This document describes the API specification of the DNAnexus platform. For a high-level overview of the platform, see Projects and Data Objects Explained.

The DNAnexus platform can be accessed programmatically via an API using HTTP requests to the DNAnexus API servers. Each API method may receive zero or more arguments as fields in a JSON string, and may return some results, always as a JSON string. For specifics on how to call an API method, see Protocols and Authentication.

To skip to a particular API method, you can look it up in the Directory of API Methods.

The API methods

You can expect URLs corresponding to API methods to be always of the following form:


Where the subject can be one of the following:

  1. The word "system", for system-wide methods. These methods are for search functionality, as well as other utilities that do not fall under a specific entity class.
    Example: /system/findDataObjects takes in query parameters and returns a list of matching data objects.

  2. An entity class for which a new instance may be created
    Example: /file/new creates a new file data object that can be written to

  3. An entity ID, for methods that act on existing instances, where the method name usually is some verb acting on the object.
    Example: /file-xxxx/close closes the file object with ID "file-xxxx"

Data Types

When describing an input or output to an API method, the data type is given in bold.

  • tags array of strings Tags to be added to the file.

The following data types are used: number, int, timestamp, string, boolean, null, array, mapping.

  • number, string, boolean, null, array correspond to the JSON data types of the same name.
  • int is an integer JSON number
  • mapping is a JSON object.
  • timestamp is an integer JSON number representing the number of milliseconds since the Unix epoch.


The following concepts in the DNAnexus API affect the operation of a large number of API routes:

Last edited by Phil Sung, 2016-06-01 04:03:02