Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Java Authors: Mike Kavis, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Jackie Kahle

Related Topics: Java

Java: Article

Building Pure Java Apps Using Visual Studio

How to mix cats and dogs

We all know and love the Microsoft Visual Studio IDE, but did you know that you can use it to create Web and server applications that run on open systems such as Solaris or Linux? Urix, a predictive modeling software company and Mainsoft customer since 2005, is doing just that.

Urix
In January 2005, Urix migrated the development of its RiskSmart calculation engine from C to C#. RiskSmart consists of 150,000 lines of C# code and executes as a set of .NET assemblies, with no user interface, as part of a comprehensive solution for analyzing health care risks and associated costs.

However, according to Atul Mistry, vice-president of technology at Urix, the product's reliance on Windows and .NET effectively limited its market potential. "Our business partners have standardized on Unix, and virtually all of our largest health care insurance customers have Unix-only requirements in their datacenters, running on AIX, HP-UX, or Solaris. We figured we could convince some of the insurance companies to use Windows and .NET, but this wouldn't solve the significant sales barrier we faced. We also considered delivering RiskSmart as a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering, but the healthcare industry is not yet ready for this type of approach. Bottom line is we would lose significant business opportunities if we didn't deliver a Unix deployment."

Mistry considered rewriting RiskSmart in Java and maintaining two source bases. He estimated the rewrite would take two person-years for the initial port to Java, plus two Java developers on an ongoing basis to support ongoing maintenance and enhancement costs. "This approach would cost on the order of $200,000 annually," he explains.

Instead, Mistry chose Mainsoft's cross-compilation software, Mainsoft for Java EE. The software plugs into the Visual Studio development environment and compiles Microsoft's Common Intermediate Language (CIL) into Java bytecode. It also supports a long-term single source code development strategy across .NET and Java.

"The initial port of RiskSmart to Java using Mainsoft took about two person-weeks," Mistry said. "The port was exceptionally easy in part because the ported Java code ran directly on a Java VM. Because there was no user interface component to RiskSmart, there were no complexities associated with an application server. There were only a couple of things we had to do manually," he explained. "We used log4net, an Apache project, as our logging utility, and we simply had to switch that to log4j during the port. The second thing was that we used a lot of XML, and there are some inconsistencies between Microsoft XML and other implementations. Mainsoft's support team helped us resolve both these issues very quickly."

According to Mistry, "There's no apparent performance difference between the .NET and Java versions of the application. We take a minor performance hit in our current Java release because .NET 1.1 doesn't support generics and requires us to use boxing (or casting) in our code, which can have a negative effect on Java performance. We expect the minor performance gap will be eliminated when we upgrade to .NET 2.0 and take full advantage of generics, which is supported by Mainsoft, in lieu of boxing."

RiskSmart is currently in its third Java release and is now in production at virtually all of its largest health insurance customers' data centers, supporting 70% of all lives that are analyzed by the RiskSmart calculation engine. The development team builds the application nightly, and then executes Mainsoft to build the Java port. "Most product testing occurs on the .NET version, with some testing done on the Java side to assure its integrity. When RiskSmart for .NET is ready to ship, so is RiskSmart for Java."

Starting in .NET 2.0
If you're a Visual Studio developer, you can start with Mainsoft's Grasshopper to explore how to cross-compile and debug Java EE applications from Visual Studio. Grasshopper 2.0 is Mainsoft's freely available Developer Edition that includes a plug-in to Visual Studio 2005 and the open source Tomcat servlet engine for executing Java JSP and EE applications on a single CPU. You'll find that if you know C# or Visual Basic, you're on your way to becoming a Java EE developer!

One example to get you started is a Web-based accounting application with membership and role-based security using ASP.NET 2.0. The application uses Master Pages and the Login, Wizard, and Gridview controls and was originally developed by Paolo de Nictolis for JavaDay 2006 in Rome (http://roma.javaday.it ). The application relies on Mainsoft's full implementation of the ASP.NET 2.0 Membership, Role, and Profile providers based on Apache Derby (http://db.apache.org/derby/), an embedded database that offers a pure Java runtime alternative to MS SQL Express. Paolo shows you how to access application data, which remains stored in MS SQL Express 2005 (www.microsoft.com/sql/editions/express/default.mspx); how to take advantage of the integrated debugger, based on open standard JPDA (Java Platform Debugger Architecture, http://java.sun.com/products/jpda/); and how to create a deployment package that can be used over multi-platform application servers.

