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Nucleic Acids Res. 2009 Jul;37(Web Server issue):W11-6. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkp300. Epub 2009 May 5.

Web API for biology with a workflow navigation system.

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  • 1Laboratory for Research and Development of Biological Databases, Center for Information Biology and DNA Data Bank of Japan, National Institute of Genetics, Yata 1111, Mishima, Shizuoka 411-8540, Japan.


DNA Data Bank of Japan (DDBJ) provides Web-based systems for biological analysis, called Web APIs for biology (WABI). So far, we have developed over 20 SOAP services and several workflows that consist of a series of method invocations. In this article, we present newly developed services of WABI, that is, REST-based Web services, additional workflows and a workflow navigation system. Each Web service and workflow can be used as a complete service or a building block for programmers to construct more complex information processing systems. The workflow navigation system aims to help non-programming biologists perform analysis tasks by providing next applicable services on Web browsers according to the output of a previously selected service. With this function, users can apply multiple services consecutively only by following links without any programming or manual copy-and-paste operations on Web browsers. The listed services are determined automatically by the system referring to the dictionaries of service categories, the input/output types of services and HTML tags. WABI and the workflow navigation system are freely accessible at and, respectively.

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