Monday, July 08, 2013

RIA has been freed - RIA Services is being open sourced, say hello to "Open RIA Services"

Jeff Handley - RIA Services is Getting Open-Sourced

It’s about time, right‽  In fact, it has been 3 and a half years since I first declared that getting RIA Services open-sourced was my stretch goal. Since then, I’ve seen dozens of forum posts, hundreds of tweets, and over 13,000 page-views for my original declaration.  There was even a time during a LIDNUG call when Scott Guthrie was directly asked what it was going to take to get RIA Services open-sourced.  This has been an important topic to a lot of people for a long time, and I am finally happy to announce it’s happening!

Open RIA Services

Let’s get right to it and cover some salient details:

  1. Microsoft will donate the source code of RIA Services to the Outercurve Foundation under the project name of “Open RIA Services”
  2. We expect to make this code donation later this summer—the legal process has been underway for several months and is nearing completion
  3. Open RIA Services will be submitted into the ASP.NET Open Source Gallery alongside NuGet, Orchard, DotNetOpenAuth,, and others
  4. The source code will be hosted on CodePlex at
  5. Colin Blair will be the project lead, and he will be driving the project toward the multi-version project plan he put together, with more information available at
  6. The Apache 2 license will be applied and the project will accept contributions
  7. Several other community members have voiced interest in contributing to the project and growing it beyond what it’s capable of today
  8. Microsoft will collaborate with the Open RIA Services project to ensure it gets off to a strong start and developers are able to successfully transition if desired

WCF RIA Services

Separately from the open source project, Microsoft will continue to support WCF RIA Services V1.0.  This is the product that shipped in the box with Visual Studio 2010 SP1, Visual Studio 2012, and is also shipping in the box with Visual Studio 2013.  We will service WCF RIA Services to ensure that the product enables you to bring your existing applications forward into new versions of Visual Studio with compile-time Silverlight code generation, as well as the runtime functionality that makes Domain Services tick....


Visual Studio 2013

For Visual Studio 2013, we have reduced the design-time capabilities of WCF RIA Services, with the following design-time features being removed:

  1. The “Business Application Project” template
  2. The “Domain Service Class” template/wizard
  3. Toolbox items for the Silverlight designer surface
  4. Data Sources Window integration for the Silverlight designer surface

These feature reductions from Visual Studio 2013 were made with Open RIA Services in mind.  ...

Open RIA Services

This site has been designed to be an interactive and social experience. One thing I have noticed about many open source projects is that there is a certain amount of intimidation. Sometimes you have to join a mailing list, then you have to worry about annoying people with your emails, the fears go on and on. I myself suffer a bit from social anxiety, so I wanted Open RIA Services to have a site that invites everyone to become involved.

I will make a deal with everyone right now at the very beginning of this new open source project. Please send me any question, complaint, suggestion, or pull request that want to give. In return I ask that you understand that while I may not know the answer to your question, agree with your complaint, use your suggestion, or approve your pull request, I did appreciate it.

The roadmap that Jeff mentioned in his announcement is available at the top of the page. Please take a look then visit the forums and start letting me know what you think.

Colin Blair
Project Lead,
Open RIA Services

Open RIA Services is a framework for building rich internet applications (especially line of business applications), providing client/server interaction.  Open RIA Services enables developers to author business logic on the familiar ASP.NET platform and have the same business logic apply on the client.  By providing Unit-of-Work operations and deep validation functionality, developers spend more time focusing on their own application requirements and less time implementing communication protocols between the client and server.

The Open RIA Services framework composes server-side functionality, client-side functionality, and tooling as separate sets of libraries.  The server-side libraries provide prescriptive patterns for business logic classes to communicate with data access libraries and to define the validation rules to apply on both the server and the client.  The client-side libraries provide the underlying capabilities for the application client to communicate with the server, and to build up the unit of work to be sent to the server.  The tooling libraries perform code generation to expose the server-side entities and operations to the client with a rich and domain-specific programming model.


Who are you and what have you done with the Microsoft we used to know... :P

The "new" Microsoft continues to impress with its openness and willingness to free and open source their dev projects/frameworks/services.

<snarkycomment>Now if only we'd hear something, anything about the future of Windows Live Writer... Yeah, I know, apples and oranges, but still...</snarkycomment>

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