Getting started on Google Pipelines API


This tutorial page relies on completing the previous tutorial:


At the end of this tutorial you'll have run your first workflow against the Google Pipelines API.

Let's get started!

Configuring a Google Project

Install the Google Cloud SDK. Create a Google Cloud Project and give it a project id (e.g. sample-project). We’ll refer to this as <google-project-id> and your user login (e.g. as <google-user-id>.

On your Google project, open up the API Manager and enable the following APIs:

  • Google Compute Engine
  • Google Cloud Storage
  • Genomics API

Authenticate to Google Cloud Platform
gcloud auth login <google-user-id>

Set your default account (will require to login again)
gcloud auth application-default login

Set your default project
gcloud config set project <google-project-id>

Create a Google Cloud Storage (GCS) bucket to hold Cromwell execution directories. We will refer to this bucket as google-bucket-name, and the full identifier as gs://google-bucket-name.
gsutil mb gs://<google-bucket-name>

Workflow Source Files

Copy over the sample hello.wdl and hello.inputs files to the same directory as the Cromwell jar. This workflow takes a string value as specified in the inputs file and writes it to stdout.


task hello {
  String addressee  
  command {
    echo "Hello ${addressee}! Welcome to Cromwell . . . on Google Cloud!"  
  output {
    String message = read_string(stdout())
  runtime {
    docker: "ubuntu:latest"

workflow wf_hello {
  call hello

  output {


  "wf_hello.hello.addressee": "World"

Google Configuration File

Copy over the sample google.conf file utilizing Application Default credentials to the same directory that contains your sample WDL, inputs and Cromwell jar. Replace <google-project-id> and <google-bucket-name>in the configuration file with the project id and bucket name. Replace <google-billing-project-id> with the project id that has to be billed for the request (more information for Requester Pays can be found at: Requester Pays)


include required(classpath("application"))

google {

  application-name = "cromwell"

  auths = [
      name = "application-default"
      scheme = "application_default"

engine {
  filesystems {
    gcs {
      auth = "application-default"
      project = "<google-billing-project-id>"

backend {
  default = "JES"
  providers {
    JES {
      actor-factory = "cromwell.backend.impl.jes.JesBackendLifecycleActorFactory"
      config {
        // Google project
        project = "<google-project-id>"

        // Base bucket for workflow executions
        root = "gs://<google-bucket-name>/cromwell-execution"

        // Polling for completion backs-off gradually for slower-running jobs.
        // This is the maximum polling interval (in seconds):
        maximum-polling-interval = 600

        // Optional Dockerhub Credentials. Can be used to access private docker images.
        dockerhub {
          // account = ""
          // token = ""

        genomics {
          // A reference to an auth defined in the `google` stanza at the top.  This auth is used to create
          // Pipelines and manipulate auth JSONs.
          auth = "application-default"
          // Endpoint for APIs, no reason to change this unless directed by Google.
          endpoint-url = ""
          // This allows you to use an alternative service account to launch jobs, by default uses default service account
          compute-service-account = "default"

          // Pipelines v2 only: specify the number of times localization and delocalization operations should be attempted
          // There is no logic to determine if the error was transient or not, everything is retried upon failure
          // Defaults to 3
          localization-attempts = 3

        filesystems {
          gcs {
            // A reference to a potentially different auth for manipulating files via engine functions.
            auth = "application-default"
            project = "<google-billing-project-id>"

Run Workflow

java -Dconfig.file=google.conf -jar cromwell-29.jar run hello.wdl -i hello.inputs


The end of your workflow logs should report the workflow outputs.

[info] SingleWorkflowRunnerActor workflow finished with status 'Succeeded'.
  "outputs": {
    "wf_hello.hello.message": "Hello World! Welcome to Cromwell . . . on Google Cloud!"
  "id": "08213b40-bcf5-470d-b8b7-1d1a9dccb10e"


Next steps

You might find the following tutorials interesting to tackle next: