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RealTime IT News

Microsoft Begins the Migration

With the general release of Visual Studio .NET approaching next week, Microsoft Corp. Tuesday put in place the final piece of its Java User Migration Path (JUMP) to .NET strategy: a beta 1 release of the Java Language Conversion Assistant (JCLA) tool, intended to give Java developers the ability to harness their existing skill set to develop for the .NET framework.

JCLA, built on ArtinSoft migration technology, automatically converts most existing Java language source code into Microsoft's new C# language. Microsoft said it is currently available for download and will be a feature in versions of Visual Studio .NET. ArtinSoft has also released an enterprise edition of JCLA (JCLA EE), which Microsoft described as a "superset" of JCLA.

"Integration is a fundamental principle of the .NET platform, as is our commitment to providing a path so developers can build XML Web services in the programming language of their choice," said Tom Button, vice president of Developer Marketing and Enterprise Tools at Microsoft. "With the JLCA, Java language developers have yet another avenue with which to target XML Web services through the .NET Framework."

But few doors are one-way. Some companies, like San Jose-based Halcyon Software Inc., are developing tools that Microsoft's .NET team would likely rather not see. (Ironically, however, Microsoft's Visual Studio team would probably welcome a partner like Halcyon.) Halcyon last week unveiled a beta of its iNET technology, a commercially available Java-based implementation of the .NET framework which allows developers to create applications with Visual Studio .NET and deploy them on any platform.

"Develop in .NET, deploy anywhere is what iNET delivers to the Microsoft .NET developers," said Don Hsi, president and chief executive officer of Halcyon. "Our customers need a seamless solution to accommodate their commitment to both J2EE and Microsoft .NET architecture."

Meanwhile, though much attention is being focused on the C# and Java languages, expected to be key components of developing Web services frameworks, that doesn't mean that languages like C++ have been thrown out with the bathwater. Borland Software Corp. Tuesday unveiled C++ Builder 6, which it calls a C++ visual development environment for rapid application development of e-business applications with Web services support.

Borland said C++ Builder 6 will give C++ developers the ability to build and deploy cross-platform-ready Windows/Linux GUI database, Web server and Web services applications.

"C++ Builder 6 enables the world's millions of C++ developers to build cross-platform-ready Web services without having to learn a new hybrid language," said Kathleen Quirk, senior analyst, Hurwitz Group. "Web services are especially important for applications in the business supply chain, a market in which C++ has been the dominant language for years. Borland is filling a critical demand with the robust Web services support in C++ Builder."

More offerings are sure to be forthcoming.