Microsoft Azure container team releases first open-source developer tool

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols | ZD Net | May 31, 2017

Microsoft releases Draft, an open-source tool to streamline development of applications running on Kubernetes.

At CoreOS Fest in San Francisco, Calif., Microsoft's Gabe Monroy, lead project manager for containers on Microsoft Azure, announced the release of Draft, a tool to streamline development of applications running on any Kubernetes cluster. With Draft, which Monroy said was the first open-source program to emerge from the Azure Container group, developers can use two simple commands to begin hacking on container-based applications with no knowledge of Docker or Kubernetes. "In fact," Monroy claimed, "developers don't even need Docker or Kubernetes installed to get going."

Monroy and his team came to Microsoft as part of the Microsoft's Deis acquisition. When Microsoft bought Deis Scott Guthrie, Microsoft's executive vice president of Cloud and Enterprise, said the acquisition is part of Microsoft's quest to ensuring Azure is the best place to run containerized workloads. Simultaneously, Monroy, then Deis's chief technology officer, said the Deis team will continue with its contributions to Workflow, Helm, and Steward while "maintaining our deep engagement with the Kubernetes community." Now, barely a month after joining Microsoft, Monroy and his team are proving their promise.

Draft targets the inner loop of a developer's workflow -- while developers write code, but before they commit changes to version control. Here's how it works: When developers run 'draft create,' the tool detects the application language and writes out a simple Dockerfile and Kubernetes Helm, Kubernete's package manager, chart into the source tree. This uses configurable Draft 'packs' that can support any language, framework, or runtime environment. By default, Draft supports Python, Node.js, Java, Ruby, PHP, and Go...