History of the Analysis Engine
In 2008, under funding from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), the IGS began providing free services for the analysis of prokaryotic genome sequences. Initially this resource provided genome annotation services at no cost to the research community as well as associated tools for visualization and curation of annotation information. This service was called the Annotation Engine. Over time, and with renewed funding, additional analysis pipelines were added to the service. These included prokaryotic comparative genome analysis and genome assembly. The service was re-dubbed as the Analysis Engine to reflect this expanded scope. We provided the free Analysis Engine service for eight years to meet a continuously growing need for easy-to-use analysis tools for average bench scientists. With sequencing costs steadily dropping, generation of sequence for researchers is easy, but analysis remains a challenge. Therefore, our Analysis Engine provided free services to aid average bench researchers. As part of our Analysis Engine project goals we also worked to make the pipelines available as easy-to-use virtual machines for use at users’ local site or on cloud platforms that would allow users to run the pipelines completely independently of IGS. Since the end of funding for the project four years ago, the pipelines of the Analysis Engine have continued to be freely available through the Cloud Virtual Resource (CloVR) and on GitHub for independent use by researchers.