The GeneXplain platform is an online workbench to assist in operating the daily computer applications in life sciences. It comprises a number of bioinformatics and systems biological modules, or BRICKS, which are unified under a standardized interface, with a consistent look-and-feel. These Bricks can be put together to comprehensive workflows using a workflow management system, which is intuitively handled through a simple drag-and-drop system. With this systems, the user can edit the predefined as well as compose own workflows. Own Bricks can easily be added as JavaScript or R scripts and incorporated into workflows as well.

The whole system aims at covering, with time, all areas of computational applications. The community is invited to contribute Bricks, either as public-domain or as a commercial part of the platform. We are confident that this way, an extremely powerful system will grow in which a user-driven selection will ensure the best tools being the most successful ones.

Besides providing a wide range of sophisticated Bricks (more than 60), the geneXplain platform also facilitates standard analyses through a number of pre-composed workflows presently subsumed under 8 categories.

The technology behind the geneXplain platform is BioUML, which has been developed for many years at the Institute of Systems Biology in Novosibirsk. The architecture is open, so that own scripts can be easily loaded into the system, and new Bricks can be programmed and added by each skilled person.

In the following, we will guide you through the pre-defined workflows, but before that we are going to introduce you to the different parts of the system in a more systematic way.

Have fun with the system, and don’t hesitate to come back to us with any suggestion for improvements (, we know that there is still ample space to make the system better.