Review: And Eclipse Head For The Cloud

CloudSoftware’s Eclipse plugin for targeting the company’s platform provides seamless development for organisations aiming for the cloud

About two years ago, introduced its offering, through which the Software as a Service (SaaS) giant invited developers to create cloud-based applications that would run on’s own infrastructure.

I must say that when I first heard about’s efforts to allow development for the cloud through their own site, I was a bit skeptical about the initiative. However, as I started to use the tools and feel my way around, my doubts gave way to intrigue. has assembled a somewhat overwhelming array of development tools for the service, enough to ensure that developers of various skill levels and tool persuasions, should find a fit path to developing a application. I found options spanning from filling out form-based applications through a web interface to writing raw code right from my desktop.

Among the numerous tools provided along with this service is a powerful plugin for building applications right from within the Eclipse Integrated Development Environment, which I recently put to the test. All told, I think that is a very promising addition to Salesforce’s existing line of services, and well worth further evaluation, particularly for organisations already using Salesforce applications. and Eclipse

I focused on the IDE, an Eclipse plugin that enables developers to work from their desktops as they develop software for deployment on servers – an approach that reminded me of the Amazon AWS Toolkit for Eclipse that I reviewed not too long ago. As with that Amazon plugin and most other Eclipse plugins I’ve tested, installation of the IDE was a snap. The version of the plugin I tested didn’t yet support the latest Eclipse release, version 3.5, but since Eclipse lives inside its own isolated directory on my computer, I had no trouble maintaining simultaneous 3.5 and 3.4 installations.

Development for the platform is a bit unusual compared to traditional Eclipse development in that almost all aspects of the development actually take place on the servers. As such, when I created a new project in Eclipse, I was asked to provide my credentials, which were freely available through the developer site. As I worked in Eclipse, my code was compiled not on my local machine, but on the remote servers. Likewise, when I tested and ran the code, it all took place remotely. Yet, I found the integration rather seamless, and got the feeling that the code I was working with could just as have been running locally.

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