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IBM and Mainsoft Ink Deal To Integrate .NET Apps

It just got a little easier for developers using Microsoft's .NET Framework technology and SharePoint to integrate their .NET applications with IBM's Java-based portal technology. In a global reseller deal, IBM agreed to sell Mainsoft Corp.'s .NET Extensions solution with the IBM WebSphere Portal solution.

IBM WebSphere Portal lets users create composite or "mashup" applications. It's designed for service-oriented architectures and enables organizational performance monitoring, self-service applications, 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.

"Portal-to-portal interoperability is going to become increasingly important," said Yaacov Cohen, Mainsoft's CEO and president. "With a service-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, according to a Mainsoft press release, can integrate a number of Microsoft .NET technologies:

  • 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.

.NET developers don't need to know Java to use Mainsoft's solution to compile Java bite code.

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

Mainsoft offers a three-day class to help developers get up to speed.

About the Author

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

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