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by Peter Galli on July 29, 2010 05:02pm
Microsoft hit another milestone today in providing a comprehensive virtualization platform to its customers with the release of the Hyper-V Linux Integration Services for Linux Version 2.1.
The news was announced on Microsoft's Virtualization Team Blog, and you can read the full post here. The drivers can be downloaded here.
This version of the Integration Services for Hyper-V supports Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP3, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2 / 5.3 / 5.4 / 5.5.
The 2.1 release includes driver support for synthetic devices, Fastpath Boot Support for Hyper-V, Timesync, Integrated Shutdown, Symmetric Multi-Processing (SMP) Support, Heartbeat and Pluggable Time Source.
Microsoft's SQL Server team yesterday announced the availability of a preview release of the SQL Server ODBC Driver for Linux, which allows native developers to access Microsoft SQL Server from Linux operating systems.
For customers with native applications on multi-platform, the existing, reliable and enterprise-class ODBC for Windows driver (a.k.a. SQL Server Native Client, or SNAC) has been ported to the Linux platform.
You can download the driver here.
"In this release, the SQL Server ODBC Driver for Linux will be a 64-bit driver for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5. We will support SQL Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2012 with this release of the driver. Notable driver features (in addition to what you would expect in an ODBC driver) include support for the Kerberos authentication protocol, SSL and client-side UTF-8 encoding. This release also brings proven and effective tools and the BCP and SQLCMD utilities to the Linux world,"said Shekhar Joshi, a Senior Program Manager on the Microsoft SQL Server ODBC Driver For Linux team.
This is another example of both Microsoft and the SQL team's commitment to interoperability.
You can read Shekhar's full blog post here, while additional information on the first release of Microsoft ODBC Driver for Linux can be found here.
As you know, educational institutions across the globe face the challenge of trying to meet accelerating technology demands with limited budgets. That is why I am really pleased to report that, today, Moodlerooms has released an open source plug-in that integrates Microsoft Live@edu with Moodle, the world's leading open source Learning Management System with 55 million users.
With this integration, Moodlerooms will make the rich functionality of Live@edu directly accessible within the Moodle 2.0 and 1.9 environments via single sign-on, further enabling teachers and students to access the quality, enterprise-level tools they need to effectively teach and learn online.
Microsoft Live@edu makes hosted email, communications and collaboration services freely available to educational institutions and currently benefits more than 22 million people worldwide.
Moodlerooms’ Microsoft Live@edu services plug-in for Moodle will bring Microsoft’s Live@edu email, calendar, instant messaging and Bing services right into the Moodle classroom environment.
The plug-in is freely available to download from the moodle.org plug-in directory here.
You can read more about this on the Moodlerooms release here, as well as on the Microsoft in Education blog and the Microsoft Openness blog.
The success of the recent Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards ceremony was buoyed by the move of its Drupal-based website hosted on internal Linux servers to one hosted on Windows Azure.
The SAG Awards site is a highly visible, high-traffic website running on Drupal. Hosting it on Azure provides a scalable, public cloud environment for SAG team. They can tune up or down the compute and storage requirements according to expected website loads, thereby getting a more scalable, manageable and cost-effective solution for running their site.
SAG also gets the benefits of PaaS – no need to manage the operating system patches, virtual machine images, network topology etc. This is particularly useful for SAG as the site has stable traffic for nine months, but which spikes for the three months from when award nominations open to the night of the event itself.
The SAG Awards site was previously hosted on internal Linux boxes. In previous years, performance was negatively impacted by site outages and slow performance during peak-usage days, with SAG having to consistently upgrade their hardware to meet demand for those days. That upgraded hardware was then not optimally used during the rest of the year.
The usage pattern for the SAG Awards site fluctuates, but spikes between November and February when the site is used for SAG award nominations in early November to the actual announcement of nominations in in mid-December. Peak usage is on the night of the awards ceremony where multiple uploads of pictures, news articles, and site visits happen.
