Feeds

Indigo not so open as .NET Framework?

IP licensing question

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

A Novell-backed project seeking to create an open source version of web services technology in future versions of Windows could hit an IP hurdle from Microsoft.

Evaluation has begun on an open source version of Indigo, the web services communications layer due in Longhorn and updates to Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

Supporters of open source Indigo, part of the long-running Mono Project, say it will spread the adoption of web services, because it enables developers to use Indigo on MacOS, Unix and Linux.

But Microsoft suggests there could be issues over licensing of its intellectual property (IP) used in Indigo - even though previous elements of Mono have been developed by the community (thanks to some nifty standards work by Microsoft).

So far, Mono has delivered an implementation of Microsoft's .NET Framework that includes ASP.NET, ADO.NET and compilers and tools for the Visual Basic .NET and Visual C# .NET languages, along with open source Unix, and Gnome libraries.

Mono has benefited from Microsoft's decision to register some key elements of the .NET Framework as standards in 2001 with the European Computer Manufacturers' Association (ECMA) and in 2003 with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

But it seems that either Longhorn falls outside of Microsoft’s definition of the .NET Framework or that Microsoft is irritated that a competitor is now supporting Mono. Novell has begun using Mono in its iFolder file sharing application for Linux, Windows and Mac workgroups.

Novell inherited Mono and project leader Miguel de Icaza with the acquisition of open source desktop specialist Ximian in 2003.

A Microsoft spokeswoman told The Register:"While Microsoft is quite open to discussing with Novell the licensing of potentially applicable intellectual property, Novell has not licensed anything or even approached Microsoft on this topic."

Novell could not be reached for comment at the time of writing.

At least one ISV, specializing in cross-platform application development, is enthusiastic about the project's potential. Yaacov Cohen, Mainsoft president and chief executive, called Indigo "phenomenal", saying it would help developers build Service Oriented Architectures (SOAs). Mainsoft has worked on Mono for two years and intends to contribute resources to this latest project.

De Icaza told The Register that Indigo has most promise for middleware companies, adding that it would likely emerge in pieces through the Mono community's work on elements such as a transaction manager and queuing system.

Mainsoft, meanwhile, hopes it can encourage Windows developers to enhance Mono. Mainsoft's MainWin for J2EE Developer Edition, launched yesterday, exposes Mono's ASP.NET and ADO.NET class libraries to Visual Studio developers, enabling them to add class libraries, bug fixes and enhancements.

MainWin for J2EE Developer Edition will also help Windows developers build applications for Linux using their existing Visual Studio tools. Developer Edition is a plug-in that can re-compile Visual Basic .NET and Visual C# .NET applications to Java bite code for deployment on Linux. The suite features a Linux Virtual Machine, the PostgreSQL database and Apache Tomcat web server.

MainWin hopes it can tap some of the 22 per cent of Visual Studio developers who built applications for Linux during 2004. "Linux is becoming so popular and getting into the mainstream that VisualStudio developers want to be part of it... they don't want to be left out of the Linux phenomenon - Linux is seen as a very cool operating system," Cohen said. "We are making it very easy for Visual Studio developers." ®

Related stories

Avalon faces axe as Microsoft dismembers Longhorn
Novell debuts open source toolkit for .NET
Mono and dotGNU: what's the point?

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cloudy CoreOS Linux distro declares itself production-ready
Lightweight, container-happy Linux gets first Stable release
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.