LifeMonitor Web App

The LifeMonitor Web App provides a graphical interface to the service, allowing to get a quick overview of the status of monitored workflows.

The web app’s landing page displays the status of public workflows. At the top, an overall summary bar shows the number of workflows for each category:

LM workflow status summary

The rest of the page is devoted to a table that reports the detailed status of each workflow:

LM workflow status details

Each row contains, from left to right:

A click on either the workflow’s name/UUID or the pie chart leads to a similar table, this time containing detailed information on each test suite belonging to the workflow:

LM test suite status

Each row shows the following:

Again, clicking on the suite’s name/UUID or on the pie chart brings us to the next level of detail, that of test instances, which is structured in a similar way to the ones above. Finally, clicking on the instance’s name leads to the instance’s main page on the CI service, while clicking on the build bars takes to each individual build’s page.

Authenticated users

The previous section dealt with browsing through public workflows. To see your private workflows, log in by clicking on “Sign in” at the top right of the landing page. Assuming you’ve already logged in to LifeMonitor, you will receive an authorization request from the Web application:

LM web app authorization request

Click on “Allow” at the bottom; you will be taken back to the dashboard, but this time you should be able to see all workflows that you submitted. By default, public workflows are not shown here: you can opt to display selected ones by subscribing to them. To do that, start typing the name in the Search box, choose a workflow and click on the “subscribe” button:

LM workflow subscription


LifeMonitor notifies you each time a test instance changes state, i.e., from passing to failing or the other way around. To access notifications, click on the bell-shaped icon in the top-right corner (note that it appears only when there are new notifications to show):

LM notifications

By clicking on an event from the list, you will be taken to the corresponding instance in the dashboard. The panel also allows you to clear selected or all notifications.

Submitting a workflow

Making a Workflow Testing RO-Crate

In order to have your workflow monitored by LifeMonitor, you need to package it as a Workflow Testing RO-Crate: you can do that with the ro-crate-py Python package. Set up a Python virtual environment and install ro-crate-py:

python3 -m venv venv
source venv/bin/activate
pip install --upgrade pip
pip install rocrate

Now move into the directory that contains your workflow and associated assets. This can be, for instance, a copy of a repository in a version control provider such as GitHub. As an example, we’re going to use the FAIR CRCC - send data workflow.

git clone
cd fair-crcc-send-data/

Initialize the crate, ignoring the .git and .github directories:

rocrate init --exclude .git,.github

The above command creates an ro-crate-metadata.json file at the top level that simply lists all files as "File" and directories as "Dataset". This includes the main workflow file:

    "@id": "workflow/Snakefile",
    "@type": "File"

To register it as a computational workflow, run the following command:

rocrate add workflow -l snakemake workflow/Snakefile

If you check the JSON file now, you’ll see that the entry for workflow/Snakefile is more articulate: for instance, it has a more specific @type and it links to an entity representing the Snakemake language. Other changes have also been made to the crate so that it conforms to the Workflow RO-Crate spec. If your workflow is written in a different language, specify it using the -l option as shown above. To get a list of supported options, run:

rocrate add workflow --help

Now we need to point the crate to a test instance for the workflow. LifeMonitor supports monitoring test executions that run on Travis CI, Jenkins and GitHub Actions. In this case, the (scientific) workflow is tested by a GitHub Actions workflow defined by .github/workflows/main.yml (note that the fact that we removed the .github directory from our local copy of the repository is not a problem, since we’ll have to refer to the CI workflow via a remote URL).

First, create a test suite:

rocrate add test-suite -i suite_1

Then, add a test instance that points to the CI workflow:

rocrate add test-instance suite_1 -s github \
  -r repos/crs4/fair-crcc-send-data/actions/workflows/main.yml \
  -i first_test

Where is the service URL, while the argument of the -r option is a reference to the CI workflow in the form:

repos/<OWNER>/<REPO NAME>/actions/workflows/<YAML FILE NAME>

That’s it! If you want, you can check ro-crate-metadata.json again to see how it changed in response to the above commands. All that’s left to do is to zip the crate in the format accepted by WorkflowHub:

rocrate write-zip /tmp/

Registering your workflow

As an authenticated user, click on “add” at the top right of the workflows table:

LM - Add workflow button

The following interface appears:

LM - Add workflow as local RO-Crate

The default option is to submit a local Workflow Testing RO-Crate (see the above instructions to create one). Click on “Browse” to select the zip file from your local file system, then click on “Next”:

LM - Add workflow as local RO-Crate - details

You can specify a version and a name for the workflow; if you don’t, the version will default to 1.0 and the name will be retrieved from the RO-Crate metadata. Finally, click on “Register” to complete the process.

The “Remote RO-Crate Archive” registration option is similar to the above, but in this case you need to specify a URL for the RO-Crate zip, rather than choose a file from your local file system.

The third option is to register with LifeMonitor a workflow that’s already been registered to WorkflowHub. If your workflow is not in WorkflowHub yet, follow these instructions to submit it. On the LifeMonitor workflow submission system, choose the “Registry Workflow” option, then click on the “Registry” drop-down menu and choose a WorkflowHub instance (development or production – note that not all of them might be available depending on the LifeMonitor instance):

LM - Add workflow from WorkflowHub - choose registry

Then click on “Workflow” to choose a workflow (start typing in the text box to narrow down the possible choices). Assuming you’ve logged in to LifeMonitor via WorkflowHub, you should have access to all your workflows plus any public workflows. If you’ve just registered your workflow with WorkflowHub and cannot find it in the list, try logging out of LifeMonitor and then logging in again.

LM - Add workflow from WorkflowHub - choose workflow

You can choose any workflow, but LifeMonitor won’t have anything interesting to show if it’s not coming from a Workflow Testing RO-Crate. Assuming you’ve already registered the crate we created above, pick that workflow from the list. Similarly to other registration types, you will now have the option to choose a name for the workflow. When you’re done, click on “Register” to finish. If all went well, the new workflow should show up on your dashboard.

Changing the visibility of your workflow

By default, after registering a workflow, its visibility will be private, i.e., only the submitting user will be able to see it. To make it publicly visible, click on the “edit” icon at the top right of the workflows table, then click on the “change” button that appears in the “Visibility” column: you will be asked to confirm your choice, then the workflow will become public.