A Conversation with Rick Dehlinger

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Rick Dehlinger, life after working at Citrix and Microsoft, his vision for a large-scale Citrix reference architecture, and his new company, ModernEnterprise.

A lot of people know Rick Dehlinger from his MetaFrame Tuning Tips & Tricks document and Projects Columbia and Wilamette. In this Brian Madden Live conversation recorded at BriForum 2006, Brian and Rick talk about what Rick's been up to recently, including life after working at Citrix and Microsoft, his vision for a large-scale Citrix reference architecture, and his new company, ModernEnterprise.org.

Brian Madden interviews Rick Dehlinger at BriForum 2006

Brian Madden interviews Rick Dehlinger at BriForum 2006

Rick Dehlinger at BriForum 2006

Rick Dehlinger on Brian Madden Live at BriForum 2006

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I always though JayT was the formal "coder" of Project Columbia..
Might be my mistake..
You're absolutely correct!  Jay Tomlin was the primary code god behind Columbia.  Jay is - hands down - one of the most talented technologists I've ever had the pleasure of working with.  Columbia started as a skunkworks project (meaning, Citrix didn't have it any engineering resources officially working on it).  I was working with a prominent Northwest wood products manufacturer at the time, and they were an early adopter of MetaFrame XP 1.0.  We were stalled in the deployment of the new code because the customer had something like 18 different 1.8 farms scattered throughout their organization.  Citrix had just released some sample code showing how to combine multiple farms into one login, but didn't have any immediate plans to product-ize it.
I wrote up a Preliminary Design Spec with multi-farm ag as the main feature requirement, but it also included a bunch of other cool (and necessary, but less so at the time than multi-farm ag) features.  From the last version I wrote: Multi-Farm Support; Backup MetaFrame Server support; Single NFuse Sign-On to Multiple Farms; Automatic USERNAME and DOMAIN field; Automatic Client Detection/Installation; Win32t CAB/EXE delivery choice; User Credential Pre-validation; Integrated Change Password functionality; XML Service Round Robin Load Balancing; Toggle 'right click, save as' functionality; and Automatic or Manual Internal/External farm access.  I called it 'Project Columbia' (the river I spent summers wakeboarding on) as a tongue in cheek jab at the river based project code names Citrix was using at the time.
I'd reached out to Jay originally since he was the undisputed king of NFuse, and had just delivered a 'change password kit' to market as an unsupported download.  Long story short, as soon as Jay saw the written up req's, he went absolutely APE and knocked the whole thing out in a matter of weeks.  It was amazing!  Jay just never stopped, at least until he got his hands slapped by Citrix anyway...
Shouts also go out to Derek Rice and Jason Shave - they both played an integral role getting the first production ready version of this beautiful piece of code out the door.  Fun days...  Thanks for the trip down the 'ol memory lane!