Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc., has now published the Azure Toolkit for Eclipse (by Microsoft Open Technologies) - April 2014 release. This update accompanies the release of Azure SDK 2.3, which is a pre-requisite. You will be offered the option to install it automatically when you create the first project after installing the toolkit.
This release includes multiple enhancements since the February 2014 release, including support for new versions of application servers (Tomcat 8), JDKs (Azul Zulu v1.7 update 51 and v1.6 update 47), support for larger, bigger memory Azure instances (A8 and A9), improved handling of SSL and HTTPS, and in-place upgrading of deployed applications. Have a look at the updated documentation for full details.
In concert with the renaming of the Microsoft cloud, we’ve also renamed the Azure Toolkit (dropping “Windows” from the name) to reflect Azure’s broadened focus on Openness.
Azure SDK 2.3 is a prerequisite
This release requires Azure SDK 2.3. When you try to create a new deployment project using the new plugin, it will check your Azure SDK version and prompt you to install Azure 2.3 if an updated version is needed:
When you click Yes, the latest Web Platform Installer will download and start, prompting you to confirm the Azure SDK update:
The following updated components will then be installed:
Tomcat 8 now a recognized application server
Tomcat 8 is now a recognized application server in the Server tab of the Azure Deployment Project dialog. It is now automatically detected and deployed, like the other application servers in this list:
Azul Zulu OpenJDK package updates
In July, MS Open Tech announced our partnership with Azul Systems. In September, Azul Systems released Zulu, an OpenJDK Build for Windows Azure leveraging the latest advancements from the open source community. As of this release, we’ve added support for Azul System’s Zulu OpenJDK v7 package update 51 and Zulu OpenJDK v6 update 47, and we will continue to integrate future releases for the benefit of our diverse development community.
These updates are in addition to the previously available Zulu OpenJDK package updates shown here:
A8 and A9 VM support
In addition to the A5, A6 and A7 high-memory VMs we made available from the Plugin in the February release, developers can now deploy a cloud service to the A8 and A9 Virtual Machine sizes. For more information about these VM sizes, see Virtual Machine and Cloud Service Sizes for Windows Azure.
Automatic redirection from HTTP to HTTPS for SSL-enabled roles
In the February release, we also enabled SSL management and deployment inside the plugin via SSL Offloading. SSL Offloading allows you to easily enable HTTPS support without requiring configuration of SSL on your Java application server. SSL authentication is handled by the Toolkit automatically, using IIS and Application Request Routing (ARR) under the hood in your VM.
To enable SSL offloading, select the Worker Role you want to work with in Role Properties, then click on Enable SSL Offloading (HTTPS). You will be asked to confirm an endpoint change to 443 (HTTPS) and provide a certificate. Note that this change will only happen for this role, and only in Azure, not in the emulator for testing.
In this release, we also updated the HTTPS handling in case that your cloud service contains only HTTPS role(s). If the cloud service receives an HTTP request (for example, a client mistakenly types a URL with "http” instead of “https”), the service will automatically redirect to HTTPS. This reduces the hassle of creating a separate role in your service to handle HTTP requests.
Upgrading applications without complete package deployment
When deploying Java applications that are part of your project, the plugin now automatically uploads updated applications into your selected storage account. You can then update the package and recycle role instances to deploy the latest applications without having to rebuild and redeploy the entire package.
Getting the Toolkit
Let us know how the latest release works for you and how you like the new features! We’d like to hear how you are using the plugin, and we greatly value your feedback on how we can make it easier to test and deploy your Java applications on Windows Azure.