Citrix Systems Inc. and Sun Microsystems Inc. last week rolled out updated versions of their respective portal servers, which the companies officials said will make it easier for enterprises to install and manage corporate applications.
Citrix began shipping NFuse Elite, which provides secure access to personalized applications and content as well as centralized management for administrators. Previous NFuse versions provided only static Web portals and application links that could not be customized to meet users needs.
The update features wizard-driven installation and pre-configured roles, themes and templates to speed and simplify implementation. NFuse Elite is targeted at small and medium-size businesses and at departments of larger enterprises, Citrix officials said.
NFuse Elite is based on XML and supports standards-based integration mechanisms, such as Microsoft Corp. Web Parts and WebForms.
The software can be used by any company with shared, networked applications, though it will be marketed mainly to Citrixs MetaFrame installed base, said company officials in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Michelle Campbell, who manages the application portal at Johns Hopkins Universitys Bloomberg School of Public Health, plans to make NFuse Elite available to about 4,500 users. Campbell, assistant director of IS at the Baltimore school, said NFuse Elite appears to be more reliable and full-featured than Citrixs XPS portal software, which the school had been using.
"The functionality of some of the [content delivery agents] has improved," Campbell said. "Also, personalization seems more user-friendly and intuitive."
Meanwhile, Sun, of Palo Alto, Calif., pushed its Web services vision further with the introduction of Sun ONE (Open Net Environment) Portal Server 6.0. The new version boasts identity management features and support for leading Java application servers.
The software, due in August, includes Sun ONE Identity Server, which gives users secure, policy-based access to applications and lets companies consolidate management of users and applications, including personalizing content and service delivery, officials said.
Version 6.0 supports a range of J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) application servers, including Sun ONE Application Server, IBM WebSphere and BEA Systems Inc.s WebLogic. For developers, Sun ONE Portal Server 6.0 features a set of developer tools to help build portal applications.