Codeplex Foundation Digs Into Network Monitoring - Microsoft News

Good news for .NET developers, the CodePlex Foundation is moving forward on its goal of expanding open source participation in projects from its sponsor Microsoft.

On Wednesday, the CodePlex Foundation announced the Systems Infrastructure and Integration Gallery, its second project gallery, which will serve as a top-level grouping for open source systems projects that the foundation will help to nurture and promote.

The Systems Infrastructure gallery, which follows the ASP.NET Open Source Gallery, is part of the foundation's goal of helping to promote interoperability among heterogeneous networking environments.

"As you look at the mixture of proprietary and open source development projects there seems to be more and more overlap," Paula Hunter, executive director of the CodePlex Foundation, told InternetNews.com. "The Systems Infrastructure and Integration Gallery will provide tools to help software engineers incorporate interoperability. We'll be providing the tools to assist developers in using the features of the Windows platform that provide interoperability and ensuring that we have more open source participation in this process."

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) formally unveiled the CodePlex Foundation in September 2009 as an effort to help commercial entities bring open source products to market. Earlier this month, the CodePlex Foundation announced a new permanent board of directors as the group moves forward with it organizational and project structure development. The CodePlex Foundation organizes its areas of focus under galleries to help group items together.

The NetMons Parser project, the first project in the Systems Infrastructure and Integration Gallery, provides network monitor parsers for open standard protocols.

"This is going to go a long way towards strengthening relationship between developers working on Windows and people working on projects like Samba that are really trying to find a good interoperability path," Mark Stone, deputy director of the CodePlex Foundation, told InternetNews.com. "I think this will make for a much improved technical bridge between the Windows platform and the Samba project than either side has ever had before."

Samba is an open source technology that enables Unix and Linux machines to interoperate with Windows file shares. Microsoft has had issues in the past with the Samba project regarding issues of intellectual property and patents.

But Stone said that CodePlex should be able to steer clear of those issues.

"If you look at the contribution agreement that projects make use of when contributing to the foundation, what you'll see is that the intent is to provide the foundation with all the necessary rights with respect to both copyright and patent that would enable the foundation to steer the project successfully and to release code," Stone said. "There shouldn't be anything that is missing from that perspective in terms of what the foundation is able to deliver. It really should provide everything that developers are looking for."

In terms of what's next for the CodePlex Foundation and the projects it might take on, that's still a work in progress.

"We're still in the trailblazing stage at the foundation. Right now we have more projects that are interested in getting in than we can handle," Stone said. "We're deliberately trying to keep it small and move cautiously so we can learn from the process that we go through."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.



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