The Portal Computing Service aims to ease the access to high performance computing resources for researchers and is a means of providing application services through a browser. HPC compute jobs are by convention executed on the systems with UNIX shell scripts, containing commands to run applications and structured comments for the queueing system. This requires a certain level of UNIX skills and requires the user to figure out how to use various applications at the scripting level.
Portals will allow the user to work on a higher level, by specifying workflows of individual tasks to be performed to solve a scientific problem. Workflows might be shared between researchers. The portal might infer what computational steps or compute jobs which needs to be executed to solve a given problem and where in the infrastructure this might be solved the most efficiently.
A portal - The LifePortal at UiO - has been developed for the life science community and implemented with the Galaxy framework.