An organisation moving towards a virtual desktop platform may face huge confusion regarding the selection of the best suitable offer for them in terms of costs, features list, and most importantly end-user experience.
So, as a developer, I had a chance to use Webswing and Citrix for my Java swing application and I am in a position now to present their comparisons, pros, and cons, and conclusions, that’ll help you make a better selection among Webswing and Citrix.
Introduction to Webswing and Citrix
Webswing is an Irish Slovak software company that came up with this great idea. Webswing allows the Java applications, Applets, and Swing-based applications to run on the browser without any modification in the code.
According to my experience, Webswing has done good work to provide the swing App UI and experience as same as it would be used as a desktop application.There is a video of how Webswing actually works.
Citrix software is a software company having headquarter in the US. Citrix provides a workspace where users can access its data, applications, and desktop.
It vanishes the need to bring a laptop or your system everywhere. Simply, you need to migrate your applications and data in the workspace and can access it anywhere online through a web browser.You can know more about Citrix in this video.
How Webswing and Citrix operate
Let me explain the working of both virtualisation technologies and will go deeper so that you can understand what they are used for.
Webswing main idea revolves around providing support to Java, Swing, and Applet applications right on the web browser. It allows the developers not to worry about making any modifications in the code to make it compatible for cross-platform. As of the known record, many banking, insurance, aviation and other companies, using Java and swing-based applications are now executing their apps on browsers using Webswing, ultimately increasing their productivity.
One thing that might come into Java developer’s minds is the security and Java runtime updates. Webswing releases bug fixes and security updates every month, which keeps Java runtime up to date hence, it provides a fully secured environment for your application.
How to create Webswing App
Simply, install the Java library and set its path in Webswing. You will have your Java application right on the go, with the same look and experience.
Following are the simple steps to have your virtual desktop using Webswing.
- Download the latest version of Webswing.
- Unzip the file and run the .bat file .to start the Webswing server.
- Open browser and hit URL localhost:8080
- Provide login credentials user: admin password: pwd
- Click on the manage button and then click on Create App.
Citrix works to provide virtualisation of the applications to the clients but works differently from Webswing. Citrix stores clients’ applications to a Farm of centralised servers which allows them to use around the globe. It provides nice looking web interface from where you can manage and access your data.
Citrix isolates the applications from the underlying Operating System and delivers them to the webserver. The client doesn’t need to install the application on its system as all the settings are stored on the server. The user interacts with the application using mouse and keyboard, the server sends screen updates in response.
If we decompose the Citrix, it is composed of the following components working together.
- StoreFront – Web Server which allows accessing the app in Citrix environment.
- Delivery Controller – Server configuration and Apps are stored here.
- App Server – The client finally accesses its applications here.
Pros and Cons
Well, both of the companies have put in years of hard-working to meet the demands of the market and allow the industries to become more productive through hassle-free access to their applications.
In the next section, I’ll present you the Pros and Cons of Citrix and Webswing. These are based on the comparison between their services, cost, and business logic.
|Migration Framework||It provides step-by-step migration from legacy app to new browser native one.|
|Test Tool||Test Tool allows testing the application with concurrent virtual users. It ensures the stability and scalability of the application without having real users.|
|No code modification required||No code change is required to have your Java swing application on the web browser.|
|Access any application – anywhere||No matter how old the Java application is, Webswing will execute it in your browser.|
|Easy Integration||JsLink Interface is a built-in Webswing that allows the integration of the swing views in any other application.|
|Codebase Protection||Application source code and files are secured and protected. Developers don’t need to worry about them.|
|No on-demand server resources|
|Support on the internet is not available directly – however, customer support is always there via email and allegedly they provide 24/7 as an additional service|
|Secure||Several layers are there between the centralized servers and the client machines.|
|Ease of use||Just login into the web portal and you will have access to your apps and data anywhere.|
|Great support||Whenever you feel any issue regarding Citrix – wide customer support is always there to help your out.|
|Support Modern applications||Latest applications like MS Office are readily available and personalized for you.|
|HDX protocol||Citrix virtual apps and desktops (XenDesktop) uses HDX protocol to minimize the bandwidth. Hence, it performs well with low-end internet connections.|
|Licenses are very expensive|
|Implementation and configuration require a high skillset|
|Optimization for audio and video is not the best|
|Allegedly a dead-end solution for legacy applications|
Webswing and Citrix have put in hard work over the years to provide their services to the users. However, as a developer, I’ve found Webswing more interactive to provide services and user experience, and it’s more appealing in this era.
The reason I can draw in support of Webswing is that Java is a pretty mature language and so is the Swing framework. Owing to the maturity of Java and Swing, its applications have already been part of a large number of organisations such as banks, insurance, and financial companies, and even medical fields. Migrating their java applications to the Webswing is beneficial for these organisations and ultimately for the thousands of developers and clients. They will not need to worry about cross-platform compatibility and updates and continuously focus on their plans. Citrix on the other hand isn’t optimised to such extend for Java and Swing applications as the Webswing is.