Microsoft open sources more of its ASP.NET technologies

Microsoft open sources more of its ASP.NET technologies

Summary: Microsoft is allowing outside contributors to patch and submit potential features for ASP.NET Web API and Web Pages as part of its latest open-sourcing move.


Microsoft has announced it is open sourcing more of its ASP.NET programming-framework technologies -- and that it will allow developers outside of Microsoft to submit patches and code contributions for potential inclusion in these products.

Microsoft Corporate Vice President Scott Guthrie blogged about Microsoft's latest ASP.NET moves on March 27, noting that Microsoft already had made the source code of ASP.NET MVC available since it released version 1 (in 2009 under the MS-PL open source license). Microsoft is making the two new pieces -- ASP.NET Web API and ASP.NET Web Pages (originally codenamed "Razor") available under the Apache 2.0 license.

All three ASP.NET projects will be hosted on Microsoft's CodePlex site with newly-annouinced Git support, Guthrie said. He added:

"We will also for the first time allow developers outside of Microsoft to submit patches and code contributions that the Microsoft development team will review for potential inclusion in the products. We announced a similar open development approach with the Windows Azure SDK last December, and have found it to be a great way to build an even tighter feedback loop with developers – and ultimately deliver even better products as a result."

Guthrie emphasized all three of these ASP.NET technologies will remain fully supported Microsoft products that ship both standalone as well as part of Visual Studio. They all will "continue to be staffed by the same Microsoft developers that build them today," he added. The goal of open-sourcing these technologies, Guthrie said, "is to increase the feedback loop on the products even more and (to) allow us to deliver even better products."

Update: The folks at Xamarin are saying they plan to incorporate the newly-open-sourced ASP.NET code into Xamarin's products and the open source Mono runtime. Xamarin also plans to integrate the Razor Engine and Entity Frameworks into its mobile products.

Topics: Microsoft, Browser, Enterprise Software, Software, Software Development


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • without GPL

    the 'open source' is meaningless.
    The Linux Geek
    • RE: without GPL

      Android, minus the Linux kernel, is licensed under the Apache v2 license. The Apache Http server, Tomcat server and Hadoop are licensed under the Apache v2 license. The various BSDs are licensed under the BSD license. And PostgreSQL is licensed under the PostgreSQL license. Just to name a few.

      Your post is both incorrect and inflammatory.
      Rabid Howler Monkey
  • ASP is Windows-bound. Agnostics won't use it. Linux Geek's Point Noted.

    Dietrich T. Schmitz *Your
    • RE: ASP is Windows-bound. Agnostics won't use it. Linux Geek's Point Noted.

      SumatraPDF and VirtuaWin, in addition to being nice open-source software (GPL'd, no less) to use, are also "Windows-bound". So what?
      Rabid Howler Monkey
      • Let me guess, you are not an os agnostic.

        Dietrich T. Schmitz *Your
    • Then fork it...

      Agnostics? What a turd blossom. Since now that it is completely open source why don't you go fork it and create a linux version?

      Better yet, if you are too lazy or too busy hanging out on ZDNET forums to do it yourself why don't you go download Mono and use that? ASP.NET MVC works great on Linux running in Mono.
    • What about Mono?

      You should have known better do you?
  • This is a HUGE step forward

    We're in the middle of building a startup for which we've selected to go the open-source path.

    Had ASP.NET, MVC & Razor been open-sourced earlier, we might well have chosen to go this path rather than the hodge-podge of technologies we're currently building upon.

    Once Xamarin & the open-source dev community complete the testing & integration of these newly opened projects, startups like ours, as well as many other companies, will be able to choose to build sophisticated websites using a fraction of the effort and labor required to build the equivalent using node, javascript & coffeescript, etc.

    For all the naysayers out there, try debugging a complex issue in the latter technologies vs. doing so in VS / Mono.
    • You would use Mono for production??

      I've had nothing but issues with it for any serious work. Try using any significant MS APIs with it, and kablooey.

      And that's completely leaving aside the risk that MS will shut Mono down if it becomes a serious competitor.

      Until .Net is open sourced in a more meaningful way, moving MVC and Razor to ASL is nothing more than a gateway drug move, imho.
      • Doesn't sound like you have ever trying .Net

        I have production sites that run most if not all of ASP.Net products (MVC included). No problems what so ever. Easier to deploy. Easier to maintain. These products are meant to build production ready software without all the issues involved with deploying (aka. configuring) frameworks like Django, Rails or CodeIgniter on different distros of linux.
      • You are a troll

        I work for an investment bank and most of our trading/asset mgmt front end apps are written in Of course, we don't use webforms. We only use Jquery ajaxcall backs and partial page rendering techniques. on windows server 2008 R2 is a solid platform with easy maintainbility and extensibility.
  • Microsoft isn't the evil incarnate it once was

    That title now probably belongs to Apple.
    • Evil can have MANY incarnations

      • So, Apple and Google, then?

        And I'll throw on Facebook, for good measure.
        x I'm tc
      • Evil? Like Google

        Has become more 'open source' than Android? I think so.
    • And Google too

      The development of ASP.Net and its ancillary frameworks have come a long way. Open frameworks means happy software developers. Apple, you have to pay $99 per year + 30% of your 99 cent app (the 99 99 plan).
      • To be fair...

        That's the exact same cost of entry for Microsoft phones as well.
  • Curious

    I'm curious about MS making parts of ASP .NET open source to get feedback on vulnerabilities and issues but, does that matter when the Windows Server will forever be closed source with those tons of vulnerabilities found each day.

    Anyway, I'm currently working on an business system using ASP .NET but like 'teeboy75' I didn't wanted to use Web Forms (Microsoft Toys) and made it using HTML + CSS + Jquery with it's ajax callbacks. So far my current build can be viewed with no trouble in all major browsers including IE8.
  • More of metro

    Are they easing out .net for metro?
  • awesome

    This is great news! will definitely be my next language.