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Terra is a cloud-native platform for biomedical researchers to access data, run analysis tools, and collaborate.
Terra powers important scientific projects like FireCloud, AnVIL, and BioData Catalyst. Learn more.

Accessing, organizing, and managing data in a cloud-native platform

  • Managing data with in-app tables plus-icon minus-icon

    Workspace data tables (in the Data tab) can help organize and keep track of all project data, no matter where in the cloud they are. This article will help explain what workspace data tables are as well as how you can run a workflow analysis on in...
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  • Understanding Entity Types plus-icon minus-icon

    You may have seen the term "entity types" in a workspace data table or workflow configuration card. This article will help you understand what entities are, and some of the more technical details of Terra's five default root entity types.     What...
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  • Making, modifying, and deleting data tables plus-icon minus-icon

    Need to modify, delete or generate a new workspace data table? Read on to learn how! Contents Setting the Stage - What does your data look like?How to modify table entries or delete rows (in the Terra UI)How to add data and metadata to a table (in...
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  • How to import metadata to a workspace data table plus-icon minus-icon

    You can import metadata into your workspace data table by either copying from an existing workspace or importing a file. This article walks through both options.  Contents Copying from an existing workspace Importing a table file Uploading an arr...
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  • Linking controlled-access authorization (external servers) plus-icon minus-icon

    To use controlled-access data on Terra, you will need to link your Terra user ID to your authorization account (such as a dbGaP account). Linking to external servers will allow Terra to automatically determine if you can access controlled datasets...
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  • Moving data to/from a workspace Google bucket plus-icon minus-icon

    There are several ways to add data to - or download from - your workspace Google bucket. This article outlines four. Which you will want to use depends on how many and what size files you are working with, whether you are moving to or from local s...
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  • Where's the link for a file in a workspace Google bucket? plus-icon minus-icon

    A link for a file has two parts: the google bucket ID + filename. 1. Find your Google bucket id rom the workspace home page Click on the clipboard icon at the bottom right to copy the path name to your clipboard: The path will have the format “fs...
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  • Accessing data from an external bucket plus-icon minus-icon

    Many users want to launch analyses against data that's already sitting in their own Google buckets without having to copy the contents of those buckets to their workspace bucket. You can do this by simply editing the relevant Jupyter notebook cell...
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  • Using "Requester Pays" workspaces/buckets plus-icon minus-icon

    Requester Pays is an optional  Google setting for data stored on the Google Cloud Platform. It allows dataset owners to make data accessible to everyone without having to pay every time someone reads or copies the data from a different region. Th...
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  • Accessing and analysing custom cohorts with Data Explorer plus-icon minus-icon

    Many of the datasets hosted by Terra include integrated Data Explorer interfaces, useful for generating and exporting custom cohorts. You can access the Data Explorers (for datasets that have them) from the Dataset Library by clicking "Browse data...
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  • Best Practices for Sharing and Protecting Data Resources plus-icon minus-icon

    In the Data Biosphere's cloud-based bioinformatics model, researchers access data shared in a central location, rather than each making a separate copy for their own analysis. Hosted datasets in Terra's data library - both public- and restricted-a...
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  • Understanding and using Gen3 data in Terra plus-icon minus-icon

    Gen3 is an open-source, cloud-based platform that allows researchers to store and search data hosted by consortia like NHLBI BioData Catalyst or AnVIL. This article gives instructions of how to access Gen3 data in Terra, and describes the structur...
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  • Data Table Attribute Namespace Support (pfb prefix) plus-icon minus-icon

    All data table attributes created by handing-off data from Gen3 to Terra now include a namespace prefix. This document explains what the changes are, who is impacted, what impacted people need to do, and why the changes were made.  Contents New na...
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  • Accessing TCGA Controlled-Access workspaces in Terra plus-icon minus-icon

    How to access and use the dedicated TCGA controlled-access data workspaces on Terra.  Contents How to access TCGA controlled-access data Workspaces Derived Data from Controlled Access Data Workspaces Creating and cloning a controlled-access data ...
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  • Data Access with the GA4GH Data Repository Service (DRS) plus-icon minus-icon

    The Data Repository Service (DRS) API is a standardized set of access methods that are agnostic to cloud infrastructure. Developed by the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH), DRS enable researchers to access data regardless of the unde...
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  • Who can publish datasets in the library? plus-icon minus-icon

    We are releasing this feature in phases, so currently only users with Data Curator roles can publish Workspaces in the Data Library. To become a Data Curator please contact In the future, we plan to allow all users to ...
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  • Broad Genomics: Downloading data from a Terra workspace plus-icon minus-icon

    This document describes ways users can retrieve data from Terra. Please refer to the documents for setting up a Google App Account (setting up a Google account with a non-Gmail address) and Terra Account if you have not yet registered for an accou...
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  • Converting common genomics file formats plus-icon minus-icon

    When you need to convert various sequencing file formats to GATK analysis-ready input formats, we've got you covered.  This curated workspace has tools and instructions for converting the following formats so you can use your data in GATK analysis...
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