IT directors are still struggling for an efficient, cost-effective and stable method to link together Java and .net and applications, despite a commitment from Sun Microsystems and Microsoft to work together.
The issue will be a major theme at the JavaOne conference in San Francisco this week, where Sun and Microsoft are expected to unveil technology designed to make Java and .net-based applications more compatible.
It is two years since the software companies pledged to work together to improve interoperability between their development languages following the settlement of a bitter court case.
Despite this, analysts say current options available to enable .net and Java compatibility are inefficient, costly or complex. Wrangling between industry consortia and standards bodies is also hampering progress.
At the JavaOne conference Kirill Gavrylyuk, interoperability program manager at Microsoft’s distributed systems group, and Arun Gupta, staff engineer at Sun, will discuss how to make Java and .net work together using web services. But a big question remains on how far this effort will go.
Gartner research vice-president Massimo Pezzini said, “We are seeing real-world projects where companies use web services to make Java and .net work together, but other standards have less support from the industry which limits interoperability.”
Without interoperability, users could end up running standalone Java and .net applications that are unable to share information effectively.
IT directors can use basic web services to enable .net and Java to talk to talk to each other, but Forrester Research vice-president John Rymer warned that web services were too slow for time-critical applications.
Users can also opt to run middleware, but the necessary specialised development, testing and management skills required can prove costly, Rymer said.
Rob Hailstone, research director at IDC, highlighted potential problems over different interpretations of the various Java and .net interoperability standards.