Eclipse4sl: Eclipse and Microsoft Silverlight Together- A Unique Story

By Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Tuesday, March 17, 2009

banner_e4slMicrosoft eyes on interoperability and comes up with first of its kind where the free and open source Eclipse and Microsoft Silverlight go hand in hand for eclipse4sl. So very simply you can now develop silverlight apps if you are an eclipse user yourself. Web developers, software engineers, and programmers of various stripes will find a variety of tutorials and tips to help them improve their methods through this collaboration.

Purpose of the Project

According to the developers,

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 Eclipse Tools for Microsoft Silverlight Project will integrate advanced Silverlight development capabilities into the Eclipse IDE and Eclipse Rich Client Platform (RCP).

* 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.
* 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.
* 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.  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

Soyatec is the partner for this project. 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.”


123Before going if you are still to understand the real benefits of this amazing interoperability, let me quote blog.techrepublic for your convenience. Its one of the most relevant practical examples I feel.

The real kicker is the cost factor. I have a client for whom I occasionally do Web site work. They have a simple little animation that was done in Flash. I no longer have access to a legit version of Flash, so when he asks me to edit this animation once a year, I have to go digging up Flash editors for about one hour’s worth of use. The work does not pay enough (usually a few hundred dollars for a few hours’ worth of work) to justify plunking down $200 or more for Adobe’s Flash editor. Guess what? Next year, when Silverlight support is all over the place, I’m replacing that animation with Silverlight, simply out of concern for my bottom line.

Keep a watch over this thread because I am going to come with the detailed operational use and how to start using Silverlight through Eclipse soon.
Till then, you are invited to comment.

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