Welcome!

Weblogic Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Michael Meiner, Michael Bushong, Avi Rosenthal

Related Topics: Weblogic, Microsoft Cloud

Weblogic: Article

Running ASP.NET Applications on WebLogic Easier Than You May Think!

A First Look at Visual MainWin for J2EE

When WLDJ wanted someone to take a First Look at Visual MainWin for J2EE, we turned to interoperability expert Laurence Moroney - coauthor of a forthcoming book on Web services security and a senior architect in a major financial services house in New York City. In the course of assessing the product, Laurence in fact became more and more involved - in the end, on a staff basis - with the company behind it, Mainsoft. So this First Look should be read with that basic journalistic disclosure in mind.

When WebLogic workshop was first conceived and presented to the public, it was done so as an alternative to the hugely popular Visual Studio.NET development environment - one that was just as easy to use, and equally if not more powerful, because it would allow you to build J2EE applications, including EJBs, in as easy a manner as a VB programmer could put together a Windows-based object.

However, many shops that have existing assets in .NET and build in C# would have to port all that code into Java using Workshop, and effectively throw away their existing investments should they want to run on the WebLogic J2EE platform. This became, and still is, a huge hurdle in migrating between the platforms. In addition to this, a real strength of WebLogic Workshop 8.1 is in its ability to easily construct EJBs and to easily construct workflow applications and expose them as services. On the front end, it has the very useful pageflow technology that can be used to construct UIs that consume these, but many would argue that there is no better productivity alternative for front-end Web applications than ASP.NET with Visual Studio.NET. It would be nice if you and your team could use WebLogic for what it does best - middleware EJBs and Workflows, and ASP.NET for what it does best - front ends.

Now there is a way: Visual MainWin for J2EE is a product from Mainsoft (dev.mainsoft.com) that offers a unique and innovative solution to this. In a nutshell, this product, nicknamed Grasshopper, takes the Microsoft Intermediate Language (MSIL) generated by .NET and converts it into Java Byte Code, supported by a Java port of the Mono libraries. This way your C# code can be compiled and run on a J2EE application server such as WebLogic on Windows, Linux, or anywhere else it is supported. It's a wonderful way of capitalizing on the usability of Visual Studio.NET with the run-time reliability and characteristics of WebLogic.

In this article you will take a look at what it takes to deploy your existing ASP.NET front ends to WebLogic 8.1, and to interop with assets such as EJBs that are already running on that platform.

How It Works
The concept behind this product is very simple - but very effective. Mainsoft is a major contributor to the Mono project, and they have used their tool to port the Mono source code to Java. This provides the namespace support so that the ASP.NET namespaces can be called from Java. It then takes your C# or VB.NET code and cross-compiles the MSIL generated by the .NET framework compilers into Java Byte code. This is then a pure Java solution that will run on your J2EE application server. They also add support to consume Java References and EJBs.

When developing an application you simply create an ASP.NET application and use their wizard to convert it to J2EE, or you can create a C#/VB.NET for J2EE application using the new project types in Visual Studio.NET after installing.

The rest - developing, debugging, code completion, intellisense, etc. - all work cleanly within Visual Studio.NET. It's very compelling, and if you or any member of your team is comfortable in this development environment, you'll be amazed at how cleanly it integrates. There's something very cool about writing C# and running and debugging it on WebLogic as cleanly as you would on IIS.

Getting Started - A Very Simple Example
This first example takes a standard C# Web form, adds an EJB reference to it to allow it to consume an EJB off a WebLogic 8.1 server, and then compiles the Web form to run on WebLogic.

To get started, use WebLogic Workshop to create a simple EJB that implements the following method:

/**
* @ejbgen:remote-method
*/
public String echoHelloWorld(String strIn)
{
return "Hello World, " + strIn;
}

It is very simple and just returns "Hello World" and the caller's name.

You'll need to install the enterprise edition of Visual MainWin for J2EE to continue, because only the enterprise edition supports BEA WebLogic. You can find this at dev.mainsoft.com. They also have a free edition of the tool that supports Tomcat. Once you have downloaded and installed the tool, you can launch Visual Studio.NET and create a simple Web form like the one shown in Figure 1.

