The portfolio for PHP developers building applications in the cloud just got richer.  There are 4 useful tools that you can use with Eclipse to develop & deploy PHP applications to Windows Azure.

“Microsoft has been working to build bridges with open source communities for several years, and over the past two years has expanded its open source community project work to support cloud platform interoperability.  “We are working to give open source developers more access to our platforms,” said Vijay Rajagopalan, Principal Architect for Microsoft’s Interoperability Strategy team. “One example of this is our support for an open and interoperable cloud, which we believe is critical for businesses, governments and organizations to take full advantage of cloud-enabled innovations. The new SDKs and tools we are announcing today are an important step towards ensuring an open cloud that in turn brings greater flexibility to our partners and customers.”

· Windows Azure Companion – September 2010 Community Technology Preview(CTP)– is a new tool that aims to provide a seamless experience when installing and configuring PHP platform-elements (PHP runtime, extensions) and Web applications running on Windows Azure. This first CTP focuses on PHP, but it may be extended to be used for deploying any open source component or application that runs on Windows Azure. Read below for more details.

· Windows Azure Tools for Eclipse for PHP - September 2010 Update–is a plug-in for PHP developers using the Eclipse development environment, which provides tools to create, test and deploy Web applications targeting Windows Azure.

· Windows Azure Command-line Tools for PHP – September 2010 Update– is a command-line tool, which offers PHP developers a simple way to package PHP based applications in order to deploy to Windows Azure.

· Windows Azure SDK for PHP– Version 2.0 – enables PHP developers to easily extend their applications by leveraging Windows Azure services (like blobs, tables and queues) in their Web applications whether they run on Windows Azure or on another cloud platform.”