• Interoperability @ Microsoft

    VM Depot Crosses Another Milestone


    In January of last year, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. (MS Open Tech) launched VM Depot- a community-managed repository of open source virtual machine images for deployment on Microsoft Azure. The vision we articulated for this repository is that it be a place where "the community can build, deploy and share their favorite Linux configuration, create custom open source stacks, work with others and build new architectures for the cloud that leverage the openness and flexibility of the Windows Azure platform."

    Today, I am happy to report that VM Depot crossed the threshold of 1,000 images!

    MS Open Tech's success in attracting image publishers to VM Depot has encouraged us to turn our attention to making the site and its images even easier to use. Whatever it is you are looking for, there is a good change that you will find it on VM Depot and thus can deploy it to Azure. Earlier this week, we announced a new search feature to help you more quickly hone in on the right image for your needs. We will continue to work on improving integration with the Azure Management Portal to make it easier to deploy VM Depot images using a web browser.

    For those who prefer to use the command line for deployment and management, we support that, too. We continue to make improvements to the Microsoft Azure Node.js SDK, as we wish to ensure that developers will continue to have full access to VM Depot and Azure regardless of which operating system they are working on.

    For those just getting started with VM Depot, we have created a Site Walkthrough. Keep an eye out for a set of materials and documentation in the coming weeks which will help you make the most of this repository as it continues to expand.

    And let us know if there are specific areas that need more attention or support.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    MS Open Tech Releases Open Source Patch for OpenSSL to Enable HTTP/2.0 Secure Negotiation


    As part of our commitment to the progress of HTTP/2.0 in an open and interoperable fashion, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc., has yesterday reached out to the OpenSSL community with a proposed contribution supporting Application Layer Protocol Negotiation (ALPN) in the OpenSSL encryption libraries. We submitted a patch request to http://www.openssl.org/ that implements the relevant part of the HTTP/2.0 specification available at http://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-ietf-httpbis-http2-03#section-2.3.

    Security and encryption are critical components of the next version of the HTTP protocol. If you have been following the HTTP/2.0 effort, the industry is collaborating in the IETF Transport Layer Security Working Group (TLS WG) and ALPN has been adopted as a WG draft with a broad set of contributors including Microsoft, Cisco, Google, and Orange. The latest working draft at IETF requires the use of ALPN as the mechanism for secure negotiation which means ALPN will now be a key part of HTTP/2.0.

    The availability of an open source implementation of ALPN in the most popular open source encryption library allows interested developers to verify the benefits of ALPN and its compliance with established TLS design principles. This was called out in our earlier prototype that introduced support in the OpenSSL library for ALPN.

    We will continue the technical conversation about this proposed contribution on the OpenSSL mailing lists as well as working closely with the IETF WG to collaborate in designing the next major version of the HTTP protocol. We encourage you to join in the discussion and participate in the HTTP/2.0 standardization effort.

    Adalberto Foresti
    Principal Program Manager
    Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Document Interoperability Initiative (DII) workshop, Brussels


    DII BrusselsLast week we participated in the DII workshop that took place in Brussels. 

    Attendees included a variety of document-format experts from the ODF and Open XML worlds, including members of SC34 working groups, the OASIS ODF and OIC TCs, ODF and Open XML implementers, public-sector experts in interoperability and archiving, and others.


    Dough Mahugh has the summary and nice photos.


  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Live from //build/: Windows Azure Mobile Services and Web Sites GA, Autoscale Preview and new Virtual Machines Images


    Windows Azure Mobile Services and Windows Azure Web Sites are now generally available, offering a rich set of services for building what we call “Modern Applications.” Modern applications are invariably web based and accessible by a broad spectrum of mobile devices. Microsoft Open Technologies has taken an active part in these releases, contributing its expertise in bridging Microsoft and non-Microsoft technologies and building the Android SDK for Windows Azure Mobile Services and the Android Notification Hubs SDK.

    Windows Azure Mobile Services

    Windows Azure Mobile Services makes it fast and easy to build connected applications that scale and reach every user on every device. The Windows Azure team not only provides SDKs for building native Windows Store, Windows Phone, Android, iOS and HTML5 apps, but also open sources the Windows Azure Mobile Services SDKs on GitHub and offers a REST API developers can use to reach additional client platforms. Server-side extensibility allows apps to consume other Windows Azure services like blob and table storage and third party services like SendGrid and Pusher, as well as connect to on-premises systems.

    Windows Azure Web Sites

    Windows Azure Web Sites is the fastest way to build, scale and manage business- and enterprise-grade Web applications. It is flexible and provides support for multiple languages, frameworks and databases. It has the features needed for business-class web presence like SSL and authentication via Windows Azure Active Directory. Web agencies can create socially connected applications and automatically scale them as their campaigns grow. Visual Studio users will find that Windows Azure Web Sites provides the best-in-class experience for cloud development and deployment.

    Additional Service Updates

    Additional services are also coming to Windows Azure in preview, along with new Windows Azure Virtual Machines images (SQL Server 2014 and Windows Server 2012 R2) and enhancements to Windows Azure Active Directory.

    Auto scale, alerts and monitoring are now available in preview. These services allow you to monitor the health and availability of your applications, receive notifications when your service availability changes, perform action-based events, and automatically scale to match current demands.

    Last but not least, in today’s keynote, Satya Nadella gave a sneak peek into future enhancements to Windows Azure Active Directory. Windows Azure is working with third parties like Box and others so they can take advantage of Windows Azure Active Directory to enable a single sign-on (SSO) experience for their users. If a higher level of security is needed, you can leverage Active Authentication to give you multifactor authentication.

    Learn more

    To learn more on these announcement, visit the Windows Azure blog. You can also stream today’s //build/ keynote on channel 9.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Add a pinch of Pointer Events to your Apache Cordova or PhoneGap app thanks to MS Open Tech


    clip_image0023_thumb1Here is a new open source plugin for Apache Cordova by Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. The plugin makes it easy to use the Pointer Events model in your Cordova or PhoneGap projects.

    To learn more about Pointer Events and see a cool demo of this plugin in action, check out the full post on our new blog: http://aka.ms/pointereventscordova

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    February Updates to the Windows Azure Toolkit for Eclipse – SSL Support, plus new JDKs, Windows Azure configurations and more


    Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc., has released the February preview of the Windows Azure Toolkit for Eclipse. This release includes multiple updates since our October 2013 release, including SSL support, additional support for the latest versions of GlassFish and the Azul Zulu OpenJDK package, a new option to choose the A5 instance on Windows Azure, Windows Server 2012 R2, some tweaks to the menu, and a new “Auto” option for private endpoints. Have a look at the documentation update for full details.

    Support for SSL

    Instead of having the user manually configure every Java-based Web Application Server running on Windows Azure to accept SSL certificates and authentication, which varies from server to server, our Engineering team has developed what we call SSL Offloading. Offloading allows you to easily enable HTTPS support (one of our most requested features) without requiring configuration of SSL on your Java application server. Instead, SSL authentication is handled set up by the Toolkit automatically, using IIS + and Application Request Routing (ARR) under the hood in your VM. So after the decryption, your Java Web application Server receives (and responds with) just standard HTTP. This also works in conjunction with sticky sessions for session persistence and the ACS filter for user authentication.

    To enable SSL offloading, select the Worker Role you want to work with in Role Properties, then click on Enable SSL Offloading (HTTPS), as shown below. You will be asked to confirm an endpoint change to 443 (HTTPS) and provide a certificate. Note that this change will only happen for this role. This allows you to have some roles without SSL, for example for a Website home page, but other roles with SSL enabled for access only by authenticated users or requiring more secure communication.


