Does Native .NET Support Matter for the System i?
November 19, 2007 Timothy Prickett Morgan
I have a question for all of you. A number of development tool vendors have been putting on their thinking caps as we close one year and get ready to open a new one, and just by way of coincidence, have asked the same question in a number of slightly different ways. The question is this: Does the lack of native .NET support hurt the System i platform? Said another way, would some kind of native .NET support help it?
What these vendors and IT Jungle are looking for is more than just an opinion, of course. What we really want to know from the AS/400 Faithful is if they are currently in a situation where the lack of native .NET support on the System i platform is compelling their companies to jump off the platform for Windows boxes. If this is happening at your company–or is in the process of happening–we want to hear from you. If you could hit the Contact button above and send me an email if you are in such a situation, I would be grateful. We are just trying to see if this is an issue and if there is some way to get IBM to consider either native Windows support on Power-based servers or somehow embedding the Project Mono open source implementation of .NET inside i5/OS or the microcode underlying it.
As readers of this newsletter know, I have long supported the former idea and, when Mono became a usable product in the summer of 2006, I proposed embedding Mono inside the System i–much as IBM and Zend Technologies have recently done with PHP–to take an even easier approach. Windows doesn’t matter half as much as .NET support does for companies that create their own applications. If you want to review my thoughts on this issue, see the stories below.
Thanks for your help, as always.