Looking to expand its footprint, JNBridge today announced the release of JNBridgePro 7.0, with support for the open-source Mono project that now enables organizations to run .NET applications with Java components on a Linux server.
But getting there was no trivial matter, according to Wayne Citrin, CTO of JNBridge.
“Novell had reached out to us over the years and said it wasn’t hard, that the APIs were well supported,” he recalled. But when JNBridge started engineering the project, it found “a couple of places where the APIs were incomplete, so we had to code around that or not support a particular feature. Thankfully, they weren’t critical features.”
Citrin also noted that Mono, a replication of Microsoft’s .NET Framework, is stricter in certain cases than .NET. “Mono gave you a stricter, more correct way, while .NET was more forgiving. So in that regard, Mono was narrower,” he said.
“Yet in certain cases, like handling of XML and HTTP, Mono did it incorrectly. So our SOAP was not entirely correct, but .NET, which was more forgiving, handled it fine, but you had to add the error for Mono to handle it.”
JNBridgePro enables users to run Java- and .NET-based applications together while taking care of the underlying complexity of interoperability. The new release, with Mono support, enables scenarios where organizations might want to run legacy ASP.NET applications on a Linux server while calling to a back-end Java EE server, such as IBM WebSphere or Oracle WebLogic.
“Both .NET and Java are pretty entrenched now,” Citrin said. “In a lot of cases, organizations don’t have a choice but to create hybrid applications.” JNBridgePro only supports Mono running on Debian, openSUSE and Ubuntu.
The new release also reduces confusion over what Citrin called “bitness” by including all 32-bit and 64-bit components in a single installer. “Users can create apps that will run as either 32-bit or 64-bit and use shared memory,” he said. “Previously, this required two builds.”
Citrin said JNBridge is also looking at opportunities in the mobile space, and support for Mono is key to that. “Mono has additional tools for .NET code running on Android and iOS,” he said. “But it’s just something that we’re looking at for now.”