    Customizable certificate name (CN) in the self-signed certificate creation UI

    You may already be familiar with the Toolkit’s UI to easily generate self-signed certificates for testing purposes. (It’s recommended that you use a certificate verified by a recognized SSL certificate provider for staging and production to avoid users seeing browser warnings about untrusted connections and unsigned certificates).

    Previously, you could generate certificates with the same hard-coded Common Name (CN) for all new certificates. Specifying your own name helps track and manage multiple certificates in the Windows Azure portal used for different purposes (like SSL vs Remote Desktop). Here’s a sample of the enhanced UI in action:


    Support for GlassFish OSE 4

    Glassfish OSE 4 joins the multiple versions of Tomcat, Jetty, JBoss and Glassfish OSE 3 as the latest option to include as part of your deployment package. As before, you can test your deployments locally in Eclipse before you deploy with full emulation.

    Here’s the full list of Application Servers recognized by the Toolkit in this release:


    More Options for Azul’s Zulu Open JDK 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. Zulu has been an option under the 3rd party JDK Deployment Project options since September’s announcement, and since then Zulu v7 update 40 and now update 45 are available options that the Toolkit knows how to deploy automatically under the hood in Windows Azure, without you having to download them to your local computer first.

    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:


    In other OpenJDK news, Java developers working with the latest Azul Zulu OpenJDK v1.7 package on 64 bit Windows Server machines can now automate the process using the Microsoft Web Platform Installer (WebPI). Full details here.

    New Features when Publishing: Select a Target OS

    In the October release we moved the target OS from the project properties a more prominent place in the publishing process. In this release we’ve added Windows Server 2012 R2 support for the target OS:


    A5 VM support

    In this release we’ve also added support for the Windows Azure A5 instance configuration. The A5, A6, and A7 instances provide larger amounts of memory more suited for high-throughput applications. Detailed configurations of these instances are available here.


    A new Toolbar button look, and a new button for creating Self-Signed Certificates

    The engineering team engaged a designer to create new menu icons to match the standard eclipse “flat” look. They’re still all there in the same place, but they look a little different now. We’ve also added a button to the self-signed certificate creation wizard. The graphical face lift of the Toolkit is still a work in process with more coming later, primarily motivated by Windows Azure’s own latest graphical scheme updates.



    Set private endpoint ports to Auto

    Now you can set a private port to “auto” for input endpoints and internal endpoints, the equivalent of using “*” as the private port number in CSDEF. Previously, you could only assign a specific port number. The auto setting lets you rely on Windows Azure, when appropriate, to assign a free port number to that endpoint.


    Getting the Toolkit

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

    Ongoing Feedback

    We listen and respond to the community, you are our compass to know we’re going in the right direction! We value your feedback on how we can make it make it easier to test and deploy your Java applications on Windows Azure and we appreciate code contribution proposals. 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

    Start Prototyping With the First Implementable Draft of HTTP/2.0 from the IETF Standards Community


    I am excited to share that the long awaited first HTTP/2.0 implementable draft has been published by the IETF HTTP Working Group at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). This is the first in a series of experimental implementations of HTTP/2.0 that will enhance the performance of the web.

    This draft is a direct outcome from the First Interim Meeting in Tokyo in January - “The most important outcome of the interim meeting in Tokyo was the recommendation to create a HTTP/2.0 ’Implementation Draft Specification’ based on the set of features that have achieved rough consensus in the HTTPBIS working group at this time. The intent is to converge on the details using the IETF HTTPBIS mailing list and then implement and validate the subsequent implementation draft. And then repeat the process based on our experience and new understanding – as Mark Nottingham (IETF HTTPBIS chair) has clarified:

    “Note that we are NOT yet firmly choosing any particular path; rather, we're working on proposals in code as well as text, based upon discussion to date. As such, we're likely to have several such implementation drafts that progressively refine the approach we're taking. I.e., we don't have to agree that the above is what we want HTTP/2.0 to look like -- only that it's interesting to make these changes now, so that we can test them.”

    I am also pleased to announce that Microsoft has made its necessary patents that cover the current draft available under royalty-free terms.

    Participants in the HTTP working group have committed to a wide range of implementations. Microsoft Open Tech is actively engaged and prototyping a HTTP/2 server based on the Katana project. Early interoperability testing is planned for the third interim face-to-face meeting in August.

    I encourage the community to openly and actively review the implementable draft and start implementing today.

    HTTP/2 Second Interim Meeting

    To converge on the remaining issues blocking the first implementable HTTP/2.0 draft, the IETF HTTPBIS working group held its second interim face-to-face meeting on 6/13-6/14 at the Twitter offices in San Francisco. I attended with representatives from Microsoft, Gabriel Montenegro and Rob Trace.

    As captured in the minutes, there was an open and lively discussion of the issues and rough consensus to adopt an updated header compression proposal. Mark Nottingham, the HTTPBIS chair, summarized the meeting outcomes on the mailing list for wider review.

    To accelerate the development of HTTP/2.0 prototypes, I shared the news that Microsoft Open Technologies proposed to contribute our implementation of Application Layer Protocol Negotiation (ALPN) to the OpenSSL community. ALPN is required to support HTTP/2 secure negotiation. More details are available here.

    Looking Ahead for the HTTP/2.0 Standardization Work

    The working group is meeting on a frequent schedule to make progress on HTTP/2.0

    • IETF 87, July 28 – August 2 in Berlin, Germany
    • Third interim HTTP/2.0 meeting, August 5 – August 7 hosted by Adobe in Hamburg, Germany
    • Proposed Fourth interim HTTP/2.0 meeting, October 30 – November 1 hosted by Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. (with participation from Microsoft product groups) in Bellevue, WA
    • IETF 88, November 3 – November 8 in Vancouver, BC, Canada

    Representatives from Microsoft Corporation and Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. plan on participating in these meetings and encourage the community to also attend and become more involved in defining the next generation of HTTP at the IETF. And remember, you can start prototyping the first implementable draft of HTTP/2.0 from the IETF standards community today.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Windows Azure Mobile Service updates and added support for Android push notifications via Google Cloud Messaging


    Listening to the developers’ feedback, the Windows Azure Mobile Services team is releasing new features and updates to make Mobile Services a more robust and flexible backend for mobile apps that scale. Contributing its expertise in bridging Microsoft and non-Microsoft technologies, MS Open Tech built the new Android Notification Hubs SDK and updated the Android SDK for Windows Azure Mobile Services.

    Updates to Windows Azure Mobile Services

    Mobile Services makes it fast and easy to build dynamic and engaging mobile apps that scale. Windows Azure is expanding the Mobile Services capabilities:

    • Adding support for Custom API allowing developers to write server-side scripts that aren’t associated with a SQL database table and giving them additional control over the HTTP request and response so that they can receive types other than JSON and then detect and append their own HTTP headers.
    • Adding source control via git.

    You can find more details on these updates reading the Windows Azure and ScottGu’s blogs.

    MS Open Tech contributed the Android push notifications support in Notification Hubs

    Notification Hubs lets you broadcast push notifications to millions of devices across platforms from almost any backend hosted in Windows Azure. Notification Hubs are a great way to modernize existing apps hosted in Virtual Machines, Cloud Services or Web Sites by engaging users through push notifications; it’s also a great way to enrich the push notifications support available through Mobile Services by subscribing different subsets of users to different topics.

    Notification Hub enables broadcast push notifications scenario not only for consumer apps but also for enterprise apps that need to update thousands or millions of mobile users simultaneously.

    Building on our learning and experience in previous releases, MS Open Tech contributed the support for Android push notifications via Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) to the suite of supported platforms. With this release, developers can now broadcast push notifications to Windows Store, iOS and Android devices via WNS, APNS, and GCM, respectively.

    To get started broadcasting push notifications to Android devices, you’ll need the Service Bus .NET Preview SDK, the Android SDK, and the new Android Notification Hubs SDK. Learn more on the Windows Azure blog.


