JuggerNET consists of two major pieces that are delivered to you out of the box: the code generator and
the runtime library. In addition to these two pieces there are the proxy types that are generated for your specific
integration problem. All three pieces have distinctive features you should look for when comparing
JuggerNET to alternative integration approaches.
Code Generator Features
"Smart" Code Generator
The code generator understands the relationships between Java types. When you
import a Java type, it automatically enables other Java types that are required on the other side to make
that type useful (for example method argument types of enabled methods). When you instruct the code generator
to disable a particular type, it automatically disables all dependent elements (methods, fields) that rely on
the presence of that type.
If you make no modifications to the default generation settings, you will probably
end up with something that is right for you or at least almost right for you.
You can disable (almost) any type, any method, any field from becoming available
on the other side.
You can enhance or completely change what the code generator generates by
modifying the default blue-prints from which it generates source or build files. You can even add
your own blue-prints!
You can add your own templates and have them generate once per type or per project.
The code generator can persist the state of a project in a model file and then allow you to reopen
it in the GUI or use it as part of an automated, command line-based build. You can use variables in your
model file to make code generation portable across build hosts.
ANT is a very powerful, portable Java-based build system and the custom tasks for code
generation and compilation allow you to create portable, automated, end-to-end integration builds.
The code generator can optionally generate makefiles, build batch files, and Visual
Studio project files.
The code generator can optionally generate API documentation. It can generate a
complete API reference manual even without access to the Java sources, but the results are even better if
you can make the Java sourcefiles available to the code generator.
GUI Integration Support
The code generator can optionally generate support that allows you
to host Swing-based Java GUIs in .NET applications.
Generated Code Features
As lightweight as Possible
The .NET proxy types delegate as much as possible to the runtime library to keep
the proxy classes as small as possible.
The generated code exposes Java packages as namespaces, Java fields as fields,
Java methods as methods and Java types as types. Use it with very little instruction necessary.
The .NET proxy types can be used in the presence of native exceptions without leaking objects
on the Java side. Java exceptions are thrown as native exceptions and can be caught as native exceptions.
The .NET proxy types can safely and easily be used in multithreaded runtime environments.
We do not claim total thread safety because we intentionally did not synchronize write access to the proxy
instances for performance reasons.
That being said and assuming you take care of write synchronization, you can safely use proxy objects on
Certain Java interfaces can be used as a callback interfaces.
This means that you can implement the Java interface on the native side and have the Java
side call your implementation asynchronously (EventListeners, MessageListeners, etc.)
Fewest Possible Surprises
It is impossible to have .NET proxy types that are totally without surprises. For example, your
native language may have different reserved names than Java, so sometimes a valid Java name needs to be changed
on the native side to ensure a successful compilation. The .NET proxy types have extremely few such surprises.
Highly Usable Types
The generated code is just about as usable as the underlying Java
types and we just keep adding .NET features like Collection class mapping etc.
Works With Virtually Any JRE
As long as your Java Runtime Environment supports JNI, it will work in
an integrated application. We have tested with JVMs from different vendors, including Oracle,
Azul, and IBM, as well as open source implementations like OpenJDK.
Extremely High Performance
Even though JNI has a bad reputation, it is really quite fast. There is inevitable
overhead, but you will be very positively surprised by the performance of your integrated application.
Mature Configuration framework
You need to tell your native code where to find the Java parts of the application
and how to initialize the JVM or connect to the shared JVM server. You have extreme flexibility, from hardcoding
the settings, over using XML config files, all the way to self-configuring DLLs via configuration callbacks.
No Server Necessary
Your finished integrated solution can be totally self-contained without any additional
"moving pieces" required.
Just copy or move the integrated solution and double-click the executable. If you
configured things correctly, it will still work, no registration steps necessary.