Tool Registry Service (TRS)

Provides a standard mechanism to list, search, and retrieve tools and workflows across multiple registries

Researchers use genomics tools and workflows to conduct analyses in cloud computing environments. Tools and workflows, however, are often developed for a specific environment and are stored in a registry that services only associated platforms. Since each registry requires the tools and workflows it stores to meet a unique set of criteria, the contents of one registry are not guaranteed to work across multiple cloud environments. This lack of interoperability slows research and limits the variety of analyses that researchers can perform. Developed by the GA4GH Cloud Work Stream, the Tool Registry Service (TRS) API provides a standard mechanism to list, search, and register tools and workflows across multiple registries.

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  • Allows for the exchange and discovery of tools and workflows that analyse, read, and manipulate genomic data
  • Enables interoperability of tools and workflows
  • Supports four of the most widely used workflow languages and is easily extendable to more

Target users

Researchers, and developers

Image summary: Learn how TRS helps researchers find data analysis tools from the community of tool developers. TRS encourages the development of portable and reproducible tools.
Work Stream
Product Lead
  • Denis Yuen
Staff Contact
Tools & Platforms

Community resources

Dive deeper into this product! Interoperability among genomic tools and workflows is vital to conducting genomic analyses. Many challenges, however, persist. Genomic tools and workflows are often stored in a variety of different locations with incompatible metadata, are written in different workflow languages, and often do not have their dependencies documented in a consistent way. This makes it difficult for researchers from different groups — or even in some cases, for researchers from the same group at a different time — to re-run workflows. The TRS API provides an interoperable way to build and share workflows that function across different environments. TRS encourages the use of containerised tools and technologies, which allow researchers to package up tools and dependencies in an environment that moves easily and works on a wide variety of platforms.




12 Mar 2024
The document describes the high-level 2024 goals for the GA4GH Cloud Work Stream.
21 Feb 2024
The Technical Alignment Subcommittee aims to harmonise aspects of GA4GH technical products and support interoperability.







Working meeting for the development of the GA4GH Cloud APIs such as DRS, WES, TES and TRS.

Meets on the second Monday of each month at 6pm BST. Complemented by the Cloud Work Stream meeting (late) meeting, which takes place on the 4th Monday of each month.

18:00 UTC
1 Hour



17 Oct 2019
1 Nov 2016


Related Driver Projects and Organisations

ELIXIR Cloud and AAI
Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed)
Autism Sharing Initiative

Don't see your name? Get in touch:

  • Salvador Capella-Gutierrez
    Barcelona Supercomputing Center
  • Joaquin Dopazo
    Progress and Health Foundation
  • James Eddy
    Sage Bionetworks
  • Marc Fiume
  • David Glazer
  • Alexander Kanitz
    University of Basel
  • Patrick Magee
  • Brian O'Connor
    Sage Bionetworks
  • David Steinberg
    University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Jonathan Tedds
  • Susheel Varma
    Information Commissioner's Office
  • Denis Yuen
    Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR)
  • Christina Yung
    Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), Indoc Research

News, events, and more

Catch up with all news and articles associated with Tool Registry Service (TRS).

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3 Jun 2022
How a bot beamed from California to Japan may stop unnecessary mastectomies for breast cancer patients
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8 Jul 2021
GA4GH standards in a global learning health system
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5 Apr 2021
GA4GH shares seven open-source projects as part of Google Summer of Code 2021
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