    As for previous releases, the Android Notification Hubs SDK is open sourced and you can find the code on GitHub.

    Free 20MB SQL Database

    Last but not least, and still responding to developers’ feedback, Windows Azure now offers a 20MB SQL Database to every Windows Azure subscription that can be used with Windows Azure Mobile Services or Web Sites. This will definitively help developers building mobile and web apps and need to store relational data in the cloud. And this will also be handy to have a free data option during development and test.

    Next steps

    You can start building Mobile Services powered that leverage Custom API and local git for source control today. You can also add Android broadcast push support to any app built on Windows Azure with Notification Hubs.

    Visit the Mobile Developer Center and MSDN for more information regarding Mobile Services and Notification Hubs, respectively. Visit Scott Guthrie’s blog post for additional information regarding this release.

    And as usual, feel free to let us know what you think about our work commenting on this post or sending us an email.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    New Hudson plugin using Windows Azure Storage as a repository



    Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. is pleased to share the news that we’re participating in the Hudson Contiguous Integration plugin ecosystem by releasing a Hudson plugin for using Windows Azure Storage service as a repository of build artifacts.   The plugin itself is open source, and available on GitHub.

    Modern software developers are building and delivering releases more frequently using new Continuous Integration (CI) CI tools to support their CI processes.   Managing today’s complex build, test and deployment processes is made easy and effective with CI automation tools, and Open Source solutions such as Jenkins and Hudson offer very affordable options for CI teams.

    Windows Azure Storage provides a safe, reliable and centralized storage and distribution location, with configurable security and authentication built-in.  You can publish a build to Windows Azure storage then have the build reliably distributed from that point instead of burdening on premise network bandwidth and storage. 

    Setting up a Hudson Continuous Integration Server on Windows Azure  

    The plugin works with any Hudson CI installation and any Windows Azure Subscrition.  Here’s a tutorial for getting started with the Plugin.  It’s also easy to set up a cloud-based Hudson CI solution on a Windows Azure Virtual Machine.  Here are some great resources to get started.  

    For source code versioning and repository management, you can add plugins for your favorite SCM software, on setup, or add plugins later.  Here’s what I’ve set up:




    Next, you will need to create a new or use an existing Windows Azure Storage Account.  This will be used as the destination for build artifacts.

    Once you’ve followed the steps in the tutorial to have an Azure Storage account designated as a code repository and configure Hudson, you’re ready to publish build artifacts to windows Azure Storage.  To enable this, just select the storage account from the drop-down in the Post-Build action of your jobs:




    Specify a container to use (it will be created if it doesn’t exist).  Remember to specify public if you want to publicly distribute the artifacts, or leave that option unchecked if you want to secure access to artifacts.  Refer to the tutorial for a full description of options.

    Next Steps

    We’re excited to be participating in the Hudson ecosystem, and to enable the option for build artifacts to be stored in Windows Azure storage.  As always, we’re looking for ways to make it easier for developers to interact with all Windows Azure services in any way we can, so if you have suggestion on what we can do to improve interoperability between Hudson and Windows Azure, let us know!

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    How to make your site faster: use web standards!


    Justin Garret from the IE team published a post on the Exploring IE blog late last week that explains how web standards not only help reduce the cost of development and the complexity of testing across browsers and devices, but also achieves noticeable performance benefits.

    Justin’s post describes results of performance tests run on sites before and after upgrading them to web standards, demonstrating an average of 30% better page load time in IE10. Developers can also read in Justin’s post recommendation on how to upgrade their sites.

    Microsoft’s commitment to web standards involves not just implementing all the stable specifications edited by W3C, but also in actively participating in the definition of these standards by co-chairing the W3C HTML Working Group, proposing specs, sharing early implementations of the spec proposals on HTML5 Labs, demonstrating early implementations in the upcoming products on IE test drive. These are then delivered in release products after getting feedback from developers and users from HTML5 Labs and IE Test drive.

    We at Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. actively participate in the open standards process, are deeply engaged with the industry in the W3C, are developing and publishing prototypes in collaboration with the IE team, and engage with the community to gather input and feedback.

    Check out Justin's post on the Exploring IE blog to learn more about how to make your site faster using web standards.


  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    More W3C Pointer Events Implementations with Dojo and IE11


    The W3C Pointer Events emerging standard continues to gain traction, advancing support for interoperable mouse, touch, and pen interactions across the web. Further to our previous Blog where we highlighted the work the Dojo team are doing with Pointer Events, we can now confirm an implementation of Pointer Events has now been added to the patch list for Dojo Toolkit 2.0.

    Pointer Events makes it easier to support a variety of browsers and devices by saving Web developers from writing unique code for each input type. The specification has earned positive feedback from the developer community -- many are already embracing it as a unified model for cross-browser multi-modal input.

    In our previous Blog on W3C Pointer Events, we highlighted feedback shared by members of the jQuery, Cordova, and Dojo communities. The team at Nokia are also excited about progress with the Pointer Events standardization work as Nokia's Art Barstow, Chair of the W3C's Pointer Events Working Group noted:

    Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, jQuery, Opera and Nokia are among the industry members working on the Pointer Events standard in the W3C's Pointer Events Working Group. Pointer Events is designed to handle hardware-agnostic multi user inputs input from devices like a mouse, pen, or touchscreen and we are pleased to see it achieve Candidate Recommendation status in W3C. Pointer Events is a great way for developers to enable better user interaction with the mobile Web and we are excited to see the various implementations around the Web that are already underway. Web developers can start coding with Pointer Events today and we look forward to further progress with the standard and adoption within the Web community.

    Pointer Events at //Build 2013

    During the recent //Build 2013 event, Jacob Rossi of the Internet Explorer (IE) team presented Lighting Your Site Up on Windows 8.1 which included guidance on how Web developers can use the capabilities of Pointer Events to make web sites ‘shine’ across many devices such as touch/mouse/pen, high resolution screens, and screen sizes from phones to desktops, taking advantage of sensors and other hardware innovations. The Internet Explorer 11 Preview implementation has been updated from Internet Explorer 10 to include the latest Candidate Recommendation specification for W3C Pointer Events - see Pointer Events updates in the IE11 Developer Guide for further details.

    As we continue to work with the vibrant Web community, we look forward to seeing even more Pointer Events support across a growing number of JavaScript libraries and frameworks – there’s more to come! To learn more about using and implementing Pointer Events, feel free to check out and contribute to the Pointer Events Wiki on Web Platform Docs which includes community generated polyfills, tests, demos, and tutorials, or join the discussion at #PointerEvents. Point. Click. Touch.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    April Updates to the Azure Toolkit for Eclipse– Azure SDK 2.3, Tomcat 8, New Zulu versions, and more!


    Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc., has now published the Azure Toolkit for Eclipse (by Microsoft Open Technologies) - April 2014 release. This update accompanies the release of Azure SDK 2.3, which is a pre-requisite. You will be offered the option to install it automatically when you create the first project after installing the toolkit.

    This release includes multiple enhancements since the February 2014 release, including support for new versions of application servers (Tomcat 8), JDKs (Azul Zulu v1.7 update 51 and v1.6 update 47), support for larger, bigger memory Azure instances (A8 and A9), improved handling of SSL and HTTPS, and in-place upgrading of deployed applications.

    Have a look at the msopentech.com Blog post for more details.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    .NET Rocks! Chats with Jean Paoli


    For those of you who love .Net and have an interest in Web standards and Interoperability at Microsoft, then listening to the interview with Jean Paoli, the General Manager of Interoperability Strategy at Microsoft, with .NET Rocks!,  is a must.

    .NET Rocks! is an internet audio talk show for those interested in developing on the .Net platform, and the interview with Paoli is part of a six-part series titled, "Ignite Your Coding: Web Development Series."

