Splunk Big Data Adds Eclipse Plug-in, Updates Python SDK

Splunk, the San Francisco-based big-data analytics company, has announced the general availability of the Splunk Plug-in for Eclipse. The plug-in includes a project template for building a new Splunk software development kit (SDK) for Java that allows Eclipse developers to utilize the company's namesake platform for searching, indexing, and analyzing machine data.

The new plug-in provides Eclipse extensions that allow developers to build apps that exploit the capabilities of the Splunk platform. Application data can be logged directly to Splunk from such popular log-in frameworks as Apache Log4J. And modular inputs can be created that extend Splunk and allow it to communicate with other internal systems or public APIs, such as Google, Facebook and Twitter.

The company also announced an update of its Python SDK that extends the Splunk search language (which ships with the software) to make it easier for developers coding in Python to build their own custom search commands that use complex algorithms to retrieve data from public APIs, retrieve data from internal systems, and apply custom business logic on top of Splunk data.

Splunk began reaching beyond its traditional IT constituency to software developers in late 2012 with the release of SDKs for Python, Java, and JavaScript. It added SDKs for C#, PHP, and Ruby the following May. The company wanted to transform what had been a kind of black box solution into something more extensible, more like a platform, explained Jon Rooney, Splunk's director of developer marketing.

"We started by focusing on improving the building-a-Splunk-app experience for developers," Rooney told ADTmag. "We wanted to make that experience look and feel like building any modern Web application."

The result of that effort was a platform for real-time operational intelligence called Splunk Enterprise, essentially a JavaScript and Python stack that ships with Splunk. Version 6 of Splunk Enterprise shipped last March.  

The new Eclipse plug-in is another step along the path toward the goal of making the evolving Splunk platform more extensible, Rooney said, as well as making developers more productive with the languages they know and love.

"When we talk about 'extensibility,' sometimes it's about getting data out; sometimes it's about getting data in; sometimes it's about customizing what you're asking Splunk to do," Rooney said. "Modular inputs, which are big part of the Eclipse plug-in, provide a means of programmatically managing data from an external source. We put that support in the Eclipse plug-in to make it much easier for Java developers."