Citrix boosts portal product

Citrix Systems Inc. recently 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, letting users 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 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 ScreamingMedia Inc., which provides news, stock quotes and weather information, to include syndicated content within the NFuse Elite portal.

NFuse Elite also provides wizards and drag-and-drop menus for easy customization and portal creation.

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

Citrix has played around the sidelines of the portal market since it acquired portal maker Sequoia Software Corp. last year. With NFuse Elite, it takes 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 also can run independent of MetaFrame, Manks says. Base requirements include Windows 2000 and Internet Authentication Service.

NFuse Elite is available now and costs $67 per user, with a minimum 75 users.