Microsoft Shows Stronger Support for Cross-platform Development

November 12, 2014, Microsoft kicks off its Connect (); event with several announcements showing stronger support for the cross-platform development.

Full .NET server stack now in open source

Microsoft is the giving the full server-side .NET stack in open source. This package includes ASP.NET, the .NET compiler, the .NET Core Runtime, framework, and libraries. Doing this now allows developers to expand and build with .NET across non-Windows platforms like Linux and Mac OS. The software giant says that it will work closely with the open source community to take in contributions for future improvements of .NET through the .NET foundation.

Free Visual Studio Community 2013 & Visual Studio 2013 Update 4

As of the announcement, Microsoft has made Visual Studio Community 2013 free for everyone. This full-featured integrated development environment (IDE) provides access to the Visual Studio core toolset, including full extensibility. Though intended for non-enterprise app development, it still empowers developers to explore various platforms, devices, and hosting.

Go HERE to get started on the Visual Studio Community 2013.

Visual Studio 2013 Update 4 is also now available. This is the fourth fully featured update in the past 12 months and it includes various enhancements and new features. You can download it from HERE.

Release of Visual Studio 2015 Preview & .NET 2015 Preview

Visual Studio 2015 Preview (get it HERE) now makes it easy for developers to build apps and services for a host of devices and platforms. Microsoft touts this edition to have been built “from the ground up” to support iOS, Android, and Windows. In addition, the following news has also been announced to further support cross-platform mobile development:

  • The experience of installing Xamarin from Visual Studio has now been streamlined.
  • There will be Visual Studio support to the free Xamarin Starter Edition, which will be made available in late 2014.
  • Microsoft delivered the final release of Apache Cordova tools for developers looking to build Cloud-powered apps for mobile devices.

 The new Connected Services Manager in Visual Studio 2015 can now also connect applications to line-of-business API services like the Office 365 API and SalesForce.

The preview of ASP .NET 5.0 on the other hand boasts a streamlined framework and runtime optimized for Cloud and server workloads.

New Features in Visual Studio Online

Visual Studio Online is Microsoft’s online service for development projects. The company announced the followed new capabilities built into the service:

  • Release Management as a service (available in preview)Enables customers to automate and manage application releases without setting up or maintaining any service infrastructure.
  • Cloud Deployment Projects – Allow organizations to provision and configure development, test, and production environments in Azure.

With all these improvements and releases, S. Somasegar, corporate vice president of the Developer Division in Microsoft emphasizes Microsoft’s line on cross-platform development, “With billions of devices in the market today, developers need tools that target many different form factors and platforms. Through Visual Studio and .NET we are committed to delivering a comprehensive end-to-end solution for developers to build and manage applications across multiple devices and platforms.”

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