Microsoft Launches Visual J# .NET

After almost nine months of developer feedback, Microsoft ships its much-publicized Visual J# .NET toolkit for web service development.

Tags: Java, Microsoft, Java Developers, Web Services, Tier, Walk-through, Support,

Visual J# .NET is Microsoft's development tool designed to let Java developers use their existing skills to build applications and services using the .NET Framework. To appeal to current Java developers, Visual J#.NET intends to bring the Java-language syntax into the Visual Studio .NET IDE, which provides native XML support, as well as data sharing support for 20 other languages.

For current Microsoft Visual J++ 6, it also supports that functionality, including JavaCOM and Microsoft J/Direct. Visual J# .NET is designed to take full advantage of the .NET Framework, including ASP.NET, ADO.NET, Windows Forms, and XML web services, as well as full cross-language integration.

The commercial version reflects requests for improvements from the beta release versions, including: "upgrade wizards" that more easily convert files from Microsoft's older Visual J++ Java tool to support Visual Studio.NET; faster compilers; and more detailed code samples and walk-throughs.

Downloading Visual J# .NET

Microsoft Visual J# .NET is available for existing Visual Studio .NET customers from either the Microsoft Web site at MSDN subscribers can also go to the MSDN download area at

To get a flavor for Visual J# .NET, Microsoft has created a walk-through for Java developers. It illustrates how to use the tools in building a multi-tiered distributed application (data, business object and user interface).

The architecture of the walk-through is as follows: the data tier is a database in SQL Server. The business-object tier will handle accessing the data and distributing it to the clients. The user-interface tier will consist of both a Web-based application and a traditional Windows application.

Visual J#.NET is not intended to be a Microsoft version of pre Java. For instance, Visual J# .NET is not a tool for developing applications intended to run on a Java virtual machine. Applications and services built with Visual J# .NET will run only in the .NET Framework; they will not run on any Java virtual machine.

If you are you planning to evaluate/use Visual J#. NET, IDN would like to hear from you. Our editors are always looking to speak with "hands-on" developers and project managers that can share advice and insight on building web services projects. Contact us at