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Command Line Tool is a script that runs Taverna 2.x workflows from a terminal. It comes in a form of a command line script called executeworkflow (executeworkflow.bat on Windows and on Linux/UNIX).

You can download the Command Line Tool from the Taverna Web site.

Executeworkflow Script

To get help and a full set of options for the executeworkflow script type the following in the command prompt:

It will give the following usage options:

usage: executeworkflow [options] [workflow]

-clientserver               Connects as a client to a Derby server instance.

-dbproperties               Loads a properties file to configure the database.

-embedded                   Connects to an embedded Derby database. This can prevent
                            multiple invocations.

-help                       Displays comprehensive help information.

-inmemory                   Runs the workflow with data stored in-memory rather than
                            in a database. This can give performance improvements,
                            at the cost of overall memory usage.

-inputdelimiter             Causes an inputvalue or inputfile to be split into a list according
                            to the delimiter. The associated workflow input must expect a list.

-inputdoc                   Loads inputs from a Baclava document.

-inputfile                  Loads the named input from file or URL.

-inputvalue                 Directly uses the value for the named input.

-logfile                    The log file to which more verbose logging will be written to.

-outputdir                  Saves outputs as files in directory. Default is to make a
                            new directory called workflowName_output.

-outputdoc                  Saves outputs to a new Baclava document.

-port                       The port that the database is running on. If the script is starting
                            its own internal server, it will be started on this port.

-provenance                 Generates provenance information and stores it in the database.

-startdb                    Automatically starts an internal Derby database server.By default, the
                            workflow is executed using the -inmemory option, and the results are
                            written out to a directory named after the workflow name.

If this directory already exists then an new directory is created, and appended with _<n>, where n is incremented to the next available index.

Results are written out to files named after the output port for that result. If a result is composed of lists, then a directory is created for the output port and individual list items are named after the list element index (with 1 being the first index). The the output is the result of an error, the filename is appended with '.error'.

You can provide your own output directory with the -outputdir option. There will be an error if the directory already exists.

You can also record your results to a Baclava document using -outputdoc option. The document will be overwritten if it already exists. You can use the DataViewer Tool to view Baclava files.

Inputs can be provided in three ways. Both -inputfile and -inputvalue options can be used together; -inputdoc option must be used on its own. -inputfile and -inputvalue options both take two additional arguments, the name of the port for the input, and either a file containing the input data, or the input value itself respectively.

If one of more of you workflow inputs is described as a list, you can create a list by using the -inputdelimiter option, which may be used with either -inputfile or -inputvalue. This option takes two parameters – an input name and the delimiter by which to split the input into a list.

The delimiter may be a simple character, such as a comma or a new-line character, or a regular expression. The input string, or file, will then be converted into a list being split by the delimiter specified.

If a list of greater depth (i.e. a list or lists or deeper) is required then you will need to use the -inputdocoption to pass data from a Baclava file. However, if you provide an input of lower depth to that required, then it will automatically be wrapped in one or more lists up to the required depth. Providing an input of greater depth than that required will result in an error.

Running the script with database

If a workflow has a high memory requirement, then it may be better to run it using a database to store data rather than storing it in memory, which is the default option. There are three options for using a database:

  • -embedded option, runs with an embedded database. This is slightly faster than -clientserver option (below), but has the limitation that only one executeworkflow script may be executed simultaneously.
  • -clientserver option allows the workflow to be executed backed by the database running as a server. By default a database is not started for you, but may be started using -startdb option.
  • -startdb option starts a database. It may be used without providing a workflow to allow a database to be started separately, allowing multiple simultaneous executeworkflow script runs.

More advanced database configurations can be specified using -dbproperties option, allowing you to take full control over the database used. This takes a second argument, the filename of the propeties file, for which the following example contains the default settings used:

in_memory = true
provenance = false
connector = derby
port = 1527
dialect = org.hibernate.dialect.DerbyDialect
start_derby = false
driver = org.apache.derby.jdbc.EmbeddedDriver
jdbcuri = jdbc:derby:t2-database;create=true;upgrade=true

If you want to run the Derby database with client/server setting instead of with the embedded driver, change the properties in the -dbproperties file (described above) as follows:


If you wish to run your own separate Derby server instance, then do not define the start_derby option and define the port on which you are running you Derby server as port=<port>.

If you want to use MySQL database rather than Derby, first you need to drop the mysql-connector-java-5.1.5.jar file from the mySQL website into the lib folder of the Taverna installation directory (Taverna installation directory if where you are running the script from).

You need to edit the -dbproperties file as follows:


It is essential that the database name in the jdbcuri property is T2Provenance, as this database is hard-coded into the MySQL provenance SQL queries.

If you do not specify the port, the script will try to connect to the default port for MySQL server, which is 3306.

When using -dbproperties together with other options, the other options take precedence.


Some examples on how the script can be invoked are shown below.

The above line executes the workflow located in /Users/alex/Taverna Workflows/wf-1.t2flow that has no inputs and uses the memory for data storage (the default option). Make sure to enclose the file path in quotes if it contains spaces. The <workflowName>_outputdirectory will be created in the current directory and outputs will be written to it.

The above line executes the workflow wf-2.t2flow from the current directory passing the value "aaa" to the input port in1 and value "bb b" to the input port in2. If input values contain spaces make sure to enclose them in quotes. Uses the embedded Derby database to store the data. Outputs will be written to the /tmp/wf-2/ directory.

The above line executes the workflow wf-3.t2flow from the current directory passing the value "aaa" to the input port in1 and splitting the content of file input2.txt using "\n" (new line character) as the delimiter and passing the resulting list to the input port in2. Make sure to out the delimiter in quotes, even if it is just a single character, like ";". The <workflowName>_outputdirectory will be created in the current directory and outputs will be written to it.

The above line executes the workflow /Users/alex/Taverna Workflows/wf-4.t2flow, loading inputs from the Baclava document in /tmp/input-doc.xml, and writing the outputs to a Baclava document /tmp/output-doc.xml.

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