Adding a reference to an EJB is very straightforward - and will look very familiar if you are used to consuming Web services in Visual Studio.NET. If you right click on the "References" node in the solution explorer, you will notice two new entries - "Add Java Reference" and "Add EJB Reference." The former allows you to consume JAR files and use them from within ASP.NET, and the latter does the same but for EJBs. If your EJB (from above) is deployed to WebLogic and the Application Server is running you can use the Add EJB reference, and you'll get the dialog that is shown in Figure 2.

You can add the EJB reference using either a path to the JAR file that contains it, or by using JNDI.

Once the EJB reference is made, Visual Studio.NET and Visual MainWin for J2EE create a proxy class that allows you to talk to it. This then allows you to code to the J2EE using all of the productivity features of Visual Studio.NET, such as autocomplete.

On the simple ASP.NET UI that you created earlier, you can now add the following code (the textbox should be called "txtName" and the label should be called "lblResp" for this code to work):

localhost.ejbhwRemote myEjb = new localhost.ejbhwRemote();
string strTest = myEjb.echoHelloWorld(txtName.Text);
lblResp.Text = strTest;

Using a WebLogic Workflow
One of the massive strengths of the WebLogic Workshop 8.1 is the impressive workflow engine. This allows you to graphically design workflows and processes, and to interface them with external components such as Web services or EJBs. In many ways it is the foundation of an enterprise service bus. In this section you will look at how you can tie your ASP.NET user interfaces to these workflows using Web References, and deploy both the workflow and the UI to WebLogic.

More Stories By Laurence Moroney

Laurence Moroney is a senior Technology Evangelist at Microsoft and the author of 'Introducing Microsoft Silverlight' as well as several more books on .NET, J2EE, Web Services and Security. Prior to working for Microsoft, his career spanned many different domains, including interoperability and architecture for financial services systems, airports, casinos and professional sports.

Comments (4) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
WLDJ 10/19/05 07:15:10 PM EDT

Running ASP.NET Applications on WebLogic! When WLDJ wanted someone to take a First Look at Visual MainWin for J2EE, we turned to interoperability expert Laurence Moroney - coauthor of a forthcoming book on Web services security and a senior architect in a major financial services house in New York City. In the course of assessing the product, Laurence in fact became more and more involved - in the end, on a staff basis - with the company behind it, Mainsoft. So this First Look should be read with that basic journalistic disclosure in mind.

WebLogic Journal New Desk 10/19/05 05:42:31 PM EDT

WebLogic Journal - Running ASP.NET Applications on WebLogic! When WLDJ wanted someone to take a First Look at Visual MainWin for J2EE, we turned to interoperability expert Laurence Moroney - coauthor of a forthcoming book on Web services security and a senior architect in a major financial services house in New York City. In the course of assessing the product, Laurence in fact became more and more involved - in the end, on a staff basis - with the company behind it, Mainsoft. So this First Look should be read with that basic journalistic disclosure in mind.

.NET News Desk 10/19/05 05:32:11 PM EDT

WebLogic Journal - Running ASP.NET Applications on WebLogic! When WLDJ wanted someone to take a First Look at Visual MainWin for J2EE, we turned to interoperability expert Laurence Moroney - coauthor of a forthcoming book on Web services security and a senior architect in a major financial services house in New York City. In the course of assessing the product, Laurence in fact became more and more involved - in the end, on a staff basis - with the company behind it, Mainsoft. So this First Look should be read with that basic journalistic disclosure in mind.

WebLogic Journal New Desk 10/19/05 05:09:08 PM EDT

WebLogic Journal - Running ASP.NET Applications on WebLogic! When WLDJ wanted someone to take a First Look at Visual MainWin for J2EE, we turned to interoperability expert Laurence Moroney - coauthor of a forthcoming book on Web services security and a senior architect in a major financial services house in New York City. In the course of assessing the product, Laurence in fact became more and more involved - in the end, on a staff basis - with the company behind it, Mainsoft. So this First Look should be read with that basic journalistic disclosure in mind.

@ThingsExpo Stories
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things’). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing? IoT is not about the devices, it’s about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. In his session at Internet of Things at Cloud Expo | DXWor...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader Sergey Grebnov provided an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone inn...