Microsoft's recently formed Open Technologies group has open sourced the code for its Entity Framework (EF) database mapping tool. The source code will be released under an Apache 2.0 license and hosted on CodePlex with the aim of further increasing what Microsoft calls "development transparency" on the project.
NOTE: CodePlex is Microsoft's free open source project hosting site. Developers can create projects to share, collaborate with others on their projects, and download open source software.
In real terms, development transparency will mean that any and every software programmer (at whatever level of expertise and proficiency) will be able to provide feedback on code check-ins, bug fixes, new feature development, and build and test the product on a daily basis using the most up-to-date version of the source code and tests.
According to the MSDN developer blog, "One of the things we've done throughout the EF4 and EF5 development cycles has been to involve the community early as we make design decisions and solicit as much feedback as possible. Going forward with EF6 we are looking to take this to the next level by moving to an open development model."
Since launching as a subsidiary in April of 2012 under the stewardship of the firm's "father of XML" Jean Paoli, Microsoft's Open Technologies group has sprung into almost immediate action with tangible development releases of this kind. Now with Entity for .NET application development, programmers will be able to use this framework for object-relational mapping to crunch into relational data as it exists as domain-specific objects.
"Very importantly, Microsoft will continue to ship official builds of Entity Framework as a fully supported Microsoft product both standalone as well as part of Visual Studio (the same as today). It will continue to be staffed by the same Microsoft developers that build it today, and will be supported through the same Microsoft support mechanisms. Our goal with today's announcement is to increase the development feedback loop even more, allowing us to deliver an even better product," said Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president in the Microsoft server and tools business, in a blog post.