Java Migration Solution Supports Visual Studio 2005

Mainsoft Corp. has released a new version of its interoperability suite for software vendors and enterprise solution developers. Version 2.0 of the product, called "Mainsoft for Java EE," helps developers use their .NET code and applications as they move toward Java- and Linux-based environments.

The latest version, according to an announcement issued by Mainsoft, supports "Microsoft's Visual Studio 2005 IDE, the .NET framework 2.0, ASP.NET 2.0 controls, role-based security and C#."

Mainsoft's solution is a plug-in application for the Visual Studio development environment. Software developers, faced with the potentially time-consuming task of recoding .NET applications into Java, can use Mainsoft's solution and their familiar development environment to save time. They can use C# and Visual Basic to do so and debug in Visual Studio, according to Yaacov Cohen, Mainsoft's president and CEO.

"It lets you do drag and drop -- all this sort of visual probleming," Cohen said. "When we compile, we let the Microsoft compiler compile it to intermediate code, and then the Mainsoft solution compiles to Java bite code."

In some cases, less than one percent of the resulting code has needed to be changed, Cohen said.

Developers might use Mainsoft's solution when moving toward Java-based open solutions via Java EE or IBM WebSphere application servers or Linux platforms. They might also use the solution to support a service-oriented architecture (SOA).

There are some limitations to establishing an SOA in a mixed environment of Java and .NET-based code, Cohen explained. For instance, you cannot do Intel portlet applications with .NET and Java code. Likewise, you can't do composite applications between .NET and Java, Cohen added.

"The Java platform is really designed for SOA, but you have a six-million development pool [using .NET]," said Cohen, explaining the need for Mainsoft's interoperability solution.

Mainsoft for Java EE is currently available in three editions. A free "Developer Edition" is designed for individual developers and small groups, supporting Apache and Tomcat. The "Enterprise Edition" supports IBM WebSphere Application Server and Tomcat, as well as "standard Java EE servers such as JBoss and BEA WebLogic," according to Mainsoft's announcement. Finally, there's a "Portal Edition" supporting Java EE portals.

Mainsoft's interoperability suite came into being following a four-year collaboration between the company and the Mono Project. The Mono Project, which is sponsored by Novell, aims to establish an open source UNIX-based version of the Microsoft .NET development platform.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor, Enterprise Group, at 1105 Media Inc.