What is even more impressive is that both visits and page views almost doubled on the night of the event. In 2011, some 222,816 people visited the site and 434,743 pages were viewed, while this year there were some 325,303 site visits and 789,310 page views, reflecting the stability and performance of the site on Windows Azure.
Microsoft started working with the SAG Awards team in May 2011, when their CIO Erin Griffin joined the Interoperability Executive Council (IEC) - founded by Microsoft in 2006 with a goal of identifying the industry’s greatest areas of need and to work together to create solutions - and attended a council meeting.
In September Mike Story, SAG’s chief architect, attended an IEC work stream meeting and asked for Microsoft’s support in porting the site to Azure. The Business Platform Division’s Customer Experience (CAT) team, the Interoperability group and Windows Azure all started working with SAG in early October and, on December 20, 2011, the site went live on Windows Azure.
“We moved to Windows Azure after looking at the services it offered,” said Erin Griffin, CIO at SAG. “Understanding the best usage scenario for us took time and effort, but with help from Microsoft, we successfully moved our site to Windows Azure and the biggest traffic day for us went off with flying colors.”
This is just one real world outcome from the IEC, which has counseled Microsoft on many interoperability topics and introduced a number of real world scenarios for discussion. The IEC, working together with Microsoft, has developed a number of solutions for these scenarios, with this one for the SAG Awards being the latest.
Curt Peterson, Microsoft’s Principal Group Program Manager, BPD Customer Experience, notes that the success of Sunday’s SAG Awards ceremony underscores how Windows Azure is a scalable, open Cloud platform ready for production use. “We are committed to making it easier for all our customers to use cloud computing on their terms with Windows Azure,” he says.
My colleague Grigori Melnik has a great blog post about the CQRS Journey project, which aims to deliver the source code for a complete, working reference implementation (an end-to-end sample app) that illustrates the key concepts, patterns, and approaches related to Command Query Responsibility Segregation and Event Sourcing (CQRS & ES), and a written guide to accompany the code, provide explanations, context, and references to other relevant material.
CQRS is an architectural pattern in which you separate your read model from the write model. The benefits include almost infinite scalability, adaptability to changing business requirements, resolution of concurrency conflicts, and overall simplification of the design.
As Grigori notes in his blog, they have positioned the CQRS guidance project as a learning journey. An advisory board has been established and some public consultation has taken place that helped scope the project initially.
"Unfortunately, there’s no solid guidance around implementing it and so we are embarking on a development project where we will implement a real world, non-trivial system using variety of CQRS approaches and share those learnings with the community," he told me. "The good news now is that we can have members of the community to participate in this journey together with us."
He goes on to say that while this is good news, "we recognize that for this project to be successful, we need to be not only open and transparent, but we also need to collaborate with the community (in its way a global village) more closely. That’s why I am extremely happy and proud to announce that for the first time in the history of the Microsoft Patterns & Practices team, the following: In the true spirit of open source, we will be taking community contributions on the CQRS Journey project,” he said.
The project will be hosted on GitHub and the contribution guidelines will be published soon. You can read his full blog here and find the project site here.
I’m really excited to be able to give you an update on our strategy and product roadmap for Big Data, especially around our embrace of Apache Hadoop as part of our data platform.
As you may remember, at the PASS Summit last October we laid out our roadmap for Big Data, with Microsoft Corporate Vice President Ted Kummert announcing plans to deliver enterprise class Apache Hadoop based distributions on both Windows Server and Windows Azure.
Even more importantly, he announced that Microsoft will be working with the community to offer contributions for inclusion into the Apache Hadoop project and its ecosystem of tools and technologies.
Now, this week at the O’Reilly Strata Conference, Dave Campbell, a Microsoft Technical Fellow, will give a keynote address on Wednesday morning where he will talk about how we are demonstrating our progress on this front as we strive to help organizations derive new insights from Big Data.
