Microsoft Expands Support for the Eclipse Foundation

Microsoft is expanding its participation in the Eclipse Foundation to become a Strategic Member, the company announced this week, and Stephen Walli, principal program manager in the Azure Office of the CTO, will be joining the foundation's board of directors.

"The Eclipse Foundation has a long history of providing a strong, collaborative culture supporting open-source-licensed projects," Walli said in a blog post, "and many of those projects are important to Microsoft, our partners, and our customers. It is important for Microsoft to support the organization that supports those projects, and to work within the organization towards those collective goals."

The Eclipse Foundation is one of the world's leading open source software development and specifications organizations. It's the nonprofit steward of the Eclipse IDE, enterprise Java (Jakarta), and the Eclipse MicroProfile. Its roster of Strategic Members includes IBM, Oracle, Huawei and SAP, among others.

Among other privileges, Strategic Members have a seat on the foundation's board of directors and its architecture council, and expanded board voting rights on key aspects of the Eclipse ecosystem, including licensing, governing policy development and amendments to membership agreements and bylaws.

"Strategic Members play an integral role in the Eclipse Foundation ecosystem," the foundation explains on its Web site. They are "investing significant developer and other resources to further drive Eclipse Foundation technology."

Microsoft, of course, supports its own thriving developer community, but Redmond has been a member of the Eclipse Foundation since 2016, when it joined as a Solutions Member. The company has seemed especially interested in supporting Java on Azure.

The Azure Toolkit for Eclipse, which is available on the Eclipse Marketplace, provides "functionality that allows you to easily create, develop, configure, test, and deploy lightweight, highly available and scalable Java web apps and HDInsight Spark jobs to Azure using the Eclipse development environment." The Java SDK for Azure is an open source Azure SDK for Java designed to simplify provisioning, managing and using Azure resources from Java application code.

"The Eclipse Foundation is expanding its role through working groups and many of these working groups are important to Microsoft and its partners," Walli said in his post. "Recent work around the Eclipse Dataspace Connector and Eclipse Tractus-X are examples of new work beginning at the Eclipse Foundation in working groups in which Microsoft has an interest in participating."

Another reason Redmond has decided to expand its participation in the Eclipse Foundation's activities is the foundation's recent move to Belgium.

"The Eclipse Foundation has deep expertise in vendor-neutral governance, infrastructure, marketing, community building, and developer advocacy work," Walli said. "The team showed initiative and forethought and pivoted to become a European-based international non-profit organization to align with its membership. The Eclipse Foundation is a natural place for Microsoft to collaborate on new initiatives beginning with European partners."

Walli posts occasionally on Microsoft's Open-Source Blog. He has a long history of working with open source.

"Having a rich ecosystem of healthy non-profits supporting different groups of open-source-initiative-licensed projects and their project ecosystems is a must," Walli said. "At Microsoft, we are committed to continuing to support and participate across the non-profit ecosystem, as well as engage in projects themselves."

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].


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