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Each app in the DE is built on one tool (executable or binary), but each tool can have more than one app interface. You can create your own app interface, or workflow based on a sequence of different apps, for the tool you want, right within the DE, using the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) interface. This interface allows you to drag and drop items into the interface.

If you're new to this process, you may want to watch the YouTube video, Creating and Modifying Apps: Customizing your tools.

Step 1: Complete the steps for Dockerizing your tool for use in the DE

All tools are now Dockerized so they run faster and more efficiently in the DE. For instructions on how to do so, see Dockerizing Your Tools for the CyVerse Discovery Environment. For steps on creating a new tool or requesting installation of a new tool, see NEED

Step 2: Decide how you want to create the app and open the Create Apps window

Before you begin, you might want to search the list of available tools to see if the tool (executable or binary) you want to use for your app interface is available in the DE. If the tool or tool version you want to use is not listed, you must first request that the tool be installed.

The first step in creating a new app interface for an available tool is deciding which method you want to use to create the interface. There are three ways in which you can create an interface for a tool that is available for use in the DE:

  • Copy and edit an existing app: This method is useful if you want to create a similar app based on the same tool or if you want to see how someone else created theirs.
  • Edit an app in your Apps under development folder: Use this method to change settings for an app you created that is still in your Apps under development folder (because it has not yet been shared, you can still edit it). This is a useful way to create different variants of your app for different uses, as well as fine-tune or change settings and layout.
  • Create a new app from scratch: This method allows you to create an app from the beginning with no preconceived notion.
  • You also can "jump-start" your new app by clicking to select the tool name in the Manage Tools window.

To learn how to use each of these methods, see Creating, Copying, and Editing DE Apps.

Step 3: Select the tool

Select the tool and version to use and then enter the app's name and description. For more information, see Selecting the Tool and Naming the App.

Step 4: Design the interface for your app

This is the meat and potatoes of creating the app interface. There are a number of different field types you can add to the interface. You can customize field names, specify the number and type of input files, add descriptive text, and much more. As you move through the process, it is a good idea to preview the app and test it out to make sure it's doing what you want to do and looking how you want it to look. Remember to save frequently. Once saved, your app is available in your Apps under development workspace folder, where you can edit it at any time. For more information, see Designing the Interface.

Step 5: Test the app

Once you've finished designing and saved the app, it is immediately available in your Apps under development folder. From there, you can test it — see how it works, which fields are required, how it functions — and then edit it some more if you like and try it out on some analyses. In short, this is the time to put yourself in a new user's shoes and make sure your app is useful to users and a good example of your work.

Remember: Once you've shared the app, you won't be able to edit the app again; you can edit the user manual at any time. Now's the time to make sure it really works and works well.

Step 6: Share your app

Need assistance?

If you have problems or need assistance, you can submit feedback right within the DE.

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