Mainsoft Gets Cozy With IBM

.Net Linux

A former Microsoft-centric partner, Mainsoft said Wednesday the new release of its Visual Mainwin for J2EE, version 1.7, has been validated on IBM's eServer proven program and offers new support for WebSphere 6, WebSphere 6 Express and WebSphere 5.1.

"It's the first time we are teaming up with IBM," said Yaacov Cohen, Mainsoft president and CEO. "We now have a complete offering with a go-to-market element."

Visual Mainwin for J2EE made its debut in 2004 but is now being optimized to support IBM's Linux-based servers and WebSphere. The enhanced software will allow ISVs to extend their .Net applications to run on IBM's eServers and enable customers to migrate to Linux or easily incorporate Linux and WebSphere into their Windows-centric environments.

For ISVs, the platform can extend their market reach beyond standard servers running Windows to IBM xSeries, Power-based servers and zSeries mainframes running Linux. Visual Mainwin allows ISVs and partners to quickly recompile .Net applications to eServers running Linux and WebSphere, reducing time-to-market by many months.

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ISVs such as Pacific Edge Software and Above All Software plan to bring their .Net applications to IBM eServers running Linux. In addition, Comtec, a solution provider devoted to the insurance market, used Mainsoft to move its insurance solutions to J2EE and WebSphere.

Executives from Mainsoft said the San Jose, Calif., company in 2004 decided to embrace open source, well before its highly publicized leak of Microsoft's Windows NT and 2000 source code over the Internet. That matter is still under investigation, but the ISV continues to have a relationship with Microsoft, Cohen said.

"We've shifted from being a Microsoft-centric company to more of an IBM- and open systems-centric company," Cohen said. "We made the decision prior to the software code leak, and it had nothing to do with that. That's under federal investigation." Mainsoft continues to participate in Microsoft's VSIP program and at the end of the year plans to launch support for Visual Studio 2005, he said.

IBM won't resell Visual MainWin for J2EE but will provide resources and co-marketing funds for promoting the product, said Scott Handy, vice president of worldwide Linux strategy at IBM. Visual MainWin for J2EE 1.7 has been validated on all eServers, he said.

The new Mainsoft release will make it easier to migrate customers to J2EE, said Devi Gupta, director of strategic marketing and IBM alliance manager at Prolifics, a New York-based IBM solution provider and WebSphere integrator.

"We often run into customers who want to move to WebSphere, but the problem is they have .Net assets, developers and .Net code or business logic code built with .Net, but not J2EE skills, " Gupta said. "In this case, we have two choices on the asset side: manually migrate all customers over, [or] take their code and convert to J2EE. And that takes a lot longer and costs more."

The latest Mainsoft platform also will allow customers to better integrate IBM eServers and WebSphere into existing Windows environments, she added.