Posted by Robert Half Technology on Monday, November 23, 2015 - 00:00 | Follow me
Visual Studio has been available for Microsoft platforms for years. But with the latest update — Visual Studio 2015 — the integrated development environment (IDE) is publishing open source code, allowing it to be used across other operating systems (OSes) and platforms.
This is a new direction for Microsoft, but perhaps a necessary one for the software company to take as more businesses move beyond a Microsoft OS environment and turn to Mac, Android and Linux. Business users today are as likely to use an iPad or Android phone or rely on cloud services as they are to use a Windows computer.
More flexibility for developers
This move by Microsoft also changes the entire ecosystem of developing, including for those who rely on the .NET platform. Developers are no longer forced into the narrow boundaries of a particular or singular runtime setting.
The open source code, known as MSBuild, can be found on GitHub.
“By invoking msbuild.exe on your project or solution file, you can orchestrate and build products in environments where Visual Studio isn’t installed,” notes Microsoft’s Rich Lander in a blog post announcing the change. “For instance, MSBuild is used to build the .Net Core Libraries and .Net Core Runtime open source projects.”
New coding opportunities
Visual Studio is a very popular IDE. According to a blog post from Microsoft, it has over 7 million 2013 version downloads, and .NET has been installed more than a billion times. By turning to open source, the IDE offers developer tools that cover every developer, across all platforms.
This creates new opportunities for developers who may prefer Visual Studio but work in a Linux environment, or for those who want to expand their skills by designing applications for a wider variety of platforms.
.NET also now supports OpenID and OAuth 2.0 bearer tokens. According to a blog post by Microsoft’s Vittorio Bertocci, this will benefit coders because the open source code “should make it easier for you to write portable logic for pipeline-bound operations, such as claims augmentation, custom request validation, and the like.”