I’m just finishing up a tool using Visual Basic .NET that takes incoming delimited ASCII files, then using a database delivered layout, creates both an XML and XSD file. The result is that data from the incoming file can be validated quickly and efficiently, and upon passing muster, imported into the database.
Since the project I’m working on really only needs XML and regular expressions, and run as a scheduled task on an IIS server, it didn’t need a fully functional MS Windows interface. Though by using .NET, I have to say that I was impressed with their directory & file services, along with their collections class. Their XML is okay, but needs another revision or two as I found myself having to continually instantiate to operate by dreferencing.
That said, I think if I had to do this project over, I might consider Java. Why? Because my experience with C# and VB.Net is that though the official line is that they are not Java clones, the approach to creating a .NET solution is almost identical to one in Java. The benefit of the former is that the IDE rocks. The benefit of the later being that is more portable.
An opinion apparently corroborated by James Gosling, the inventor of Java who has much about Visual Studio .NET and C# in an interview in the Computer Business Review Online entitled “Gosling: Microsoft’s Java Threat is Financial, Not Technical“… and article you can find portions of at The Register.
Here are some of the more interesting quotes:
“Java and Java IDEs have been criticized for being needlessly complex, excluding many non-technical programmers. It’s a challenge recognized by companies like San Jose, California-based BEA Systems Inc, who earlier this year launched WebLogic Workshop to simplify development of Java-based web services.”
“Despite praising Visual Studio.NET’s greater ease-of-use, Gosling believes the IDE to be distinctly “middle-of-the-road”. Microsoft is converging its
embedded, desktop and server development environments on Visual Studio.NET, dispensing with separate IDEs for platforms such as Windows CE .NET for example.”
Here are some other comparisons to Visual Studio and Java you might find useful:
- A Comparative Overview of C#
- java.oreilly.com — Microsoft .NET vs. J2EE: How Do They Stack Up?
- Manning.com – Microsoft .NET vs Java
- ZDNet: Story: Java vs. .Net: How it’s become a bet-the-ranch race
- New Technologies Inc – Decisions, Decisions
Still, I think I’m in love with .NET’s collection class … provided one knows how to use a delagate (do I smell an article cooking ?-).