IBM and Mainsoft Ink Deal to Integrate .NET Apps

IBMWebSphere Portal to be sold with Mainsoft's .NET-Java interoperability solution.

It should be easier for developers who use Microsoft's .NET Framework technology and SharePoint to integrate their .NET applications with IBM Corp.'s Java-based portal technology.

IBM has agreed to sell Mainsoft Corp.'s .NET Extensions solution with the IBM WebSphere Portal solution. The agreement is significant in that it promises to "improve overall WebSphere Portal interoperability," according to a Gartner Inc. research note.

Tighter Interoperability
IBM WebSphere Portal lets users create composite or "mashup" applications. It's designed for services-oriented architectures and enables organizational performance monitoring, self-service apps, document access and team collaboration.

Organizations may have various reasons to migrate to IBM WebSphere Portal, but tighter interoperability among portals may be a key objective.

YAACOV COHEN"Portal-to-portal interoperability is going to become increasingly important," says Yaacov Cohen, Mainsoft's CEO and president. "With a services-oriented architecture you want to connect all of your systems together, and you want to deliver your composite applications -- coming from different platforms."

Mainsoft's technology can integrate a number of Microsoft .NET technologies including Windows SharePoint Services, Microsoft Office document libraries, SQL Server Reports and .NET-based applications.

Mainsoft, an advanced IBM business partner, provides solutions that help organizations with mixed .NET and Java environments. The company's solutions are certified as "Optimized for Visual Studio" and have been validated as "Ready for WebSphere Software."

The .NET Extensions suite encompasses the functionality of two of Mainsoft's products: Mainsoft Portal Edition and Mainsoft SharePoint/SQL Reporting Federator.

Mainsoft Portal Edition solution is a plug-in to the Visual Studio development environment. It has a cross-compiler that compiles .NET code into Java bite code. The solution makes it easier for developers with a background in C# and Visual Basic to integrate ASP.NET on WebSphere Portal.

Mainsoft SharePoint/SQL Reporting Federator is an add-on to Mainsoft Portal Edition. It helps federate data in SharePoint and Microsoft's SQL Reporting Services within WebSphere Portal. The add-on product currently works with WebSphere Portal Server versions 5.1 and 6.0.

No Need for Java
.NET developers don't need to know Java to use Mainsoft's solution to compile Java-bite code, according to the company.

"From a developer's perspective, you don't need to learn Java," Cohen says, "but in order to achieve a high level of integration on the portal server, you typically need to learn about portal concepts."

Mainsoft is also offering a three-day class for developers.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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