Requires: Python 3.4, 3.5 or 3.6; additionally Java 1.6+ for SRA and Biocrates importers

Installation from the Python Package Index

The ISA API is published on the Python Package Index (PyPI) as the isatools package ((see, and you can use pip to install it.

$ pip install isatools

Now you’re ready to get started!

Installation from sources

The ISA-API source code is hosted on GitHub at: You can get the source code by running the following git command:

$ git clone

We recommend using a virtual environment for your Python projects. virtualenv is a tool for creating isolated Python runtime environments. It does not install separate copies of Python, but rather it does provide a clever way to keep different configurations of environment cleanly separated.

If you are on Mac OS X or Linux, one of the following two commands will work for you:

$ sudo easy_install virtualenv

or even better:

$ sudo pip install virtualenv

Then, you can create a virtual environament: $ virtualenv venv

and activate it: $ source venv/bin/activate

Finally, you should install the requirements with: $ pip install -r requirements.txt


$ pip install --upgrade -r requirements.txt if you want to upgrade the requirements already installed.

Install into your local Python environment with:

python install

or open up your favourite IDE to explore the codebase. We use JetBrains’

Now you’re ready to get started!

For full instructions on installing and using virtualenv see their documentation.

Running tests

The tests in the ISA-API rely on datasets available in the test branch of the ISAdatasets repository.

Thus, the first step for running the tests is to clone that branch to the tests/data folder from the root of your isa-api source code project:

git clone -b tests --single-branch tests/data

After that, you can run the test with the usual command:

python test