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The increasing complexity of large distributed scientific applications raises the problem of the coordination of diverse computational resources (computers, data bases, etc.). Multi-disciplinary applications often make use of coupled computational resources that cannot be replicated at a single site. There is the need for smart and user-friendly problem-solving environments that free scientists from concerns related to the location and complexity of the computing platform being used. We describe the main features of the Meta/spl psi/ software tool developed at CNUCE-CNR to build PSEs for the execution of complex applications on a Web-based metacomputer. This tool is designed to supply completely transparent support to the user who thus does not need to be aware of the location and the allocation of computing resources. The paper introduces the real application's needs coming from a specific scientific community, and motivates the realization of Meta/spl psi/. It then focuses on the architectural and implementation aspects of Meta/spl psi/ and finally summarizes the work.