Mainsoft Supports Visual Studio 2005, Mono 1.2 with Updated Grasshopper
January 30, 2007 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Mainsoft, a developer of software tools that allow .NET applications to run on J2EE-enabled applications servers, last week announced a preview of the 2.0 release of its “Grasshopper” plug-in for Microsoft‘s Visual Studio 2005.
The Grasshopper project is a free version of the commercial Visual MainWin for J2EE Developer Edition, and it allows programmers familiar with the .NET tools to kick out Java applications that can then be deployed on J2EE-enabled servers. Grasshopper only supports Apache Tomcat, but the Visual MainWin for J2EE Enterprise Edition supports IBM‘s WebSphere Application Server and WebSphere Portal Server. On the WebSphere front, WebSphere 5.1.1 base, 6.0.2 base, 6.0.2 Express, and 6.1 (runtime only) are supported with the Enterprise Edition; the software also supports BEA Systems‘ WebLogic 8.1 SP5 and 9.0 as well as Red Hat‘s JBoss 4.0.3 SP1 and the Apache Tomcat 5.5 application server.
With Grasshopper 2.0, according to Yaacov Cohen, president and CEO at Mainsoft, the tool supports the new Mono 1.2 open source implementation of the key .NET components, the C# programming language and the Common Language Runtime environment, which are rough analogs to Java and its Java Virtual Machines. Mono 1.2 is put together by Novell through its Mono Project. The new Grasshopper 2.0 tool also supports ASP.NET 2.0 and C#2.0, which were recently updated as part of the .NET Framework 2.0 update from Microsoft. With this update, role-based security and greater logging control were woven into the .NET stack. The Grasshopper tools are bundled with the freebie Cloudscape database from IBM, which provides database functionality that is akin to the embedded SQL Server database that Microsoft put in the .NET 2.0 stack.
Cohen says that since the Grasshopper project was launched in May 2005, over 17,000 developers have come to the site to download the tool. Mainsoft now has hundreds of customers using the commercial MainWin product, which costs $2,500 per CPU for the Enterprise Edition or $15,000 per CPU for the Portal Edition where applications are deployed. (Developer seats cost $5,000 each.) Right now, Mainsoft is trying to leverage its partnership with IBM to drive sales and doesn’t push alternative platforms. It sees most of its business on System p Unix or System z mainframe servers, but does see some System i business, too, from time to time.
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This story has been changed since it originally ran. We said that Grasshopper was a stripped down version of Visual MainWin for J2EE Developer Edition, when Grasshopper is in fract a free version of the Developer Edition, which in turn is a stripped down version of Enterprise Edition. IT Jungle apologizes for the confusion. [Corrected 01/30/2007]