Microsoft Touts Silverlight Interop with Eclipse, Java

Touting its commitment to interoperability, Microsoft has highlighted a new plug-in that enables Java developers to create applications that run on the Microsoft Silverlight platform. The Eclipse4SL plug-in from Soyatec enables Java developers to use Eclipse to create applications that run on Silverlight.

Touting its commitment to interoperability, Microsoft has highlighted a new plug-in that enables Java developers to create applications that run on the Microsoft Silverlight platform.

In a March 7 blog post, S. Somasegar, senior vice president of Microsoft's Developer Division, discussed the new support for Silverlight in Eclipse. Microsoft announced funding last October for a project by Soyatec, a French 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 integrated development environment (IDE), Somasegar said.

The Soyatec Eclipse4SL plug-in works with the Eclipse 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.

According to a description on the Soyatec Web site:

""The purpose of this project is the creation of open source tools integrated with the Eclipse development platform that enable Java developers to use the Eclipse platform to create applications that run on the Microsoft Silverlight runtime platform. Specifically, the project will be an Eclipse plug-in that works with the Eclipse Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and Eclipse Rich Client Platform (RCP) to provide both a Silverlight development environment and greater interoperability between Silverlight and Java, to facilitate the integration of Silverlight-based applications into Java-based Web sites and services. The project has been submitted to the Eclipse Foundation and released as an open Eclipse project.""

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.

Moreover, "A release candidate from Eclipse4SL's M2 milestone has recently become available and is very easy to get up and running in Eclipse," Somasegar said. Soyatec said it expects to release version 1.0 of Eclipse4SL this spring.

Eclipse4SL features wizards to help developers build a Silverlight project, a Silverlight Web project, UI components and import Visual Studio projects into Eclipse.

The plug-in also provides resource and program management, a code and Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) editor, as well as code patterns and interoperability guidance.

According to Soyatec, Eclipse4SL provides:

"Increased Interoperability: Eclipse will contain functionality that will help Java Developers build Silverlight applications that work better with Java Web Services using REST, SOAP, JSON and other standards.Silverlight Project System and Silverlight Compiler: Eclipse will contain both an advanced project system for creating Silverlight applications and media experiences as well as a compiler for packaging Silverlight applications for deployment.XAML Editor & Preview with code hinting and code completion: Eclipse will contain an advanced, standards-compliant XAML editor with code hinting and code hinting features which helps detect and correct coding errors.Full compatibility with Microsoft's Development and Design Tools: The XAML and Silverlight projects created by Eclipse will be fully supported by both Microsoft Visual Studio and Microsoft Expression Studio tools."

Soyatec, located in Paris, France, Xi'An and ShenZhen, China, is an international software company and one of the major Eclipse solution providers. The company was founded in 2006 by a group of Java engineers who had worked on Eclipse since 2002. As an Eclipse Foundation Member, Soyatec has contributed to several Eclipse projects: Visual Editor, BPMN2 and e4.

"We are proud of working on this project to provide a professional Eclipse Tools focusing on Productivity and Industrialization for enterprise developers," said Yves Yang, CEO of Soyatec. "This project enforces our business position on the professional services in Eclipse tools development and the product development of declarative UI based on XAML for Java. And it concretizes a fructuous collaboration with Microsoft France teams which have supported us with their architectural expertise and enthusiasm to answer real world enterprise interoperability issues."

Steve Sfartz, a software architect at Microsoft France, said, "We selected Soyatec as a partner on this project because of their unique expertise in Eclipse plug-in development, as well as their strong commitment to XAML."