Object Information

All objects in the DNAnexus platform have metadata associated with them indicating useful aspects such as size, type of objects, creation date, and other pieces of information. If you have access to edit the object in question, you can even alter some of this information directly from the info dialog.

Information always present includes the following:

  • Name: The common name of the object that will be seen in the data manager.
  • Class and location: The class of the object and the project and folder it is currently located in.
  • ID: An ID you can use in command-line applications or searches to unambiguously refer to this object.
  • Types: An object can have zero or more types associated with it, which serve as hints for the platform and applications within it as to what this object might be used for. Most notably, applications will often use the types to determine whether an object can be used for a certain input.
  • Size: The size will be given in memory units (bytes) and also number of rows if the object is a table of some sort.
  • Created/Modified: Information about the time this object was both created and last modified, and the user who created it.
  • Tags and properties: See Tags and Properties below for further information.

In addition to the above, many objects such as applets or bookmarks will have additional information listed in their details.

Altering Object Information

If you have access to edit the object, you can change select pieces of information from the dialog. You will always be able to rename the object by typing a new name into the name box. In addition, you can add, edit, or remove tags and properties.

None of your changes will apply to the object until you hit the "Save" button in the lower right corner of the dialog box.


Tags are used to describe certain features of an object, such as whether a sample is from a control group or the sample number associated with this object's data. Tags are searchable in a variety of places in the platform (see Filtering and Searching) and help you organize your data more efficiently. Tags can include spaces and other punctuation, but not commas.

For example, all data corresponding to a single sample (sample-X) in a specific study (study 100) could be given the same tag(s) ("sample-X" and "study 100").


Properties are key/value pairs that can be attached to objects that need to be organized alongside other, similar objects. By using the same key with different values for several objects, you can create your own sorting method. For example, a property could be "Sample collection date" with a value of the date a sample was collected on. If this property was shared across several objects, you could then sort them in the data manager according to the date each sample was collected on.

Properties are also searchable. (see Filtering and Searching - Filtering by Tags and Properties)

To add a property, click on the Add a custom property button. To remove a property, click on the next to the property in question.

Multiple Objects

The information dialog can display information about multiple objects at once. This view is slightly different than what you see for a single object, however.

The individual names of the objects will not be displayed, although their project and location still will be. The size calculation will be the aggregate size for all of the objects combined, and the creation and modification dates will be a range showing the earliest and latest dates that the objects were created or modified on.

Tags will only display tags common to all of the selected objects, and any additions or deletions of tags will apply to all of the objects.

Finally, properties will show properties owned by any object in the group, but unless all of the objects have the same value you will see the phrase "Multiple Values" to indicate that not all of the objects match. If you enter something into this box, all objects in question will be given that property with that value. If you begin editing a property with multiple values and decide that you don't want to change it, you can click "Restore Originals" next to the property to return each object's value to its default.

Last edited by Thanh-Ha Nguyen, 2015-07-29 21:27:20