Connect BOA to a project

About BOA

Developed by Iowa State University's Laboratory of Software Design, Department of Computer Science, BOA is a data mining tool utilizing the "Boa" query language to extract aggregate data from software repositories. Its infrastructure employs distributed computing techniques, enabling efficient query execution across hundreds of thousands of software projects, with applications spanning MSR, COVID-19, and Genomics research. Learn more on the BOA home website  

Connecting BOA to an OSF Account 

First, open your project, then click the Add-ons tab in the navigation bar.

You will be taken to the "Add-ons" page for the project. In the list of add-ons, click the Enable link next to BOA 

The Boa terms will appear in a pop-up window. Read the terms, then click the Confirm button.

The Boa name and Icon will appear in the configure Add-ons section below. Click “Import Account from Profile” 

In the pop-up window enter your Boa account information to allow OSF access to your Boa account. click "Save".

Your BOA account will be authenticated when you see “Boa authorized by {your name}”

Finding the BOA Add-on. 

A Boa query can only be used on a file with the “.boa” extension in OSF project storage. Other file formats (.docx, .pdf ect) will not connect with the Boa add-on. 

A boa query has to be saved as a file with the ".boa" extension in OSF storage (in a future version we could enable other storage options, but for now we'll rely on OSF storage). 

Run a Boa query

Start by clicking the files tab on the main project page

On your Boa file, click on the file option button (the button with three dots on the right-hand side) 

Select an option to "Submit to BOA" from the drop-down.

A pop-up window will ask which BOA database the query should be run against (there are about 4 options that they maintain as data sources)

Once you have selected a query to run against click “Submit” 

The query is run. For v1, a message confirms the query is being sent. For v2, a way to indicate the running status could be conveyed

The result of the query is stored in the same storage location as a text file. You will receive an email notification that your Query has finished, or you can reload your OSF project file page. From there you can open the text file to inspect the results.

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