Sunday, 4 August 2013

Introductory Product Information

Introductory Product Information


The Scientific Workflow and Integration Software for Health (SWISH) and the Extreme Weather Events Database (EWEBD)


Primary users 

The primary users of the software are epidemiologists, health researchers, statisticians, and other scientists whose work involves handling multiple datasets from different sources. The primary users of the EWEDB are researchers that need to safely store and work with sensitive and restricted data and researchers working with health, population, extreme weather events, meteorological, or climate data.


"Elevator pitch"

To access the impacts of climate change on health you need to gather large amount of data. The data needs to be clean, in consistent spatial framework and arranged in preparation for analysis. The SWISH project helps with data access and preparation. It reduces barriers like the need for advanced knowledge of databases and programming skills, instead providing drag and drop user interface.
Researcher can create executable workflows using the SWISH tools that capture documentation and processing steps. The system incorporates Stata, R, and Java technologies in a consistent platform and can be extended to incorporate new functionality developed by users. Workflows are saved as a single file that is easy to share with other researchers supporting reproducible research and collaboration.

Links to product

The project website is
The ANDS project blog is
The Software installer can be downloaded from
The EWEDB address is (for PostGreSql clients) 
Other important links like to Kepler, R, java can be found on the blog and project website.


User documentation

The software documentation is available from the project website  Documentation. The documentation is broken into three sections; Setting up your Environment, Assembling Scientific Workflows, and Developing with Workflow Software.
‘Setting up your Environment’ is information about the tools and software required, where to get them and how to configure them. There are also test workflows to verify software is correct and the database can be accessed. Setting up
‘Assembling Scientific Workflows’ contains information about using the SWISH Kepler actors and the EWEDB for sourcing data and processing data. It contains a step by step tutorial, example workflows and useful common tasks. Assembling workflows
‘Developing with Workflow Software’ is information about how users can extend the system adding their own custom functionality. It details the steps to use R code and encourages the project to continue to evolve with support and development from the user community. Developing with workflows

Technical documentation

Technical information about the project can be found on the project blog and in the documentation section of the project website.

Installation and configuration of included technologies

·         Technologies-and-features
·         Tools


·         Set-up-r


·         Set-up-swish-computer
·         Hello-ewedb

SWISH Kepler actors

·         Installer
·         Installer-details


·         Postgis-utils

User testing reports:

·         a-swish-user-test-report

The source code is available at


SWISH Kepler actors installer

Installed items

Kepler with workflow

PostGreSql password editor

Display grid actor

Display time series actor



 Product (or Product Components) Re-usability Information

The project has been developed with the motivation of supporting research in epidemiology: the study of the distribution and determinants of disease. Most of the implemented functionality however is not necessarily specific to the epidemiology discipline. The SWISH Kepler actors implement many table, time series, and grid data operations that would assist other spatial or temporal data based research endeavours. The EWEDB makes weather data and other data available which will continue to be accessed and used by epidemiology and other researchers.
The construction of the product also contributes to its reusability. The Kepler actors that make up a large portion of the software product are by definition reusable components for creating workflows. The R portion of the project has been packaged into R projects that Kepler actors use.  These packages can also be used outside of Kepler directly from R.

Contextual Product Information


The software is licensed under the Creative Commons Australia Attribution 3.0 Licence.  Access to the EWEBD is available but requires NCEPH collaborations to be set up.  Interested users are invited to contact the NCEPH Data Manager for more info.


The project has concluded its development phase.
The web site, blog, software and source code will remain open and available into the future. The project website and the project blog will remain hosted by the and The SWISH software and code will remain freely available from the website.  The EWEDB will be hosted by the ANU library for the at least the next year and possibly beyond.
No future updates are planned for the SWISH Kepler Actors software by the staff at the ANU. Future development of Stata functionality is opened up to the Kepler community because we have communicated with the developers of Kepler about our development.
The EWEDB will be periodically updated adding new data that has become available. Ivan plans to continue to use and develop the R code developed during the project but rebadge it as a slightly different product.

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