S. Somasegar is the corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft. Learn more about Somasegar.
You have heard us talk about our commitment to interoperability in the past.
Today, I’m excited to tell you about new support for Silverlight in Eclipse. Microsoft funded a project by Soyatec, a France-based IT solutions provider and Eclipse Foundation member, to develop an open source plug-in called Eclipse4SL which enables advanced Silverlight development capabilities in the Eclipse IDE.
Soyatec’s Eclipse4SL is a plug-in that works with the Eclipse Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and Eclipse Rich Client Platform (RCP) to enable both Silverlight development and better interoperability between Silverlight and existing Java investments in web sites and web services. Soyatec is releasing Eclipse4SL under the Eclipse Public License Version 1.0 on SourceForge, and has submitted it to the Eclipse Foundation as an open Eclipse project.
Getting Started with Eclipse4SL
A release candidate from Eclipse4SL’s M2 milestone has recently become available and is very easy to get up and running in Eclipse. The easy way to pick up Eclipse4SL is just to download it from Eclipse and install it through the Eclipse Update Wizard (seen below.) You simply choose http://www.eclipse4sl.org and click “Install” to get started. Alternatively, you can manually install it from http://www.eclipse4sl.org/download/#MixedInstall - instructions for the required steps are listed on this page.
With Eclipse4SL installed, you can now build Silverlight applications in Eclipse. To start, select Windows->Open Perspective->Other… to open the perspective selection dialog where you can choose between the Visual Studio or Eclipse Style Silverlight perspective.
Once you set the Silverlight perspective, select File->New. Here, you will find two types of Silverlight projects to choose from - Silverlight Project and Silverlight Web Project. Select Silverlight Web Project, which enables you to embed your Silverlight application within a Web page that has other elements. Specify your project name to create the project file and you’re all set for Silverlight development in Eclipse!
Here is a quick summary of some of the features:
Resource & Project Management
With Eclipse4SL, developers can use pure Eclipse project & resource management or Visual Studio. A project explorer is also available to manage the project resources. The following sets of wizards generate desired project templates.
· Silverlight project
· Silverlight Web project
· UI component
· Import Visual Studio project in Eclipse
Code and XAML Editor
The code & XAML editor is one of the key components of Eclipse4SL and is focused on developer productivity through two components: Silverlight viewer and XAML code editor. Following are some of the key features supported in this area.
· In memory code preview
· Powerful context code completion in template
· Drag and Drop tool palette
· C# code generation and synchronization
· Code Format
Code Patterns & Interop Guidance
Eclipse4SL provides facilities for automatically running code analysis tools that help for building interoperability with Java web services (JAX & REST.) You can find more information at the following two locations.