giant Microsoft launched Visual J#.Net, its latest offering
on the .Net framework at the Tech-Ed 2002 event held recently
in Europe. Debi Mishra, product unit manager of Visual J#.Net
says that the product was completely developed in its India
Development Centre (IDC).
The project to develop VJ#.Net commenced mid-1998 with a small
team of four, headed by Mishra, who was relocated to the IDC
from Redmond. By the end of the year, the team had rounded
up 14 engineers and is presently 40-strong. The entire life
cycle of the product, from concept to research activity on
the specifications to actual development of the product, was
executed at the IDC.
Mishra says the product carries strategic importance in that
it marks the completion and availability of all the Microsoft
programming languages within Visual Studio.Net, including
Visual C++.Net, Visual C#.Net and Visual Basic.Net. Each of
these products is available both independently and as part
of Visual Studio.Net.
According to Mishra, the new product provides an easy transition
for Java language developers into the world of extensible
mark-up language (XML) Web services and can dramatically improve
the interoperability of Java language programmes with existing
software written on a variety of other programming languages.
In fact, the .Net framework itself is a no-friction, cross
language programming platform. Mishra notes that most business
houses are adopting XML-based Web services since this service
provides them with a new way to employ the Internet as a development
platform and enables them to seamlessly interoperate across
disparate systems and platforms.
Visual J#.Net will help Java language programmers extend their
Java programming skills to embrace the capabilities offered
by other programming languages on the .Net framework without
having to learn the other programming language. Mishra, in
fact, sees the product as a mere tool to help Java language
programmers migrate to the latest .Net framework. A recent
private survey showed that almost 25 percent of developers
in the world were Java language programmers.
While software companies around the world are spending huge
amounts in developing new applications/products to capture
market share, Microsofts strategy to develop a framework
that helps developers of other programming languages seems
to have begun to pay off. Leading IT giants and independent
software vendors, including Compaq, Accenture, Arthur Andersen,
Autodesk, American Electric and Buy.com have taken up huge
projects to develop applications based on the .Net framework.
The .Net framework provides support for over 20 programming
languages. Dassault Systems, which recently migrated large
Java-based applications onto the .Net platform, is one of
Microsofts biggest customers for Visual J#.Net.
Microsoft had earlier launched a tool (also developed by the
IDC) called the Java User Migration Path (JUMP) to .Net, to
help migrate applications written in Java programming language
onto the .Net