Microsoft Corp. and Softricity Inc. last week unveiled a joint plan to promote Softricitys solution for managing Windows applications as Web services.
Microsoft and Softricity have agreed to promote Softricitys SoftGrid as an enabling technology to move existing applications onto Microsofts .Net platform as XML Web services over corporate networks, the companies said.
Boston-based Softricitys SoftGrid lets users deliver applications as network services, and Microsoft will bring .Net technologies to the SoftGrid platform to automate such things as application discovery and provisioning and user authentication through Microsoft Passport to applications outside the firewall, Softricity officials said.
SoftGrid can deliver portions of application code over a network to Windows applications, said David Greschler, Softricitys co-founder and executive vice president of marketing and strategy.
This is particularly important for terminal-based applications, especially in terminal server farms or clusters, Greschler said. Because an application is delivered in portions, it runs in a protected barrier, which Softricity calls SystemGuard. With SystemGuard, users can run applications that might conflict with one another if run at the same time or run as multiple versions of the same products, he said.
"Softricity has some interesting technology allowing an application to be packaged and delivered to a remote system," said Dan Kusnetzky, an analyst with International Data Corp., in Framingham, Mass. "This is a great add-on to environments using Microsofts Terminal Services or Citrix [MetaFrame]. Local users or users having access to broadband connections can use the applications remotely. Users having only intermittent connections can have the package put on their system when they connect and then run locally while working disconnected from the network."
Greschler said his companys agreement to help companies manage their applications as Web services is beneficial to both Microsoft, of Redmond, Wash., and Softricity. Both companies will sell the solution, and Microsoft gets the opportunity to "offer a total solution for the enterprise," he said.
Greschler said Microsoft will not only be able to offer its Visual Studio .Net development environment for building new applications and Web services but will also be able to promote the SoftGrid solution as a way to "take existing Windows applications to the .Net and Web services world."