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Microsoft supports open NativeScript language to boost TypeScript

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As developers move to open source tools, Microsoft has aligned its own TypeScript with the NativeScript language and opened up its Graph API, allowing apps to interact with Office 365.

Finding Microsoft among the presenters at a two-day technical conference on the NativeScript language for cross-platform development would likely come as a surprise to many. How times have changed.

In the cloud-based world, where the Windows platform has only minimal grip over cloud and mobile application development, Microsoft has morphed into an entity that wants to see all languages and platforms seamlessly interoperate. Though Microsoft's central mission remains driving usage of its Azure cloud environment, Gavin Bauman, a technical evangelist at Microsoft, explains in this podcast why the company has committed substantial resources in support of the NativeScript language and cross-platform development.

Gavin BaumanGavin Bauman

"Mobile app development is here to stay [and] you can do that with whatever tools make you happiest. As you may have been noticing, Microsoft has been contributing a ton to open source projects," Bauman says. "NativeScript is one … that allows developers to write code using technologies they're familiar with." That familiarity is with JavaScript.

Microsoft's support for the NativeScript language is a natural extension of the company's continuing investment in Microsoft TypeScript, according to Bauman. Created by Microsoft, TypeScript is a JavaScript superset designed for scalability, and which compiles to standard JavaScript. Version 2.0 was released in September 2016.

We're making a huge push for .NET; we've open sourced it.
Gavin BaumanMicrosoft

NativeScript, developed by Progress' Telerik unit, is a framework for cross-platform development to assist developers in creating native apps using JavaScript, CSS and XML. According to Progress, JavaScript, TypeScript and AngularJS are supported with NativeScript language APIs translated to native platform APIs at runtime. This friendship between NativeScript and TypeScript can be seen as support for Microsoft's venerable Visual Studio development platform.

.NET framework remains viable

Another venerable framework from Microsoft is .NET, known as .NET Core in its latest incarnation.

"We're making a huge push for .NET; we've open sourced it," says Bauman. "You've now got .NET Core, which can be compiled and run on a Mac, on a Linux machine and a Windows machine."

Also, as a result of Microsoft's February 2016 acquisition of Xamarin, Microsoft now controls Mono, an open source .NET framework for cross-platform development that enables developers to run C# programs on Android and iOS.

Office Graph API

The last topic Bauman discusses in this podcast is the Office Graph API. According to Microsoft documentation, "Microsoft Graph exposes multiple APIs from Office 365 and other Microsoft cloud services through a single endpoint." Its goal is to simplify queries that would otherwise be more complex. It's exposed as a REST API, says Bauman, making calls to it no different from calls to any other API.

Joel Shore is a news writer for TechTarget's Business Applications and Architecture Media Group. Write to him at [email protected] or follow @JshoreTT on Twitter.

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