Latest Update on MS Open Tech’s Hub Projects – and a big THANK YOU to community contributors!

Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.’s Hub engineering program has been a great place to collaborate on many projects, and each project benefits greatly from community contribution.

Developers who work on ASP.NET MVC, Web API, Web Pages, SignalR and the Entity Framework projects work in the Microsoft Open Tech Hub on these open source projects. You can view these projects at http://aspnetwebstack.codeplex.com/ and http://entityframework.codeplex.com/.

Microsoft regularly takes the best part of the code from these projects and builds the products that our customers know and love and ship with Visual Studio.

Today we are sharing more details on the results of community collaboration on two key Hub projects – Entity Framework (EF), and ASP.NET and Web Frameworks for Visual Studio.

We worked with community authors to make sure our bits meshed together, and have made some great community relationships in the process.

Here are our key updates:

Entity Framework (EF)

Entity Framework continues to benefit from outstanding contributions from the open source community since MS Open Tech announced it was open source about a year ago. Here’s a great intro to EF and EF concepts.

The latest official announcement outlines Entity Framework 6 (EF6) with a full list of new features. Many new features and capabilities have been added from the development team at the Microsoft Open Tech Hub as well as some great contributions from the software developer community.  Have a look at our May MS Open Tech Blog post for details of some of the community contributions, and here are a few more:

  • DbSet.AddRange/RemoveRange were contributed by UnaiZorrilla and provides an optimized way to add or remove multiple entities from a set.
  • DbChangeTracker.HasChanges was contributed by UnaiZorrilla and provides an easy and efficient way to see if there are any pending changes to be saved to the database.
  • SqlCeFunctions was contributed by ErikEJ and provides a SQL Compact equivalent to the SqlFunctions.
  • DbModelBuilder.Configurations.AddFromAssembly method  was contributed by UnaiZorrilla. If you are using configuration classes with the Code First Fluent API, this method allows you to easily add all configuration classes defined in an assembly.

We again thank all those who have contributed, and encourage those who are interested to jump in and participate! To get started, have a look at this Get It page for information on installing EF in Visual Studio 2012.

ASP.NET and Web Frameworks for Visual Studio

Our ASP.NET and Web Frameworks for Visual Studio are also a major blockbuster hub project, with unprecedented interest and downloads of ASP.NET MVC, Web API, and Web Pages source code. Visit http://www.asp.net to find official installers, documentation, tutorials, samples, and videos.

Recent Highlights:

-We recently introduced CORS runtime configuration in the CORS implementation inside the ASP.NET Web API, with major help from Brock Allen. The bits were released a few months ago and enable clients to manage the CORS configuration for the allowing origins list at runtime.

-A new MVC 5 security feature based on OWIN authentication middleware was provided by the Katana team. This enables authentication integration with ASP.NET login pages that can also secure apps hosted on IIS, including ASP.NET MVC, Web API, and Web Forms.

-ASP.NET Web API 2 now supports a new type of routing, called attribute routing. Attribute routing gives you more control over the URIs in your web API. To learn how to use attribute routing and combine it with previous options for routing, have a look at this tutorial: Create a REST API with Attribute Routing in Web API 2. A big thanks to Tim McCall for his help with this feature.

A new release of Microsoft ASP.NET Web API Client Libraries now comes with support for building portable libraries that target .NET 4.5, Windows Store and Windows Phone 8 applications. Have a look at this example to see how to create a reusable portable class library that consumes a sample HTTP service, and then use that library from a client application that targets multiple platforms.

-Part of the new preview of Visual Studio 2013 is the ASP.NET and Web Tools for Visual Studio 2013 Preview. The Web API now includes support for OData $select and $expand, two of the most popular OData query operators.

Summary

We thank all of you who have participated so far in improving the MS Open Tech Hub projects via community contribution. We are excited with the level of community engagement so far and are looking forward to more! Click here  for the latest instructions on installing the Visual Studio 2013 Preview, and also release notes, documentation and tutorials.


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