Microsoft's Interoperability Strategy Team released on August 21 an open-source tookit for PHP developers who want to use Microsoft's ADO.Net Data Services (codename "Astoria").
ADO.Net Data Services exposes data, represented as Entity Data Model (EDM) objects, via web services accessed over HTTP. The data can be addressed using a REST-like URI.
The toolkit, which is available for download from Microsoft's CodePlex repository site, was funded by Microsoft and developed by Persistent Systems. The goal of the toolkit is to allow developers to connect to and take advantage of services built using ADO .NET Data Services, which are part of the larger .Net Framework. It is available under a BSD license.
Microsoft already suppots ADO.Net Data Services in Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 and will be supporting it next year with Visual Studio 2010, as well.
The new PHP toolkit is one of 25 or so projects being developed and/or funded by Microsoft's Interoperability Strategy team. The team, which consists of between 100 and 130 developers, is charged with supplementing Microsoft product teams with technologies that will make Microsoft products more interoperable with those from other vendors, said Vijay Rajagopalan, Principal Architect for Interoperability Strategy.
"We are like a SWAT team," Rajagopalan said. "We can quickly develop technology bridges. We've set up a heat map, based on feedback from our Customer Interoperability Council." Once priorities are set, Microsoft often provides seed money and program managers to help build missing interoperability pieces.
Earlier this year, the team made available a PHP development kit for Windows Azure, Microsoft's cloud-based operating system.