Java Library for Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL)
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libSBOLj provides the core Java interfaces and their implementation for the Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL). The library provides an API to work with SBOL objects, the functionality to read and write SBOL documents as XML/RDF files, and a validator to check the correctness of SBOL models.

Using the libSBOLj library

In a Maven project:

In a Maven project that utilizes the libSBOLj library, add a dependency in the Maven project's pom.xml file.


In a non-Maven project:

Download libSBOLj-<version>-withDependencies.jar from the latest github release.

Running in the command line:

libSBOLj comes with a command-line interface (CLI) that can be used to validate SBOL files. You can execute libSBOLj-<version>-withDependencies.jar to validate and convert files as follows.

java -jar libSBOLj-<version>-withDependencies.jar <inputFile> -l <language>

If validation/conversion is successful, the program will print the contents of the input file in the specified language (SBOL1, SBOL2, GenBank, and FASTA). You can also output the result to a file.

java -jar libSBOLj-<version>-withDependencies.jar <inputFile> -l <language> -o <outputFile>

One can also provide a URI using the -s flag for a TopLevel object, and only that object and all its dependencies will be output.

If validation fails with an error, there will be a message printed about the validation error. The -f flag can be used to indicate that validation should continue after the first error, while the -d flag will provide a detailed error trace on a validation error.

In addition to checking all required validation rules, it will also check if the URIs are compliant and whether the SBOL document is complete (i.e., all referenced objects are contained within the file). These validation checks can be turned off with the -n and -i flags, respectively. It is also possible to turn-on best practices checking using the -b flag.

When the input file is being converted into SBOL 2.0, the conversion should be provided a default URI prefix. It can also be provided a default version, if desired. Finally, the -t flag will insert the type of top level objects into the URI during conversion, if desired.

java -jar libSBOLj-<version>-withDependencies.jar <inFile> -o <outFile> -p <URIprefix> -v <version>

Finally, it can be used to compare the equality of the contents of two SBOL files using the command below:

java -jar libSBOLj-<version>-withDependencies.jar <firstSBOLFile> -e <secondSBOLFile>

Using the latest libSBOLj SNAPSHOT

Getting the libSBOLj source

  1. Create a GitHub account.
  2. Setup Git on your machine.
  3. Clone the libSBOLj GitHub repository to your machine.
  4. Retrieve the SBOLTestSuite Submodule using the instructions below.

Retrieving SBOLTestSuite Submodule

git submodule update --init --recursive

Compiling and Packaging libSBOLj

  1. Setup Apache Maven. A tutorial on using Apache Maven is provided here.

  2. In the command line, change to the libSBOLj directory (e.g. cd /path/to/libSBOLj) and execute the following command

mvn package

This will compile the libSBOLj source files, package the compiled source into a libSBOLj JAR file (libSBOLj-<version>-SNAPSHOT-withDependencies.jar), and place the JAR file into the core2/target sub-directory.