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JLCA Ports Legacy Java Code to .NET : Page 2

The Java Language Conversion Assistant (JLCA) enables developers to port legacy Java code to the .NET world. Get an introduction to this tool, along with an explanation of its installation and conversion processes.




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Downloading and installing the JLCA is a snap. The current stable release is version 2.0 (JLCA 2). The current beta release is version 3.0 (JLCA 3), which is available by signing up with Microsoft's Beta services at http://beta.microsoft.com (enter JLCA3 as the beta program to participate in). The beta site has a nice download manager to ensure that downloads resume easily if transmission problems occur. Help files, which are well recommended, are available as a separate download.

Download JLCA 3 and its help files.

Figure 1: A Snap to Install

Figure 2: Deceptively Simple to Install

Large organizations such as Random House and InfoSys have already used JLCA 2 to convert existing servlet and JSP applications and Web sites to .NET. It can't handle much more beyond these conversions, but JLCA 3 promises full J2EE support.

Don't install JLCA 3 straight away after downloading it! The JLCA 3 beta does not include all the necessary files. It uses routines that date all the way back to the first version of the JLCA (which was included on the Visual Studio.NET 2003 CDs). If you have not installed JLCA 1 already, you need to before proceeding. You'll find it under the C# installation options on the Visual Studio.NET 2003 CDs. Run the Visual Studio.NET setup just like normal and expand the C# options to locate the JLCA. If it is unchecked, then check it and click OK to have Windows install it.

Figure 3: JLCA 3 Doesn't Include All Necessary Files

Figure 4: Install the Original JLCA 1

Install JLCA 3 now. Run the newly downloaded Windows Installer (msi) package. Apart from agreeing to Microsoft's license terms, there are no prompts or dialogs—everything installs to the same locations as Visual Studio.NET (of course, if you don't have Visual Studio.NET installed, then the JLCA 3 installation cannot proceed).

When you start Visual Studio.NET for the first time, it won't be immediately obvious that anything has changed. It will not display any new icons or any new project types. Instead, it hides a "Convert" option under the File/Open menu—and that's where you'll find the JLCA.

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