Microsoft is touting support for its Silverlight multimedia application technology in the Eclipse open source tools platform.

In a blog post late Friday night, S Somasegar, senior vice president of the Microsoft Developer Division said "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 (Eclipse Tools for Microsoft Siliverlight), which enables advanced Silverlight development capabilities in the Eclipse IDE."

The plug-in works with the Eclipse IDE and Eclipse Rich Client Platform to enable Silverlight development and better interoperability between Silverlight and Java investments in Web sites and Web services, Somasegar said. The plug-in is being released under the Eclipse Public License Version 1.0 on the SourceForge site and has been submitted to the foundation as an Eclipse project, said Somasegar.

The eclipse4SL technology currently is in a beta release format, with general availability planned for June, said Yves Yang, Soyatec CEO. The eclipse4SL effort "starts a close collaboration with Microsoft teams, which have supported us with their architectural expertise and enthusiasm to answer real-world enterprise interoperability issues," Yang said.

Soyatec had announced its Eclipse Tools for Microsoft Silverlight project in October.

The software can be downloaded through Eclipse and installed through the Eclipse Update Wizard.

"With eclipse4SL installed, you can now build Silverlight applications in Eclipse," said Somasegar.

Developers with eclipse4SL can use Eclipse project and resource management or Visual Studio. Features include a project explorer to manage project resources; wizards for capabilities such as UI component; a code and XAML editor; and capabilities for running code analysis tools. Interoperability is enabled with Java Web services.

Soyatec also offers eFace, an XML technology for Java that provides a unified programming model for building rich client applications and rich Internet applications.