Citrix builds access suite around MetaFrame

NEW YORK — A Citrix software product aims to fly in the face of geographic divides and make real-time collaboration as easy as a pie chart.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Citrix Systems Inc. announced Wednesday the launch of its MetaFrame

Access Suite. The software suite includes the Citrix MetaFrame XP Presentation Server Feature Release 3, Presentation Server 1.2 for Unix, Secure Access Manager, Conferencing Manager as well as Password Manager. The product suite is an extension of its MetaFrame XP Presentation Server and hopefully a first step in becoming a leader in the access infrastructure software space, said Citrix president and CEO Mark Templeton.

“Today we’d like you to see the company you think you already know in a much larger context,” he said. ” And we’d like you to see the technology you already think you know in a much more strategic light.”

The Access Suite solution is part of the company’s ambitious plan to increase its presence in the enterprise space. Templeton said the Access Suite solution is largely a response to what the company has been hearing from its customers: a clear and ever-louder call for enterprise-on-demand.

Enterprises are also struggling to manage a technology environment more heterogeneous than ever before. Deploying an access suite that can consolidate and help manage varying architectures and access devices will help make sense of the multiple layers of varying technology, Templeton said.

As part of the suite the Citrix MetaFrame XP Presentation Server, FR3 gets a face-lift, arriving with improved Web-based and browser application support. It also has a zero-install “anonymous device” client which will allow users to access applications from remote locations like Internet kiosks, without having to download any application files, the company reported. This version of the server will run on Windows 2000 and 2003. Presentation Server 1.2 for Unix is also on the way and will now be able to support Sun Microsystems’ Solaris 9, Hewlett-Packard’s HP-UX 11i, and IBM’s Aix 5.1 and 5.2 platforms.

The suite’s Secure Access Manager feature is promising secure single-point Web access to applications, data sources as well as Web content and services. Citrix believes this application will allow IT departments to provide users with personalized browser-based, SSL/TLS-encrypted access to the enterprise.

“And we do that without any need for expensive VPN technology,” Citrix senior vice-president of product development and CTO Bob Kruger.

Kruger also announced the arrival of a single sign-on solution, the Password Manager, as well as a Conferencing Manager: a real-time collaboration tool. The application allows remote users concurrent access to an enterprise application no matter what their network connection or access device

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