October, 2013

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Katana 2 is Available!


    Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. is pleased to share the news of a new version of KatanaKatana 2.0.0!

    Recent Updates

    We’ve mentioned a few developments over the last couple of months leading up to this release – specifically, as part of updates to the MS Open Tech Hub projects, the new MVC 5 security feature based on OWIN authentication middleware was provided by the Katana team. Also, the new server implementation for IETF HTTP/2.0 Draft announced earlier this month made several new end points available using Katana server components.

    There has also been news coverage of OWIN and Katana on ASP.NET and Michael Desmond at MSDN Magazine provides a good overview as well. You can also see a great video overview of Katana via Web Camps TV on Channel 9.

    Introduction to Katana

    Katana creates a server implementation of the work done in the independent open source project called the Open Web Inter­face for .NET (OWIN). OWIN defines interactions between Web servers and application components. The vision for Katana is a broad and vibrant ecosystem of Microsoft .NET Framework-based Web servers and application components. Katana adds some of these OWIN-based capabilities with built-in bindings to frameworks such as SignalR and the ASP.NET Web API.

    Developers are able to pick and choose features that they want to use in their applications by selecting middleware components and installing them into their project via NuGet. Katana middleware are then added to an application pipeline where they can handle incoming requests. Steps for adding packages and configuring the pipeline are documents are here.

    This model reduces interactions between Web servers and local applications to a very simple, portable interface. A great overview of the features and syntax are in this ASP.NET article - Getting Started with the Katana Project and more details for developers are in this White Paper.

    Features of Katana 2.0

    Katana 2.0.0 has a number of features of note for IT pros and Developers. A fill list is here in the project Roadmap, but here are some of the highlights:

    Build your own OWIN Server: Microsoft.Owin.Hosting provides default services and helper types for building your own OWIN-compatible host and Microsoft.Owin provides a framework-agnostic set of types for working with HTTP and Web socket requests and responses. Also Microsoft.Owin.Host.HttpListener provides a non-IIS HTTP server to OWIN applications, which can be hosted on a Katana or a custom host application (such as a console application or Windows service).

    Basic Diagnostics for OWIN: Microsoft.Owin.Diagnostics - Middleware components that provide some rudimentary tracing and diagnostics capabilities, as well as a default startup page.

    Authentication: Options for Authenticating Cookie-based forms authentication, OAuth2, Facebook, Google, Twitter and Microsoft Live accounts.

    Running and Debugging in Visual Studio: The OwinHost NuGet package gives developers the ability to have a complete F5 experience in Visual Studio 2013 using its new custom server capability.

    Get Involved

    Our community is small, but dedicated and growing! Add your name to our CodePlex project, join in on our discussions, and contribute via our new Contributor GitHub. See you there!

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    From HTML5DevConf: Pointer Events interoperability public demo of Firefox build integrating MS Open Tech’s contribution


    Today, at the HTML5 Developers Conference, Microsoft demonstrated a build of Mozilla Firefox supporting Pointer Events. This Nightly build integrates Microsoft Open Technologies’ contribution to the Mozilla open source project to add support for Pointer Events, the new W3C specification to handle multiple input types in Web apps and sites. In his talk, Jacob Rossi, Program Manager in the Internet Explorer team, presented the steady progress toward interoperable support for Pointer Events through standardization at W3C, and highlighted MS Open Tech’s contributions to open source projects WebKit, Blink and Gecko.

    To learn more, read our full blog post here.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Updated Windows Azure Plugin for Eclipse with Java – New JDK and App Server Options, Simplified Publishing


    Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc., has released the October preview of the Windows Azure Plugin for Eclipse with Java. This release includes multiple updates since our September release, including support for version 2.2 of the Windows Azure SDK, and some changes to eclipse version support and how JDKs and App Servers are deployed. For full details, have a look at the documentation update.

    Today’s release includes an update for the new OpenJDK build for Windows Azure from Azul, new Application Server version (Jetty 9), and a few improvements to increase the speed and convenience of configuring and deploying your Java code to Windows Azure.

    Support for the Azul Zulu OpenJDK package

    In July we announced a partnership with Azul Systems, and in September Azul Systems released Zulu, an OpenJDK Build for Windows Azure leveraging the latest advancements from the open source community. At that time, Zulu became an option under the 3rd party JDK Deployment Project options, so you would not have to find and upload it to make it part of your deployment package. Now, Zulu (OpenJDK v7 based offering) update 40 is the latest available option there.

