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Officials at the Middleware Company, owners of popular Java developer forum, announced Tuesday the launch of a sister site catering to Microsoft’s .NET programming environment.

Like the premise of its J2EE developer site, officials are pitching as an independent community free of corporate oversight dedicated to delivering news, forums and information on the architectural issues surrounding platform development and deployment using the .NET environment.

Officials say they also created the middleware developer’s site to help bridge the gap between J2EE and .NET, two disparate programming environments used on the same enterprise platform in many of today’s corporations.

While there are many sites that cater to .NET development, most are run by Microsoft or are small in scope, covering only certain aspects of .NET development, said Floyd Marinescu, Middleware Company general manager of communities.

“Many of them are run from people’s homes and you can see when you go through the sites that they are very low level; they’re very ‘tips and tricks’-ish or ‘how do I deploy my UI components?'” Marinescu told “We are the only site that’s focused on the entire enterprise platform, not just little parts of it, from the architect’s perspective.”

It’s a formula that’s had a lot of success at the site, launched in 2000 as an online extension of the Middleware Company, a training and consulting firm out of Mountain View, Calif. Today, boasts 330,000 members, three million page views a month and 200,000 unique visitors each month.

Like its .com partner, will feature case studies, exclusive beta releases, and an extensive developer forum for architectural-level deployment using .NET.

According to Marinescu, Microsoft is keen on the launch and its corporate forum, the Microsoft Developers Network (MSDN) forum, will have links going to the new site.

“For the last couple years, Microsoft has been realizing that the architectural story behind their platform is not that strong and that .NET is seen as something for low- to medium-sized businesses,” he said. “They very much want to expand the message of .NET for large-scale systems.”

Microsoft has its own developer’s community catering to the architect-level programmers, the MSDN.NET
Architecture Center

Microsoft, as well as Borland , DeveloperMentor and DataDirect, are initially sponsoring the site.

Updates prior version to correct references to

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