OPENLINK USES MONO TO ENABLE CROSS PLATFORM INTEGRATION OF .NET

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Ximian, Inc., the leading open source desktop company, today announced that OpenLink Software, Inc., an industry leader in the development and deployment of secure, high-performance Universal Data Access and Web Services middleware, is using Mono as part of the development efforts for Virtuoso 3.0, its latest Universal Server release. Mono enables OpenLink Virtuoso to provide a consistent .NET common language runtime (CLR) and frameworks integration implementation across Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and UNIX. The OpenLink effort demonstrates platform-independent web services creation using any .NET-bound language, web services hosting, ASP.NET application invocation without IIS, and ADO.NET based data access. OpenLink’s adoption represents one of the first commercial uses of the Mono Project, a community initiative launched by Ximian to develop an open source version of the Microsoft .NET development platform for Linux and UNIX.

With OpenLink Virtuoso 3.0, companies will be able to create XML web services, user-defined types, stored procedures, functions and triggers using any .NET bound language on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and a variety of UNIX platforms. As a result, customers will be able to cost-effectively exploit the value propositions of web services, XML, and universal data access in general. With the help of Mono, OpenLink’s vision of maximum incorporation of new technologies and paradigms with minimum disruption to existing IS infrastructures remains a reality.

"Our goal at OpenLink is to consistently offer our customers freedom of choice in line with adoption and implementation of new paradigms and technologies", said Kingsley Idehen, President and CEO of OpenLink. "Mono has enabled us to add .NET integration to Virtuoso 3.0 without compromising one of its fundamental benefits, which is platform, language, and database independence."

OpenLink’s adoption is the latest in a series of milestones for the Mono Project. In July, the O’Reilly Open Source Convention featured demonstrations on Linux of a self-hosting C# (pronounced C-sharp) compiler, CLR, and web applications utilizing Microsoft.NET components, including ASP.NET and ADO.NET. More than 100 developers from around the world currently contribute to the project, and as part of its development efforts, OpenLink is now contributing actively.

"While the Mono project is not complete, companies such as OpenLink are already seeing benefit in the technologies and tools developed by the Mono Project," said Miguel de Icaza, CTO of Ximian and leader of the Mono Project. "I am very proud that Mono is well on its way to realizing its two key objectives ­ dramatically enhancing developer productivity while enabling a choice of platforms for building and deploying .NET compatible applications."

www.ximian.com/mono

* Strive Masiyiwa, the founder and group chief executive of Econet Wireless, has been named one of the world’s 15 most influential young business executives in a CNN/Time Magazine poll.Masiyiwa was chosen together with 14 executives from 11 countries out of more than 100 business people nominated by the correspondents of CNN and Time magazine.

* East African and other developing countries need to invest more in information and communication technologies to optimise the benefits of global advances in this field says Markhtar Diop, the Country Director for the World Bank in Kenya and in charge of six other countries in the Horn of Africa. Mr Diop made these remarks during the official opening of the East African leg of AITEC’s Finance-IT series, the African Banking and Finance Technology Forum, at the Grand Regency in Nairobi over 26-28 November 2002. Diop said fundamental policy reforms, including greater deregulation of the telecommunications sector, are necessary to create an enabling environment for deepening technology advances in the private and public sectors.

* The Computer Society of Kenya (CSK) has announced this year’s winners of its annual Kenya Computing and Communications Awards (KCCA) amidst complaints of favoritism and lack of objectivity in the nominations and selection of the winners. According to Kenya’s Netwatch:"Some members of the society have recently lamented the poor performance of the society in championing the interests of the ICT professionals in this country. Compared to other professional societies like Marketing Society of Kenya (MSK), Public Relations Society of Kenya (PRSK) and the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK), CSK is several miles behind in spearheading interests of its members at the national and international forums".  

"As far as the KCCA winners are concerned, members have noted that some companies have perennially won the awards though it is public knowledge that their performances have gravely deteriorated. At the same time, some companies that offer quality services to Kenyans have never been recognized. This has made it easy to fault the nomination procedures being implemented by CSK. Many observed that very few deserving companies were rightly awarded".

"One very curious fact about this year’s winners is that they were all sponsors of the event. This casts a lot of doubts at the honesty of the CSK in granting them the awards as many believe this to be a gesture of gratitude to the companies on the part of the professional body. It has also been rumored that the society uses the awards as baits to win favors and support from the industry player". 

"In the same industry, under the best digital leased line provider category, Access Kenya scooped the award for the second consecutive year. This selection has been protested fiercely by cyber cafes who represent the majority of leased line users. These protests have emanated from recent outcries from some of the cyber café operators about the poor service they have been receiving from the company. Whereas it may be true that the services might have improved in the last one or so months, it is hypocritical to assume that it is possible to objectively gauge improved performance in that short time". 

The individual nominations included: Lucy Njoroge of Openview (IT Entrepreneur of the Year), George Kinyua (Computer engineer of the Year), Paul Rich of the Nation (IT Director of the Year) and Dominic Ndegwa (Computer Manager of the Year).

* Martin Vergunst, MD of Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) in SA, has been appointed head of the company’s global financial process outsourcing operation which will be based in Cape Town.