Mainsoft, IBM Port .Net Apps to Linux, J2EE

The new program makes ISVs more competitive by enabling them to offer products that run on both Windows and Linux.

Mainsoft Corp. and IBM Wednesday announced an effort to work together to extend the Linux ecosystem by helping Microsoft customers move to Linux.

Mainsoft, of San Jose, Calif., said the new program enables Windows Web and server applications to run on Linux across IBMs line of eServer platforms supporting IBM WebSphere application servers. Mainsoft, a cross-platform development company, produces the Visual MainWin single source code development solution for .Net and J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition).

"This is a teaming agreement with IBM for .Net ISVs to get into the Linux and J2EE markets," said Yaacov Cohen, president and CEO of Mainsoft. "This gives ISVs the opportunity to double their market."

With the announcement of its agreement with IBM, Mainsoft also announced Version 1.7 of Visual MainWin for J2EE. Visual MainWin enables C# and Visual Basic .Net developers to develop and maintain Web and server applications on both platforms, Cohen said. In addition, Version 1.7 has been validated on IBMs ServerProven program, he said.

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The new release supports WebSphere Application Server 6, WebSphere Application Server 6 Express and WebSphere Application Server 5.1, and it can be used to create portal applications that can be deployed on IBM WebSphere Portal Server 5, Cohen said. In addition, Visual MainWin features a J2EE implementation of the .Net Framework that includes Drawing, Remoting and Directory Services as well as support for Infragistics Inc.s NetAdvantage 2005 Web controls.

"One reason Im excited about this is that some ISVs have made strategic decisions to port to Java versus .Net, but this is a situation where .Net ISVs can recompile to Java byte code," said Scott Handy, vice president worldwide Linux strategy, IBM. "So the same application investment can support Linux in addition to Windows. This makes the barrier to entry much, much smaller than a rewrite. And ISVs will be more competitive--those who can offer products that run on both Windows and Linux."

Mainsoft helped Above All Software Inc., in Redwood City, Calif., move its .Net-based server components to J2EE and WebSphere within three months, said Deborah Scharfetter, vice president of products for Above All Software. Above All Software is a business integration software maker that sells technology to help customers develop and deploy SOA (service-oriented architecture)-based applications.

Scharfetter said Above Alls platform is based on .Net, but the companys customers and prospects were looking to deploy on Unix, Linux or J2EE. However, at 260,000 lines of C# code, Above All estimated it would take about 18 to 24 months to rewrite it in Java. However, Above All tapped Mainsoft and the companys professional services team to port the Above All platform.

The Mainsoft team used Visual MainWin and delivered the Above All server deployments on J2EE, certified the application as eServer proven to run on IBM WebSphere, and validated the application on BEA Systems Inc. WebLogic and The Apache Software Foundations Apache Tomcat, Scharfetter said.

"We want to help ISVs and IT enterprises with investments in Microsoft skills to be able to move to open systems and get the benefits of Linux, J2EE and open source," Cohen said. "There is no need to rewrite, retrain or whatever. You can keep programming in C# and VB .Net."

Meanwhile, Cohen said he is seeing increasing demand for Mainsofts cross-platform solutions. Ninety percent of Visual Studio developers that visit Mainsofts developer zone ( want to take their existing .NET applications to Linux and across other Java-enabled platforms, he said.

Also, in addition to Above All Software, Pacific Edge Software Inc. and Comtec are early adopters working with Mainsoft and IBM to offer their solutions to multiple eServer platforms. Pacific Edge Software is working with Mainsoft and IBM to extend the reach of its Mariner financial services solution to Linux and J2EE. And Comtec is working with Mainsoft to extend its TIS (Total Insurance System), an extensive integrated system designed for insurance companies, to J2EE, said David Ghetler, CEO of Comtec.

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