Citrix Systems has purchased QuickTree, which makes software for improving security and performance for XML and web services.

QuickTree software can be added to network gear to guard against attacks carried within XML traffic. The company's XML Security Module (XSM) processes and inspects XML traffic as it passes through these devices, such as firewalls, load balancers and SSL VPN gateways.

Citrix said it plans to add these capabilities to its NetScaler application-acceleration platform, WANScaler WAN-optimisation gear and to its Citrix Access Gateway SSL VPN device.

Competitors include Layer 7, and Cisco with its purchase of Reactivity and Forum Systems.

Citrix argues that while stand-alone XML appliances are one way to speed up XML processing and secure XML traffic, it is more efficient to integrate these features in existing network infrastructure. Such equipment would reduce the number of devices in the network and ultimately scale better than appliances, Citrix said.

Citrix says it will integrate XSM into its AppExpert Policy Builder platform, a GUI tool for creating policies for applications and users that are translated into rules enforced by Citrix network infrastructure.

The company says XSM will be integrated first with NetScaler, which typically sits between web servers and the larger private or public IP network.

Citrix did not disclose how much it paid for QuickTree. All QuickTree employees will join Citrix as part of its Application Networking Group.

This purchase comes just two weeks after Citrix bought XenSource, which brings server virtualisation technology to the company. Citrix says that will also include shared storage, resource sharing and management.

Earlier this summer Citrix bought the assets - mainly developers - of defunct SSL VPN and NAC vendor Caymas Systems. They have also been assigned to Citrix's Application Networking Group.