Microsoft expands GitHub integration with Visual Studio

Kellogg Brengel

Microsoft expands GitHub integration with Visual Studio

Last week, Microsoft announced the upcoming July 20th release date of Visual Studio 2015, which is set to be one of the more ambitious releases of Microsoft’s integrated development environment. This latest edition will introduce support for new platforms, spanning from iOS and Android platforms, to game development through support for Unity, Unreal, and Cocos, and more.

The Visual Studio Engineering Team also announced today that Visual Studio 2015 will support sharing open source extensions hosted on GitHub within Visual Studio Gallery.

GitHub, the popular web-based Git repository hosting service, hosts millions of open source extensions used in software development. With the newly announced support for sharing open source extensions in Visual Studio Gallery, authors will be able to easily share their Github hosted extensions with others and gain more outlets for feedback and collaboration.

Robin Liu, Program Manager of Visual Studio China, says this is just one of the first steps in improving open source extensions in Visual Studio Gallery. Some of the other projects the Visual Studio team is planning are:

  • Pull extension description from Want to save your time on writing extension descriptions? With this change we will pull ReadMe content from your GitHub repo directly and populate the description on Visual Studio Gallery.
  • More extension statistical data. We have heard requests from you for easier ways to see statistical data for your extensions. The idea here is to not only show more statistical information on your extension page, but also provide a set of APIs for you to easily consume this data.
  • Show badges on your repo. On your repo a badge will show how many people downloaded your extension. We also think it will be fun if we can provide extension authors a way to generate badges similar to this:
  • Get rewards from your extension. Extending the reward element from badges, we also plan to provide a points and rewards system for extension authors.
  • Extension upload API. Want to have some APIs to upload extensions? Or even integrate with CI services to trigger an auto upload? This is also part of our improvement plan so keep an eye out for upcoming updates to the Gallery.

This latest news adds to the narrative of how Microsoft is following a more open path to meet developers, as well as customers, where they are at, as promised at both Build and Ignite conferences earlier this year. Given this trend in Microsoft news, the technology company will most likely continue to announce previously unanticipated support for cross platform development in hopes to gain momentum among developers as Windows 10 and universal apps launch later this month.