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Converting Java to C#

  • July 15, 2003
  • By Bradley L. Jones
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The Java Language Conversion Assistant (JLCA) is a tool that provides the ability to convert Java code and library calls to Microsoft Visual C# .NET. Built based on the ArtinSoft migration technology, this second version adds a number of additional features to its abilities. This includes the ability to convert code from both the client and the server. Developers will be able to convert Web as well as Windows®-based applications. Java Server Pages and Java servlets can also be converted to ASP.NET.

John Montgomery, director of the Developer and Platform Evangelism Division at Microsoft, states, "Our customers are seeing productivity and performance increases because they are able to leverage existing investments in their Web applications written in the Java language by migrating them to ASP.NET."

The JCLA integrates with Visual Studio .NET. Because the conversion process is fully contained, once you have run the process, you are ready to start using Visual C# with your application.

Version 2 provides a number of new features over the previous version. This includes the ability to convert Java Server Pages (JSP), Windows Foundation Classes (WFC), and Abstract Windowing Toolkit (AWT) applications. There is also additional support for applet projects, which can now be converted to Window user controls that can be hosted in a browser. There is additional support for some of the Java APIs. For example, the 1.2 Collections API will now convert to the .NET collection classes. Finally, the new version of the JLCA will support reading and writing Unicode and localized applications.

Stepping back, it is worth noting what the JLCA supports overall. The following is a list of some of the key supported items:

  • The Java language as defined by the Java Language Specification 2.0
  • The Microsoft extensions to the Java language
  • Object-oriented constructions including classes (class declarations, inner and anonymous classes), interfaces, hiding, overriding, and overloading
  • Abstract, static, final, native, synchronized, and virtual methods
  • WFC forms, which are converted to Windows Forms
  • AWT components, which are converted to Windows Forms
  • Most Java APIs associated with JDK 1.1.4 as well as some features of later versions of the JDK are converted
  • Calls to the WFC are converted.
  • Documentation on conceptual topics for converting Java to C#
  • Help for the JLCA wizard
  • Thousands of comments on what to do with code that is not automatically converted.

To support the release of JLCA 2.0, Microsoft has also published a JSP to ASP.NET Migration Guide, which provides a comprehensive set of resources to aid in a migration to ASP.NET. More information can be found at http://msdn.microsoft.com/asp.net/using/migrating/jspmig/default.aspx. For more information on the JLCA 2.0 and for information on downloading it, you can go to http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/downloads/tools/jlca/.

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