Hi everyone,

The Galaxy API is a great way to interact with a Galaxy server and
I've been using it to run workflows (supported by the blend4j library,
since I'm working on a Java project). Recently, I ran into a challenge
with the workflow step IDs.

When retrieving the metadata of a Galaxy workflow (using the API and
blend4j), the order of the workflow step IDs appears to be random (or
at least, not what I expected). This makes it complicated to specify
parameters when you run a workflow via the API, because the step ID
and parameter name normally are a nice way to pick the parameter you
want to set (blend4j method: WorkflowInputs.setStepParameter). Is is
possible to determine which step ID is assigned to - for example - the
second workflow step?

>From a few tests and looking at the Galaxy source code, it looks to me
like the workflow steps are sorted according to their position in the
workflow editor (in ascending order of sqrt(sqr(position.x) +
sqr(position.y))). When storing the workflow in the database, the ID
field for each step is assigned a unique unpredictable number (by
SQLAlchemy or the database?). But in addition to the ID, there is also
a nice order_index field, which contains the indices in the expected
order! Would it be possible to add the order_index field to the API
and would that solve the step order issue?

Cheers, Freek
Freek de Bruijn
Scientific programmer | VU University medical center
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