Microsoft on Thursday released code for its Entity Framework database mapping tool via open source in an effort to increase transparency.
The move is being handled by Microsoft Open Technologies, a company subsidiary launched in April to advance Microsoft's open source and related efforts. Entity Framework is used for .Net application development, providing an object-relational mapping framework to work with relational data as domain-specific objects, eliminating the need for most data access "plumbing" code, according to Microsoft.
Source code is being released under an Apache 2.0 license, with the code repository now hosted on Microsoft's CodePlex site for open source software. "This will enable everyone in the community to be able to engage and provide feedback on code check-ins, bug fixes, new feature development, and build and test the product on a daily basis using the most up-to-date version of the source code and tests," said Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president in the Microsoft server and tools business, in a blog post. "Community contributions will also be welcomed so you can help shape and build Entity Framework into an even better product."
Microsoft will continue to ship official builds of Entity Framework as a supported product in both stand-alone form and as part of the Visual Studio IDE. New features will be released as well. An upcoming Entity Framework 5 release will add such capabilities as spatial data types and improved performance.
"Our goal with today's announcement is to increase the development feedback loop even more, allowing us to deliver an even better product," Guthrie said. The open-sourcing of Entity Framework follows up similar efforts for Microsoft technologies, including ASP.Net MVC and ASP.Net Web API.
Also on Thursday, Microsoft Open Technologies is launching an MSOpen Tech CodePlex landing page, intended to boost different Microsoft-driven open source projects. Microsoft Open Technologies also is launching MS Open Tech Hub, an engineering program for MS Open Technologies engineers, who can collaborate on open source projects.