IBM Adds .NET Interface To Java Server

Mainsoft bridging technologies will allow ASP.NET apps to run on a Java server unmodified, and give WebSphere access into SharePoint servers.
Posted November 25, 2007

Andy Patrizio

The .NET and Java worlds have long had a gulf between them that's been difficult to bridge. Mainsoft has partnered with IBM to help shrink that divide a little by offering Mainsoft's bridging software with IBM's enterprise Java server.

Under the terms of the agreement, IBM will sell Mainsoft's.NET Extensions for WebSphere Portal, which consists of two major applications. Mainsoft Portal Edition will make it possible for ASP.NET applications written in C# or Visual Basic to run unmodified on a WebSphere server.

The second component of .NET Extensions for WebSphere Portal is Mainsoft SharePoint/SQL Reporting Federator, an integration manager between WebSphere and Windows SharePoint services, Microsoft Office document libraries and SQL Server Reports.

Such a bridge is key, said Yaacov Cohen, president and CEO of Mainsoft, because Java tends to be an enterprise solution while .NET is a departmental solution and the two don't interact very well.

"Gartner has said about 95 percent of medium to large size IT organizations have a mix of .NET and Java," he told "So you may see in almost any company that has gone with Java at the top level strategic level but at the department level there are .NET developers. This can become a serious obstacle with implementing a service-oriented architecture."

There is one shortcoming, and that is that Portal Edition requires that the ASP.NET applications be installed locally, rather than executed where they reside. Mainsoft's cross compiler produces JSR 168-compliant portlets from .NET source code which execute as a Java portlet.

The SharePoint/SQL Reporting Federator allows for any WebSphere user to access SharePoint contents and data and SQL Reporting Services within WebSphere Portal. Rights and access controls are set and determined on the WebSphere level and brought down into the SharePoint servers, so people can't access departmental data that they shouldn't see, said Cohen.

The Mainsoft applications are available now from IBM's global reseller channel.

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