HDInsight Tool in Azure Toolkit for Eclipse Goes GA

Microsoft has added to its growing list of Eclipse-based product offerings with the general availability release of the HDInsight Tool for Eclipse. This cloud implementation on Azure of the Apache Hadoop technology stack is part of the Azure Toolkit for Eclipse, which Microsoft open sourced under the MIT License. It includes implementations of Apache Spark, HBase, Storm, Pig, Hive, Sqoop, Oozie, Ambari and other Hadoop tech. It also integrates with Power BI, Excel, SQL Server Analysis Services and SQL Server Reporting Services.

The company released a version of the HDInsight Tool for the IntelliJ integrated development environment (IDE) last month. Since that announcement "... we are maintaining our strong momentum to serve the open source community and expanding our support for Eclipse," wrote Jenny Jiang, principal program manager in Microsoft's Big Data Team, in a blog post.

Aimed at developers working with the open-source Spark cluster computing framework, the tool makes it easier to navigate HDInsight Spark clusters and to view associated Azure storage accounts. It also provides views of Spark job history and displays of detailed job logs. And it supports native Java and Scala development from the Eclipse development environment

"For Big Data developers building Spark applications on HDInsight, it can sometimes be hard to get started building your first application, and the Spark application development lifecycle in IDE can be long and tedious," Jiang wrote. "With this tool, you can get started with HDInsight Spark in just a few minutes and experienced Spark developers can iterate their development cycles faster and easier."

Microsoft officially joined the Eclipse Foundation in March as a Solutions Member, but the company has been working with the Foundation for a number of years to improve the Java experience across its application platform and development services. The company currently offers several Eclipse-based tools, including the Azure Toolkit for Eclipse, the Java SDK for Azure, and the Team Explorer Plugin. The company plans to offer more tools and services specifically for Java and Eclipse developers. It will also contribute an Azure IoT Hub connector to the Eclipse Kura project, which provides an Java/OSGi-based framework for IoT gateways, and it is adding Azure Java WebApp support in the Azure Toolkit for Eclipse.

Microsoft "means business" as a multi-platform, open-source player, said IDC analyst Al Hilwa, and releases like this one are well on their way to becoming commonplace. "Becoming a bigger supporter of the Java developer ecosystem brings more users to Microsoft's powerful developer offerings, like Visual Studio Team System, and deployment offerings like the Azure cloud," Hilwa told ADTmag in an e-mail. "Azure is a full-service cloud that is intended to compete at the highest level of the market, and competing on Linux is a must, not a choice. That Microsoft products like SQL Server have to come to Linux over time is also a business must."

Microsoft even appeared on the keynote stage at the EclipseCon event in Reston, Va. "It seems clear to me that Microsoft really understands that they need to exist in a heterogeneous world of developer environments and operating systems," said Ian Skerrett, the Eclipse Foundation's VP of marketing, at the time. Their contributions build the bridges developers require to use Microsoft services and Eclipse."

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].