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New API Released for Visual Studio Online

The API integrates many third-party tools and cloud-based services using standard Web technologies.

Microsoft has released a new API for Visual Studio Online that provides more integration with Web-based tools and services, with the goal of becoming a "hub for ALM in the cloud."

That's how it was described by S. "Soma" Somasegar, corporate vice president of the Developer Division, on his blog. The new API uses common, standard Web technologies like JSON, OAuth, REST and service hooks, making it easy for most Web developers to work with, without abandoning their everyday tools and technologies.

Microsoft Technical Fellow Brian Harry blogged that the first release of the API has "specific integrations with 18 tools/services, and we'll add more in the future." Some of them include Azure Service Bus, Zapier, AppVeyor, Apprenda, SendGrid, Flowdock and SourceClear.

The API also allows integration with cloud services like GitHub, Jenkins, HipChat, Trello and others, Somasegar said.

The REST APIs use standard JSON and OAuth2, and can be accessed from any HTTP client. That fits in with Microsoft's desire to enable Visual Studio Online functionality from mobile devices. "For example," Somasegar blogged, "a developer can programmatically access the Git repositories in their Visual Studio online account."

The service hooks alert other services about various activities within Visual Studio Online like updated work items, new code, completed builds and new comments.

Microsoft has created a landing page with information and common scenarios for integrating the various third-party tools, along with a reference page for the REST API. In addition, an integration page has been published, with details about interoperating with Team Foundation Server, Visual Studio, Visual Studio Online and the Visual Studio Industry Partner (VSIP) Program.

First announced last November, Visual Studio Online reached general availability last month. Somasegar noted that more than 1 million accounts have been created for the service thus far.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

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