In a blog post today, Campbell notes that Microsoft has been working hard to bring the simplicity and manageability of Windows to Hadoop based solutions, and we are expanding the reach with a Hadoop based service on Windows Azure.
“Hadoop is a great tool but, to fully realize the vision of the modern data platform, we also need a marketplace to search, share and use 1st and 3rd party data and services. And, to bring the power to everyone in the business, we need to connect the new big data ecosystem to business intelligence tools like PowerPivot and Power View,” he says.
Microsoft is working closely with the community and ecosystem – including partners such as Karmasphere, Datameer and HStreaming – to deliver an open and flexible platform that is compatible with Hadoop and works well with leading 3rd party tools and technologies.
As Gianugo Rabellino, Microsoft’s Senior Director for Open Source Communities said last October, these moves benefit not only the broader Open Source community by enabling them to take their existing skill sets and assets use them on Windows Azure and Windows Server, but also developers, our customers and partners.
“It is also another example of our ongoing commitment to providing Interoperability, compatibility and flexibility,” he said at that time.
You can read Campbell’s blog here and learn more about what we are doing for Big Data here.
I am pleased to announce another open source milestone as we continue to deliver on our commitment to Interoperability: today, the Facebook C# SDK was submitted to the Outercurve Foundation’s Data, Languages, and Systems Interoperability gallery.
This project is a set of libraries that enables developers of all Microsoft platforms, as well as Mono, to build applications that integrate with Facebook. The project contains core libraries for authentication and calling Facebook APIs. Additionally, the project contains platform specific helpers such as extension methods for ASP.NET MVC.
The Facebook C# libraries give app developers a stable, small-footprint SDK that enables quick app integration into Facebook. This has allowed mobile and web app developers to quickly create Facebook apps that meet the needs of their customers.
The Facebook C# SDK has had 10 major releases, and has been downloaded more than 115,000 times, proving to be one of the most popular community-driven open source projects in the .Net ecosystem.
The project, which already has a significant user base, was hosted on CodePlex.com but has moved to github, with developer discussions supported on Stack Overflow.
Nathan Totten, Jim Zimmerman and Prabir Shrestha developed the Facebook C# SDK and contributed the project to the Outercurve Foundation, which currently has three galleries and 21 projects, each of which was contributed with funding and resources to support the project and/or gallery for a period of three years.
Of the 225 developers who currently contribute to Outercurve projects, fewer than 45% are employed by Microsoft.
I am excited to share some great news about how we are opening up the SQL Server data platform even further with expanded interoperability support through new tools that allow customers to modernize their infrastructure while maximizing existing investments and extending virtually any data anywhere.
The SQL Server team today introduced several tools that enable interoperability with SQL Server 2012.
These tools help developers to build secure, highly available and high performance applications for SQL Server in .NET, C/C++, Java and PHP, on-premises and in the cloud.
These new tools include a Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Native Client, a SQL Server ODBC Driver for Linux, backward compatibility with ADO.Net and the Microsoft JDBC Driver 4.0 and PHP Driver 3.0.
You can find more information on all this goodness on the SQL Server blog here.
Great news for our CodePlex community: CodePlex now supports Git!
Git has been one of the top rated requests from the CodePlex community for some time, and giving CodePlex users what they ask for and supporting their open source efforts has always been important to us.
And the goodness continues, as the CodePlex team has a long list of improvements planned.
So, why Git? CodePlex already has Mercurial for distributed version control and TFS (which also supports subversion clients) for centralized version control. The short answer is that the CodePlex community voted, loud and clear, that Git support was critical.
With the addition of Git, CodePlex now has three options when it comes to Open Source project hosting. Projects can now select between TFS, Mercurial, and Git.
Each developer has their own preferences, and for some, centralized version control makes more sense to them. For others, DVCS is the only way to go. We’re equally committed to supporting both these technologies for users.
You can get started today by creating a new project or contribute to an existing project by creating a fork.
