Skip to content


Switch branches/tags

Name already in use

A tag already exists with the provided branch name. Many Git commands accept both tag and branch names, so creating this branch may cause unexpected behavior. Are you sure you want to create this branch?

Latest commit


Git stats


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time


WfFormat: The WfCommons JSON Schema

  • Current schema version: 1.4
  • Schema file: wfcommons-schema.json
  • Schema validator: (see documentation at the end of this file)


This documentation provides an overview of the WfCommons JSON schema. Although this documentation attempts to cover all aspects of the schema, we strongly recommend the use of a JSON schema validator before using your own workflow execution instances or workflow descriptions. Required properties are identified with a marked checkbox symbol.

General Instance Properties

  • name: Representative name for the instance name.
  • description: A concise description of the instance. It should aid researchers to understand the purpose of the execution.
  • createdAt: Schema creation date in the ISO 8601 format (e.g., 2020-03-20T15:19:28-08:00).
  • schemaVersion: Version of the schema from an enumerate.
  • wms: An object to describe the workflow management system (WMS) used to run the workflow.
  • workflow: An object to describe the workflow characteristics and performance metrics.
  • author: An object to describe the author/institution who created/generated the instance.

WMS Property

The workflow management system property documents the WMS used to run the workflow. It is composed of the following sub-properties:

  • name: WMS name.
  • version: WMS version.
  • url: URL for the main WMS website.

Workflow Property

The workflow property is the core element of the instance file. It contains the workflow structure (tasks, depenencies, and files), as well as task characteristics and performance information. It is composed by the following sub-properties:

  • makespanInSeconds: Workflow turnaround time in seconds.
  • executedAt: Workflow start timestamp in the ISO 8601 format (e.g., 2020-04-01T15:10:53-08:00).
  • tasks: Sets of workflow tasks.
  • machines: Sets of compute machines used for running the workflow tasks.

Tasks Property

This property lists all tasks of the workflow describing their characteristics and performance metrics. Each task is described as an object property and is composed of 15 properties:

  • name: Full task ID or name (to be used as references in child/parent tasks).
  • id: Task unique ID (e.g., ID0000001).
  • category: Task category (can be used, for example, to define tasks that use the same program).
  • type: Task type (whether it is a compute, transfer, or an auxiliary task).
  • command: Task command description.
  • parents: List of parent tasks (reference to other workflow tasks, i.e. name property above).
  • files: Sets of input/output data.
  • runtimeInSeconds: Task runtime in seconds.
  • cores: Number of cores required by the task (e.g., 1.5).
  • avgCPU: Average CPU utilization in % (e.g, 93.78).
  • readBytes: Total bytes read.
  • writtenBytes: Total bytes written.
  • memoryInBytes: Memory (resident set) size of the process in bytes.
  • energy: Total energy consumption in kWh.
  • avgPower: Average power consumption in W.
  • priority: Task priority as an integer value.
  • machine: Node name of machine on which the task was run.

Command Property

The command property describes the program and arguments used by a task. The command is listed as an object property, and is composed of the following properties:

  • program: Program name.
  • arguments: List of task arguments.

Files Property

The files property lists all files used throughout the workflow execution. Each file is listed as an object property, and is composed of the following properties:

  • name: A human-readable unique name for the file.
  • sizeInBytes: File size in bytes.
  • link: Whether it is an input or output data.

Machines Property

The machines property lists all different machines that were used for workflow tasks execution. It is composed of the following properties:

  • system: Machine system (linux, macos, windows).
  • architecture: Machine architecture (e.g., x86_64).
  • nodeName: Machine node name.
  • release: Machine release.
  • memoryInBytes: Total RAM memory in bytes.
  • cpu: An object to describe the machine's CPU information.

The cpu property is composed of a count (number of CPU cores - supports fractions of cores expressed as float numbers), speed (CPU speed in MHz), and vendor (CPU vendor) properties.

Author Property

The author property should contain the contact information about the person or team who created the instance. It is composed of the following properties:

  • name: Author name.
  • email: Author email.
  • institution: Author institution.
  • country: Author country (preferably country code, ISO ALPHA-2 code.


WfCommons provides a Python-based instance validator script for verifying the syntax of JSON instance files, as well as their semantics, e.g., whether all files and parents IDs refer to valid entries.

Prerequisite: The validator script requires the Python's jsonschema and requests modules, which can be installed as follows:

$ pip install jsonschema
$ pip install requests

The validator script signature is defined as follows:

usage: [-h] [-s SCHEMA_FILE] [-d] JSON_FILE

Validate JSON file against wfcommons-schema.

positional arguments:
  JSON_FILE       JSON instance file

optional arguments:
  -h, --help      show this help message and exit
  -s SCHEMA_FILE  JSON schema file
  -d, --debug     Print debug messages to stderr