Meandre provides the machinery for assembling and executing data flows -software applications consisting of software components that process data (such as by accessing a data store, transforming the data from that store and analyzing or visualizing the transformed results).

Within Meandre, each flow is represented as a graph that shows executable components (i.e., basic computational units, or building blocks) as icons linked through their input and output connections. Based on the inputs and properties of a executable component, a unique output is generated upon execution.