Less than a month after enabling developers to launch Windows and SQL Server instances in the Europe, cloud infrastructure provider Amazon Web Services (aws.amazon.com) has introduced the AWS Toolkit for Eclipse (www.eclipse.org), a plug-in for the Eclipse Java IDE that makes it easier for Amazon EC2 developers to develop, deploy, and debug Java applications on Amazon's infrastructure.
According to Amazon's announcement this week, the AWS Toolkit for Eclipse lets developers get started faster and be more productive, as well as providing basic management features and tools for deploying and debugging Java web applications.
Eclipse is an open-source, multi-language software development platform, comprising an IDE and a plug-in system to extend it. It is used to develop applications in Java, as well as other languages such as C/C++, Cobol, Python, Perl and PHP by means of plug-ins.
The Eclipse open source community began in November 2001 as project to build an open development platform comprised of extensible frameworks, tools and runtimes for building, deploying and managing software.
Based on the Eclipse Web Tools Platform, the AWS Toolkit for Eclipse guides Java developers through common workflows and automates tool configuration, such as setting up remote debugger connections and managing Tomcat containers. Prior to this release, developers needed specific knowledge of several systems and manual processes to get Java web applications running in scalable configurations on Amazon EC2. The steps to configure Tomcat servers, run applications on Amazon EC2, and debug the software remotely are now done seamlessly through the Eclipse IDE.
Amazon Web Services developer evangelist Jeff Barr noted on the company blog that for the past few years, Amazon has been simplifying the process of acquiring, customizing, and running server instances on demand.
"We want to make the process of building, testing, and deploying applications on Amazon EC2 as simple and efficient as possible," Barr wrote. "Modern web applications typically run in clustered environments comprised of one or most servers. Unfortunately, setting up a cluster can involve locating, connecting, configuring and maintaining a significant amount of hardware. Once this has been done, keeping the operating system, middleware, and application code current and consistent across each server can add inefficiency and tedium to the development process."
In keeping with the spirit of the Eclipse project, the Eclipse AWS Toolkit is available at no additional cost for Amazon EC2 developers and Amazon encourages users to contribute code to the project.
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