The CSIRO Conference on Computational and Data Intensive Science

Writing a Workspace Plug-in

Workshop summary

Workspace is a software platform in which you can construct scientific workflows, user interfaces and complete applications quickly and easily. This workshop  is aimed at software developers or scientists who would like to make their own software algorithms available within Workspace. It assumes the attendees have some knowledge of Workspace, such as completion of the “Introduction to Workspace” workshop. In this hands-on workshop, participants will be shown how to create their own Workspace plug-in, add operations for their own algorithms/tasks and how to create simple user interfaces to attach to their workflows. Attendees will also create a simple Workspace application. Other topics may be covered depending on the needs of the attendees and the time available – please let the team know if you have any specific requirements prior to the workshop via the contact emails below.


The following tutorial activities will be attempted during the workshop:

Plugin Development Basics

  • Writing a Simple Workspace Plugin
  • Writing a Workspace Operation
  • Writing a Workspace Datatype
  • Writing a Custom Widget
  • Creating a standalone application

GPU Accelerated Operations using OpenCL

  • Getting Started with OpenCL in Workspace
  • More OpenCL


The workshop will be run in a very interactive, hands-on manner with each participant expected to bring along their own laptop so they can follow along with the class. The latest Workspace release needs to be installed on the laptop prior to the workshop. Attendees will need a compatible C++  compiler and development environment installed; see instructions on our website or contact the Workspace team on the email address below.

Background information/Pre-reading Attachments

Workspace is designed to address two specific user scenarios:

  • Users who want to create and share scientific workflows in one coherent, easy to use environment where much of the “heavy lifting” has already been developed and proven over a number of years
  • Developers who want to make their software and/or algorithms available as reusable components or commercial products that can be freely mixed with capabilities from collaborators

Workspace was developed in CSIRO and:

  • Has advanced visualisation capabilities for two-dimensional (2D) plotting and for three-dimensional (3D) models
  • Has support for parallel and distributed execution
  • Is easy to extend with your own facilities via our plug-in architecture
  • Is designed to facilitate collaboration between groups and individuals

A number of projects within CSIRO already use Workspace in their research and members of the Workspace development team will be on hand to work with individual attendees.

General information on Workspace can be found on our website. You can find installation instructions on our internal Workspace download page.

Date and Time

Friday 4th March, 2016 (all day)


Room: Clarendon F, level 2.
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
1 Convention Place, Melbourne, Victoria

Contact information

Dr Damien Watkins
Research Team Leader
Phone: 61 3 9545 8096
Fax: 61 3 9545 8080
Email: or


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The C3DIS 2017 will bring together researchers with computational and data science specialists from CSIRO, publicly funded research organisations and other invited institutions and organisations. This will enable attendees to share their science outcomes and learnings, and build a community of practice around Computational and Data Intensive science.

Free for CSIRO staff and invited participants