A novel component-based, service-oriented framework for distributed metacomputing is described. Adopting a provider-centric view of resource sharing, this project emphasizes lightweight software infrastructures that maintain a minimal state, and interface to current and emerging distributed computing standards. Resource owners host a software backplane onto which owners, clients, or third-party, resellers may load components or component-suites that deliver value added services without compromising owner security or control. Standards-based descriptions of services facilitate publication and discovery via established schemes. The architecture of the container framework, design of components, security and access control schemes, and preliminary experiences are described in this paper.