What are scientific workflows?

The sequence of computational and data manipulation steps required to perform a specific scientific analysis is called a workflow. Workflows that orchestrate data and/or compute intensive applications on Distributed Computing Infrastructures (DCIs) recently became standard tools in e-science. At the same time the broad and fragmented landscape of workflows and DCIs slows down the uptake of workflow-based work.

Workflows allow the reuse of software, applications and simulations. They are a powerful mechanism to develop, execute and share scientific calculations. Workflows allow researchers to share procedures with colleagues and become more efficient.  

The development, sharing, integration and execution of workflows is still a challenge for many scientists. The FP7 "Sharing Interoperable Workflow for Large-Scale Scientific Simulation on Available DCIs" (SHIWA) project significantly improved the situation, with a simulation platform that connects different workflow systems, different workflow languages, different DCIs and workflows into a single, interoperable unit.

Community workflows

Click to see the workflows of the ER-flow communities

What can ER-flow do for you?

ER-flow provides various tools, online services, training and consultancy for scientific communities. Research teams from astrophysics, computation chemistry, heliophysics and life sciences are already benefiting from ER-flow's support in the following ways: 

  • Capture scientific calculations into workflows that can be reused by other members of the community.  
  • Run each other's scientific calculations for example, to repeat or demonstrate experiments for training purposes. 
  • Integrate multiple scientific models into a single workflow computation, including models using different workflow languages and different execution systems. 
  • Enrich community-specific web portals with online services that support the development, sharing and execution of workflows. 
  • Translate and restructure workflows written or designed in different environments for the simple reuse in other environments. 
  • Collect, analyse and address requirements on the interoperability of scientific data when used and processed by workflows. 

ER-flow helps you to improve the repeatability and the reusability of your applications within and beyond scientific collaborations. Its open platform enables the interoperability and integration of workflow systems, workflow engines and workflow languages. ER-flow provides services and support for the development, sharing, execution, integration and flexible reuse of scientific workflows. The training events, community workshops and one-to-one consultations organised by ER-flow help you and your community to become adept workflow users. 

The SHIWA Simulation Platform


   This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 312579.