Citrix enhances portal product

Citrix Systems Inc. Monday unveiled its NFuse Elite access portal server, which company executives say gives businesses an economical, easy-to-deploy alternative to more complex enterprise information portals.

NFuse Elite provides secure, Web-based access to applications and information employees need based on their roles within a company, says Jim McGrath, manager of product marketing for Web products for Citrix. Previously, Citrix's portal offering consisted of a static interface to centrally hosted applications, enabling users to access applications from any browser, rather than from a client application.

That browser interface, now called NFuse Classic, is still available. NFuse Elite takes Citrix's portal efforts to the next level by providing customizable, dynamic access to more than just applications.

"It can serve up not only a PeopleSoft application, for example, but also content and information," McGrath says.

In that vein, Citrix also announced an agreement with Screaming Media, which provides news, stock quotes and weather information, to include syndicated content within the NFuse Elite portal.

In addition, NFuse Elite provides wizards and drag-and-drop menus for easy customization and portal creation.

Citrix is partnering with other software vendors, such as Documentum and eRoom, to provide content management and collaboration capabilities within the NFuse portal. David Manks, senior director of product marketing at Citrix, says additional partnerships will follow.

Citrix has been playing around the sidelines of the portal market since it acquired portal maker Sequoia Software last year. With NFuse Elite it is taking advantage of Sequoia's XML-based portal technology to build a product that can be customized as business needs change.

NFuse Elite runs on its own servers and can be deployed in conjunction with MetaFrame, Citrix's flagship software that lets a variety of devices connect to and run applications deployed on Windows or Unix servers. NFuse Elite can also be run independent of MetaFrame, Manks says. Base requirements include Microsoft Windows 2000 and Internet Authentication Service.

NFuse Elite is available now through Citrix resellers and priced at US$67 per user, with a minimum 75 users.

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