    In the interview, Paoli draws upon his experience as a co-creator of the XML 1.0 standard to discuss XML, web standards, and the role of interoperability within Microsoft.

    The interview, which can be found here, is hosted by Richard Campbell , Microsoft Regional Director and Carl Franklin, MSDN Regional Director for Connecticut.


  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Oracle Database, WebLogic Server and JDK are now Generally Available on Windows Azure


    Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc, is pleased to share the news that select Oracle Software is now Generally Available on Windows Azure and Windows Server Hyper-V.

    This means that Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. and Oracle now provide best in class, end to end support for customers running Oracle software on Windows Azure and Windows Server Hyper-V. You can now use one of Windows Azure’s license-included Oracle images for Windows with full support, and you can still use your existing licenses to run Oracle software on Windows Azure Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) in either Windows or Linux.

    Microsoft Windows Server has long been an important Oracle supported platform.  Last September at Oracle Open World, Oracle and Microsoft extended that support by providing certification and support for Oracle applications, middleware, Database, Java and Oracle Linux on Windows Server Hyper-V and Windows Azure.  

    For more information, please have a look at the following resources:

    Overview and Licensing Information at windowsazure.com

    Overview and Licensing Information at oracle.com

    A list of Oracle Virtual Machine Images for Windows

    Support Policy for Oracle Images Provided by Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

    Oracle Cloud Licensing Policy at oracle.com (PDF)

    Oracle Self Service Kit

    How to use Oracle images on Windows Azure

    Pricing Details

    We’re excited that we’re providing this important service with Oracle’s partnership. We’d like to hear what you have to say! Please share comments here.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    MS Open Tech is expanding into China!


    Today I’m happy to report that Microsoft Open Technologies is expanding its presence to China with a new subsidiary – Microsoft Open Technologies (Shanghai) Company Limited (MS Open Tech Shanghai), headquartered in the Minhang District of Shanghai. Below are the full details of the new subsidiary and office. We’re thrilled to kick off 2014 with this investment in China and look forward to investing in the local market, partnering with the open source communities, and through the development of programs and software, promoting a vibrant technology ecosystem.

    Check out the news on our new blog: http://aka.ms/openinchina

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    AMQP 1.0 is one step closer to being recognized as an ISO/IEC International Standard


    From Ram Jeyaraman, Senior Standards Professional, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. and co-Chair of the OASIS AMQP Technical Committee

    Microsoft Open Technologies is excited to share the news from OASIS that the formal approval process is now underway to transform the AMQP 1.0 OASIS Standard to an ISO/IEC International Standard.

    The Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP) specification enables interoperability between compliant clients and brokers. With AMQP, applications can achieve full-fidelity message exchange between components built using different languages and frameworks and running on different operating systems. As an inherently efficient application layer binary protocol, AMQP enables new possibilities in messaging that scale from the device to the cloud.

    Submission for approval as an ISO/IEC International Standard builds on AMQP’s successes over the last 12 months, including AMQP 1.0 approval as an OASIS Standard in October 2012 and the ongoing development of extensions that greatly enhance the AMQP ecosystem.

    The ISO/IEC JTC 1 international standardization process is iterative, and consensus-driven. Its goal is to deliver a technically complete standard that can be broadly adopted by nations around the world.

    Throughout the remainder of this process, which may take close to a year, the MS Open Tech standards team will continue to represent Microsoft and work with OASIS to advance the specification.

    You can learn more about AMQP and get an understanding of AMQP’s business value here. You can also find a list of related vendor-supported products, open source projects, and details regarding customer usage and success on the AMQP website: http://www.amqp.org/about/examples.

    If you’re a developer getting started with AMQP, we recommend that you read this overview. For even more detail and guidance here’s a Service Bus AMQP Developer's Guide, which will help you get started with AMQP for the Windows Azure Service Bus using .NET, Java, PHP, or Python. Also, have a look at this recent blog post from Scott Guthrie, called Walkthrough of How to Build a Pub/Sub Solution using AMQP.

    Whether you’re a novice user or an active contributor the community, we’d like to hear from you! Let us know how your experience with AMQP has been so far by leaving comments here. As well, we invite you to connect with the community and join the conversation on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Stack Overflow.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Continue Prototyping with the Second Implementable Draft of HTTP/2.0 from IETF Standards Community


    In my previous update, I announced the first HTTP/2.0 implementable draft from the HTTPbis Working Group at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

    Today, I’m pleased to share that the second HTTP/2.0 implementable draft is now available. This draft is next in a series of experimental implementations of HTTP/2.0 and the basis for a future round of interoperability testing at the fourth interim face-to-face meeting currently planned for October, hosted by Microsoft Open Technologies (MS Open Tech) in Bellevue. We are busy updating our Katana server prototype and HTTP/2.0 endpoints in preparation for this meeting.

    Such rapid progress is possible because the HTTPbis working group has continued to meet frequently to accelerate the development of HTTP/2.0. I recently attended HTTP/2.0 related meetings in Germany with representatives from Microsoft, Gabriel Montenegro and Rob Trace.

    HTTP/2.0 at IETF 87 in Berlin

    Gabriel Montenegro presented an updated proposal for Known Startup State for HTTPS TLS Negotiation intended to reduce the complexity of HTTP/2.0 implementations by ensuring that the protocol starts in a known state on both the client and server. Based on the active discussion, additional approaches are currently being explored.

    The related IETF 87 materials are available here - audio is available here in Part 1 and Part 2.

    Application Layer Protocol Negotiation (ALPN) at IETF 87

    The status of Application Layer Protocol Negotiation (ALPN) was reviewed at the Transport Layer Security (TLS) working group and subsequently entered the IETF Last-Call period. Microsoft is one of the co-authors of the draft which is required to support HTTP/2.0 secure negotiation.

    HTTP/2 Third Interim Meeting

    Following the IETF 87 meetings in Berlin, working group members took the train to Hamburg for our third interim face-to-face meeting from 8/1-8/3 at the Adobe offices. The primary focus was to share implementation experiences and perform interoperability testing for the first HTTP/2.0 implementable draft.

    Prior to the meetings, MS Open Tech published the first “complete” server prototype implementation as well as HTTP/2.0 endpoints as part of its contribution to the group effort. This contribution was well-received and MS Open Tech worked closely with client implementers to successfully demonstrate simple interoperability at the meeting.

    By offering the first HTTP/2.0 public endpoints with support for both Upgrade and ALPN negotiation, our intention was to simplify the development of client prototypes for the implementable draft. MS Open Tech is very appreciative of the feedback from members of the working group and will continue to improve our server prototype and support future implementable drafts.

    The complete set of known HTTP/2.0 implementations is tracked on the HTTP/2.0 wiki.

    The related meeting materials are available here:

    The Future

    The working group is meeting on a frequent basis to make progress on HTTP/2.0:

    • 4th interim HTTP/2.0 meeting, October 9 – October 11 hosted by Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. (with participation from Microsoft product groups) in Bellevue, WA
    • IETF 88, November 3 – November 8 in Vancouver, BC, Canada
    • Proposed 5th interim, January 2014 in Zurich, Switzerland
    • IETF 89, March 2 – March 7 2014 in London, England

    Representatives from Microsoft Corporation and Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. plan on participating in these meetings and encourage the community to also attend and become more involved in defining the next generation of HTTP at the IETF. And remember, you can either start or continue prototyping with the second implementable draft of HTTP/2.0 from the IETF standards community today. Bring your HTTP/2.0 prototype to Bellevue in October!

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Using Chef to Manage Windows Azure Resources


    Chef Logo

    Chef is an open source DevOps tool built to address hard IT infrastructure challenges. The team at Microsoft Open Technologies Inc. (MS Open Tech) has been hard at work collaborating with Chef the company to enhance Windows Azure resource management capabilities. The latest knife-azure release (v1.2.2) brings a number of bug fixes and some important new features to Chef that focus on provisioning and managing optimized clusters of virtual machines and other Windows Azure resources.

