# CWL syntax

For complete documentation, please check the CommandLineTools documentation here and here for Workflows and the user guide here. CWL command-line specifications are written in YAML format.

In CWL, files with the extension .cwl define the parameters of a chosen command-line step or workflow, while files with the extension .yml define the input variables of command-line steps.

### CWL CommandLineTool

CommandLineTool by CWL definition is a standalone process, with no interaction if other programs, execute a program, and produce output.

Let’s explore the *.cwl file:

dir_path <- system.file("extdata/cwl", package = "systemPipeR")

• The cwlVersion component shows the CWL specification version used by the document.
• The class component shows this document describes a CommandLineTool. Note that CWL has another class, called Workflow which represents a union of one or more command-line tools together.
cwl[1:2]

## $cwlVersion ## [1] "v1.0" ## ##$class
## [1] "CommandLineTool"

• baseCommand component provides the name of the software that we desire to execute.
cwl[3]

## $baseCommand ## [1] "echo"  • The inputs section provides the input information to run the tool. Important components of this section are: • id: each input has an id describing the input name; • type: describe the type of input value (string, int, long, float, double, File, Directory or Any); • inputBinding: It is optional. This component indicates if the input parameter should appear on the command-line. If this component is missing when describing an input parameter, it will not appear in the command-line but can be used to build the command-line. cwl[4]  ##$inputs
## $inputs$message
## $inputs$message$type ## [1] "string" ## ##$inputs$message$inputBinding
## $inputs$message$inputBinding$position
## [1] 1
##
##
##
## $inputs$SampleName
## $inputs$SampleName$type ## [1] "string" ## ## ##$inputs$results_path ##$inputs$results_path$type
## [1] "Directory"

• The outputs section should provide a list of the expected outputs after running the command-line tools. Important components of this section are:
• id: each input has an id describing the output name;
• type: describe the type of output value (string, int, long, float, double, File, Directory, Any or stdout);
• outputBinding: This component defines how to set the outputs values. The glob component will define the name of the output value.
cwl[5]

## $outputs ##$outputs$string ##$outputs$string$type
## [1] "stdout"

• stdout: component to specify a filename to capture standard output. Note here we are using a syntax that takes advantage of the inputs section, using results_path parameter and also the SampleName to construct the output filename.
cwl[6]

## $stdout ## [1] "$(inputs.results_path.basename)/$(inputs.SampleName).txt"  ### CWL Workflow Workflow class in CWL is defined by multiple process steps, where can have interdependencies between the steps, and the output for one step can be used as input in the further steps. cwl.wf <- yaml::read_yaml(file.path(dir_path, "example/workflow_example.cwl"))  • The cwlVersion component shows the CWL specification version used by the document. • The class component shows this document describes a Workflow. cwl.wf[1:2]  ##$class
## [1] "Workflow"
##
## $cwlVersion ## [1] "v1.0"  • The inputs section describes the inputs of the workflow. cwl.wf[3]  ##$inputs
## $inputs$message
## [1] "string"
##
## $inputs$SampleName
## [1] "string"
##
## $inputs$results_path
## [1] "Directory"

• The outputs section describes the outputs of the workflow.
cwl.wf[4]

## $outputs ##$outputs$string ##$outputs$string$outputSource
## [1] "echo/string"
##
## $outputs$string$type ## [1] "stdout"  • The steps section describes the steps of the workflow. In this simple example, we demonstrate one step. cwl.wf[5]  ##$steps
## $steps$echo
## $steps$echo$in ##$steps$echo$in$message ## [1] "message" ## ##$steps$echo$in$SampleName ## [1] "SampleName" ## ##$steps$echo$in$results_path ## [1] "results_path" ## ## ##$steps$echo$out
## [1] "[string]"
##
## $steps$echo$run ## [1] "example/example.cwl"  ### CWL Input Parameter Next, let’s explore the .yml file, which provide the input parameter values for all the components we describe above. For this simple example, we have three parameters defined: yaml::read_yaml(file.path(dir_path, "example/example_single.yml"))  ##$message
## [1] "Hello World!"
##
## $SampleName ## [1] "M1" ## ##$results_path
## $results_path$class
## [1] "Directory"
##
## $results_path$path
## [1] "./results"


Note that if we define an input component in the .cwl file, this value needs to be also defined here in the .yml file.