Microsoft adds Web apps to Java conversion tool

Continuing attempts to lure developers from the rival Java development camp, Microsoft on Tuesday is releasing Version 2.0 of its Java Language Conversion Assistant (JLCA) software to enable migration of Java applications to the Microsoft .Net framework.

Key to Version 2.0 is support of migration of Web applications based on JavaServer Pages (JSP) and servlets, said Microsoft's Dan Fernandez, product manager for Visual C# at Microsoft, in Redmond, Wash.

"The real key thing here is we're targeting what the customers are going to do," Fernandez said. Eighty percent of Java development today is done using JSP and servlet applications, he said. The first version of JLCA, released in April with the Visual Studio .Net 2003 integrated development environment, did not convert Web applications, said Fernandez.

"We see a lot of people wanting to go to our platform for productivity, reliability, etc.," said Fernandez.

Based on ArtinSoft technology, JLCA automates the migration of language syntax and library calls from existing Java language source code into Visual C# to bring about the conversion, according to Microsoft.

Version 2.0 enables conversion of JSP and servlet applications to ASP .Net. JLCA runs within the Visual Studio .Net. By converting business logic, it can decrease time to market of applications, enabling customers to use existing investments, Microsoft said.

To support JLCA 2.0, Microsoft has published a JSP to ASP .Net Migration Guide, providing resources to aid in migration to ASP.Net, Microsoft said. Included in the guide is a step-by-step code conversion of the http//www.codenotes.com Web site, which was converted from Java to .Net. Codenotes is a book publishing site.

The guide supports documented migration with videos, white papers, sample code, and additional resources. Further information can be found at http://msdn.microsoft.com/asp.net/using/migrating/jspmig/default.aspx.

JLCA 2.0 is available for free download at http://msdn.microsoft.com.

There were more than 150,000 downloads of the original JLCA, but Microsoft does not have specific numbers on how many applications were converted using it, Fernandez said.

Sun Microsystems Inc. officials could not be reached for comment immediately Tuesday morning regarding Microsoft's announcement.

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