Jump In Camp – Who is here and what are they doing?

June 21, 2011


As reported earlier, this week I am attending Microsoft’s SQL Server Jump-in Camp in Seattle. This is a different kind of Camp, the focus is on writing code, not necessarily learning new techniques. That is not to say that there isn’t learning, showcasing and demoing going on, but it is obviously not the focus of the week.

This week 10 PHP based projects are all hacking away at their source code seeing if SQL Server and Azure SQL Server can be integrated into their code base. Beyond the obvious goal of allowing their users to deploy their projects on yet another platform, the developers in attendance are also competing for prizes. The first two projects to deploy code allowing users to use SQL Server as a data store receive an Xbox 360 + Kinect. The next two receive $100 gift certificates. The projects represented at this Jump In! Camp this time are as follows.

  • Media Wiki
  • PEAR
  • Frapi
  • CakePHP
  • Web2Project
  • Twillio
  • Zend Framework
  • VoceComm
  • Aura
  • Agavi

Some projects like the Agavi framework already have stable SQL Server integration so they are working on other Windows integration topics. Other projects like web2Project are not as far along. Regardless of the starting point however, each project represented is showing progress towards the goal of allowing them to run well on Windows. This is good news for the project, for the users of the project, and for PHP as a whole.

Day 1 of Jump In! Camp was divided into morning and afternoon activities. In the morning, we were bussed over to the Microsoft campus where we met with Ted Kummert. He, as well as several others from the management team outlined their goals for the week and shared a little with us about some of the things on which they are working. Each in turn answered questions from the audience and encouraged the developers present to contact them if they had questions in the future.

The afternoon was spent ramping up for development. This involved getting developers with OSX and Linux laptops loaded with Virtual Machines of Windows and access to the test SQL Servers that were brought in to test with. All in all, things went as smoothly as they possibly could have, given the nature of the task. In the end, most of the developers in attendance got everything ready and some projects even started setting up tests and getting ready to write code.

Jump In! Camp is a great boon for the PHP echo-system. Yes, Microsoft wins if PHP apps can run well on IIS and SQL Server instead of just Apache and MySQL. However, we as a community win as well as it opens new doors for us in places that have traditionally not been interested in PHP. If you are a user of one of these projects, make sure and contact the developer groups and encourage them as they add this new functionality in. If your project isn’t represented this year, encourage your team to reach out to Microsoft to help them understand how they can be included in a future Jump In! Camp.

About Cal Evans

Many moons ago, at the tender age of 14, Cal touched his first computer. (We're using the term "computer" loosely here, it was a TRS-80 Model 1) Since then his life has never been the same. He graduated from TRS-80s to Commodores and eventually to IBM PC's. For the past 10 years Cal has worked with PHP and MySQL on Linux OSX, and when necessary, Windows. He has built on a variety of projects ranging in size from simple web pages to multi-million dollar web applications. When not banging his head on his monitor, attempting a blood sacrifice to get a particular piece of code working, he enjoys building and managing development teams using his widely imitated but never patented management style of "management by wandering around". Cal is happily married to wife 1.31, the lovely and talented Kathy. Together they have 2 kids who were both bright enough not to pursue a career in IT. Cal blogs at http://blog.calevans.com and is the founder and host of Nomad PHP

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One Response to “Jump In Camp – Who is here and what are they doing?”

  1. 757coffeenews Says:

    Interesting to see how PHP can be used in other contexts. I will be watching to see if this works.

    Mike Seitz