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Working Together – Application Virtualization from Citrix & Microsoft


Since the acquisition of Softricity by Microsoft, naysayers have been forecasting the demise of the close strategic partnership between Citrix and Microsoft because both companies have application virtualization solutions..  Citrix has created a billion dollar business building value on top of Microsoft platforms like Terminal Services and the partnership remains strong. Citrix is committed to finding innovative ways to add value to the Microsoft Application Virtualization (the new name for SoftGrid) solution, as well.

The first step in this cooperative effort is to understand how the two application virtualization technologies work together. There are several scenarios in which the application virtualization capabilities of both Citrix and Microsoft work together:

1.     Complementary in the XenApp Server farm – Prior to its acquisition by Microsoft, Softricity was a Citrix Partner. In fact, a significant number of customers still use SoftGrid in conjunction with their XenApp Server farms for application delivery.  The acquisition and name change to Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5, does not change how well the two solutions work together.

2.     Simultaneous coexistence on the same platform – Customers can use both the client-side application virtualization feature of XenApp and Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5 on the same machine at the same time. Both clients will co-exist in the same environment so that customers can use both solutions simultaneously.

3.     Publish MAV sequences in XenApp – In addition, it is possible for Citrix XenApp and Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5 to work together. Microsoft Application Virtualization sequences can be published in XenApp.

4.     Package MAV sequences in XenApp – This interoperability can be taken a step further. Existing Microsoft Application Virtualization sequences can be re-packaged with the Citrix XenApp Profiler. This simple process wraps the Microsoft sequence in a XenApp profile, which enables all of the advanced capabilities of XenApp to be used. Customers get the benefits of dual-mode application virtualization and SmartAccess while also leveraging their

investment in Microsoft Application Virtualization.

Joe Nord the Citrix Architect of Application Virtualization has written a definitive account of how to make options 3 & 4 work.  Read about it here.

The inter-operability of the two technologies makes it easier for customers to leverage their existing investments in both Citrix XenApp and Microsoft Application Virtualization. Customers who have already expended the effort to sequence applications for Microsoft Application Virtualization can use these same packages in a XenApp environment. This allows customers to take advantage of dual-mode streaming built-in XenApp which seamlessly switches between Microsoft Application Virtualization on the client-side and server-side and the granular access control policies of SmartAccess.

Citrix views application virtualization as a key element of its vision for XenApp as an end-to-end application delivery system and will continue to enhance its own solution to provide the best experience for admins and users. Supporting Microsoft Application Virtualization also makes it easier for customers to fully leverage their XenApp environments and reinforces our commitment to working closely with Microsoft to help customers realize the value in application virtualization.


Written by: Tim Graf



To learn more and to read the entire article please refer to the following page, Working Together – Application Virtualization from Citrix & Microsoft – Tim Graf


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