Workshop: MARBLE - unlock the metadata from your proprietary binary filesOnline Event



Steffen Brinkmann (FZJ - IEK2), Volker Hofmann

This workshop introduces the new software tool MARBLE in its very 1st release version, and is geared towards experimental researchers and scientific staff of all career levels. Using MARBLE you will learn to decipher and extract primary data and metadata encoded in proprietary binary files which are typically created by laboratory instruments. Disscuss with your peers about where proprietary file formats slow down your experimental workflows. Exchange directly with the MARBLE development team and tell us about your challenges around proprietary binary file encodings.

MARBLE GitLab Repo 

Many instruments store primary data and related metadata in proprietary binary files. Even though export pipelines generally exists, they rarely output all metadata and primary data. Thus important parts of the primary data and metadata from your experiment remain inaccessible. Learn how to unlock the full potential of you metadata. During a mixture of lectures, discussions and hands-on sessions we will teach you how to use MARBLE to decipher data from proprietary binary files and store it in an open and accessible format.

Bring your own binary files and start to deciphering what matters to you most: your own data!

You will learn:

  • how to use MARBLE on your own binary files
  • how to create translator files that allow you to batch-extract data from multiple files of the same type
  • about the legal background of the deciphering process
  • about data encoding in binary formats
  • about open and accessible data formats and the importance of standardized semantics for metadata


organized by HMC Hub Information 
located at Materials Data Science and Informatics (IAS-9) @ FZJ 
& the Institute of Energy and Climante Research (IEK-2) @FZJ






HMC Hub Information
    • 1
      Introduction & Welcome

      Introductions, Housekeeping, Agenda

      Speakers: Steffen Brinkmann (FZJ - IEK2), Volker Hofmann
    • 2
      Lecture: Introduction to binary files, encoding & deciphering
      Speaker: Steffen Brinkmann (FZJ - IEK2)
    • 3
      WalkAlong: deciphering a binary file

      After ensuring installation of MARBLE is running stable for all participants, we will use an artificially generated Bin file form a tensile test to show how a bin file can be deciphered using MARBLE. Participants can work along to get 1st contact with the GUI

      Speaker: Steffen Brinkmann (FZJ - IEK2)
    • 4
      Lecture: HDF5 Structure

      This will illustrate the nature and structure of HDF5 file containers that (meta)data is converted to by batch processing bin files using the MARBLE generated converter.

      Speaker: Steffen Brinkmann (FZJ - IEK2)
    • 10:25 AM
    • 5
      Hands On: Decipher you on binary file

      Participants will be divided in 3 breakout groups. In separate groups they can start deciphering their own binary files and work towards a converter. Marble developers will be present in the breakout rooms for Q&A and assistance. Participants in each breakout group will be cross-teaching each other.

      Speakers: Steffen Brinkmann (FZJ - IEK2), Volker Hofmann
    • 6
      Feedback & WrapUp

      We will review the deciphering process from the different breakout groups and look at user experience, additionally required features.

      Speaker: Volker Hofmann