CoESRA: From virtual desktop to science gateway

The Collaborative Environment for Ecosystem Science Research and Analysis (CoESRA) is a Web-based virtual desktop environment that integrates existing eResearch infrastructure in Australia for synthesis and analysis of scientific data for the ecological science community. Data synthesis and analysis is performed through scientific workflows. Even though this is powerful, it has a large learning curve for novice users. We have implemented a Web layer on top of an existing virtual desktop layer to hide this complexity from users. This new layer allows users to execute scientific workflows without requiring a desktop, and thus reduces the learning curve. The virtual desktop is still accessible for more advanced users.