ChainBuilder Summary

ChainBuilder is an easy to use integration platform designed to provide users with the ability to collaboratively link data, analytics, and visualizations to generate dashboard based decision making tools that can deliver content directly to decision makers. It supports collaborative decision-making by enabling the use of multi-screen environments and distributed synchronization of content and interactions on the dashboards. The software is open source and can be freely used by all partners.

Figure: ChainBuilder System Diagram

The basic idea is not to reinvent components like analytical tools or visualizations, but to use existing developments by wrapping them. ChainBuilder uses services to create the components that can be used to build workflows. Existing software can be packaged into this light weight service architecture. For instance the D3 javascript library ( can be used to create visualization services for charts, but also google charts, yahoo charts or any other javascript based visualization library could be used. In the same fashion analytical services can be wrapped.

The unique aspect of ChainBuilder is that it combines a distributed workflow engine with data, analytics, visualization, and web-based collaboration irrespective of the research domain. ChainBuilder's strength is its allowance for integrations. Additionally, ChainBuilder is compatible with both simple tabular (read-only) databases and tabular (read-write) databases.

It is important to note that ChainBuilder and ChainBuilder wrappers function independently from each other. Although ChainBuilder wrappers are most compatible with the ChainBuilder platform, the open source wrappers can be used with other programs and softwares for a variety of uses.

Each of the components that ChainBuilder integrates are referred to as modules. Modules can be data, charts, analytics, etc. ChainBuilder has created a number of default wrappers that can be used to wrap the most commonly used data and analytics into modules.

There are four wrappers that allow the user to convert software that is not orginally written as a service to function as a service. Services are as follows:

  • krisPY - converts Python scripts
  • chainPHP - converts custom programs and visualizations
  • chainJAVA - converts OCG WPS (OpenGIS Web Processing Service)
  • chainDATA - converts custom data sources

With these wrappers, ChainBuilder is able to automate computation processes and mimics an analytical service.

To access and explore ChainBuilder components, click here: ChainBuilder and GitLab.