Orquestra Commercial Release

Published on
September 24, 2020
Zapata Team

Tl;dr: Orquestra just got a whole lot better and a whole lot more available.

Zapata is pleased to announce the release of Orquestra v1 for academic research and commercial adoption.  For the past five months we’ve been working with scientists, academics, researchers and engineers from around the world to test out the Orquestra quantum workflow engine. Your feedback has been invaluable to us in building out some of these new features, and we’re excited to share some of those with you today. Details about informational webinars and an overview of some new integrations can be found here, and you can request access to Orquestra by filling out the form on Orquestra’s home page.  

Streamlined Workflows  

Creating workflows in Orquestra v1 is now much more straightforward. The workflow syntax has been simplified and we’ve incorporated some new features to help you catch errors earlier.  

Orquestra Components

If you have been writing workflows with Orquestra since this summer, you may be familiar with Task templates. Task templates required you to wrap your Python code within the workflow in order to get things done. Task templates are no longer required with Orquestra v1 and have been replaced with Orquestra Components.  

With Orquestra Components, the code you want to have executed can be imported directly into a workflow and invoked from within a workflow `step`. Components can accept data as inputs, execute code and produce  data as outputs. To learn more about how components are used in workflows, check out our new Hello Workflow tutorial or the documentation regarding Components. Currently, Orquestra supports Components with the `python3` runtime, however we have plans to introduce new runtimes soon.

Type Checking

Workflows in Orquestra v1 also introduce type constraints. This gives you the ability to declare the expected variable type for the input and output data across steps. Introducing this type-checking has helped us detect simple coding errors when building our workflows. In the past, data type mismatches could only be detected on runtime. This resulted in costly experiments where scientists didn’t find out until hours later that their workflow failed because of a minor mistake. With the new type system in Orquestra v1, the quantum engine will be able to warn you of any type mismatches immediately after `qe submit`.  

The built-in type options are `string`, `bool`, `int`, and `float`. Orquestra v1 also supports custom type enforcement as well. You can see types in action in the new Hello Workflow tutorial or in the documentation on inputs and outputs.

More Features, Less Boilerplate

With the introduction of Orquestra Components and type checking, we’ve been able to drastically reduce the amount of code required to build an Orquestra workflow. Not only does this save time, but it makes the workflow easier to read, understand, and share with colleagues.


Now for the less fun stuff. With these breaking changes, there are also some features that are no longer available in v1. Those features are:

  • `withItems` : The `withItems` tag can no longer be used to give a list of input parameters and iterate over them.
  • Recursive steps : Using the `when` tag to specify the run condition for a recursive step is deprecated.
  • Workflow-level parameters : Since there is no more `spec` tag for the workflow, there is no place as of now to have workflow-level parameters that can be accessed by every step.
  • Saving input parameters : In the Workflow result JSON the inputs to a step are no longer saved. All of the outputs are still saved.
  • Referencing parameters like python string formatting : Parameters could previously reference an output in a string using `{{}}`. Now, outputs need to be references as standard inputs.

This release of Orquestra not only makes writing workflows easier today, but it also allows us to continue innovating and bringing new, better, more useful features to users in the future. If you haven’t already, request access to Orquestra v1 today!

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