Mainsoft, IBM Pair Up To Bring .Net Apps To Linux, WebSphere

.Net Linux

Former Microsoft-centric partner Mainsoft announced last week the release of Visual MainWin for J2EE version 1.7 as well as a new partnership with IBM. The upgrade 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. Version 1.7 will allow ISVs to quickly recompile and extend their .Net-based Windows, Web and server applications to run on Linux across IBM's xSeries, iSeries and zSeries mainframes supporting WebSphere, and will help customers migrate to Linux or easily incorporate Linux and WebSphere into their Windows-centric environments.

ISVs and partners including Pacific Edge Software, Above All Software and Comtec will support the platform. "Even if this works 95 percent, I can see a very substantial value for ISVs," said Navin Nagiah, CEO of Cignex Technologies, an open-source consulting firm in Santa Clara, Calif. "It expands the market they can address fairly dramatically."

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Mainsoft, San Jose, Calif., decided to embrace open source well before its highly publicized leak of Microsoft's NT and Win 2000 code over the Internet, executives 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 plans to launch Visual MainWin 2.0 with support for Visual Studio 2005, Cohen 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, Armonk, N.Y.

"We often run into customers who want to move to WebSphere, but the problem is they have .Net assetsdevelopers and .Net code or business logic code built with .Netbut not J2EE skills," said Devi Gupta, director of strategic marketing and IBM alliance manager at Prolifics, a New York-based IBM partner. "Mainsoft allows customers to leverage the assets they have and not make it cost-prohibitive for them to move forward."