For help on getting started with Git on CodePlex, see the help documentation here. If you would like to switch your project to use Git, please contact CodePlex Support with your project information.
For more information on this news, read the CodePlex blog.
by jcannon on March 08, 2007 03:38am
Folks may be aware of our technical collaborations with open source companies like Zend, JBoss and SugarCRM, but to-date, our work with MySQL hasn't gained as much attention. Some background. Over the summer of 2006, MySQL joined the Visual Studio Industry Program, a program that grants institutions, researchers, companies,etc. access to the extensibility components of Visual Studio. This, in turn, allows Visual Studio to become a platform for developers to build new functionality on-top of what we release. There's even a catalog for these extensions.
MySQL's extension is hosted here and allows for full DDEX capability and database object manipulation from within Visual Studio Server Explorer. It's a great example of the technical collaboration and engineering work needed to create the code behind interoperability.
The good news is we'll be talking more about this in the coming months. And as part of our continuing relationship with MySQL, we're also a sponsor of their upcoming user conference. While we work out the details, please drop a line if you're planning on attending.
Additional MySQL on Windows Resources:
by billhilf on March 28, 2007 12:45am
I recently spent time in South East Asia. As always these trips are enlightening, but as I wrote before one of the most important missions of these visits is to understand the health, growth and diversity of the local software economy. And it’s not just the Microsoft related software economies, but how all software is growing in a country. Indonesia is a particularly interesting example, with thousands of islands, over 250M people, and broadband and PC penetration in very low single digits, the potential for a powerful and unique software ecosystem is very real. While I was there I had a chance to talk with computer science students at BINUS International in Jakarta which was personally very motivating. The Philippines has extraordinary characteristics related to SMS or ‘texting’ (in 2005, over 250M text messages a day) and the use of mobile devices and technologies. With 6% GDP growth and the rapid growth and utilization of technology such as mobile devices (and also some very exciting online gaming businesses such as LevelUp!), I expect the Philippines to boom in the software world.
In Thailand I visited Software Park and discussed local software growth with one of the premier software incubation agencies in Bangkok. Take a look at their Software Gallery (photo on right), creatively showing off all the published software from the companies incubated at the park. Software Park was a very cool place to visit, certainly a vibrant and passionate development environment but they also have amazing elevators, no buttons inside the elevator car, you tell the security guard what floor you need to go to, and they key it in. At first I thought it was just for security, but it is also a much more efficient system as the sequence is always point-to-point, no randomization or mistakes.
I also spent time with members of the Thai software community, where we originally planned about an hour, but ended up going on for about two and a half once we got into questions. The discussion was great and I want to thank everyone who attended for spending the time and all the questions.
One fascinating trend in each of these emerging markets is technology generation skipping. With the fast growth and size of population, it’s not uncommon for the market to jump over an entire generation of technology. Indonesia is a good example, with such low broadband usage (and infrastructure) many users are simply going direct to 3G wireless versus moving from dial-up to broadband. I’ve seen this in other countries as well – it’s exciting because this type of exponential growth is fertile ground for big and surprising innovation. It’s an awesome time to be a software developer in environments like this.
Next trip couldn’t be more different, Las Vegas for Mix 07 – where Sam and I will be attendees only (first time actually ‘attending’ a conference for me in years, which I’m excited about). There will be some very cool stuff at Mix07 – such as WPF/E, opening up Windows Live data, Open Source applications using the .NET platform (with my friend Andi Gutmans from Zend on the panel), and a panel discussion called “Can’t ASP.NET and PHP Get Along?” (all session info here). I think it will really be a great event, in addition keynoting will be Ray Ozzie and Robbie Bach and Scott Guthrie (if you want to see a rock star demo don’t miss Scott’s talk). Here are a few preview ‘buzzcasts’ to give you an idea of what’s in store. Vegas baby!
