Microsoft updates Windows App Studio Beta
Microsoft aims to make building Windows Phone apps easier with the updated release of Windows App Studio beta. The App Studio was launched over a year ago, and since then about 1 million app projects have been created and almost 50,000 apps have been published to the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store, according to the company.

The new release features Windows Phone 8.1 sideloading, allowing developers to speed up testing on new apps and share it with other App Studio members; nine new languages including Chinese (simplified and traditional) English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish; new page layouts; and PCL improvements.

More information is available here.

Cloudera and Red Hat form Big Data alliance
Cloudera and Red Hat have announced a new alliance to provide joint enterprise software solutions such as data integration, application development tools and data platforms.

“Red Hat customers are looking for choices in open software solutions for big data and hybrid cloud to help them easily and quickly transform their infrastructure and applications,” said Scor Musson, VP of global strategic alliances at Red Hat. “With today’s announcement, Red Hat and Cloudera intend to give customers an open and modular technology stack to quickly derive new insights from their data, optimize their existing investment in platform infrastructure and lower the overall cost of managing data platforms.”

The companies plan to work together on cloud-ready data platforms, enterprise-ready data platforms and agile data integration and application development tools.

JetBrains releases Kotlin M9
JetBrains has released version M9 of its Kotlin statically typed programming language that compiles to JavaScript.

Kotlin M9 relaxes Java interoperability by adding specifically marked “platform type” references. Kotlin doesn’t enforce null safety for platform types, but rather emits assertions in the byte code to make sure a non-null variable doesn’t hold a null. The latest language release also implements a platformStatic annotation to define methods as static when being called from Java, removes local object declarations while adding non-local returns, and introduces incremental improvements to JavaScript support, the IntelliJ IDEA plugin and the IDE.

More information on Kotlin M9 can be found in the JetBrains blog post by JetBrains developer advocacy lead Hadi Hariri.

HasiCorp releases Terraform 0.3

HashiCorp has released version 0.3 of its Terraform infrastructure creation tool with a variety of new features and stability improvements.

Terraform 0.3 introduces features including modules, dynamic resource counts, user input for parameterization, JSON-based state and provisioner output. HashiCorp founder and Vagrant creator Mitchell Hashimoto announced the release in a blog post, detailing Terraform’s built-in module management for GitHub, BitBucket, Git, Mercurial, HTTP, and file paths, added support for dynamic resources counts and index variables and more.

“Terraform 0.3 is a massive release,” Hashimoto wrote. “It brings not only a large number of features but also a lot of stability to the project. As we said earlier, this is the release to try if you’ve been waiting to jump onto Terraform.”

To learn more about what HashiCorp is up to, head over to our feature on SD Times’ Companies to Watch in 2015.