    Here’s an example of the new JDK selection, showing a deployment being configured with the latest version of Zulu selected to be part of the deployment package:


    Support for the Jetty Application Server

    In addition to multiple versions of Tomcat, GlassFish, JBoss and Jetty, the latest version of the plugin also knows how to include the Jetty Application Server version 9 as part of your deployment package. As before, you can not only deploy these App Servers to Windows Azure, but also test your deployments locally in Eclipse before you deploy with full emulation. Here’s the full list of Application Servers supported in this release:


    One-click to your Cloud Service from Eclipse

    In previous versions of the plugin, you would publish, wait for the activity status to change to “Running,” then switch to your browser and navigate to your deployment’s main page in the Windows Azure Portal, and click on a link to view your deployed code in action.

    Although that was not terribly complicated, we’ve made it even simpler – now you can click on the link in the activity log when the green status bar changes to “Published,” and the deployment location will open in a new browser windows automatically. This saves time for those of you looking for quick code iterations!


    New Features when Publishing: Select a Target OS and Overwrite Deployment

    In past plugin versions, you would set a target OS in the project properties before publishing, which was easy to overlook and challenging to find. Now the Target OS can be specified each time you publish to Windows Azure as part of the publishing process. Also, in the past, if you did not unpublish your deployment from the target site before trying to publish again, Windows Azure would return a “409 conflict” error. The new Overwrite previous deployment check box permits publishing to the same target without first manually stopping and unpublishing the previous deployment.

    Here’s the new Publish to Windows Azure dialog with both new features highlighted:



    Add a role from the Eclipse Project Context menu

    In previous releases, adding and configuring Windows Azure Roles was a multi-step process, starting with going to the deployment project’s properties. Now, new Roles can be added more directly via the “Add Role…” command on the Project context menu:


    Latest Windows Azure Libraries for Java (v0.4.6) included

    The Plugin includes the latest distribution of the Windows Azure Libraries for Java (v0.4.6), in its usual location in the Eclipse library list (as “Package for Windows Azure Libraries for Java (by MS Open Tech”).

    Getting the Plugin

    Here are the complete instructions to download and install the Windows Azure Plugin for Eclipse with Java, as well as updated documentation.

    Ongoing Feedback

    Several of these features are a direct result of feedback we’ve received form the community, and we’re listening and taking action. We value your feedback on how we can make it make it easier to test and deploy your Java applications on Windows Azure. As always, let us know how the latest release works for you and how you like the new features!  To send feedback or questions, just use MSDN Forums or Stack Overflow.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    After Pointer Events, here comes Interoperable Panning Experiences through CSS Scrolling Snap Points


    Today, Microsoft submitted a new proposal to the W3C – “CSS Scrolling Snap Points”, designed to enable well-polished panning experiences for touch and other input devices, based on APIs introduced in IE10 and improved in IE11. This submission comes on the heels of Pointer Events, as one of the ways Microsoft is advancing the Web by providing rich immersive experiences across browsers on different platforms.

    Jacob Rossi and Matt Rakow, Program Managers at Microsoft, describe in their blog post how only 2 lines of CSS enable Snap Points in the Internet Explorer to deliver experiences like swiping through a list of photos or pages of an article.

    “CSS Scrolling Snap Points” submission demonstrates Microsoft’s commitment to advance touch on the Web by contributing this innovation. You can follow and contribute to the conversation on the W3C mailing list.

    Asir Vedamuthu Selvasingh, Principal Program Manager - Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.
    Adalberto Foresti, Principal Program Manager - Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Free Webinar on October 16 - MongoDB, Jaspersoft and Windows Azure: Building Open Source Reporting and Analytics in the Cloud



    Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc., Jaspersoft and MongoDB have teamed up to deliver a webinar on building open source reporting and analytics for your NoSQL solutions in the Cloud. Join our free webinar on October 16 to see how to deliver interactive reporting, analytics, and dashboards for MongoDB on Windows Azure, enabling rapid, meaningful, actionable insights for NoSQL data stores.

    In this webinar we will cover:

    • An overview of Windows Azure
    • An overview of MongoDB
    • The Jaspersoft BI Suite
    • Key considerations in selecting cloud vs. on-premises data systems

    The webinar is 1pm EST, this Wednesday, October 16th, so Sign-up now!

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    MS Open Tech releases Kinect Common Bridge, a simple open source way for infusing the magic of Kinect in creative development



    Want to control your 3D model animation with your body, Minority Report style? We’ve got you covered. Today, Microsoft Open Technologies released the open source project Kinect Common Bridge for Kinect for Windows.

    To learn more about this release and access the project on GitHub, visit out post on our new blog: http://aka.ms/kinectcommonbridgeblog

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