Empowering Community with Open Source on Microsoft Azure

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Open-source software and components have been the backbone of many applications and services. As the matter of fact, Microsoft mentions on its website that “it is not uncommon to use over 150,000 open-source components each month while building products and services.” 

Although open-source platforms seem more common among start-up companies, businesses, and organizations, it should not deter larger companies from experimenting with open-source platforms or technologies, especially with trial services or products. 

Large businesses and organizations should not be discouraged from using open-source software or technology, especially when such software and technology is running on an established cloud platform like Microsoft Azure 

Recently, several talented young Malaysians have worked together alongside the Ministry of Health on the new CovidNow website using open-source technology. The website showcases real time data of Covid-19 cases in Malaysia, including the vaccination rates, death rates, cases according to states, and the severity of the cases.  

The CovidNow project showcases that even government agencies can benefit from open-source technology for their websites 


What is Open-Source? 

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Open-source technology is when the creators of software, developers, or IT scientists, has readily made the source code to the technology available for the public. In other words, the public can view the code and use it for their own projects, with respect to the terms of the license that the open-source software has. 

Open source is favorable for many industries because of its collaborative nature. Its licenses promote collaboration among people worldwide who then can make modifications to the source codes and incorporate those changes on their own projects, websites, or applications. Open source mutually benefits both parties of creators and the general public. 

What would be the opposite of open source? 

Proprietary or closed source software are the opposite of open source. Unlike open source, only the original authors of this type of software are allowed to access it and modify it to suit the software’s needs.  

Proprietary software is not collaborative. It can only be edited by the authors of the code or software. An example of closed source would be Microsoft Office software. 


Microsoft and the Open-Source Community 

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Microsoft is very supportive of the open-source community which is proven with the company’s involvement with open-source projects through the Free and Open Source Software Fund (FOSS Fund). FOSS Fund grants $10,000 sponsorship awards for selected projects throughout the year. The projects are voted by the fellow developers within the community itself to ensure that the sponsorship truly benefits the people. 

Microsoft mentions that open source provides “autonomy and control for developers to flexibly choose their infrastructure and give them options to build, migrate, and deploy across multiple environments on premises, in the cloud, or at the end.” 

Developer teams of about 30,000 Microsoft employees are equipped with GitHub accounts to contribute to open-source projects or provide open-source coding. Microsoft’s ownership of GitHub showcases the commitment that Microsoft has for the open-source community. 

Microsoft is also known to partner up with open-source organisations to maximise the potentials of open-source technologies among individuals, communities, and start-ups.


Azure as the Cloud for Open-Source Developers 

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Microsoft Azure gives developers control and flexibility over their projects. The infrastructure, operating system, database, language, deployment tool, and methodology, are all determined by the developers themselves. Azure is a highly secure cloud platform with the broadest compliance coverage so developers and users and rest easy knowing their data and projects are safe. 

Microsoft Azure is a versatile tool that is suitable for any open-source projects that can run on most platforms and infrastructures. It is the cloud most suitable for open-source developers as Azure is compatible with open-source technologies, codes, or extensions. 

Microsoft Azure is also in support of fast innovation. According to John Gossman, an Azure Engineer, “Azure also provides a number of services to help you build AI-powered applications. With Azure Machine Learning you can build, train, and deploy machine learning models using open-source python machine learning libraries and platforms.” 

Azure is a great cloud choice for open-source developers and more importantly, it is secure from cyberattacks. Gossman elaborates, “Critical to machine learning is mitigating unfairness, protecting your users with differential privacy, and documenting the machine learning lifecycle with datasheets. Microsoft is putting responsible machine learning principles into practice and open-sourcing machine learning toolkits to enable data scientists and developers to innovate responsibly.” 

Microsoft Azure lets developers and users be as creative as they can be. Developers and users can build on their own terms with integrated support for open source tools, languages, and frameworks. Azure helps developers to build their applications faster without having to worry about flexibility or the platform where the application will run. 


At Enfrasys, we support new initiatives. 

As a trusted Microsoft partner, we provide businesses with Microsoft Azure as part of the many solutions that we offer. With Azure, organisations can deliver resources faster, support new projects, and keep pace with their growing industries. In order to meet the demands of your businesses, Enfrasys can provide a flexible and resilient infrastructure that is easy to manage and scale through Microsoft Azure 

By taking advantage of innovations across datacenter and cloud, Enfrasys can simplify your infrastructure and accelerate delivery of services to the business. Enterprise-grade virtualisation and unified management give you a foundation in your datacenter, while hybrid options give you access to the boundless capacity of the cloud. 

Take the right step to upgrade your businesses with the right cloud: Azure! Contact our Enfrasys experts today 


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