The Data Playground: An Intuitive Workflow Specification Environment
Workflows systems are steadily finding their way into the work practices of scientists. This is particularly true in the in silico science of bioinformatics, where biological data can be processed by Web services. In this paper we investigate the potential of evolving the users' interaction with workflow environments so that it more closely relates to the mode in which their day to day work is carried out. We present the Data Playground, an environment designed to encourage the uptake of workflow systems in bioinformatics through more intuitive interaction by focusing the user on their data rather than on the processes. We implement a prototype plug-in for the Taverna workflow environment and show how this can promote the creation of workflow fragments by automatically converting the users' interactions with data and Web services into a more conventional workflow specification.