In collaboration with the Eclipse Foundation and the broader open source community, Microsoft has improved interoperability between the Eclipse and Windows platforms.

As a sponsor at the annual European Eclipse summit in Ludwigsburg, Microsoft announced this week new interoperability solutions across three major products that will make it easier for developers to create and deploy a mix of Microsoft and open source technologies. These new solutions will help developers using the Eclipse platform to take advantage of the new features in Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008, and enable cross-platform interoperability with Windows Azure and Microsoft Silverlight.

Don Syme, Microsoft Research, delivered a keynote speech by and Vijay Rajagopalan, principal architect, Microsoft Interoperability Strategy team led technical sessions.

As part of an ongoing initiative to make its products more open, Microsoft is working with open source companies on several projects designed to foster interoperability and make Eclipse a first-class tool on the Microsoft platform.

Specifically, the new interoperability solutions that will help developers using the Eclipse platform to take advantage of the new features in Microsoft Windows 7 Window Server 2008 R2, and reinforce Java and PHP interoperability with Windows Azure and Microsoft Silverlight.

The projects will provide greater choice and opportunities for developers working in heterogeneous computing environments and who use a mix of Microsoft and open source technologies and include:

  • An Enhanced Developer Experience for Eclipse on Windows 7, a joint project to enhance the overall developer experience of Eclipse on Windows 7 by developing updates to the Eclipse integrated development environment (IDE) that will incorporate new features – and improved productivity and user experience - available in Windows 7 and Window Server 2008 R2. 
  • Windows Azure Tools for Eclipse, a new open source plug-in that will enable PHP developers using Eclipse to create web applications targeting Windows Azure.  The Windows Azure Tools for Eclipse are available as a free download at www.windowsazure4e.org.
  • Windows Azure Software Developer Kit (SDK) for Java, an open source project that consists of tools and resources to help bridge Java developers to Windows Azure. The Windows Azure SDK for Java is available for download here: http://www.windowsazure4j.org/
  • Eclipse Tools for Silverlight, the release of 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 (RIAs), and includes support for the Macintosh platform. The plug-in provides guidance for greater interoperability between Silverlight-based applications and Java-based web sites and web services, including REST, SOAP, JSON and other standards. 

Because today’s IT environment reflects multiple systems and standards, the technology industry must collaborate to help our customers excel. Microsoft is changing to be more open – more open in engineering, collaboration and access to Microsoft intellectual property (IP) – and in building bridges between Microsoft technologies and other software providers to help connect disparate people, data and systems. 

Microsoft’s approach to openness spans collaboration, developer resources, industry standards participation and products.

  • Collaboration: We’re working with others to drive more interoperability and create opportunities for developers and customers. 
  • Access: We’re providing access to our IP through activities such as our technical licensing program, interoperability labs, community support forums and the publishing of more than 50,000 pages of technical protocol documentation.
  • Standards: We’re participating in the process to help create useful, open IT industry standards.
  • Products: We’re creating our products to deliver more and more ready-built bridges between Microsoft applications and other software, including open source applications. 

Additional technical details on each of the projects can be found in a post on the Interoperability @ Microsoft blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/interoperability/.

The full press release, with additional details on availability, is published to Microsoft PressPass at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2009/oct09/10-28eclipsepr.mspx.