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Citrix Expands 'Conversations' With XML

Citrix is acquiring XML and Web Services technology vendor QuickTree in an effort to expand the conversation between users and applications.

"The conversation between users and applications today is HTML and HTTP, but we're seeing a few areas where it is being augmented by XML," Sanjay Uppal, Citrix vice president of marketing in the application networking group at Citrix, told internetnews.com.

Uppal explained that with HTTP and HTML, Citrix is already securing and optimizing conversations with its Netscaler and WanScaler products, which will now be augmented with additional XML capabilities and features focusing on security, application efficiency and optimization.

With the acquisition, Citrix isn't getting a product. But it is getting technology.

"It's not an existing product in that it doesn't have end-user customers that we're acquiring," Uppal said. "They were selling technology to companies and not really dealing with end users. We haven't really ironed out what the complete roadmap looks like, but just to put it qualitatively rather than quantitatively, this is a targeted acquisition and we have great expectations that this will give us some bump."

Uppal noted that Citrix had been looking to acquire technology in the XML space and rather than getting a point product or another box, the strategy was to get a technology that could be integrated into Citrix's other assets.

The QuickTree technology is expected to be integrated with Citrix's AppExpert policy framework, which manages policy configuration for Citrix's networking products. The first network product to benefit from the integration is expected to be Netscaler, which provides traffic management, data compression, content caching and security features.

Though Citrix is expanding its XML and Web Services reach, it still has more to do in the SOA space.

"We're not going to do all the functions that you need in an SOA world," Uppal admitted. "Security, application efficiency and optimization are the first ones we'll go after and as Web Services standards get more deployed we'll look at extending into that world; however it may not be with this specific acquisition. We'll take at another look for going after the SOA world."

That said Citrix isn't really getting a lot of requests for backend SOA gateway applications, according to Uppal, though he expects that to happen eventually.

"All of the WS [Web services] standards aren't fully baked yet," he said. "There is more progress in some; there is less progress in others. I expect that large enterprises are waiting to see how those standards get baked and deployed before they jump on the bandwagon."

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, though QuickTree employees in both Santa Clara, Calif., and Bangalore, India, including CEO Raghu Bathina, will join the Citrix Application Networking Group.