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Here is great news for open source developers: Brian Harry announced today at the Microsoft’s ALM Summit that Git is now fully integrated into Visual Studio as well as the Team Foundation Service, Microsoft’s cloud-powered Application Lifecycle Management tool.
Here at Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc., we are excited to hear such news as this offers more choice and flexibility to development teams. We happen to work on a daily basis with developers on Git in the context of projects such as Node, Dash, Redis or Solr so we totally get the goodness of this news.
The Visual Studio Tools for Git work great against Git repositories locally, in Team Foundation Service, on GitHub, CodePlex, BitBucket etc. That’s all because they are using Git as the distributed source control solution and they talk to Git repositories via the open source library LibGit2. LibGit2 is a portable C library that runs on many different platforms including Linux and Mac.
Microsoft engineers in Brian’s team have been contributing to LibGit2 for a number of months now as they worked with the community to add Git support in Visual Studio – some of them earning committer rights on this popular and very active open source project. Even better as the team started testing the integration, all the bug fixes and security fixes that they found also have been contributed back to the project.
Therefore not only is Brian’s announcement good news for developers in Visual Studio wanting to use Git to contribute to open source projects, it’s also great news for others building on top of the LibGit2 library on any platform.
The Visual Studio Tools for Git are provided as an extension for Visual Studio 2012 but Brian also says that they should be included in the box with all editions of Visual Studio in a future release – including the Express editions.
I can tell you MS Open Tech engineers can’t wait to take full advantage of the Visual Studio Tools for Git in their daily interaction and collaboration with the open source developers’ community.
I've been involved with open source software for just shy of 15 years now. During that time I've seen open source software become a fundamental part of technology innovation. It is that technology innovation that has fed me and my family for many years. I like to think I've given back and played a small part in the growth of open source software through my code contributions and my open source strategic consultancy services. But, today I am presented with an opportunity to give back even more. From today onwards I will be joining Microsoft UK, where I’ll be serving a global role supporting the amazing team at Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.
MS Open Tech, a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft, was set up to advance Microsoft's investment in openness - including interoperability, open standards and open source. Those of you who know me through my open source work will know just what this means, but for those who don't know me I guess a mini-bio might be in order.
I've held a variety of roles including software development, academic research, university lecturing and strategic consulting to both academic research community (via the OSS Watch service at the University of Oxford) and to the private sector (via OpenDirective, a small consultancy company). In all these roles open source software has been a fundamental part of my work. Through this work I've been able to contribute back to many projects, particularly within the Apache Software Foundation where I currently have the honour of standing on the Board of Directors.
More important than my history and my contributions, however, is what the open source experience has taught me. I can honestly say that I have learned far more from my open source engagements than I have in any other of my activities (including amazing experience such as being vice-captain of a national schoolboy sports team and not unsuccessful band manager). This new role is an opportunity to work in this new mixed IT world of devices and services; and play my part in maximizing Microsoft's investments in openness.
This is the first of many exciting days, I am sure. I look forward to telling you about others in the near future.
Microsoft UK (Supporting Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.)
By Gianugo RabellinoSenior Director Open Source CommunitiesMicrosoft Open Technologies, Inc.
As I write this, I’m exploring the public preview of VM Depot, a new service from Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. VM Depot is a community-driven catalog of open source virtual machine images for Windows Azure. On VM Depot the community can build, deploy and share their favorite Linux configuration, create custom open source stacks, work with others and build new architectures for the cloud that leverage the openness and flexibility of the Windows Azure platform.
The preview launch of VM Depot today is an introduction of things to come: you can already easily deploy different Linux-based virtual machines that include custom and curated installations and configurations. (We have the latest, full-fledged distributions of Debian, Alt Linux and Mageia for your hacking pleasure.) You can comment on them. You can rate them. And, what’s more, you can remix them to your liking and possibly share the results with other members of the community. Or why don’t you go ahead and just create a new one from scratch with your favorite software? For ultimate speed, you can quickly deploy images already customized for specific business scenarios. All this is just a few clicks away, completely free of charge and just waiting for your input to make it better. To learn more, see Getting Started with VM Depot.
VM Depot is another illustration of how the Azure platform is effectively open. As complex as it may seem, VM Depot was relatively easy to build as it relies exclusively on published Azure APIs. As we explore the meaning of openness and interoperability of cloud platforms, I can now say that Windows Azure is at the forefront of the debate and provides compelling proof that documented APIs can do wonders to enable building amazing new applications that leverage the cloud.
Some days you can’t help smiling. I had a big smile on my face back in June when Microsoft announced it was making preconfigured Linux images available in Windows Azure gallery and today I have another reason to be happy as I see how Microsoft Open Technologies is helping open source communities work even more collaboratively with the Windows Azure platform.
VM Depot wouldn’t have been possible without the support of a number of partners who have contributed images and packages for this preview launch, including Alt Linux, Basho, Bitnami and Hupstream. Here what they have to say about VM Depot:
"Ease of deployment is one of the key discussions we have with all of the companies leveraging Riak for their highly-available, scalable data storage needs. The VM Depot indicates that Microsoft Open Technologies is dedicated to supporting the needs of today's enterprise with the Windows Azure Platform" - Tyler Hannan, Director of Technical Marketing, Basho Technologies, Inc.
“The launch of Azure Virtual Images and now the VM Depot demonstrate that Microsoft is serious about building out its cloud computing platform. We are thrilled to be a part of this new marketplace, which simplifies deployment of the top open source applications to the enterprise-ready Azure platform, taking Windows Azure to a whole new level.” – Erica Brescia, CEO of BitRock, developers of Bitnami
“The demand for cloud computing is there, and Hupstream had the skills to adapt a distribution to the specifics of cloud computing, and provide support as needed. We also wanted to make Debian and Mageia more accessible, and cloud platforms are the simplest way to get started. This was also an opportunity to establish a conversation between actors that traditionally shun each other. Notably, we had excellent collaboration with Microsoft engineers and other community members, while working on a common goal: expanding the reach of developers with Linux.” – Romain d'Alverny, Managing Partner & Engineer at hupstream
I have been doing a fair amount of traveling for MS Open Tech lately where I’ve met a number of great people from the open source community. After a wonderful holiday break, we’re off to an exciting and busy New Year. I know I will use every free moment this month to peek at the VM Depot dashboard and see our latest creation take its first baby steps. Expect more in the upcoming weeks and please help us make VM Depot the best place for open source communities to work together and build shared images for the cloud. See you there.