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JNBridge Debuts "Project Lightning" To Enable Cloud Interoperability

Says Java-.NET Incompatibility A Threat To Cloud Computing That Must Be Neutralized

The religious war between Java and .NET is heating up again, and it has little to do with deathless zealotry for their similar, yet incompatible core programming languages.  Nor is it because Oracle, the new owner - caretaker, really - of Java, is even more antagonistic than the previous one, Sun was to .NET's keeper, Microsoft.  It has everything to do with cloud computing, and today, at the JavaOne confab, Colorado-based JNBridge announced "Project Lightning", a new technology initiative with a goal that will be hard for any reasonable techie to refudiate: interoperability between cloud infrastructures based on the two dominant applications frameworks - Java and .Net.

Many early conflicts between proponents of each focused on the differences between their primary programming languages - the Java language versus the .NET languages (VB.Net and C#).  But, these were mere dialectical skirmishes substantially silenced by the proliferation of patois and pidgin like IronRuby and J#.

The bigger battle all along has been between their server platform implementations, Java EE and ASP .NET, which, lacking any direct compatibility, have been very difficult to integrate and practically impossible to switch between.  In the pre-cloud epoch, whole companies often functioned on one or the other and it was not uncommon to hear CIOs declare, "We're a Java shop" or "We're a Microsoft shop".

When the two did cohabit in the same data center, whether on separate boxes, blades or virtual machines, it was usually in support of separate applications that shared little more than data.  And when the occasional portal project or e-commerce joint venture dictated a more intimate interaction between the two, despite the intrinsic transparency promised by SOA and web services, in practice it required specialized skills, tools and "glue code" to make it happen.   Such has been the case for a decade and enabling such détente has been the calling of JNBridge and many companies like it during that time.

Now, ironically, while the core concept of resources as services extant in both Java and .Net is the very thing that makes cloud computing possible in in the first place, the incompatibility between how that concept is realized in each and the fragmentation it engenders actually threatens the long-term viability of utility computing.

"Interoperability in the cloud is currently a real problem. Supporting real interoperability is critical to the success and survival of the cloud computing model, and right now it is a large stumbling block that prevents adoption," said Mark Driver, vice president of research at Gartner. "Initiatives that support cloud interoperability in its various aspects will benefit cloud users, vendors of cloud services, and vendors of the underlying cloud platforms."

Believing that Project Lightning is the answer.  Wayne Citrin, CTO of JNBridge, stated,  "JNBridge's position is that 'Cloud Interoperability' must encompass full Cloud-to-Cloud access, where any cloud service can access any other cloud's service, full Cloud-to-Ground access, where any cloud service can be consumed from any client or on-premise platform, and full interoperability within a cloud service. In order for this to work, developers need the ability to write cloud services using any platform, easily, simply and quickly, and regardless of the cloud vendor. Our vision of cloud interoperability is any object, on any platform, in any language, anywhere, and at any time."

As a first step towards this vision, JNBridge is demoing new cloud-based software at JavaOne, showing Java-based clients accessing Azure (.NET-based) services, including support for Azure Cloud Drives, and showing how legacy applications can run in the cloud with the help of simulated legacy facilities such as the registry and file system.  You can learn more about JNBride's cloud interoperability vision and technology here.

More Stories By Tim Negris

Tim Negris is SVP, Marketing & Sales at Yottamine Analytics, a pioneering Big Data machine learning software company. He occasionally authors software industry news analysis and insights on Ulitzer.com, is a 25-year technology industry veteran with expertise in software development, database, networking, social media, cloud computing, mobile apps, analytics, and other enabling technologies.

He is recognized for ability to rapidly translate complex technical information and concepts into compelling, actionable knowledge. He is also widely credited with coining the term and co-developing the concept of the “Thin Client” computing model while working for Larry Ellison in the early days of Oracle.

Tim has also held a variety of executive and consulting roles in a numerous start-ups, and several established companies, including Sybase, Oracle, HP, Dell, and IBM. He is a frequent contributor to a number of publications and sites, focusing on technologies and their applications, and has written a number of advanced software applications for social media, video streaming, and music education.

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