Microsoft shuts down CodePlex, commits to GitHub

Company axes own-brand project-hosting platform, citing low usage

Microsoft is shutting down its open source project-hosting platform CodePlex in favour of moving code to GitHub, the company has announced.

Redmond launched CodePlex 11 years ago as a place for developers to collaborate on and store software, initially using the company's Team Foundation source control but later adding options for Git, Subversion and Mercurial. However, it appears the service has outlived its usefulness.

"Over the years, we've seen a lot of amazing options come and go," the company said in a blog post announcing the shutdown, "but at this point, GitHub is the de facto place for open source sharing and most open source projects have migrated there."

"Over the past few years, we've watched many CodePlex projects migrate. During the same period, we've had to address several issues, including a spam epidemic over several months in 2015, as spammers sought to take advantage of the CodePlex.com domain to boost their illicit activities. We've also seen a substantial decrease in usage: as of this writing, less than 350 projects saw a source code commit in the last 30 days."

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Microsoft already contributes heavily to GitHub's open source ecosystem, hosting key tools like .NET, TypeScript and Visual Studio Code on the platform. It also boasts the most contributors of any organisation, outstripping Facebook, Docker and Google with a total of more than 16,000.

Microsoft has now disabled the ability to create new CodePlex projects. The site will be set to read-only in October and shut down altogether by 15 December. The company will take a complete backup of the site before that point, however, and Microsoft will operate the site as an archive, meaning users will be able to browse and download cached versions of their projects.

The company has partnered with GitHub to make the migration process as easily as possible. A custom tool has been created to allow the handful of developers that do still use the platform to transfer their projects over smoothly, with redirects on CodePlex to point people to its new location on GitHub.

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