    Knife is a Chef command line tool that provides an interface between a local Chef repository (which holds various data objects that describe resources) and a Chef server (which acts as a hub for configuration management). With Knife, you can manage many aspects of your infrastructure. The latest 1.2.2 update of knife-azure adds support for Windows Azure virtual networks and affinity groups to Knife.

    Virtual networks make it possible to create logically isolated sections of Windows Azure which can then be securely connected to on premise clients and servers. A virtual network makes it easy for you to take advantage of Windows Azure’s scalable, on-demand infrastructure while providing connectivity to data and applications on-premises. For example, you could use a virtual network to:

    Extend your datacenter in the same way that you would set up and connect to a remote branch office. You retain control over the network topology and configuration, and manage it in the same way you would your on-premises infrastructure.

    Build distributed applications hosted in a hybrid environment, maintaining secure connections with on-premises infrastructure without the creation of custom codes. For example, a web application hosted in Windows Azure can securely access an on premise database server or authenticate users against an on premise directory service.

    Remotely debug your applications by creating a direct connection between your local development machine and virtual machines hosted in Windows Azure. This allows you to troubleshoot and debug them using the same tools you would use for on-premises applications.

    The second major addition in this knife-azure release is the ability to manage affinity groups. Affinity groups enable you to configure your infrastructure so that there is a higher degree of co-location within a datacenter. This ensures there is minimal latency between servers and thus optimize performance.

    Full details of the supported Azure functionality in knife-azure (along with installation and configuration notes) can be found on the knife-azure GitHub project pages. It can also be retrieved as a Ruby Gem.

    To learn more about Chef and Knife Azure check out this interview and demo on Channel 9 (Chef section starts at 7m 28s).

    Why not take Chef and Windows Azure for a spin? You can sign up for a free trial subscription of Windows Azure, if you don't already have one.

    Let us know what you think!

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Vagrant Supports Hyper-V "Out-of-the-box"


    Our code providing Hyper-V support to Vagrant has been included in the latest Vagrant 1.5 release, and so users need not install Hyper-V support separately.

    Mitchell Hashimoto, creator of Vagrant and Founder of HashiCorp, said “This is an example of why Vagrant is open source. Our users asked for Hyper-V support and MS Open Tech stepped up to provide it. Including Hyper-V support in the Vagrant 1.5 release was a no-brainer once MS Open Tech had released their code as open source.”

    Full details on the MS Open Tech blog.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Vagrant and Hyper-V Provides Managed DevOps Work Environments


    imageMS Open Technologies Inc. (MS Open Tech) has released code for Vagrant that brings initial Hyper-V support to this very popular DevOps tool.

    Vagrant managed work environments can be controlled by a single, consistent workflow, to help you maximize the productivity and flexibility of your team. Alongside industry-standard provisioning tools such as shell scripts, Chef, or Puppet, Vagrant supports a range of end-to-end management and deployment scenarios to create a single, consistent workflow that spans your entire team:

    Developers can define and build virtual machines (VMs) that contain everything required to get work done. These VMs are disposable and consistent and thus ensure that you, and all your colleagues, are developing in the same environment. As the Vagrant documentation points out this means you can say goodbye to "works on my machine" bugs.

    Operations engineers can use these same disposable environments and consistent workflows to develop and test infrastructure management scripts. Vagrant plays well with whatever operations tooling you use. When that tooling is designed for interoperability between platforms, such as Chef and Puppet, Vagrant really sets the operations team free.

    Designers can use Vagrant to ensure that they are working in the exact same environment as the rest of their team, regardless of their chosen host operating system. Designers can run a simple command to bring up the latest configuration and thus will no longer be working in an environment that differs from the development or deployment environments used by the rest of their teams.

    The Vagrant community has been asking for Hyper-V support for some time, in hopes of extending the experience across a heterogeneous platform environment. MS Open Tech are working with the Vagrant project to further enhance this work, specifically we are working on packaging, provisioning shell, and Chef & Puppet bootstrapping.

    We encourage interested parties to get their hands on the Vagrant Hyper-V provider, play with it, examine it and provide us with feedback!

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft



    I am the General Manager of Interoperability Strategy at Microsoft, and I have been working across the company on many interoperability initiatives. It makes me happy to see so many interoperability projects coming out of Microsoft and, personally, having many of them based on XML makes me doubly happy. So I thought it was the right time to open this blog with the purpose of sharing with you activities that relate to interoperability at Microsoft and to start generating ongoing discussions. Here we will write about interoperability scenarios, the technologies enabling them, and important issues concerning the industry at large.

    We recognize that we need to work more at engaging with the community in an open way on interoperability. This means being certain to listen to the community and to have open discussions with you in this blog about interoperability scenarios and technologies.

    Interoperability has been a long-time focus area at Microsoft. Being a platform company, Microsoft has engaged in interoperability at many levels: product features, participation in standardization bodies, publishing technologies under open licenses, and working closely with customers, governments and partners to understand the heterogeneous IT landscape and to discuss practical interoperability solutions.  These activities were formalized under the Interoperability Principles earlier this year.

    My team has built several technical bridges and solutions for various products to enable interoperability with other platforms and applications. These are being run as open source projects and released under a broad BSD license, or other licenses such as MS-PL or Apache, so that our customers and partners can use them in many open and broad reaching scenarios. We have been working with many other teams at Microsoft and with both our customers and the community to develop these projects.  We also run interoperability labs and plug-fests to test how Microsoft and Non-Microsoft products interoperate.

    Many members of Microsoft, as well as members of my team, such as Vijay Rajagopalan, Sumit Chawla, Kamaljit Bath, Claudio Caldato, and Jean-Christophe Cimetiere will be posting on this blog, I would like to hear your comments and feedback and also welcome open engagement on what Microsoft should be doing for interoperability. I would also like to take this chance to thank the many third party companies and community members who have collaborated with us in our efforts to improve and expand the interoperability of Microsoft technologies, platforms and applications.

    Jean Paoli
    General Manager of Interoperability Strategy

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Extensions and Binding Updates for Business Messaging Open Standard Spec OASIS AMQP



    David Ingham, Program Manager, Windows Azure Service Bus

    Rob Dolin, Program Manager, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.


    We’re pleased to share an update on four new extensions, currently in development, that greatly enhance the Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP) ecosystem.

    First a quick recap - AMQP is an open standard wire-level protocol for business messaging.  It has been developed at OASIS through a collaboration among:

    • Larger product vendors like Red Hat, VMware and Microsoft
    • Smaller product vendors like StormMQ and Kaazing
    • Large user firms like JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bourse with requirements for extremely high reliability. 
    • Government institutions
    • Open source software developers including the Apache Qpid project and the Fedora project

    In October of 2012, AMQP 1.0 was approved as an OASIS standard.


