Last week the availability of the first Community Technology Preview (CTP) of a new plugin for Eclipse and Windows Azure Platform was announced. The March CTP of the Windows Azure Plugin for Eclipse with Java, provides Java developers with a simple way to build and deploy web applications for Windows Azure and is released as an open source project under the Apache 2.0 license.

The plugin adds a set of wizards and dialogs to Eclipse, which guide the Java developer through the configuration of all relevant projects settings. The plugin builds on top of the Windows Azure Starter Kit for Java, which is a simple template project including the typical files that constitute a Java project, as well as the required elements to package and deploy your application for Windows Azure.

The team, working on this project (Persistent Systems and Microsoft), said that  this CTP is not feature complete, and are happy for any feedback to improve it further. For more information visit http://java.interopbridges.com/cloud and for quick installation, follow this process:

To install using the Eclipse "Available Software" wizard:

  1. Open Eclipse
  2. Select Help->Install New Software…
  3. In the "Work with" textbox, enter the URL http://webdownload.persistent.co.in/windowsazureplugin4ej/ and press Enter
  4. In the available software list check Windows Azure Plugin for Eclipse with Java and click Next -Tip: If your install process is slow uncheck "Contact all update sites during install to find required software".
  5. During the install you may be prompted by a security warning about unsigned binaries. Accept the warning to continue.
  6. Restart Eclipse

Have fun with Java on Windows Azure!