Best Use Case for Citrix Virtual Apps
To help identify the best use case for Citrix® Virtual Apps, let’s start with a brief history of Citrix.
Citrix Founding and Target Audience
Citrix Systems was founded in 1989 as a provider of centrally hosted remote access products for Microsoft® operating systems. At its inception, Citrix’ target customer was IT teams tasked with providing optimized employee computing environments. Citrix’ approach—to virtualize centrally hosted Windows applications and deliver them to local devices—was revolutionary. Citrix app virtualization enabled IT to control the applications delivered to employees and eliminated the time-consuming and expensive practice of installing and managing applications on each employee’s device.
Additionally, Citrix allowed employees to work from anywhere they had internet access (the World Wide Web was released into the public domain in 1983). Post-pandemic, we take the “work from anywhere” concept for granted, but in the late 80s/early 90s it was a phenomenon.
The organizations that benefited from Citrix technology were medium- and enterprise- sized (500 employees and up), where the time, effort, and budget for distributing and managing end user work applications justified the cost for implementing a Citrix solution. With Citrix, IT could provide just the apps an employee needed to do their job, allow IT to update those apps in the datacenter instead of on each device, and gave employees more flexible workplace options than they had prior to Citrix.
Citrix Product Evolution
Since its inception, Citrix has leveraged its internal software development efforts combined with technology acquisitions to evolve its products in response to customer needs, competitive pressures, and the emergence of new technologies. Citrix WinFrame was introduced in 1995, MetaFrame in 1998, Presentation Server in 2005, and XenApp® in 2008. Citrix XenDesktop®, based on the same virtualization technology as XenApp , was released in 2009, providing a full virtual desktop versus a set of virtual applications like XenApp and its predecessors. In 2011, Citrix introduced “VDI-in-a-box”, intended for small businesses that wanted the benefits of centralized control and management for employee applications.
In 2018, in response to the market’s intensifying interest in the cloud, Citrix began shifting to a cloud operating model, renaming its products to represent a unified product line. Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop were renamed Citrix Virtual Apps™ and Citrix Virtual Desktops™ and later combined into a single offering as Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops™. In 2022, as a reflection of Citrix’ move to a cloud service model, Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops became Citrix DaaS™.
Citrix Use Case
Throughout Citrix’ product evolution, one constant remained—the use case for buying and implementing Citrix technology. Beginning with WinFrame, Citrix primary use case has been IT’s need to centralize and manage employee’s work applications and/or desktops to provide employees with the applications they need to do their job, centrally maintain, update, and secure those applications, and make them available any time and any place. Application and desktop centralization reduced the time and effort required to optimize end user computing for organizations with lots of employees. Additionally, over time, Citrix has added scores of user administration, management, and support features intended for their core audience.
But what about Windows ISVs providing customers with remote access to one or two applications? Is technology intended for organizations with lots of employees needing multiple applications a perfect fit for a Windows ISV?
Not really. But, for ISVs that want to deliver Windows applications to customers from a private, public, or hybrid cloud, Citrix has been one of the few options available.
If you’re a Windows ISV that wants to make your applications available to your customers from any cloud, consider GO-Global® instead of Citrix.
GO-Global was designed to enable Windows ISVs to publish applications from any public, private, or hybrid cloud, to any device that supports a browser. Using GO-Global, you can deliver Windows applications to your customers at up to 70% less than Citrix. Despite its low cost, GO-Global delivers enterprise-level scalability but is easy to install, configure, and use, with considerably less technology overhead required for implementation, and provides a great user experience, even over a low-bandwidth connection.