Microsoft launched CodePlex, a collaborative software development and open source code sharing platform in June 2006. On Friday, the Redmond, Wash. technology giant announced that it is shutting down the site later this year.
"CodePlex provides a forum to bring together developers from around the world and gives them tools, source code and an advanced platform for designing and building software," stated Jon Rosenberg, the director of Community Source Programs at Microsoft at the time of the service's launch nearly 11 years ago.
"CodePlex is just one of the ways in which Microsoft is fostering collaborative community innovation. Through the Shared Source Initiative, Microsoft has engaged with over 2 million developers on 120 different programs."
CodePlex originally launched with 30 projects back in 2006 and had grown to encompass thousands more. Fast forward more than a decade, and the CodePlex community—what's left of it—has fallen victim to disuse and spammers explained Microsoft corporate vice president Brian Harry in a March 31 blog post.
For most of March, there have been fewer than 350 projects that produced a source code commit that involves incorporating the latest changes to a project's source code, Harry wrote. Making matters worse, spammers had coopted the CodePlex.com domain for their nefarious activities over the past few years, he added.
Faced with dwindling usage and a spam problem, Microsoft decided to pull the plug on the service on Dec. 15. Leading up to that deadline, the company will set the site to a read-only mode in October and perform a full backup of the site.
"At that time, CodePlex.com will start serving a read-only lightweight archive that will allow you to browse through all published projects – their source code, downloads, documentation, license, and issues – as they looked when CodePlex went read-only," wrote Harry.
"You'll also be able to download an archive file with your project contents, all in common, transferrable formats like Markdown and JSON. Where possible, we'll put in place redirects so that existing URLs work, or at least redirect you to the project's new homepage on the archive," he wrote.
For contributors who have already found a new home for their projects, the new CodePlex.com archive will continue to adhere to their "I've Moved" settings, he assured.
Microsoft is encouraging CodePlex users to consider a move to the popular GitHub repository.
Microsoft has partnered with GitHub on a streamlined project import process to help developers migrate their source code, documentation and licenses. A migration tool for CodePlex's issue tracking and management component is also in the works.
In a separate blog post, Sara Ford, a senior product manager at GitHub, noted that the organizations had already forged strong ties. "Microsoft has made significant contributions to open source on GitHub over the years. With more than 16,000 open source contributors, these contributions continue to positively impact both the Microsoft ecosystem and the open source community," she said.