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Microsoft Releases Beta of .NET Tool for Java Developers

Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday released a beta version of a development tool that allows Java-language developers to target the .NET platform.

The company describes the tool, called Visual J# .NET, as a development tool for Java-language and Visual J++ developers who want to build applications and services using the Microsoft .NET Framework.

Microsoft positions the tool as an additional language supported by the .NET Framework. Microsoft has previously announced about 20 development languages supported by .NET.

"With Visual J# .NET, Java-language developers can target XML Web services through the .NET Framework," Tom Button, Microsoft's vice president of the developer division, said in a statement. "Visual J# .NET underscores Microsoft's commitment to creating interoperability and choice of programming language for building XML Web services."

The tool integrates with the forthcoming Visual Studio .NET and .NET Framework and includes tools to update and convert existing Visual J++ 6.0 projects to the .NET format.

Microsoft's public statements about Visual J# .NET make much of the tool's support for Visual J++, Microsoft's own controversial implementation of Java.

Sun Microsystems, the creator of the Java language, and Microsoft reached a settlement in December over Sun's long-running lawsuit about Microsoft's implementation of Java. The settlement means Microsoft has to tread lightly in what it says about Java.

.NET is built on C#, Microsoft's highest-profile development language that is similar to Java.

Meanwhile, the new tool deals exclusively with the Java language, not the Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE). J2EE is a development platform that competes directly with .NET.

The tool can be downloaded here

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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