forecasts that the worldwide application server software
market will grow to US $11.3 billion by 2004. Michael
McGrath, Regional Alliance Manager, Asia Pacific,
Citrix Systems, discusses how application server-based
computing is critical to an enterprise, and how the
Indian application server software market is growing.
by Minu Sirsalewala
space does the application server hold in the server-based
computing market? How critical is it to an enterprise?
have hundreds of traditional applications that need
to be managed and made accessible to a widely distributed
user base. SBC (Server-based computing) provides the
quickest means for these applications to be available
without redeveloping them. Enterprises continue to deploy
server-based computing. And they have recognized the
value of SBC, which allows existing fat-client or client/server
applications to be accessed from any location or device
on the Internet.
Application servers occupy a huge space between database
servers and the end user. They connect database information
(usually coming from a database server) and the end-user
or client program (often running in a Web browser).
With the growth in likes of ERP, CRM, and SAP applications,
organizations need to centralize these complex applications
on a central server or server farm, for publishing or
distributing them to users wherever they are. Wireless
being the trend, information and data needs to be made
available from anywhere, anytime, on any device. By
centralizing these applications organizations have been
able to add value to the likes of CRM applications.
What are the features of an application server?
of an application server are a three-tiered architecture
with an application's development and deployment layer
between the client and backend of legacy systems. It
provides the developer a set of common tools and services
that most applications need, allowing a new level of
integration among components. An integrated development
environment is present, which eliminates the need for
multiple tools or code conversion.
Our models can also take advantage of reusable modular
component models such as CORBA, COM/DCOM, IIOP, or EJB
(Enterprise JavaBeans). Some features like load balancing
and pooling can give you more control over how to run
the applications. Application servers help to decrease
the size and complexity of client programs, the need
to cache and control the data flow for better performance,
and a requirement to provide security for both data
and user traffic.
How does the Citrix solution benefit the customer
in the server-based computing space?
is very difficult to highlight any one benefit. Organizations
have so many different drivers from which they can adopt
a Citrix solution to cater to their specific needs.
First the speed, at which you can deploy these solutions,
second is the ease with which you can integrate the
remote offices. Organizations can take an application
that is already in existence and include it into a new
domain of the Web. Thus there is an immediate ROI by
continuing to use what already many companies have developed
as custom business applications or just applications
that are not available in a Web form. Third is the capability
of these solutions. Users can make use of the applications
from anywhere, for instance I could be a sales executive
out on sales and need to access some data and applications
to execute a deal. With the help of a Citrix solution
that enables me to access the data I can execute the
deal without having to be physically present in the
The solution enables departments, workgroups, branch
offices and small businesses to maximize application
availability so users have access to the business-critical
information they need anytime, from any device, over
any connection-wired, wireless or Web.
The other benefit Citrix offers is that users can maintain
total administrative control of applications by pushing
Windows icons down to the desktop or to the Start menu.
Consolidating print driver requirements into a single
universal print driver can accommodate diverse printing
environments, thus reducing printing bandwidth requirements.
These solutions bring to life the concept of a universal
Net seamless integration of LANs, WANs, the Internet
and extranets into a unified computing infrastructure.
It is possible to publish applications and content into
any standard Web browser without rewriting a single
line of application code. You can optimize network performance
and security, with application filtering and caching,
ticketing and SSL encryption. You can also simplify
access, improve productivity and deliver true user mobility
by giving users application access from any device that
supports a standard Web browser. Additionally, you can
support uniform application appearance and performance
over any network connection Internet, LAN, WAN, dial-up
With Citrix solutions you can easily, quickly and literally
in a matter of hours publish your existing legacy application
to client server applications onto the Web. This frees
up the information for the employees and can be accessed
anytime from anywhere. That is a compelling benefit
to the company and that goes a long way in delivering
the virtual workplace concept. Taking an example of
an Indian organization, if they want to deploy any kind
of CRM application it will take them at least six to
eight months to roll out the module. Whereas, with Citrix
solution the module can be rolled out in a month. Citrix
with its solutions like MetaFrame and Nfuse delivers
virtual access, thereby speeding and at the same time
making the applications cost effective.
What is the size of the application server software
market in India?
now, the application server market is on its way up
due to the growing importance of the Web. Companies
are using application servers to reach out to their
internal employees or partners or even customers.
The Boston Consulting Group sees a $7 billion market
opportunity in the application server space over the
next couple of years.
Companies continue to look for ways to extend existing
applications to new internal and external users. They
need to grow beyond the traditional WAN boundaries to
accommodate remote access by employees or by partners
and customers. The companies should be able to deploy
existing applications via a common Web browser interface
to those new audiences. It gives the ability to extend
the usefulness of existing applications at a lower cost.
Focusing on the Asia-Pacific region, there is tremendous
opportunity. We at Citrix had 68 percent growth over
last year and this year we are targeting 100 percent
growth over last year. This gives a clear picture where
the market is going. India is an important region in
the Asia-Pac area and we see enormous growth prospects.
How long has Citrix been in India and who are your
have been in India for about two years now and have
close to 500 customers across the country. We are also
running a Citrix Business Alliance program in India
where we are bringing technology companies together
with Citrix. The alliance develops synergies between
technologies and delivers value-based knowledge to expand
business opportunities to the alliance partners. We
have already established a strong alliance with 600
of the leading technology companies across the world.
What are your plans for India?
Portal initiative, which is already in its second stage,
is something we are moving towards in India. In this
we integrate Web and client server applications together.
The next step in this initiative will be where you can
not only incorporate applications but also content,
information and services. Our initiative is to logically
move to an access portal. In these challenging times
organizations need to get a quick return on investment,
which is also the Citrix approach.
We are bringing portals together with thin-client computing
and are likely to begin converging with the broader
enterprise portal and content management market during
the coming months. We have outlined a strategy around
delivering a "virtual workspace," a set of
Web portal software products that would allow IT shops
to provide users with access to relevant applications
and content. The workspace concept incorporates the
ability to access traditional client applications via
MetaFrame, browser-based applications, Web content and
Minu Sirsalewala can be reached at email@example.com