Citrix Workflow Studio preview

Last week CRN reported about a new product coming from Citrix called Workflow Studio, able to provide an automation framework for XenServer, XenDesktop, XenApp (formerly Presentation Server) and NetScaler.

Now Rich Crusco, Technical Evangelist at Frameworkx, publishes on his blog a long, detailed preview of the product and reveals interesting details:

Workflow Studio unlocks the potential in Microsoft PowerShell and the Windows Workflow Foundation by providing an easy to use, graphical interface for workflow composition that virtually eliminates scripting. Workflow Studio is pre-populated with task libraries that interface with all Citrix products, Citrix-ready solutions and 3rd party offerings, providing out of the box capabilities to drive provisioning, configuration and other management functions in an automated fashion.

Through a graphical workflow designer, you can build full automation of your business and/or IT processes including user account management, server and application provisioning, security enforcement and automation, disaster recovery automation, and routine and emergency maintenance on data center resources.

The Workflow Control tasks provide you the control logic necessary to truly create workflows that automate manual processes. These control tasks give you all of the power of an advanced programming language without having to write a single line of code. These tasks allow you to direct/alter the path of workflow execution in order to automate the decision-making that otherwise has to be done by individuals. Additionally, some of the Workflow Control tasks allow you to create a multi-threaded (multi-tasking) workflow, handle errors that may occur in your workflows, and terminate your workflow…

Citrix Workflow Studio

The preview is still a work in progress and Rich will post the 4th part soon. It’s a highly recommended reading.

The approach and capabilities seem much similar to the Dunes Technologies VS-O automation framework that VMware acquired in September 2007.

VMware is expected to unveil (or at least to provide more details about) the integration of Dunes product into its offering at VMworld Europe 2008. We’ll see how the two products will compare to each other.