Someone briefly mentioned Java Specification Request (JSR) 168 to me a little over a month ago. As most would, I asked what the heck it was about. I know what JSRs are, but I don't make a habit of knowing each one. JSR 168 turns out to be all about portal applications and, specifically, calls out a Java-specific way to implement Web Services for Remote Portlets (WSRP) . Any time I'm asked about integrating Java and .NET, two things come to mind -- and, no, one is not replace the Java with .NET... although, that is a good idea Those things are JNBridge and Mainsoft . I don't know much about these tools besides their existence and high-level goals. After talking to Simon Guest a month and a half ago about user experience , he mentioned how JNBridge works. I'm going to liken it to how Visual Studio allows us to easily consume web services. JNBridge creates a proxy class on the target platform that hooks into their system, which wraps the original code, be it .NET or Java, if I understood it correctly. I'm not sure how MainSoft does the job, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's a somewhat similar method.
Of course, anyone who paid attention to the fourth sentence above will notice I said JSR 168 is about web services, so you might ask why one would need to integrate Java and .NET at a component level. I'm going to chalk this one up to a mild case of stupidity. I say mild because there is some logic here, but not enough. Being the brilliant person that he is, an "architect" at a client's site determined that web services were too slow to accomplish what they needed. At first, I started to accept that. Then, I thought about how web services can be streamlined and asked what numbers they had to back up that claim. Apparently, there aren't and never have been any benchmark tests. People: If you're going to claim something is too slow, at least have some numbers to prove it. Later, I found out JNBridge was mentioned to this person before, but was shrugged off. I don't know if it's the presence of Microsoft that made him change his tone, but he was very accepting of the idea. To me, this guy is one of those zealots we run into occasionally. They always have something hateful to say about the competition, but rarely add to the conversation. In this case, he was (and still is) trying to push Microsoft solutions out of the conversation. I find that funny because... well, let me just say Microsoft has brought a lot of value to the client in the past year. We're not alone, by any means -- we work with some really good... and, with any project, some not-so-good people. I guess one of the key differentiators is our extensive training mantra along with our connections and resources back in Redmond and abroad.