At one time, the words “Microsoft” and “open-source” did not go hand in hand. With a few exceptions, the company has been historically closed to the idea. That’s taken a U-turn under new CEO Satya Nadella, and today’s release only cements that.
Today marks the release of some of the Azure Service Fabric SDK under an MIT license. For those unfamiliar, Microsoft announced Service Fabric in 2015, coming out of its efforts in Skype for Business, Cortana, and other cloud services.
Essentially, it helps developers build distributed applications that are highly reliable and scalable. It does so by running in clusters of containers across several virtual machine, all running in Azure.
The Open-Source Decision
Though Microsoft has been using GitHub to track issues and form discussions, the code itself was off limits. However, it appears the decision to open-source has been there for some time. The Service Fabric team explains:
“Keeping up with the momentum, we made the decision to open source the SDK, but because of the way Service Fabric evolved it is deeply rooted in internal Microsoft tools and processes. We’ve spent a good chunk of time removing those internal dependencies from the .NET SDK to bring you open source projects that you can build using nothing but the most basic, freely available tools.”
For now, that only applies to a small amount of the overall service. The team plans to grow the amount available gradually as they learn. Despite this, Microsoft will maintain a private repo for development, pushing the latest changes out to the open source once complete.
Still, the Redmond giant is accepting code contributions on a limited basis, and wants to “[Work] closer with the community to make Service Fabric better for everyone.”
You can view the code and documentation today on GitHub.