Open-System Portal Solution Avoids Recoding

Mainsoft's Portal Edition solution is being used to help integrate systems on IBM WebSphere Portal 6 for an unnamed pension fund company in Israel, according to an announcement issued by IBM.

Mainsoft's solution saved time for Opal Future Technologies, a Herzelia, Israel-based IT company that provides support for the pension fund company. Opal used Mainsoft's solution to largely avoid rewriting code developed on the .NET platform for the implementation.

Opal was tasked with creating a uniform system for account holders. To do so, it had to integrate information associated with eight funds. It used a service-oriented architecture (SOA) to tie together applications that were based on both .NET and Java.

Opal selected Mainsoft's solution to cross-compile .NET code into Java bite code, or JSR-168-compliant portlets. The alternative -- rewriting .NET code into Java -- would have taken two weeks per application, according to a test conducted by Opal.

In its initial work for the pension fund company, Opal used Mainsoft's solution to integrate six .NET applications and more than 30 Java services into the IBM Portal. The new system was deployed in four months. Opal had to recode less than one-half of one percent of the .NET code in the process, according Jason Anderson, IBM's product manager for WebSphere Portal.

Anderson said that "most customers have a mixed environment" (.NET and Java), and that companies are moving toward Java-based platforms.

"There's definitely a need for customers moving to a Java-based platform," Anderson said. "Mainsoft's [solution] does cross-compilation at the development level. It has no impact on the design of the existing Web portal architecture."

Yaacov Cohen, Mainsoft's president and CEO, said that the majority of enterprises are moving toward J2EE and that Mainsoft's solution helps in an open-system coexistence play.

"It's really a pragmatic approach to SOA," Cohen said. "You can use your existing skills and existing applications and populate your portals very quickly."

Mainsoft's application can be used as a plug-in to Microsoft's Visual Studio development environment, according to Jenna Dobkin, Mainsoft's director of marketing.

"We've found that with developers skilled in Java or .NET -- it's almost like a religion," she said. "[Mainsoft's application] actually plugs into the Visual Studio environment so it's easy for developers to deploy on a WebSphere Portal."

Mainsoft is an IBM Business Partner. Its solution helps Windows applications coexist on open systems, including IBM's WebSphere Portal and WebSphere Application Server.

About the Author

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