FirebrowseR: An R client to the Broad Institute's Firehose Pipeline

Mario Deng*, Johannes Brägelmann, Ivan Kryukov, Nuno Saraiva-Agostinho, Sven Perner

*Corresponding author for this work
39 Citations (Scopus)


With its Firebrowse service ( the Broad Institute is making largescale multi-platform omics data analysis results publicly available through a Representational State Transfer (REST) Application Programmable Interface (API). Querying this database through an API client from an arbitrary programming environment is an essential task, allowing other developers and researchers to focus on their analysis and avoid data wrangling. Hence, as a first result, we developed a workflow to automatically generate, test and deploy such clients for rapid response to API changes. Its underlying infrastructure, a combination of free and publicly available web services, facilitates the development of API clients. It decouples changes in server software from the client software by reacting to changes in the RESTful service and removing direct dependencies on a specific implementation of an API. As a second result, FirebrowseR, an R client to the Broad Institute's RESTful Firehose Pipeline, is provided as a working example, which is built by the means of the presented workflow. The package's features are demonstrated by an example analysis of cancer gene expression data. VC The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberbaw160
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 06.01.2017


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