The Windows Azure Toolkit for Eclipse has been improved to make it easier for Eclipse developers to work with Windows Azure.
Microsoft really is doing its best to make Azure appealing to non-Microsoft programmers. So if you prefer Eclipse to Visual Studio you need the updated toolkit to make it easy to work with Azure.
There’s a new auto option for the Windows Azure Storage account selection in the JDK and server deployment configurations. This avoids the need to choose a specific Windows Azure Storage account until you publish the deployment using the Publish to Windows Azure dialog. When you do publish, the account you select in the Publish Wizard is used.
Another improvement is the ability to deploy a complete cloud application to a new Windows Azure storage account within Eclipse rather than having to leave Eclipse, create the account then return. The new account is created using a “New” button in the Add Storage Account dialog.
New features have been added for larger deployments. The announcement about the new version in the MSDN Interoperability blog says that one often requested feature is the ability to specify a local storage resource as the deployment destination for your JDK and application server, in case your deployment may be too large to be contained in the default approot folder, as is sometimes the case with larger JBoss and JDK v1.7 deployments. The new release also adds support for the new high-memory A6 and A7 Windows Azure Virtual Machines.
There are new options for Service Endpoints so you can select which Azure platform you want to target. The blog post says that this has been added with the users of Windows Azure by 21Vianet, China in mind in particular. Service endpoint options for this release are the global Windows Azure platform, the Windows Azure by 21Vianet, China, or a private Windows Azure platform.