I’m looking forward to being back in Redmond this week, Monday I talked with folks at the Microsoft Technology Summit. I enjoyed the conversation; hope the attendees did as well (some blog coverage here).
by billhilf on April 01, 2007 03:01am
Today, in a surprising move, Microsoft is highlighting the key role that community and economic support play in boosting the thriving worldwide penguin ecosystem. During a keynote that is yet to be scheduled, Bill Hilf, General Manager of Platform Strategy, will cite a potentially growing list of alliances that will deliver the benefits of community and economic growth to penguins everywhere. Most notably, Hilf will discuss the announcement of a new community program, Microsoft Penguin Adoption 2007. The Penguin Adoption program is critical to demonstrating this commitment. “A year ago, nobody would have expected Microsoft to have a penguin program in place. But my innovative and envelope-pushing work is changing all that,” adds an animated Hilf.
The support of an aquatic and flightless species like the penguin - be it Emperor, Gentoo or Humboldt - requires the support of an active community. That’s why a key component to the new Penguin program will be the 2007 adoption of Seattle, WA-based Woodland Park Zoo’s Penguin Exhibit. With it, Microsoft will become an official 2007-2008 ‘ZooParent’ to the local Humbolt penguin exhibit. The adoption, made possible by Woodland Park Zoo, will help provide support and care for the penguins, as well as fund wildlife conservation efforts. By working with local and benevolent penguin leaders who are the experts in their respective communities, such as zoo maintainers, Penguin Adoption 2007 will provide the necessary tools to help foster penguin growth.
Hilf, unable to contain his exhilaration for the program, adds, “It’s a win-win. Did I mention that we get an official certificate to hang in the Open Source Software Lab? I’m betting Sam will do somersaults – he is nimble. Like a penguin. ”
Sam Ramji, Director of the Open Source Software Lab, simply commented, “Well, you’re either hard-core, or you’re not.” (Timestamp, 4:50)
Corporate Investment is a Key Driver to Community
Emerging as a key component to community success is a sustained level of corporate investment. “That’s why this is a no brainer,” says Hilf. “Plus, I love penguins. They are curious and crafty creatures, with beautiful eyes I can stare into.”
Microsoft is not the first company to support penguin-centric community programs, and in fact, joins a long list of other technology vendors in the effort to sustain and grow the developing penguin population.
And now, through Penguin Adoption 2007’s annual sponsorship, Microsoft is enabling children and adults everywhere to enjoy the grace and curiosity that is the Humboldt Penguin. For those unable to visit Woodland Park Zoo, a recorded video is available here.
The adoption of the Woodland Park Zoo Humboldt Penguin exhibit began in March 2007, and will continue through March 2008.
About the Woodland Park Zoo Among its distinctions, Woodland Park Zoo is one of the oldest zoos on the West Coast. Woodland Park Zoo encompasses 92 acres and features more than 1,090 individual animals representing nearly 300 species. The grounds are divided into what are known as bioclimatic zones, the unique habitats around the world, from tropical rain forests to the frigid climes of the Far North. More information can be found here. On A Serious Note The effort to save endangered Humboldt penguins requires cooperation and support at the international, national, regional and individual levels. You can help in this cause. Join and become active in Woodland Park Zoo. You can learn more here. If you are a Microsoft employee, donations to qualifying non-profits can also be matched.
Happy April Fool's Day!
by Peter Galli on January 27, 2011 07:00am
Last fall Microsoft hired Gianugo Rabellino, a Vice President of the Apache XML Project Management Committee and Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Sourcesense, as Senior Director of Open Source Communities.
Earlier this week Gianugo participated in a roundtable discussion filmed for Channel 9 that also includes Stephen Walli, Technical Director for the Outercurve Foundation, and Garrett Serack, an Open Source developer here at Microsoft.
You can also watch the video on Channel 9 here.
Gianugo has a deep understanding of open source technologies and platforms, and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to a group of passionate and committed individuals who share his same enthusiasm for interoperability and openness between Microsoft and non-Microsoft platforms.