Let's take a deeper look at implementing this accounting application using Mainsoft's Grasshopper 2.0.

The Preliminaries
You'll have to download a few files from several places first. The setup file for JD Expenses is available at http://dev.mainsoft.com/JDExpensesDemo. It assumes you have Visual Studio 2005 with Service Pack 1 (SP1) installed.

The next thing you'll need to download is Grasshopper 2.0, which is available at http://dev.mainsoft.com/Default.aspx?tabid=117. Installation instructions along with release notes, feature limitations, and known issues are there as well. Basic requirements include a Windows XP SP2 machine, a Windows 2003 Server, or Windows Vista Ultimate or Business.

Note: If you choose to install Grasshopper on Windows Vista, you must launch Visual Studio from an administrator command prompt and launch the Tomcat application server as an administrator.

Starting with a Database
There's no denying it. Creating a well-designed application database can help make application development proceed much faster. JDExpenses, our imaginary accounting application, allows conference speakers to input their expenses, and the administrator to view each person's balances, while role-based authentication is provided out-of-the-box by the ASP.NET 2.0 Membership and Role API. Balance is defined as a BigInteger to demonstrate how Grasshopper handles a native Java type.

Database structure is shown in Figure 1. For us to use the SQL Server from a Grasshopper application, we have to configure it: we'll log in using SQL Server authentication and enable Mixed Mode Authentication in the database Properties. To do this, you can use Microsoft's SQL Server Management Studio Express (SSMSE) tool freely available for download from Microsoft at www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=C243A5AE-4BD1-

4E3D-94B8-5A0F62BF7796&displaylang=en.

Launch SSMSE, sign in, select the database, and right-click. From the context menu, select Properties. You'll see the SQL Server Properties dialog. Select Security and make sure that the SQL Server and Windows Authentication mode radio button is selected.


More Stories By Philippe Cohen

Philippe Cohen is the vice president of products for Mainsoft Corporation, where he is responsible for overseeing product management, R&D, and support teams for Mainsoft's product suite.

More Stories By Paolo de Nictolis

Paolo de Nictolis is an Italian Web developer, a technical contributor to MSDN and UGI.NET, and a freelance IT journalist.

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
jnsoneji 10/31/07 10:12:51 PM EDT

Trackback Added: http://jnsoneji.spaces.live.com/Blog/cns!37E7335732E61C89!256.entry; Building Pure Java Apps Using Visual Studio

