I moved on from WCF Web API, but Web API IS still moving

If you’ve my last few posts around the new Windows Azure SDK for Node.js and you have not been following me on twitter, then you might be suspicious. Let me remove the suspicion, I’ve moved on from the Web API team about 5 months ago to help with our Node.js on Azure story.

My ride with Web API

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I’ve had a thrillingly fantastic ride being with the Web API team. When I first joined WCF after leaving the MEF team, I had a ton of folks pinging me on twitter asking me what in the world I was doing / why would I go to WCF. I told them there was an opportunity for WCF to do the right thing for customers building HTTP/RESTful APIS. I also said that we would not do it alone and we would work with the community. Sebastian Lambla (@serialseb) can attest to this as he and I chatted before I even agreed to take the job. Seb was supportive and agreed to help us along with a bunch of other folks.

Since then we think we’ve delivered on that promise. At PDC last year we released our first drop of Web API on Codeplex and published our Mercurial repo, since then we’ve been releasing as frequently as we could including on Nuget.

So far, we’ve heard that people like like what we are doing. We’ve been developing a library that really helps you take full advantage of HTTP and REST (if you desire) to support an evolving set of clients. Not only that, but it’s complexity bar is low and the simplicity bar is high. Also it plays much better with good principles of software design like separation-of-concerns, and offers good compatibility with good software practices like test-driven-development.

We’ve had a core set of advisors from the community helping us at every stage to build something useful in the real world, telling us what to do and more importantly what NOT to do. We’ve taken a ton of feedback from the broader community and driven it back to the product. Finally we’ve seen some great efforts from the community both in education on how to use it and in extensions to the core product.

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I am indebted deeply to the people I worked with on the Web API team. We accomplished a lot with the odds stacked against us. I am also indebted to our advisors who invested a lot of personal energy and time to helps guide us. I feel privileged to have worked with such stellar people, there’s too many of you to name, but you know who you are!

As for my part well, I felt like the phony on the team with all the great minds that were around me. I did my part, but the real work was of the folks I mentioned.

Web API IS still moving and it will shipMP900438637[1]

Since my last few posts and throughout my tweeting over the past few months, I’ve received a lot of questions from folks asking me “What about Web API”. Is it another dead carcass left in the framework graveyard? Is it another sacred text to be stored in the gigantic warehouse of Raiders of the Lost Ark*? The answer is an emphatic no!

* – Yes I am delusional

Yes, I’ve moved on, but Web API is moving on as well to bigger and brighter places. The team is pumped up and the product is moving like a high speed train going at 200 mph! You’ll have to take my word for it, but I believe it is headed in the best possible direction than I could have ever hoped for. I also believe it is the best outcome for you, our developers.  I can’t talk about it now, but you will be hearing about it shortly in a big announcement. I am sure many of you can imagine what that will be.  You can find a big teaser in this discussion thread.

The meta point here is if you are investing in Web API, you’ve made a good decision. And if you haven’t, well you should probably start ;-) There’s much more goodness to come!

Keep watching ScottGu’s and Howard Dierking’s blog for details on the extremely bright future of Web API!

Why Node.js?

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I have been an avid mostly observer of Node.js for the past two years. I first learned about it at Øredev. It offers a simplified model for building highly scalable web applications using server side JavaScript. I talked a bit about my own perspectives on Why Node in my interview here. Since it’s inception we’ve seen an explosion of interest in Node across the industry. Recently we’ve also seen a lot of interest around making Node.js work well for Windows. We’ve worked with Joyent to make that a reality, and we’ve also look at how to better integrate Node with Windows with efforts like iisnode.

A few months back I was asked if I’d be interested in helping to take that support for Node.s to Windows Azure. Seeing the excitement around Node.js, the opportunity to make Azure a great place for developing Node.js applications, the opportunity to make Azure a truly open platform, and the bonus of doing it in ScottGu’s org, I jumped at the chance.

And so, if you look for me now going forward, you’ll find me on the Azure SDK team! Going forward you’ll see much more about the work we are doing in this space on my blog.

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Thank you all for your support! I am truly grateful for the opportunities you (and Microsoft) gives me to help you build better software. See you in the cloud!

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  • http://kashyapas.com Lohith

    Hey Glen … good luck … it was fun reading your stuff on WebAPI stuff …

  • Dominic

    I think Node.js is a powerful tool but I’m afraid that in 2-3 years I’m going to start seeing it in a large unmaintainable state, not unlike PHP sites today.  

    Do you have any suggestions that could help keep an enterprise sized code base filled with Node.js from becoming a mess?

    Thanks!

    Dominic
    https://getASoftwareJob.com/

  • Jay Ahn

    Hi Glenn. Changes are good.  Everything in life changes.  You have only two choices. You change or being changed.  Look forward to your Azure adventure.  I have some reservation on Jnode in terms of its arhcitecture and long-term viability. However, I liked SignalR…

  • http://twitter.com/zubairdotnet Zubair Ahmed

    So you have moved once again, I didn’t know that :) Well Congrats.

  • http://blogs.msdn.com/gblock Glenn Block

    Thanks Ryan. We’re looking to add aliases that are much smaller. What would you want to see?

  • http://twitter.com/cromwellryan Ryan Cromwell

    Congrats!  Look forward to seeing those powershell commands getting a little… prettier.