Codenvy teams with Microsoft to help developers work together

A new Visual Studio Team Services extension ties development workspaces to work issues

Developers who want to collaborate more efficiently on coding projects have a new tool to work with, thanks to a partnership between Microsoft and Codenvy.

The companies have teamed up to offer an extension to Microsoft’s Visual Studio Team Services that lets developers create a cloud-based workspace with the correct tools to work on a shared project. In an unexpected move, Microsoft also joined the Eclipse Foundation to support the project underpinning the integration.

Codenvy users can click on a link inside a work item in VSTS and they’ll be transported to a cloud workspace that has the project files they need along with a dedicated runtime. Each workspace is containerized using Docker, and allows developers to work together on a change before it’s merged into the main code repository to evaluate changes before they’re committed.

The extension is supposed to help developers, product managers, users and other stakeholders work on code together in an integrated development environment (IDE) without having to stare at the same computer screen, or merge the code in order to collaborate.

It's all powered by the open source Eclipse Che project, which Codenvy leads development of. Tuesday marks the initial release of Che, which gives teams the ability to create shared workspaces similar to what Codenvy offers with its VSTS integration, though it doesn’t natively tie them to tasks the way that the Visual Studio tool does. 

“Eclipse Che is rethinking the way IDEs are built and used by developers. It uses Docker, Java and JavaScript to create a more flexible and dynamic developer work experience, ” Mike Milinkovich, the executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, said in a statement.

In addition to that news, Microsoft is also joining the Eclipse Foundation, the organization charged with overseeing the open source Eclipse IDE. That's a surprising move for the Redmond-based company, considering that it sells Visual Studio, an IDE that competes with Eclipse.

It's Microsoft's second move around open source this week. It announced Monday that it's developing a version of its SQL Server software for Linux

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