    EXTENSION SPECS: The AMQP ecosystem continues to expand while the community continues to work collaboratively to ensure interoperability.  There are four additional extension and binding working drafts being developed and co-edited by ourselves, JPMorgan Chase, and Red Hat within the AMQP Technical Committee and the AMQP Bindings and Mappings Technical Committee:

    • Global Addressing – This specification defines a standard syntax for representing AMQP addresses to enable routing of AMQP messages through a variety of network topologies, potentially involving heterogeneous AMQP infrastructure components. This enables more uses for AMQP ranging from business-to-business transactional messaging to low-overhead “Internet of Things” communications.
    • Management – This specification defines how entities such as queues and pub/sub topics can be managed through a layered protocol that uses AMQP 1.0 as the underlying transport. The specification defines a set of standard operations including create, read, update and delete, as well as custom, entity-specific operations. Using this mechanism, any AMQP 1.0 client library will be able to manage any AMQP 1.0 container, e.g., a message broker like Azure Service Bus. For example, an application will be able to create topics and queues, configure them, send messages to them, receive messages from them and delete them, all dynamically at runtime without having to revert to any vendor-specific protocols or tools.
    • WebSocket Binding – This specification defines a binding from AMQP 1.0 to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) WebSocket Protocol (RFC 6455) as an alternative to plain TCP/IP. The WebSocket protocol is the commonly used standard for enabling dynamic Web applications in which content can be pushed to the browser dynamically, without requiring continuous polling. The AMQP WebSocket binding allows AMQP messages to flow directly from backend services to the browser at full fidelity. The WebSocket binding is also useful for non-browser scenarios as it enables AMQP traffic to flow over standard HTTP ports (80 and 443) which is particularly useful in environments where outbound network access is restricted to a limited set of standard ports.
    • Claims-based Security – This specification defines a mechanism for the passing of granular claims-based security tokens via AMQP messages.  This enables interoperability of external security token services with AMQP such as the IETF’s OAuth 2.0 specification (RFC 6749) as well as other identity, authentication, and authorization management and security services. 

    All of these extension and binding specifications are being developed through an open community collaboration among people from vendor organizations, customer organizations, and independent experts. 

    LEARNING ABOUT AMQP: If you’re looking to learn more about AMQP or understand its business value, start at: http://www.amqp.org/about/what.

    CONNECTING WITH THE COMMUNITY: We hope you’ll consider joining some of the AMQP conversations taking place on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Stack Overflow.

    TRY AMQP: You can also find a list of vendor-supported products, open source projects, and customer success stories on the AMQP website: http://www.amqp.org/about/examples. We’re biased, but you can try our favorite hosted implementation of AMQP: the Windows Azure Service Bus. Visit the Developers Guide for links to getting started with AMQP in .NET, Java, PHP, or Python.

    Let us know how your experience with AMQP has been so far, whether you’re a novice user or an active contributor the community.


    -- Dave and Rob

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Hortonworks HDP -- Open Source Apache Hadoop Distribution is Enterprise-ready


    Generally Available on Linux, Windows Server and Windows Azure.

    From: Gianugo Rabellino, Senior Director of Open Source Communities, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

    Great news! Hortonworks’ HDP for Windows is now generally available on Windows and Linux.

    Here’s what the Microsoft SQL Server team had to say about the GA release (The Beta was announced and released in March):

    “HDP offers customers a 100 percent Open Source Apache Hadoop distribution that is Enterprise-ready and interoperable across Linux, Windows Server and Windows Azure. For more details visit the Hortonworks website.”

    And here’s what Hortonworks had to say about the new release:

    “Built and packaged by the core architects of Apache Hadoop, Hortonworks Data Platform includes all of the necessary components to refine and explore new data sources, and find new business insights. As an ecosystem-friendly platform, HDP extends existing investments in applications, tools and processes with Hadoop.”

    Note that existing HDP for Windows users in Windows or Linux can migrate easily the Windows Azure-based HDInsight service when they’re ready to take advantage of the performance advantages and low operating costs of Hadoop on Windows Azure.

    We at Microsoft Open Technologies are glad to see this bridge open for customers’ big data needs.

    Congratulations to the Hortonworks and Microsoft teams on a job well done!

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    OSCON 2012


    It was great to see everyone at OSCON last week! The MS Open Tech team had a fun and productive week meeting new people, reconnecting with old friends, learning about the latest OSS trends, and playing with the amazing 82" Perceptive Pixel touch screen at our booth. Julian Cash took over 4000 photos of visitors to the booth, and if you were one of the lucky people who spent time making creative photos with him, stay tuned. We'll post an update shortly when all of the photos have been uploaded to his web site.

    If you weren't able to attend OSCON this year, you can find speaker slides and videos on the OSCON web site. Those videos are also a great resource for those who attended the conference -- for example, I've just finished watching Laurie Petrycki's interview with Alex Payne about Scala's interesting combination of functional and object-oriented programming language constructs.

    There are two interviews with our team's leader Gianugo Rabellino that are available on YouTube and well worth watching to better understand the work we're doing with open source communities:

    Thanks to all the hard-working event organizers, exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees who made OSCON such a well-run and successful show!

    Doug Mahugh
    Senior Technical Evangelist
    Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Developers and Citizens Can Now Harness the Power of More Open Data with CKAN and Windows Azure


    Open data is becoming increasingly important for governments and public research. Based on the openness and interoperability of the Windows Azure platform, open data technologies are enabling more open data to be available in the cloud. CKAN (Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network) is one of the most popular open data platforms in use by Governments, universities and enterprises around the globe. Here at Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. we are pleased to see open source platforms such as CKAN taking advantage of the scalability, flexibility, openness and interoperability features of Windows Azure.

    Deploy CKAN in the Cloud using VM Depot and Windows Azure

    CKAN is an open source, web-based data management system that makes data accessible by providing tools to streamline publishing, sharing, finding and using data. CKAN is aimed at data publishers (national and regional governments, universities, companies and organizations) wanting to make their data open and available. The CKAN project is maintained by the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKFN) and implementations are commonly used as a public platform for various government data catalogues, such as the UK's http://data.gov.uk and US http://data.gov. Indeed, the UK Meteorological Office (Met Office) is using the capabilities of CKAN and Windows Azure to host their weather data archives and make the data broadly available via http://data.gov.uk/metoffice-data-archive.

    Developers wishing to deploy a CKAN installation in the cloud can now do so using the CKAN images available on VM Depot. Microsoft Public Sector and Microsoft Open Tech has partnered with OKFN who have provided CKAN Version 2 as an Ubuntu VM running on Windows Azure. There are two methods to install CKAN on Azure using the images available on VM Depot: through the management interface and using the command line tool. For a step-by-step guide to deploying CKAN on Windows Azure, see the CKAN Wiki.

    CKAN and Azure in Yokohama City

    Yokohama City, which is the largest city in Japan, recently published its Yokohama Open Data Solution using CKAN running with Windows Azure and supported by the Japan Linked Open Data Initiative. This is the first implementation in Japan of CKAN and Windows Azure for a local open data catalogue. As well as Japanese, the catalogue is available in several languages, including English – see more here http://data.yokohamaopendata.jp/en/.

    Windows Azure and OData

    Data that is hosted on Windows Azure can also be published using the Windows Azure Marketplace which utilizes the OData open data protocol. For example, because the Windows Azure Marketplace provides support for OData, citizens and developers can easily analyze the aforementioned UK National Weather data using an OData feed which allows the use of tools such as PowerPivot within Excel. This provides unprecedented access to powerful meteorological data including hourly, daily, and five-day forecasts - see the Microsoft in Government Blog Big Weather, Big Data, and That Little Device You Carry for further details on how this data is being used. Based on a collaboration between Citrix, IBM, Microsoft, Progress Software, SAP AG, WSO2, and others, we recently announced that the OASIS OData Technical Committee initiated a public review of OData v4.0 which is expected to become an OASIS Standard in 2013.

    These open data initiatives add to the many open data projects based on Windows Azure. Together they facilitate openness and transparency in public data. This work provides an extremely solid foundation upon which open data services can be built. When coupled with our work on cross platform client side tooling, developers are provided with an environment in which new and exciting opportunities are revealed. We look forward to working with you as we strive to open yet more data.

