Citrix Comes To iPhone (Finally)

With a hat-tip to HIStalk, here is some good news from InfoWorld for those of us with iPhones and Citrix at the office:

By the first half of 2009, Citrix will make its XenDesktop and XenApp client and server software for remote access to Windows applications available for the iPhone. “We expect to have it sooner rather than later,” said Chris Fleck, vice president of Solutions Development at Citrix. Fleck said the company is addressing an “unbelievable market demand” for such a product. Requests have become the number-one topic of discussion on its blog site.

“Your entire XP or Vista desktop and all your apps are available in that virtual desktop with all the inherent security and manageability that is currently available on remote desktops now,” said Fleck.
Similar Citrix technology is available for Windows Mobile devices and devices running the Symbian operating system.

However, in the case of the iPhone, Citrix has tweaked the XenApp and XenDesktop technology so that it can leverage the unique features and capabilities of iPhone, such as touch gestures, pinch and pull, zoom, and pan.
“What it does makes applications that were designed for a full-screen desktop usable on small form factor,” noted Fleck.

According to Fleck it will make available the entire world of a half-million Windows applications.

From Citrix, here is how it’s going to work (I recommend you turn down the volume on the accompanying music):

This is actually very good news. Right now, I can easily sign reports from my iPhone on our EmpiricSystems Encompass RIS, because it is HTML-based, and easily accessed via Web. However, there has been no way to access the Citrix-based Cerner system (at another hospital) without at least a laptop. Now I can do it from the field. And, since said hospital has set up a Citrix based virtual desktop, I may finally have iPhone access to our various PACS installations. Time will tell just how well that will work on the small screen and with relatively limited bandwidth, not to mention the overhead imposed by Citrix. Still, it is a major step toward portability.

I have had the iPhone for several months now. I haven’t written a review as yet, and I probably won’t, as many others have done a very good job of that. Suffice it to say, I love the thing, glitches and all, and couldn’t live without it. Score another one for Apple.

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