Mainsoft enables .NET applications to run on WebSphere Portal

Mark Fontecchio, News Writer
Mainsoft Corp. has released extensions that allow IBM customers to run Microsoft's ASP.Net applications natively on the WebSphere Portal server.

The San Jose, Calif., company says the updated product, called Visual MainWin for J2EE, Portal Edition, will allow data center managers running System i or other IBM servers to focus their IT staff on the applications themselves, rather than trying to figure out how to translate them to and from different platforms.

Now, whether applications are written in .Net, Java, Visual Basic or C#, customers can see and maneuver all of them on a WebSphere Portal Server.

"End users are really expecting to get, from a world-class Portal, easy access and seamless access to all enterprise applications from the Portal, regardless of whether the applications are .Net or Java applications," Mainsoft president and CEO Yaacov Cohen said in an interview Wednesday.

The program takes .Net applications and translates them from Microsoft Intermediate Language into Java bytecode. Visual Studio developers can then deploy the .Net applications as portlets that are compliant with JSR 168, which is a Java specification that can then be used on the WebSphere Portal server. Otherwise, .Net developers would have to rewrite .Net code into Java if they wanted the applications to interact with one another on WebSphere.

Some other highlights of the new edition of Visual MainWin:

  • The Visual MainWin portlets, created by the .Net applications, can be run inside WebSphere Portal so that the user needs only one sign-on, which the company says reduces intrusion points, making the process more secure.
  • The program allows navigation across, and integration between, .Net and Java applications on WebSphere Portal through the portlet system.
  • Supports WebSphere Portal version 5.1 and plans to support version 6.

    Mainsoft and IBM said the program allows company developers to continue to create .Net applications without having to go through the arduous task of figuring out how to connect them to WebSphere Portal.

    "One of the objectives we have in providing Portal capability is about being really useful for the end user so they can be more effective and productive in doing their job," said Antony Satyadas , chief competitive marketing officer for IBM Lotus software, in an interview on Wednesday. "So this fits very nicely into that."

    Mainsoft has also teamed up with two IBM Partners, San Anselmo, Calif.-based Tam Group; and New York City-based Prolifics. Along with Mainsoft, the two companies recompile the ASP.Net applications into Java portlets.

    "Mainsoft's solution enables a rapid deployment of existing ASP.Net applications on WebSphere Portal, and they make it easier for our customers to maintain portal initiatives using the same enterprise development teams that created the original ASP.Net applications," said Nicolas Jabbour, chief technology officer of Prolifics, in a statement.

    Visual MainWin for J2EE, Portal Edition, is available starting this week. Cohen said it costs $5,000 per developer and $7,500 per CPU.

    Let us know what you think about the story; e-mail: Mark Fontecchio, News Writer

    This article originally appeared on

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