Microsoft has released a community technology preview (CTP) of the Windows Azure Plugin for Eclipse with Java. The tool makes it easier for Eclipse users to package their Java applications for deployment on Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing service. “There are many ways to build packages to deploy to Windows Azure, including Visual Studio and command line-based tools. For Java developers, we believe the Eclipse plug-in we are providing may be the easiest,” said Microsoft’s Martin Sawicki. “And we have received a strong response from developers that these serve as great learning tools to understand how to take advantage of the Windows Azure cloud offering.”
New features in the plug-in include a UI for remote access configuration, schema validation and auto-complete for *.cscfg and *.csdef Azure configuration files, an Azure project creation wizard, sample utility scripts for downloading or unzipping files, shortcuts to test deployment in the Azure compute emulator, an Ant-based builder and a project properties UI for configuring Azure roles.