Citrix Systems last week unveiled features for its flagship MetaFrame software designed to give end users more tailored Web access to a range of server applications.
MetaFrame software lets client devices connect to and run applications that are loaded on Windows NT/2000 or Unix servers. Network executives can centralise and manage applications on groups of servers, instead of on hundreds or thousands of PCs.
MetaFrame XP for Windows Feature Release 2 includes a program called NFuse Classic, which lets authorised users view and activate applications by means of a Web browser instead of a full-blown Windows client application. Citrix has a forthcoming portal product, NFuse Elite, designed to create a single, Web-based point of access to an array of corporate applications.
The latest MetaFrame feature release lets administrators add to a user's NFuse Web page, a set of application icons that are drawn from different groups of MetaFrame servers. Regardless of where the application resides on the network, it appears to be a "local" application to each user.
Another change that improves the Web interface is called content redirection. With this feature, a user clicks on a PC file, and MetaFrame moves the file to the server that has the application that can run it.
Citrix now bundles its Secure Gateway with MetaFrame. Clients connect to the gateway via Secure Sockets Layer, and the gateway handles encryption and protocol translation via a single port through the firewall to one or more MetaFrame servers. In the past, there had to be one firewall port for each MetaFrame server.
A MetaFrame enterprise starter system, which includes 20 client licences, has a suggested retail price of $US8000, including the Citrix software upgrade service called Subscription Advantage.