At the Eclipse Summit Europe, Microsoft announced a plug-in called the Windows Azure Tools for Eclipse which is targeted at PHP developers. The plug-in bundles together the already-announced Azure software-development kit (SDK) for PHP into the Eclipse PHP project.Soyatec is developing the new toolset, with funding and guidance from Microsoft.

The plug-in includes a Window Azure storage explorer so developers can browse data in Windows Azure tables, blobs or queues, according to Microsoft. A Community Technology Preview (CTP) of Windows Azure Tools for Eclipse is available for download now. The final release to Web of the toolkit is slated for November.

Microsoft also took the wraps off a new Windows Azure SDK for Java on Wednesday. The SDK is being developed by Soyatec in conjunction with Microsoft. A CTP of the Soyatec SDK for Java is available for download; the final release-to-Web version is slated for November.

(Microsoft and another partner, Schakra, also are developing a Java SDK for Azure. This original SDK is targeting Azure .Net Services, while the new toolkit from Soyatek is targeting Windows Azure, the OS layer of Azure, which was codenamed Red Dog. Microsoft recently decided to pull workflow services out of the Azure .Net Services layer, so as to wait for the final .Net 4 release, slated for late March. A new CTP of the Schakra Java SDK is slated for November. Theres no word on when the final release will be done.)

Read the whole story at http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=4369