Jade boosts Microsoft .Net compatibility

Jade wants to interoperate better with the software giant, says CTO

In an effort to improve interoperability with Microsoft products, Jade Software is experimenting with Windows Silverlight. It’s also working on its next software release, which will be fully compatible with the .Net platform.

Jade wants to interoperate better with Microsoft, says Roger Jarquin, CTO of Jade Software.

“We are a small company in New Zealand and we can’t cover all the areas that Microsoft can. We want to focus on what we are good at — server-side back-end processing. We are looking for interoperability in the front-end,” Jarquin told Computerworld, while attending Microsoft’s Professional Developer Conference, held in Los Angeles last month.

Jarquin says the main reason he went to the PDC was to get a sense of direction from Microsoft and to find ways to better interoperate with the software giant. And he was pleased to see that C# 4.0 and .Net 4.0 are both opening up to embrace other languages.

Interoperability with Windows-based systems — that is the future of Jade, he says. Many of Jade’s biggest customers run Windows, such as The Warehouse, which went live with a new Jade system and Wintel platform last year.

Jade will be fully compatibility with .Net next year, which will allow developers to call Jade from .Net and vice versa, says Jarquin.

The company has provided a real-time relational population service (RPS) to SQL Server since 2005. It is now looking to make the service available for SQL Server 2008, he says.

In the last few years, Microsoft has started opening up to other platforms, says Jarquin. “Everybody is [opening up]. We are too. We have learnt we need to interoperate because users want the best of everything.” Users have become more savvy; they know what they want, and that is a good thing, he adds.

Scott Wylie, director of the developer and platform strategy team at Microsoft New Zealand, says Microsoft has, historically, supported open standards and interoperability in things like protocols and formats. But interoperability in tools and software has also become a part of the company in the last few years.

The company is now “embracing interoperability as a good thing”, says Wylie.

“Take Silverlight as an example — it is such a fantastic technology and we want to make it easy for the world to use it.”

All the big announcements at PDC were interesting, but the news around Silverlight was of particular interest to Jade, says Jarquin. “We are watching Silverlight very closely.”

Microsoft’s Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the company’s developer division, told attendees at PDC that a release of Silverlight planned for next year includes runtime features, much richer graphics, data support, and tools geared for cloud services and parallel computing.

Users will also be able to run Silverlight inside and outside a browser, said Guthrie.

Jade has developed a WPF-based graphical user interface model, and has prototypes that show Jade running in WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation), says Jarquin. This is driven by demand for rich internet applications.

However, as well as offering the WPF-based GUI, Jade also plans to keep its “classical” GUI for those who prefer that, he adds.

Jarquin, who is originally from Nicaragua, has been with Jade for 22 years. He has a team of over 20 R&D staff, and he also runs a benchmark lab, which provides services internally and also consults to customers. Jarquin is also the chair of Jade’s technology council.

• Hedquist travelled to PDC as a guest of Microsoft.

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