With the work to deepen interoperability across open source solutions prevalent across Microsoft and, as the go-to guy at Microsoft for all things related to open Source Communities, Gianugo is headed to Europe to meet with folk from the field and communities on a "listen and learn" trip, which he explains further in the video.
by Peter Galli on February 01, 2011 09:40am
Today, Microsoft Research, in collaboration with the University of Cambridge's Unilever Centre for Molecular Science Informatics and the Outercurve Foundation, jointly announced the free and broad availability of the Chemistry Add-in for Microsoft Word v1 as well as the platform's transition to the Foundation.
The Chemistry Add-in for Word, which was released as a beta last year, makes it easier to insert and modify chemical information, such as labels, formulas, and 2-D depictions, within Microsoft Office Word. It also enables the creation of inline "chemical zones," the rendering of print-ready visual depictions of chemical structures, and the ability to store and expose chemical information in a semantically rich manner.
By using Chemical Markup Language (CML) - a chemistry-specific XML - the Chemistry Add-in for Word makes it possible not only to author chemical content in Word 2007 and 2010, but also to include the data behind those structures. The Chemistry Add-in and CML help make chemistry documents open, readable, and easily accessible to humans as well as other technologies. The Chemistry Add-in supports publishing and data-mining scenarios for authors, readers, publishers, and others throughout the chemical information community.
Microsoft's collaboration with the Outercurve Foundation shows its continued commitment to interoperability and Microsoft's Openness Initiative, and now makes the tool widely available for users across various disciplines to use, build upon, and share their research.
As Paula Hunter, Outercurve Foundation's Executive Director, notes: "The Chemistry Add-In for Word shows the power of collaborative development that exists in the open source community. The assignment of Chemistry Add-In for Word to the Outercurve Foundation will enable researchers and scientists to benefit from a tool that will speed creation and sharing of documents that include chemical information. We are pleased to work with Microsoft Research and the University of Cambridge to continue to foster improvements in the development of this tool."
For his part, Alex Wade, the director of scholarly communication at Microsoft External Research, says the Chemistry Add-In for Word helps the scientific and academic research community simplify the authoring and semantic annotation of chemical information. "We are delighted to collaborate on the tool development with the University of Cambridge and pleased to assign the project to the Outercurve Foundation in an effort to advance scholarly communications and pave the way for scientific discovery and innovation," he says.
The platform is being made available as a free download on Outercurve's Research Accelerators Gallery, a collection of open source projects that benefit the research and science communities, in an effort to facilitate the authoring of chemical information in Microsoft Word, specifically the inclusion of chemical structures.
You can read more about all this on the Microsoft External Research Team Blog and on the project page here.
by Claudio Caldato on February 02, 2011 06:05am
Google recently announced that its Chrome web browser will stop supporting the H.264 video format. At Microsoft we respect that Windows customers want the best experience of the web including the ability to enjoy the widest range of content available on the Internet in H.264 format.
Today, as part of the interoperability bridges work we do on this team, we are making available the Windows Media Player HTML5 Extension for Chrome, which is an extension for Google Chrome to enable Windows 7 customers who use Chrome to continue to play H.264 video.
We believe that Windows customers should be able to play mainstream HTML5 video and, as we've described in previous posts, Internet Explorer 9 will support playback of H.264 video as well as VP8 video when the user has installed a VP8 codec.
We are committed to ensuring that Windows customers have the best Web experience, and we have been offering for several years now the extremely popular Windows Media Player plug-in for Firefox, which is downloaded by millions of people a month who want to watch Windows Media content.
We also recently provided an add-on for Windows 7 customers who choose Firefox to play H.264 video so as to enable interoperability across IE, Firefox and Chrome using HTML5 video on Windows.
For many reasons - which you can read about on other blog posts here, here and here - H.264 is an excellent and widely-used video format that serves the web very well today. As such, we will continue to ensure that developers and customers continue to have an optimal Web experience.
Principal Program Manager, Interoperability Strategy Team