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Mainsoft Corporation (, the cross-platform development company, unveiled Visual MainWin TM for the J2EE TM platform, the first application development tool that enables millions of Visual Studio® development system developers to create Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EETM) enterprise Web applications and Web services within the Visual Studio® .NET framework. Selected to debut at the prestigious DEMO 2004 conference, Visual MainWinTM resolves the acute productivity and resource challenges of developing enterprise applications for industry-leading J2EE servers. Mainsoft opens the previously monolingual JavaTM platform to C# and Visual Basic® .NET, two of today’s fastest growing programming languages.

“Conflicting software standards for developing and deploying the next generation of enterprise applications and Web services – Microsoft’s .NET and J2EE from Sun, along with IBM and BEA standards – are inflating development costs and driving productivity losses in medium- and large-scale enterprises,” said Mark Driver, vice president and research director, The Gartner Group. “What is needed are technology solutions that enables Visual Studio developers to easily create applications for the Java platform. Until now, software developers have had limited success bridging the .NET /J2EE divide.”

Visual MainWin allows IT organizations to make deployment decisions based on their business needs rather than resource constraints. Enterprise CIOs with Visual Studio developers can tap into the scalability and flexibility of the J2EE application servers without replacing or attempting to retrain these developers. Large-scale IT organizations with both .NET and Java developers can accelerate the development process significantly by co-developing enterprise-class applications and Web services using Visual MainWin.

“Visual MainWin is playing an integral role in the evolution of the Java platform by broadening the J2EE platform into a multilingual platform for Web applications and Web services,” said Yaacov Cohen, president and CEO of Mainsoft Corporation. “By opening the J2EE platform to three million C# and Visual Basic .NET developers, we offer medium- and large-scale enterprise IT departments a practical solution to the acute J2EE platform productivity and resource crises.”

The Technology Solution

Visual MainWin introduces a patent pending technology that compiles the Microsoft® Intermediate Language (MSIL) source code directly into standard Java bytecode. For the first time, enterprises can use Visual Basic .NET and C# developers to rapidly develop Web applications for the J2EE platform. Visual MainWin preserves the complete Visual Studio development system developer experience, allowing developers to develop, run, debug and deploy their code directly within the Visual Studio system. Because the output is fully compliant with the J2EE platform standards, Visual MainWin application can be deployed and managed as any standard J2EE application.

IT organizations with both .NET and Java developers can accelerate the development of enterprise-class applications and Web services significantly by co-developing multi-tiered applications. Visual Basic .NET and C# developers rapidly create the front-end of the application in Visual Studio, while Java developers provide the back-end business logic and J2EE components. Visual MainWin bridges the technology gap enabling Visual Studio, Visual Basic .NET or C# developers to easily access Enterprise JavaBeansTM (EJBs).

“Mainsoft has created an innovative solution for IT organizations struggling with conflicting development standards,” said Chris Shipley, DEMO executive producer. “Visual MainWin enables organizations to accelerate application development by using their resources more efficiently.”

Bridging the Technology Gap

For more than a decade, Mainsoft has extended the productivity of its Visual Studio software to multiple platforms, helping many of the world’s largest independent software vendors resolve their most pressing cross platform development issues. Responding to growing customer concerns about J2EE development, Mainsoft identified the opportunity to extend the productivity of Visual Studio to the J2EE platform. Since 2001, the company has drawn upon its years of experience working with Microsoft developers, its deep expertise in bridging between the Windows® and UNIX® operating systems, its memberships in the European Computer Manufacturing Association (ECMA) and the MONO open-source project to create a unique development solution that bridges the .NET and J2EE platforms.

The Business Need

While CIOs tend to favor the J2EE platform to deploy large-scale enterprise applications, the resource and workflow challenges of developing Java applications are significant. According to The Gartner Group, the growing demand for large-scale J2EE projects far outpaces the availability and skills of J2EE developers and the gap will continue to grow for the next three to four years. The fact that most enterprise IT departments employ a large staff of Visual Basic developers who are not familiar with the J2EE design patterns and programming model compounds resource issues. These large IT organizations replace their Microsoft developers or outsource portions of their development projects. However, both strategies carry hidden costs and inevitably result in productivity losses. Others attempt to transform their Microsoft-centric development staff into a highly skilled J2EE development team. This, too, is an expensive and risky venture. It requires changing the development team’s methodology, workflow, and development culture, and there is no guarantee the transformation will be successful.

“Leveraging common skills and code between .NET and J2EE is a promising, cost-effective approach to resolving the developer productivity challenges,” said Driver.

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