What is Loom?

Loom is a platform-independent tool to create, execute, track, and share workflows.

Why use Loom?

Ease of use

Loom runs out-of-the-box locally or in the cloud.

Repeatable analysis

Loom makes sure you can repeat your analysis months and years down the road after you’ve lost your notebook, your data analyst has found a new job, and your server has had a major OS version upgrade.

Loom uses Docker to reproduce your runtime environment, records file hashes to verify analysis inputs, and keeps fully reproducible records of your work.

Traceable results

Loom remembers anything you ever run and can tell you exactly how each result was produced.

Portability between platforms

Exactly the same workflow can be run on your laptop or on a cloud service.

Open architecture

Not only is Loom open source and free to use, it uses an inside-out architecture that minimizes lock-in and lets you easily share your work with other people.

  • Write your results to a traditional filesystem or object store and browse them outside of Loom
  • Publish your tools as Docker images
  • Publish your workflows as simple, human-readable documents
  • Collaborate by sharing your workflows and results between Loom servers
  • Connect Loom to multiple file stores without creating redundant copies
  • Efficient re-use of results for redundant analysis steps

Browser interface

While you may want to automate your analysis from the command line, a browser interface is invaluable for exploring your workflow templates and keeping an eyeon current analysis runs.

Who needs Loom?

Loom is built for the kind of workflows that bioinformaticians run – multi-step analyses with large data files passed between steps. But nothing about Loom is specific to bioinformatics.

Loom is scalable and supports individual analysts or large institutions.

What is the current status?

Loom is under active development. To get involved, contact nhammond@stanford.edu


  • Nathan Hammond
  • Isaac Liao