be specified, a run to be started and monitored, and the resultant outputs to be retrieved. Any interactions the workflow includes are presented to the user in a Web browser for them to complete. Taverna Player has been released in the RubyGems registry and is used within the BioVeL Portal to run a wide range of biodiversity workflows.

Taverna Player is not limited to the biodiversity domain – it is generic and can be used to run any Taverna workflow and can be integrated into various online environments - for example it can be embedded into (static) HTML pages to run specific workflows with pre-defined data.

For more information on Taverna Player or to download it, please see the following:

Integration of Taverna Player into Web apps

BioVeL Portal

BioVeL provides workflows for the processing of data in major areas of biodiversity research: ecological niche modelling, ecosystem functioning, and taxonomy. Taverna Player has been successfully used within the BioVeL Portal to submit and run a wide range of biodiversity workflows using the Taverna Server.


Scratchpads, developed as part of the ViBRANT project, are online virtual research environments for biodiversity, allowing anyone to share their data and create their own research networks. Sites are hosted at the Natural History Museum London, and offered freely to any scientist.

Taverna Player has been integrated with Scratchpads in two ways. Firstly, workflows can be embedded in a page in the same way as a video from YouTube would be embedded; the workflow itself is running on the BioVeL Portal, but all data entry and user-interaction is done in the embedded widget within the Scratchpads site. Secondly, the Scratchpads can use the Taverna Player REST API directly; this allows workflows to be run with a higher degree of control and results to be ingested back into the Scratchpads for further analysis. In both cases, data can be automatically injected into the workflow run from the host Scratchpads site. The actual execution of the workflow is done by the Taverna Server - the Player just interacts with the Server to submit a workflow for execution, monitor its progress and fetch results.

Read more about Scratchpads integration and see relevant publications.

IPython Notebook

IPython Notebook is a browser-based environment for interactive computing. Users can write, edit and replay Python scripts. IPython Notebook has support for interactive data visualization and report presentation. A Notebook can be saved and shared. Notebooks can be replayed using the same or different data. The record of a Notebook “run” can be saved and displayed in a Notebook Viewer.

Taverna Player, through its API and and the use of HTML iframes, enables the running of workflows within a portal like the BioVeL Portal to be included as part of another Web site. It uses the REST API of the Taverna Player to allow workflow inputs to be specified, a run started and monitored, and the resultant outputs retrieved - all within the IPython Notebook.

Read more about IPython Notebook integration and see relevant publications.