    Ross Gardler, Senior Technical Evangelist
    Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

    Mark Gayler, Senior Technical Evangelist
    Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

  • 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

    MS Open Tech, W3C Pointer Events and the JavaScript Community at JSConf 2013


    Adoption of Pointer Events Grows with Upcoming Implementation for Dojo Toolkit

    The W3C Pointer Events emerging standard continues to gain traction, advancing support for interoperable mouse, touch, and pen interactions across the web. Pointer Events makes it easier to support a variety of browsers and devices by saving Web developers from writing unique code for each input type. The specification continues to receive positive feedback from the developer community -- many are already embracing it as a unified model for cross-browser multi-modal input.

    In our previous Blog on W3C Pointer Events, we highlighted feedback shared by members of the jQuery and Cordova teams. The Dojo team are also working on implementing Pointer Events in an upcoming release of the Dojo Toolkit:

    The Dojo team has been watching the progress of Pointer Events in the W3C standardization process as it moves to Candidate Recommendation. We see Pointer Events as a great way to unify the disparate models that exist today for mouse, touch, and other pointer devices. Our team looks forward to implementing Pointer Events in the 2.0 release of the Dojo Toolkit. – Bill Keese, Dijit Project Lead

    Last month, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. (MS Open Tech) made the first step towards interoperable support for Pointer Events in Blink by submitting a formal Intent to Implement to enable our engineering team to actively collaborate and work toward a positive adoption of Pointer Events by the Blink developer community. Earlier this year, MS Open Tech published a Pointer Events prototype for WebKit on HTML5 Labs and submitted the patch to the WebKit developer forum - we plan to continue our collaboration with the WebKit community.

    Pointer Events at JSConf 2013

    Last week I was privileged to join around 700 participants at the 5th Annual JSConf (and CSSConf) which took place on Amelia Island, Florida. The sold out event was packed with excellent presentations, demonstrations, and entertaining activities throughout. Congratulations to organizers Chris and Laura Williams and their family for hosting such an outstanding event!

    I attended the event for Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. (MS Open Tech), alongside representatives from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) and DPE teams. Internet Explorer and Windows Azure both provided sponsorships for the Conference. In addition to learning about the world of JavaScript and meeting new friends, there were plenty of opportunities to share the latest news about W3C Pointer Events with the JavaScript community. W3C Pointer Events is an emerging standards specification that defines a device-independent approach to handling pointer input from devices like a mouse, pen, or touchscreen.

    On Tuesday night, MS Open Tech and the Internet Explorer team hosted the ‘Reach the Beach’ Welcome Reception that took place right on the beach complete with an evening campfire and roasting of s’mores – you can see some photos below. During the Reception, Pointer Events gift boxes were handed out to celebrate the recent achievement of Pointer Events advancing to Candidate Recommendation (CR) status within W3C. Each gift box included a capacitive pen stylus, an Artist Edition 3500 mouse, and a screen cloth to represent the multi-model input support provided by the W3C Pointer Events specification.


    image image image


    On Wed May 29th, Josh Holmes (pictured above) of the IE team presented Pointer Events in his session ‘Touch Me, I Dare You’. Josh provided an overview of Pointer Events, and gave a demonstration using a Bricks paddle game to show how easy it is to code for multi-modal input using the Pointer Events specification. There were several questions after the presentation and it was evident that developers were particularly interested in the cross-browser platform support provided by Pointer Events. Josh referenced the Pointer Events polyfills that can be found on Web Platform Docs at http://docs.webplatform.org/wiki/PointerEvents – here’s a code sample below.

              // these are the polyfill events for hand.js.

               Event(leftOverlay, "pointerup", function() { if(Game.canStart()) { Balls.release(Player.ONE); } }, false);

               Event(rightOverlay, "pointerup", function() { if(Game.canStart()) { Balls.release(Player.TWO); } }, false);

               Event(leftOverlay, "pointermove", Game.movePaddle, false);

               Event(rightOverlay, "pointermove", Game.movePaddle, false);


    To showcase some of the cool innovation that can be done with W3C Pointer Events, last week an article was published describing an immersive website experience that resulted from a collaboration between the IE team and renowned Everest explorer David Breashears - IE piggybacks on Everest celebration to showcase new browser tech. Everest: Rivers of Ice is a new Web site built in HTML5 and CSS3 for touch screens and highlights the kind of modern Web experiences that can be created incorporating Pointer Events.

    We welcome the Dojo team to the growing list of JavaScript libraries and frameworks working with W3C Pointer Events and we look forward to their upcoming implementation in Dojo Toolkit 2.0. As we continue to work with the vibrant JavaScript community, we look forward to seeing even more Pointer Events support across a growing number of JavaScript libraries and frameworks – there’s more to come! To learn more about using and implementing Pointer Events, feel free to check out and contribute to the Pointer Events Wiki on Web Platform Docs which includes community generated polyfills, tests, demos, and tutorials, or join the discussion at #PointerEvents. Point. Click. Touch.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    An Update on Professional-Quality Video Captioning


    I am really excited that Microsoft IE has taken another step forward enabling professional-quality closed captions for online video, to address evolving industry requirements for browsers and other software on Internet-connected devices. The IE team have just posted a blog that describes the latest milestone for Web-based accessibility -

    “In February 2013, Microsoft joined industry stakeholders in the W3C Timed Text Working Group (TTWG) to deliver the TTML Simple Delivery Profile for Closed Captions (SDP-US) profile specification.  SDP-US is based on Timed Text Markup Language (TTML) (a caption interchange specification that has been used in the professional video industry for years) and clearly defines key caption format features like layout, style, timing and content requirements. Internet Explorer was one of the first browsers to include early support for HTML5-based video captioning via the <track> element with TTML and WebVTT file formats.

    Professional-quality online video is a forthcoming reality, enabled by emerging Web specifications and powerful content delivery infrastructure. Captioning is an important building block for enabling professional-quality video, and Microsoft is actively working with industry partners to enable rich captioning experiences. If you are working on Internet video, we invite you to review the new SDP-US profile, join the industry discussion, start considering how your caption content can adapt to SDP-US, and let us have your feedback.”

    Now part of the MS Open Tech alumni, I have been proud to work with the IE team and industry experts in driving this important interoperability milestone.

    Monica Martin
    Senior Program Manager
    Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.



  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    JDK v8 is in the Azure Gallery


    Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc., is pleased to announce that the recently released Java Developer Kit 8 (AKA Java 1.8) is now available in the Azure Image gallery on Windows Server 2012 R2. 

    Check out the full details at the MS Open Tech Blog

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Windows Azure Service Bus Interoperable Implementation of OASIS AMQP Transitions to General Availability


     GENERAL AVAILABILITY: We are pleased to share the news that AMQP 1.0 support in Windows Azure Service Bus has transitioned from Preview to General Availability (GA).  AMQP 1.0 is a secure, reliable, and open binary protocol for business messaging.  The AMQP 1.0 specification was approved in the fall of 2012 as an OASIS Standard is being considered for forwarding ISO/IEC JTC1 to become an international standard.

    COMMITMENT TO OPEN AMQP ECOSYSTEM: Microsoft Corp. and Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. (MS Open Tech) were active participants in the development of the core AMQP OASIS Standard and continue to play an active role in the OASIS AMQP and AMQP Bindings and Mappings Technical Committees. We are committed to continuing contributions to the work on global addressing, management, and AMQP over WebSockets, all focused on growing the open, interoperable ecosystem for AMQP.

    TRY AMQP: We encourage you to try AMQP 1.0 with the Windows Azure Service Bus using .NET, Java Message Service (JMS), Python, PHP or C.

    Thanks very much for reading and for more news on Azure, AMQP, and MS Open Tech, visit the Windows Azure Team Blog, AMQP.org Announcements, and the MS Open Tech Team Blog.

    Brian Benz, Senior Technical Evangelist, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.
    Rob Dolin, Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Thanks for a great one year anniversary!


    Thanks to all our friends who sent us anniversary greetings and also those who joined us in the Valley last week to celebrate. It was great to reflect on the many open source and open standards projects with community and industry leaders in the house.

