Some of you may have seen today’s announcements from Microsoft, among them: a free version of Visual Studio, a better emulator for Android development called Visual Studio Emulator for Android, and most importantly in my opinion, .NET Framework is now open source under the MIT license. Let that last one sink in, folks.
By opening up the .NET Framework to all the popular platforms – including Linux – that changes the game. I remember the days when MS was seen as super developer friendly. Heck everything had a Visual moniker – anyone else remember Visual FoxPro? This approach seems to fit with the cloud first, mobile first Microsoft that is doing things like releasing free, full functioned versions of Office for iOS (and if you believe the rumors, soon Android) and that Windows still (as of this blog post) does not have a proper touch version of Office (which is coming at some point in 2015).
Why is this interesting? SQL Server is based on .NET to a degree (thanks for the clarification, Denny; a lot of it I believe is C++ which technically works on different platforms I believe – but CLR would need to interpret .NET). SQL Server Management Studio is .NET-based. SQL Server has had things like JDBC, PHP, and other things that would work on Linux, but is it so far fetched at this point to think that SQL Server itself may come at some point, too? Before you think I’m crazy, hear me out: sure, some things would change. My bread and butter – features like availability groups – are built on a Windows Server failover cluster, so a straight port would not “just work”. New things would need to be put in place for things like availability and disaster recovery. But imagine getting a mostly-full featured version of SQL Server that could run on another non-Windows platform. That would expand the potential market share for SQL Server immensely, and be a huge opportunity for SQL Server DBAs and professionals everywhere (including me!).
I want to be clear: I have no insider tip that SQL Server will be coming to your favorite Linux distribution any time soon – if ever. This is pure speculation on my part, but five years ago this blog post would have generated “are you smoking crack?” types of responses. Now, with .NET Framework open to all platforms, this is not so far fetched. We’re definitely into uncharted territory in Microsoftville …
What are your thoughts on these announcements from Microsoft?