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  • Mature release
  • Active development
  • Active support

SOBA is a command line tool and web application for analyzing GFF3 annotations. GFF3 is a standard file format for genomic annotation data. SOBA gathers statistics from GFF3 files and renders them as tables and graphs.

The web version of SOBA will produce the following:

  • Summary statistics of feature types and attributes used
  • Histograms of feature lengths
  • Graphs of Sequence Ontology terms used
  • Histograms of intron density
  • Suggestions to improve SO compliance for invalid terms

In addition, the command line tool (SOBAcl) flexibly produces a much wider variety of tables, figures and graphs based on the data in a GFF3 file as well as the ability to produce complex and extensible custom reports via a robust template system.

SOBA is intended as a tool for those dealing with genomic sequence annotation who want to view genome wide summaries of their annotation files. For example: SOBA would be a useful tool at an annotation jamboree for a newly sequenced organism and when preparing the resulting genome paper; SOBA would help those developing annotation tools to quickly evaluate updates to their tool; SOBA assists comparative genomics analyses by providing a high-level overview of the genome of multiple organisms. SOBA complements genome browsers by providing a summary of all the features annotated in the genome.

SOBA is built with Perl (and JavaScript for the web interface). The web interface uses CGI::Application as a Perl webapp framework and the JQuery JavaScript library for Web 2.0 effects and AJAX. Both versions of SOBA use the Template Tooklit (TT) to generate html/txt reports, GraphViz for the ontology graphs, and GD for charts. Template Toolkit makes extensibility very easy, at least for someone who's willing to learn the fairly simple template language of TT (you don't need to know Perl or any other programming to use TT).


Documentation for the web interface to SOBA is available on the Sequence Ontology Wiki as well as via tool-tips on the site itself.

Documentation for the command line version - SOBAcl - is available as a usage statement with the script itself:

SOBAcl --help

A README and INSTALL document are also included with SOBAcl.


The web interface to SOBA should work on any modern browser that has Javascript enabled.

SOBAcl requires:


The SOBA web interface is available at:

SOBAcl is available (via Subversion) from:

svn co svn:// SOBA

Mailing List

SOBA is supported by the Sequence Ontology Developers Mailing list at:

See Also