Eclipse Gets Interoperability and Next-Generation Experience on the Microsoft Platform
Oct. 28, 2009
Microsoft teams with Tasktop Technologies and Soyatec on open source projects designed to foster interoperability and make Eclipse a first-class tool on the Microsoft platform.

LUDWIGSBURG, Germany — Oct. 28, 2009 — Part of an ongoing initiative to make its products more open, Microsoft Corp. today announced at the Eclipse Summit Europe new solutions that help developers using the Eclipse platform take advantage of the new features in Windows 7 and Window Server 2008 R2, and reinforce Java and PHP interoperability with Windows Azure and Microsoft Silverlight. Microsoft worked with open source companies, Tasktop Technologies Inc. from Canada for Windows 7 and Window Server 2008 R2, and Soyatec from France for Windows Azure and Silverlight, to provide greater choice and opportunities for developers working in heterogeneous computing environments and use a mix of Microsoft and open source technologies.

“Enabling customers to better manage their dynamic IT systems is one of today’s real market opportunities for developers. Microsoft’s goal with these interoperability projects is to further open up this opportunity to the Eclipse ecosystem,” said Jean Paoli, general manager of Interoperability Strategy at Microsoft. “This collaboration with Tasktop and Soyatec — and the new opportunity it creates with tools to make it easier to build on Microsoft’s open platforms — reflects the value we place on the ingenuity of the Eclipse developer community.”

Eclipse on Windows 7: A New Generation of Interoperability

Recognizing the interoperability needs of developers as they program in different languages, Microsoft and Tasktop Technologies, a leading Eclipse-based solution provider, have initiated a joint project to enhance the overall developer experience of Eclipse on Windows 7, the next-generation Windows platform released for general availability last week. The work will consist of developing updates to the Eclipse integrated development environment (IDE) that will incorporate new features available in Windows 7 and Window Server 2008 R2, ensuring that the improved productivity and user experience of Windows 7 will be available to developers using the Eclipse IDE, as well as to desktop applications built on the Eclipse platform.

The new Eclipse user experience on Windows 7 will enable developers to take advantage of Windows 7-specific functionality, such as Jump Lists (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/features/jump-lists.aspx?tabid=2&catid=2) from the redesigned Windows 7 taskbar, which enable quick access to Eclipse-specific actions. The initial work will extend the Eclipse Standard Widget Toolkit to integrate Windows 7 features, such as taskbar display of progress and search widget integration. The updates also will modernize the look and feel of Eclipse to match the Windows 7 user interface experience.

“Windows 7 takes the desktop client to a new level of refinement and usability, and introduces new integration opportunities,” said Mik Kersten, CEO of Tasktop Technologies and creator of the open source Eclipse Mylyn project. “Our collaboration with Microsoft will benefit the Eclipse ecosystem by bringing the new features in Windows 7 to both the Eclipse IDE and to Eclipse-based desktop applications.”

Tasktop will be contributing enhancements to the Eclipse IDE that will be available under the Eclipse Public License for early access the first quarter of 2010 and targeted for general release with Eclipse Helios in June 2010. Microsoft is providing funding and architectural guidance for the project.

Windows Azure Tools for Eclipse for PHP Developers Enhances Cloud Interoperability

A new open source plug-in was also announced today that gives developers more flexibility when using the Eclipse development environment, which will help advance industry cloud interoperability efforts. The Windows Azure  Tools for Eclipse will enable PHP developers using Eclipse to create Web applications targeting Windows Azure, Microsoft’s operating system for the cloud. The plug-in offers PHP developers a series of wizards and utilities allowing them to write, debug, configure and deploy PHP applications to Windows Azure. The plug-in bundles the existing Windows Azure software development kit (SDK) for PHP into the Eclipse PHP project. The plug-in includes a Window Azure storage explorer that allows developers to browse data contained into the Windows Azure tables, blobs or queues. The Windows Azure Tools for Eclipse is available as a free download at http://www.windowsazure4e.org.

Windows Azure SDK for Java Developers

Another open source project unveiled today is the new Windows Azure SDK for Java, which provides tools and resources to help bridge Java developers to Windows Azure. The SDK lets Java developers utilize Windows Azure storage services for storing data, an important benefit for developers because it provides simple developments methods when they write Web applications. The Windows Azure SDK for Java is available for download at http://www.windowsazure4j.org.

Microsoft worked in collaboration with Soyatec, a France-based IT solutions provider to develop the Windows Azure Tools for Eclipse for PHP and the Windows Azure SDK for Java.

Eclipse Tools for Silverlight to Cross-Platform Interoperability

Microsoft and Soyatec have released version 1.0 of the Eclipse Silverlight plug-in, an open source, cross-platform plug-in for the Eclipse development environment that enables Eclipse developers to build Silverlight rich Internet applications. This project includes support for the Macintosh platform, and provides guidance for greater interoperability between Silverlight-based applications and Java-based Web sites and Web services, including REST, SOAP, JSON and other standards. A Customer Technology Preview (CTP) of the plug-in was first made available in March 2009.

The Eclipse Tools for Silverlight provides choice and enables interoperability by allowing Eclipse developers to develop code for the Silverlight platform using the popular Eclipse development tool and collaborate with developers working with Microsoft Visual Studio and Microsoft Expression Studio tools. The release to manufacturing of version 1.0 can be downloaded at no charge at http://www.eclipse4sl.org.

In addition, due to the popularity of the project, Microsoft and Soyatec have released a road map (http://www.eclipse4sl.org/#roadmap) that details their future plan to support the project for subsequent releases of Silverlight.

Microsoft Continues to Tackle the Technical Work of Interoperability

The culmination of today’s announcements is a reflection of an ongoing effort by Microsoft to drive greater interoperability and a commitment to provide more choices to developers by building bridges between Microsoft technologies and those of other software providers. For example, in the past six months, Microsoft has collaborated with others in the industry to deliver several resources and technical tools to bridge non-Microsoft languages — including PHP and Java — and Microsoft technologies including the Windows Azure SDK for PHP, the toolkit for PHP with ADO.NET Data Services, and the Restlet Extension for ADO.NET Data Services, a technical bridge for Java and Microsoft .NET. Most recently, Microsoft joined Zend Technologies Ltd., IBM Corp. and others for an open source, cloud interoperability project called Simple API for Cloud Application Services, which will allow developers to write basic cloud applications that work in all of the major cloud platforms.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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