The word 'Citrix' has been collectively banded for a number different products over many years, but Citrix is actually the name of the multinational corporation which develops technology products associated with its name, such as such as XenApp and XenDesktop.
The full name of this corporation is Citrix Systems, which is head quartered in Florida, USA. Citrix Systems has grown rapidly from 1994 when it was created by Ed Iabucci. Ed is no longer part of the Citrix set up and has been superseded by Mark Templeton as CEO.
Citrix Systems develops several leading products which are used by many famous organisations worldwide.
Citrix primarily focuses on Thin Client and Virtualization technologies but they have also expanded into other areas including networking technologies.
Thin Client technology also known as Server Based Computing (SBC) has made Citrix XenApp a market leader, but what is Thin Client technology?
Before lifting the lid on how Thin Client technology works, let's look at another technology which many people use in their day to day lives. This technology focuses on searching the world wide web (Internet).
The user uses a search engine such as the likes of Google, Yahoo, Bing or one of the other many search engines. The user enters some words into Google's search box and when the 'search' key is pressed, the results appear within a few seconds.
This search information is not stored on the user's computer, that is, there isn't a massive store of all the websites Google knows about hiding in the user's computer.
In reality what happens is when the user presses 'Search', their search request is sent to a data centre, where a series of very powerful computers search their data banks for the relevant information that matches the users search request.
Once this information is found, it is sent back to the user's computer, where it is displayed as the search results, as shown by the screenshot below.
The grunt of the operation, that is, where all the processing of information is carried out, is in the data centre and not on the user's computer. It's the data centre computers which sift through the billions of information files in its data banks to determine what closely meets the user's request for information.
Once the information is found, it is sent back to the user's computer where the user's web browser (such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox to Google Chrome) present that information as a series of results.
In the Google search example it is important to understand the importance of where the information processing takes place. As this is paramount to how Thin Client technology also works.
In the Thin Client world, the processing of information takes place away from the user's computer, typically on a powerful set of computers in a data centre, just like the search engine example earlier.
Instead of web pages being sent to the user's computer, the thin client technology works with applications and the presentation of these applications. So an application such as a word processor in thin client technology doesn't exist on the user's computer.