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windockslogoThe Amazon Web Services Marketplace has begun offering a free, downloadable “community edition” of WinDocks, from the Bellevue, Wash.-based startup of the same name. WinDocks says the community edition gives developers access to Microsoft .NET and SQL Server containers managed with Docker commands. The biggest point, said WinDocks co-founder and Vice President Paul Stanton, is that AWS is offering the software, whereas Microsoft is not doing the same through its competing Azure Marketplace.

“We’d like to offer the software through Azure, but Microsoft shows no interest,” Stanton said. “Many at Microsoft are still unaware of the importance of Docker, and the SQL Server group there is focused on porting its product to Linux rather than supporting it on Windows with Docker.”

Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

WinDocks is a port of the Docker engine to Windows Server 2012, which some surveys show will enjoy continued use for several more years despite the release of Docker-compliant Windows Server 2016, expected in Q3. Windows Server 2016 will support Docker but won’t offer image support for SQL Server, meaning “there’s no easy way to run SQL Server in a Docker container in Windows Server 2016,” Stanton said. “Some will argue otherwise, but they’re blowing smoke.”

Container technology bundles up an app and the components needed to run it in an easy-to-deploy package. The WinDocks community edition, with a limit of five containers, creates containers quickly and supports a team of developers or testers on a single VM, WinDocks said. It works on Windows Server 2012, creating .NET and SQL Server containers that use the Docker API and commands.

WinDocks is a two-year-old startup based in Bellevue, Wash. It has six employees, many of them former Microsoft engineers, said Stanton, declining to reveal its total funding.

Versions of WinDocks for Windows 8 and 10 are planned for announcement next week, he said.

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