@ThingsExpo Stories
Internet of Things (IoT) will be a hybrid ecosystem of diverse devices and sensors collaborating with operational and enterprise systems to create the next big application. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Bramh Gupta, founder and CEO of robomq.io, and Fred Yatzeck, principal architect leading product development at robomq.io, will discuss how choosing the right middleware and integration strategy from the get-go will enable IoT solution developers to adapt and grow with the industry, while at the same time reduce Time to Market (TTM) by using plug and play capabilities offered by a robust I...
After making a doctor’s appointment via your mobile device, you receive a calendar invite. The day of your appointment, you get a reminder with the doctor’s location and contact information. As you enter the doctor’s exam room, the medical team is equipped with the latest tablet containing your medical history – he or she makes real time updates to your medical file. At the end of your visit, you receive an electronic prescription to your preferred pharmacy and can schedule your next appointment.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Solgenia will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Solgenia is the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions. Designed to “Bridge the Gap” between Personal and Professional Social, Mobile and Cloud user experiences, our solutions help large and medium-sized organizations dr...
While not quite mainstream yet, WebRTC is starting to gain ground with Carriers, Enterprises and Independent Software Vendors (ISV’s) alike. WebRTC makes it easy for developers to add audio and video communications into their applications by using Web browsers as their platform. But like any market, every customer engagement has unique requirements, as well as constraints. And of course, one size does not fit all. In her session at WebRTC Summit, Dr. Natasha Tamaskar, Vice President, Head of Cloud and Mobile Strategy at GENBAND, will explore what is needed to take a real time communications ...
The world's leading Cloud event, Cloud Expo has launched Microservices Journal on the SYS-CON.com portal, featuring over 19,000 original articles, news stories, features, and blog entries. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. Microservices Journal offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Follow new article posts on Twitter at @MicroservicesE
SYS-CON Events announced today that Litmus Automation will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Litmus Automation’s vision is to provide a solution for companies that are in a rush to embrace the disruptive Internet of Things technology and leverage it for real business challenges. Litmus Automation simplifies the complexity of connected devices applications with Loop, a secure and scalable cloud platform.
SYS-CON Events announced today the IoT Bootcamp – Jumpstart Your IoT Strategy, being held June 9–10, 2015, in conjunction with 16th Cloud Expo and Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Javits Center in New York City. This is your chance to jumpstart your IoT strategy. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but includes hands-on demos and walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of Do-It-Yourself IoT platforms including Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, Spark and Intel Edison. You will also get an overview of cloud technologies s...
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch of Docker's initial release in March of 2013, interest was revved up several notches. Then late last...
The WebRTC Summit 2015 New York, to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 16th International Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit.
SOA Software has changed its name to Akana. With roots in Web Services and SOA Governance, Akana has established itself as a leader in API Management and is expanding into cloud integration as an alternative to the traditional heavyweight enterprise service bus (ESB). The company recently announced that it achieved more than 90% year-over-year growth. As Akana, the company now addresses the evolution and diversification of SOA, unifying security, management, and DevOps across SOA, APIs, microservices, and more.
Wearable technology was dominant at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) , and MWC was no exception to this trend. New versions of favorites, such as the Samsung Gear (three new products were released: the Gear 2, the Gear 2 Neo and the Gear Fit), shared the limelight with new wearables like Pebble Time Steel (the new premium version of the company’s previously released smartwatch) and the LG Watch Urbane. The most dramatic difference at MWC was an emphasis on presenting wearables as fashion accessories and moving away from the original clunky technology associated with t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that robomq.io will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. robomq.io is an interoperable and composable platform that connects any device to any application. It helps systems integrators and the solution providers build new and innovative products and service for industries requiring monitoring or intelligence from devices and sensors.
The list of ‘new paradigm’ technologies that now surrounds us appears to be at an all time high. From cloud computing and Big Data analytics to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and the Internet of Things (IoT), today we have to deal with what the industry likes to call ‘paradigm shifts’ at every level of IT. This is disruption; of course, we understand that – change is almost always disruptive.
SYS-CON Events announced today that SafeLogic has been named “Bag Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo® New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. SafeLogic provides security products for applications in mobile and server/appliance environments. SafeLogic’s flagship product CryptoComply is a FIPS 140-2 validated cryptographic engine designed to secure data on servers, workstations, appliances, mobile devices, and in the Cloud.
GENBAND has announced that SageNet is leveraging the Nuvia platform to deliver Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) to its large base of retail and enterprise customers. Nuvia’s cloud-based solution provides SageNet’s customers with a full suite of business communications and collaboration tools. Two large national SageNet retail customers have recently signed up to deploy the Nuvia platform and the company will continue to sell the service to new and existing customers. Nuvia’s capabilities include HD voice, video, multimedia messaging, mobility, conferencing, Web collaboration, deskt...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cisco, the worldwide leader in IT that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cisco makes amazing things happen by connecting the unconnected. Cisco has shaped the future of the Internet by becoming the worldwide leader in transforming how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Cisco and our partners are building the platform for the Internet of Everything by connecting the...
Temasys has announced senior management additions to its team. Joining are David Holloway as Vice President of Commercial and Nadine Yap as Vice President of Product. Over the past 12 months Temasys has doubled in size as it adds new customers and expands the development of its Skylink platform. Skylink leads the charge to move WebRTC, traditionally seen as a desktop, browser based technology, to become a ubiquitous web communications technology on web and mobile, as well as Internet of Things compatible devices.
Docker is an excellent platform for organizations interested in running microservices. It offers portability and consistency between development and production environments, quick provisioning times, and a simple way to isolate services. In his session at DevOps Summit at 16th Cloud Expo, Shannon Williams, co-founder of Rancher Labs, will walk through these and other benefits of using Docker to run microservices, and provide an overview of RancherOS, a minimalist distribution of Linux designed expressly to run Docker. He will also discuss Rancher, an orchestration and service discovery platf...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vitria Technology, Inc. will exhibit at SYS-CON’s @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Vitria will showcase the company’s new IoT Analytics Platform through live demonstrations at booth #330. Vitria’s IoT Analytics Platform, fully integrated and powered by an operational intelligence engine, enables customers to rapidly build and operationalize advanced analytics to deliver timely business outcomes for use cases across the industrial, enterprise, and consumer segments.