Halcyon Software, a company that specializes in migration services and technology business, has released a beta version of its iNET technology, the first commercially available Java-based implementation of the Microsoft .NET framework.
iNET includes an IL2JAVA converter, which generates Java class files or Java source code from the Microsoft .NET Intermediate Language (IL). iNET also provides a full Java implementation of the .NET class libraries that runs on all Java-enabled platforms, including Mac OS X.
The iNET technology offers Microsoft VisualStudio.NET developers an immediate solution to deploy their Client/Server applications and Web Services to any platform, according to Don Hsi, Halcyon’s president and CEO. With it you can develop in .NET and deploy anywhere, he told MacCentral.
Hsi told MacCentral that iNET has several possibilities for the Mac platform, such as:
A Mac educational software developer could consolidate its development with .NET and focus on Windows platform. With iNET, the same application can be deployed to Mac OS 9/X without the need to port and maintain duo source tree.
.NET Web Services can operate natively on the OS X environment.
.NET Fat Client applications can run “blazing fast “with the new Java Virtual Machine where hardware accelerated Open GL is available.
Mac-based Internet Service Providers can host Microsoft .NET applications.
Microsoft SI/ISV can target Mac OS X as a deployment platform.
“While Macs lack J2EE support, it seems likely, in my opinion, for Apple to partner with or acquire a J2EE Application Server technology to jump start its position in that Server software space in conjunction with WebObjects,” Hsi said.
The .NET framework, parts of which have been submitted to ECMA — an international standards body — combined with open standards such as XML/SOAP, promises to become a significant Web Services development platform, he added. iNET transforms the .NET Web Services to native J2EE objects and enable them to be hosted by J2EE Application Servers such as BEA WebLogic, IBM WebSphere, Sun iPlanet, and Oracle 9i Application Server.
The project involves creating the complete .NET deployment framework entirely in Java. A major undertaking, the Java implemented framework offers cross-platform .NET application execution along with all the benefits and intrinsic support for Java and other server side frameworks, Hsi said.
There are two major modules at work: the language module, and the runtime module. The language module takes the .Net application’s IL (intermediate language) code and converts it to the Java source code. The runtime module replicates the functionality provided by the .NET class libraries. All the libraries that come with .NET (including classes such as ADO.NET, XML, SOAP) have been developed using the Java language.
While the technology itself is massive, its usage is simple, Hsi said. It will be available as a menu command in the VisualStudio.NET environment. Whenever a developer is ready to deploy a .NET application, all that is needed is to select the “Deploy to Java” command. Afterward, the Java runtime classes will be created along with an installation package that can be installed and run on all Java-enable platforms. Optionally, depending upon user selection and licensing options, the “Deploy to Java” command can generate the Java source code, that can be further modified according to a developer’s special requirements.
Pricing for iNET licenses hasn’t yet been determined. However, a free evaluation download of the iNET beta release is available.