The Future of VREs by mirit35


									                  The Future of VREs

                  Presented by: Prof Mark Baker

                     ACET, University of Reading
                         Tel: +44 118 378 8615

15th April 2008
• General Introduction.

 31st January 2008
                   What is a VRE?
• A VRE is best viewed as a framework into which tools,
  services and resources can be plugged.
• A VRE is the result of joining together new and
  existing components to support as much of the
  research process as appropriate for any given activity
  or role.
• Normally a scientist will have a bunch of icons on their
  desktops that are links to the applications that help
  their research processes.

 15th April 2008
                 What VREs Offer Users
• Customised user interfaces,
• A focussed entry-point for users in particular
• Personalised services.
• Role-based security.
• Access to information and services – hiding the
  underlying complexity.
• Provides a supported working environment.
• Used for finding, sharing and disseminating information.
• Facilitates collaboration across institutional boundaries.

   15th April 2008
                  Current VRE Technologies
• User portal
  can use a
  variety of

      15th April 2008
   The Pros and Cons of Current Portals
• A VRE provides a Web-based portal where
  scientists/engineers can login and access the various
  tools, utilities and services they need to do their
• If using a Portal Framework - potentially applications
  and services have to be ported to the system:
   – Standard Web-based portal components – JSR-168 and
     emerging JSR-286.
   – No standard for back-end services – JavaBeans, Servlets, Web
   – Need to login to desktop and then the portal
• If not using a normal Portal Framework – then more or
  less all the infrastructure, service and utilities need to
  be design and implemented from scratch:
   – Probably a quicker way to create a user portal!
      BUT, probably reinventing the wheel time and time again.
   –15th April 2008
The Pros and Cons of Current Portals
• Duplicating Web-based applications – forking software
  to push the into a portlet, then having to maintain the
   – Should not be reinventing wheel, should be reusing web-
     applications (Wordpress/MediaWiki/…)
• Bridges are a way around this problem:
   – Lets you consume a normal Web application.
   – In The VERA project we have developed the Recycle Bridge

   – RB is being used to consume the VERA portal, and has been
     tested with Wordpress/MediaWiki/…
• Should be focusing on new services, tools and utilities
  within a portal, rather than reinventing the wheel.
 15th April 2008
                   VREs in the Future
• Prof Mike Fulford’s (Archaeology) view:
   – If I think of VERA and Silchester, I feel we have
     hardly begun to develop the VRE and its potential;
     the main constraint being resources, rather than
     the technology/software - so we are still at the
     infant stage.
   – Where technology is concerned, it is also clear to
     me that this is a field which is evolving so rapidly,
     there is scope for continual development and
   – Hence we develop the notion of a boundless VRE -
     in terms of both domain scope and the exploitation
     of the technology.

 15th April 2008
                   VREs in the Future
• A Computer Science view…
   – Currently VREs, which are presented via a Web-
     portal, are at an intermediate phase in their
   – It is natural to have a bunch of icons embedded in
     ones desktop that are used for undertaking ones
   – So, instead of logging into a Portal, you login to
     your normal PC/Laptop, and use the icons on your
         • The icons will effectively provide the same services
           as those used via the portal, but the portal itself will
           be hidden from the user.

 15th April 2008

15th April 2008

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