Softricity Launches SoftGrid For Web Applications

SoftGrid for Web Applications, which was unveiled Tuesday and is currently in beta testing, will complement the company's two-year-old product designed for deploying Windows applications. It will ship later this year, the company said.

Like its Windows counterpart, SoftGrid for Web Applications transforms applications from products and components that need to be locally installed into virtual services that are centrally managed and deployed to any Windows desktop, Windows XP Embedded terminal or terminal service running with Citrix server.

The virtualization platform does not write files directly to an operating system. Instead, it herds the applications to Softricity's virtual sandbox, the company's runtime environment dubbed SystemGuard, the company said.

With this approach, customers can deploy and centrally manage full Web applications and components to a desktop without fearing conflicts between different browser settings, toolbars, plug-ins and security settings. It is difficult to test and run various versions of Web components such as Java Virtual Machines and browsers side-by-side on the same PC without running into conflicts, the company said.

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In addition, the Web-application plug-ins, settings and Java revisions can be centrally updated automatically with no changes to the PC's configuration, the company said.

"We're doing Windows now, but a lot of applications are written for the Web," said David Greschler, co-founder and vice president of marketing at Softricity, Boston. "We're extending the platform so you can deploy virtual versions of Java 1.3 and Java 1.4 and different media players on a PC. Many Web apps have different security settings, but you can only run one instance of Internet Explorer with a specific security setting. We virtualize the security component of IE so you can run multiple settings on the same PC."

Pricing will be similar to Windows pricing at $189 per desktop, but exact pricing for the Web application version won't be announced until later this year, Greschler added.

Softricity has a limited number of high-end certified consulting partners including Choice Solutions, Emergent Online and RapidApps, all of which are Citrix partners.

"This will allow customers to virtualize their Java applications so they don't have any conflicts," said Jim Steinlage, president of Choice Solutions, a Softricity partner in Overland Park, Kan. He noted he has customers who will be interested in virtualizing Web applications. "It's a piece of the market Softricity can add."