Interoperability – Eclipse Tools for Silverlight

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  and click “Install” to get started.  Alternatively, you can manually install it from – 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.



Comments (11)

  1. Tim says:

    This is really impressive! Congrats on your work!

  2. Thank you for submitting this cool story – Trackback from DotNetShoutout

  3. jccim says:

    thanks for shedding light on this cool project!  

  4. Dentro del esfuerzo que Microsoft está realizando en torno a la interoperabilidad de aplicaciones, Somasegar

  5. Dave R. says:

    Is there any chance of you posting images in PNG format instead of BMP? There’s more than 1.5 megabytes of BMP files in this post!

  6. Jeff says:

    Thank you. Have been using the plug-in for quite some time. When are you adding support for other code behind languages & MAC?

  7. Somasegar says:

    Hi Dave,

    Good feedback.  Will keep that in mind moving forward.


  8. Jeff, Thank you for the feedback. We are reviewing feedback from developers to plan the scope for the next milestone of Eclipse4SL. We will have more update on this at the Mix conference on 18th March 2009. Please stay tuned!

  9. Mark Gordon says:

    Somasegar, Given you discuss open source in this blog. How about showing your commitment to open source by releasing the source code for Visual FoxPro 9.0 (and not the sedena marketing nonsense) and Visual Basic. Please don’t make the argument that no one could support the code base either given the amount of work Visual Studio and .BLOAT requires.

    Over the past couple of years looking out for the development communities best interest or showing any concern for developer productivity has never been a priority for Microsoft so why start now. Just look at your greatest masterpiece MVC that technology doesn’t even contain a UI designer what a joke most DOS development tools even had that capability. Perhaps COBOL was the last language I used which required coding a UI by hand.

  10. Publicación del inglés original : Viernes, 6 de marzo de 2009 a las 11:20 PM PST por Somasegar Probablemente