What Does .NET’s Open-Source Future Mean for Developers and PaaS?

By Atos Apprenda Support

open source open door

The world is rapidly being reshaped by software. It’s changing everything: how we work, how we monitor our health, how we spend time with our families, and more. Over time, quality of life around the world will continue to increase as a result of today’s unsung heroes: software developers. With more developers writing apps, we’ll see even more innovation and a world we can’t even dream of today.

Yesterday, Microsoft announced that it is open sourcing its full, server-side .NET stack and that .NET will soon run on Linux and Mac platforms. In developer and enterprise circles, this is huge news and it means good things for everyone who is in some way involved with .NET.

But what does this move mean? It means .NET developers can build more apps to run in more places. It means more competition between runtimes, languages, and stacks, leading to improvements in how developers work. It means, ultimately, that developers can unlock and produce even more quality of life for the world by merging one of the world’s best app-execution environments—.NET—with one of the world’s best server operating systems—Linux.

I’m a fan of .NET, both the runtime and the semantics of its more popular languages, and I’ve used a number of Linux variants academically, personally, and professionally. To see these two worlds merge is fantastic. For one, there are many smart .NET developers who can now get access to a larger, broader community. Secondly, there are a lot of smart non-.NET developers who will now get the chance to harness .NET’s surprising power.

Yesterday’s big move was necessary and Satya Nadella and his team made the right decision to unlock the potential that Microsoft had been sitting on. That said, none of us should be surprised if .NET on Windows might have some better bells and whistles to take advantage of deep OS capabilities.

You might also wonder what the open sourcing of .NET means for the future of Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Apprenda. First, it means building .NET support into any PaaS should become easier over time. There may be different levels of support fidelity—especially if Windows .NET has more features—so supporting .NET on Linux may not be the same. But that said, .NET’s DNA should become much more pervasive now.

Given that full .NET support will mean supporting Windows, Linux, and Mac, I expect PaaS architecture complexity to increase if a PaaS claims full-fidelity to .NET support. Application services available on Linux may also become easier to consume from .NET apps running on Linux.

Ultimately, this new direction for .NET ensures that customers win. All vendors will compete in providing more in-depth support, which is something Apprenda has been touting for many years. Any decision that leads to more apps being built by more developers is one we fully support and, now that .NET is available everywhere, we will all benefit.

Atos Apprenda Support

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  1. IanNovember 18, 2014

    Nice post. I wonder however if Microsoft will take further steps and perhaps open source DirectX as well? Gaming on Linux is starting to ramp up from my experience with Steam. I sure hope I am able to make a choice of which OS I use when enjoying one of my favorite pass-times.

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