Citrix announced a new product, called "Citrix Workflow Studio," as part of their multi-product announcement last week. Based on Microsoft's Windows Workflow Foundation, Citrix Workflow Studio is a graphical environment where you can drag-and-drop configuration elements of your Citrix environment. Once you get everything set up how you want it, you can click "go" and the system will go out and build or configure your real environment just as you modeled it. It's kind of a "modeling" meets "GUI frontend for scripting" meets "automated system configuration tool."
I haven't actually seen Citrix Workflow Studio yet as it's only currently available in Tech Preview to Citrix partners. (A public preview should be available in a few months.) However, Rich Crusco over at Frameworkx.com has written a very detailed, six (!) part in-depth review / preview of Workflow Studio (with lots of pictures).
A few highlights:
- Workflow studio will be 100% Powershell-based on the backend, so you can use it to configure and automate server deployments, administrative tasks, desktop creation, user actions, etc.
- Anything you can do via any Citrix admin console, you'll be able to automate via Workflow Studio.
- Anything you can do via any Microsoft admin console, you'll be able to automate via Workflow Studio.
It seems that while the Workflow Studio will be an amazing product, it will be even more valuable when people start to write and share their own workflow scripts. It doesn't really do much on its own.
I heard that Citrix bought some company to get Workflow Studio, although I don't know who that company is or how much they paid. Regardless it seems like this is something that requires the weight of Citrix to really catch on. In some ways it's a little like Login Consultants' Solution4 Framework or visionapp's Platform Management Suite, but both of those products are probably more valuable because of the IP that's built into the scripts. So maybe it's more accurate to say that Citrix Workflow Studio could be like one of those products.
From Rich's review, though, Citrix Workflow Studio looks very awesome. It seems from reading about the product that Citrix will probably charge for it, but I'm not 100% sure about that.