Microsoft has finally released the source code for its Fluid Framework on GitHub, after more than a year's wait.
The software giant announced the framework at its Build conference in May 2019 and revealed the first details at Build 2020, promising that it would open source the framework within a month.
"Discovering the full potential of the Fluid Framework can only be accomplished through creating a diverse, open, and vibrant developer community," Microsoft's Jared Spataro said in May.
"For this reason, Microsoft will be making the Fluid Framework open source, allowing developers and creators to use key infrastructure from Fluid Framework in their own applications."
In a promotional video, Sam Broner, a Microsoft Fluid Framework software engineer, explained that Fluid provides developers with a way to build collaborative, low-latency experiences around documents.
The web-based Fluid Framework includes data structures to achieve low-latency synchronisation and a relay service to connect endpoints. This allows applications using Fluid data structures to support real-time collaboration.
Microsoft has been using the platform in its Microsoft 365 service to create collaborative files and documents that scale better than customary Office documents. Microsoft 365 also uses its own document type, .fluid, and a separate Fluid server. These documents are stored exclusively in the cloud and downloading or working with them locally is not possible.
The Fluid technology allows developers to leverage a customer-centric application model with persistent data, without a need to write custom server-side code.
Fluid supports 'hundreds' of concurrent users at a minimum, according to Microsoft, and could scale further.
The source code posted on GitHub is under the MIT license. The server is running on Node; Microsoft says full test coverage might not work on Windows.
The core technology powering Fluid Framework is "mature and stable," the company said, although "the layers built on top of that foundation are still a work in progress."
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