Looking to build community around some of its Web development properties, Microsoft is releasing source code for its ASP.Net Web API and ASP.Net Web Pages technologies under an open source license.

The two projects are being made available via an Apache 2.0 license. They have their code repositories hosted on Microsoft's CodePlex open source project site, leveraging Git version control, said Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president in the Microsoft server and tools business, in a blog post this week. ASP.Net Web API features a framework for building HTTP services for clients, including browsers and mobile devices; developers can build RESTful applications on Microsoft's .Net Framework. ASP.Net Web Pages, also known as "Razor," enables the combining of server code with HTML to build dynamic Web content.

By hosting code repositories on CodePlex and releasing source code, Microsoft wants to increase transparency for these two projects; ASP.Net MVC, which already has been available under an open source license, will be hosted on CodePlex as well. "[Releasing source code and hosting the projects on CodePlex] will enable a more open development model where everyone in the community will be able to engage and provide feedback on code checkins, bug fixes, and new feature development, and build and test the products on a daily basis using the most up-to-date version of the source code and tests," Guthrie said.

Microsoft also will allow developers outside of Microsoft to submit patches and code for possible inclusion by the Microsoft development team, Guthrie said. "We announced a similar open development approach with the Windows Azure SDK last December and have found it to be a great way to build an even tighter feedback loop with developers -- and ultimately deliver even better products as a result." ASP.Net MVC, Web API, and Razor will continue to be fully supported Microsoft products shipping as standalone products and also as part of the Visual Studio IDE.