    The future looks bright as we look to collaborate on more openness projects with you!


    Anniversary patchwork

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Enjoy Spring, and new updates to our Open Source Azure Storage Plugin for Jenkins


    Spring is in the air, and as we celebrate these longer days and warmer air and sprinkles of sunshine in the Pacific Northwest, the Java development team at MS Open Technologies, Inc. has also emerged with some useful updates. For Jenkins users we’ve added some new features to make deployments even easier, including a build action to download from a Blob and a post-build action to clean a container.

    Check out the full story on the MS Open Tech Blog:  http://msopentech.com/?p=859501

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Greetings Symfony Live - New tools for Symfony developers on Windows Azure


    I Hope everyone at Symfony live in Portland this week is having a good time – I wish I could join you in person!

    I wanted to share some exciting news about recently released updates to Windows Azure tools for Symfony that Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. has been supporting.

    Benjamin Eberlei’s Azure Distribution Bundle project simplifies the deployment of Symfony applications on Windows Azure by managing the packaging for Azure, and handling deployment of assets and distributed session management.

    Since the original project was released in June 2012, the bundle has been integrated with the latest Windows Azure SDK for PHP. Symfony is also now easier to deploy to websites on Windows Azure, facilitated in part by Composer integration during deployment.

    If you’re an experienced Symfony developer, the bundle is a great starting point for Symfony on Azure, as it has detailed instructions and documentation for getting started with Windows Azure and how to interact with Windows Azure instances and service building blocks.

    So have fun at Symfony Live this week, and check out these new tools and demo for Symfony on Azure when you get a chance. Let us know what you think!

    Brian Benz

    Senior Technical Evangelist

    Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Tutorial: Finding Virtual Machine Images for Windows Azure in VM Depot


    For users of VM Depot, our repository of community managed Virtual Machines for Azure, we have added significant enhancements to the search feature of the website. With this expanded search capability, it is now easier than ever to find an open source, Linux-based, virtual machine for Windows Azure.

    Search and you shall find

    Basic search functionality has not changed. You can still type into the search box on VM Depot and hit return. The results will include all virtual machines that contain your search term in their description, title, tags or other common fields.

    Sorting Results

    Using the sorting options available you can make the most interesting images rise to the top of the list as described in the table below.

    This approach works well if you know precisely what you are looking for. However, with over 900 images to choose from it can be difficult to find what you need. For this reason we have added a new search language to the site. This feature allows you to conduct much more targeted searches.

    Sort Option Description
    Featured Featured images are ones that MS Open Tech have, at some time, flagged as being of special interest. This sort option is perhaps the most useful if you don’t know precisely what you are looking for.
    Date Added This sort order puts the most recently added images at the top of the list. As such is most useful if you know what you are looking for and thus have a fairly narrow search, but need to find the most recent image.
    Name Sorting by name displays the resulting list in alphabetical name order. This is useful if you have a large number of results and want to skip through the pages to a specific image name.
    Platform The platform is the base operating system used in the image. Sorting on platform lists images in alphabetic order of platform and thus can help you find an image based on your preferred operating system. Whilst this sort order can sometimes be useful you might prefer to narrow your results to your chosen platform (see the description of our search language below).
    Rating This option lists images in order of their user rating. That is the most highly rated will appear at the top of the list. This can help ensure that images that have been tested by end users are displayed first, however, don’t be put off by images that have not yet received a rating.

    Power Searching within the VM Depot repository

    The new search features of VM Depot allow you to use a number of qualifiers (see table below) to construct more specific queries. This makes it possible to target specific information stored alongside each VM Depot virtual machine image.

    The available qualifiers include:

    Qualifier (these are case-sensitive) Description
    tag (or keyword) Images can include descriptive tags (keywords), defined by the publisher (e.g. CMS, blog, forum, app server).
    package Search for a VM that contains a specific package (note that this is not a complete list of packages on the image, they are the ones the publisher has chosen to draw attention to)
    region Search for images available in specific regions.
    platform Look for a VM built on a specific operating system.
    name Limit the search term to the virtual machine image name.
    description (or desc) Limit the search term to the description of the image.
    publisher Look for images from a specific publisher.
    rating Only return images with this rating (or higher) – takes a non-integer number from 1 through 5.

    As an example, to search for an image that includes the python language you would use the search term "package:python". To limit results to ones using the CentOS operating system you would use "package:python platform:centos".

    In addition to the various qualifiers available we also provide two different operators. The one used in the example above (':') means “contains”, that is, if the identified qualifier contains the string then it is considered a match. For example, “package:python” means “return all VMs that contain any package with the string ‘python’ within its name”. This search will match “python” as well as “python1.7”. You can also use the operator ':=' which looks for an exact match, rather than a partial match.

    VM Depot has a huge range of images available for easy deployment to Windows Azure. We invite you to use the new search feature the next time to wish to access and deploy an image from the repository.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    Kinect Common Bridge update


    The newest release of Kinect Common Bridge makes it even easier to track faces and recognize speech in your C++ applications with Kinect for Windows.

    This is the first update to the open source Kinect Common Bridge (KCB) released recently by MS Open Tech to make it simple to integrate Kinect for Windows scenarios and experiences in creative software development. The openFrameworks and Cinder communities have already adopted the Kinect Common Bridge. If you have been using either framework and experimented with KCB, you will find yourself right at home with its added capabilities. In the spirit of “focusing on the cool stuff” that motivates creative developers, starting the sensor and displaying a simple video treatment with face tracking can now be achieved in less than 10 lines of code! Incorporating Kinect for Windows magic in software experiences couldn’t be any easier…

    To learn more about this update of Kinect Common Bridge, read our post on our new blog: http://aka.ms/KCBUpdate

  • 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

    Need to discover, access, analyze and visualize big and broad data? Try F#.


    Microsoft Research just released a new iteration of Try F#, a set of tools designed to make it easy for anyone – not just developers – to learn F# and take advantage of its big data, cross-platform capabilities.

    F# is the open-source, cross-platform programming language invented by Don Syme and his team at Microsoft Research to help reduce the time-to-deployment for analytical software components in the modern enterprise.

    Big data definitively is big these days and we are excited about this new iteration of Try F#. Regardless of your favorite language, or if you’re on a Mac, a Windows PC, Linux or Android, if you need to deal with complex problems, you will want to take a look at F#!

    Kerry Godes from Microsoft’s Openness Initiative connected with Evelyne Viegas, Director of Semantic Computing at Microsoft Research, to find out more about how you can use “Try F# to seamlessly discover, access, analyze and visualize big and broad data.” For the complete interview, go to the Openness blog or check out www.tryfsharp.org to get started “writing simple code for complex problems”.


  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    MongoLab offers new options for MongoDB Developers on Azure


    As many of you know, MongoLab is an easy to use, rock-solid, free MongoDB-as-a-Service offering backed by a great support team. MongoLab’s latest paid options in the Azure Store, brought to you by Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc., now include larger capacity dedicated clusters of up to 56GB of RAM per node with availability in eight Azure datacenters worldwide.

    Check out the full story on the MS Open Tech Blog

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    AMQP v1.0 approved as an International Standard


    The Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP) v1.0 has been approved as an International Standard by ISO/IEC Joint Technical Committee (JTC) 1.

    Follow this link to the MS Open Tech Blog for more details.

  • Interoperability @ Microsoft

    6 things you need to do to port your Cocos2D-x game to Windows devices


    Cocos2D-x is a great open source C++ cross-platform gaming engine for building games for mobile devices. Microsoft Open Technologies is contributing code to the open source project for the Windows devices support.

    Last month we organized a porting hackathon with Cocos2D-x developers and gathered a set of tips to help you go through the process. Read more on our blog: http://aka.ms/Cocos2D-xOnWindowsDevices.

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