Microsoft Updates Azure Toolkit for Java IntelliJ IDE

Microsoft announced an update to it's Java on Azure Tooling that introduces a new application-centric view for the Azure toolkit for the IntelliJ IDE. The update was designed to make the interface more user-friendly, but it also comes with added support for more Azure services and Gradle plugin improvements. It also introduces new features for Azure Web Apps and Azure Functions.

A new app-centric view in Azure Explorer was announced in the product roadmap back in April. The Azure Explorer is the logic collections of Web Apps, Function Apps, Spring Apps, Virtual Machines, Storage Accounts, Databases, and other services, Jialuo Gan, program manager in Microsoft's Developer Division,  explained in a blog post. And it has been grouped by resource types rather than applications (resource groups).

"For developers who operate in Azure explorer," Gan said, "the view will make it complicated to manage and understand different services or offerings involved in one application. We also find that some developers may tend to lose focus or feel overwhelmed within the view of resources grouped by service type."

The update changes the organizational display of these services, Gan explained. "Together with the view, it will help developers recognize and define what is in an application. You will be able to see a view of Azure resources grouped by application," Gan said.

Developers can now locate the root node, Resource Groups in the Azure Explorer, after which they can see all the resources belonging to the same resource group placed together for each application. Users also can create or delete a resource to a resource group for each application.

The dev team for the Azure Toolkit for IntelliJ also announced that Application Insights (for monitoring and other functionality) is available, helping developers manage Application Insights directly in Azure Explorer.

Also announced were Gradle plugin improvements, including support for deployment slots. Developers can now use a separate deployment slot instead of the default production slot when deploying web apps or function apps to Azure App Service. "In this way, you can validate any app changes first in a staging deployment slot and then swap it into production within the same App Service," Microsoft said.

Going forward, the dev team has outlined planned work for 2022. That work will boost integration with Azure services, user experience, cloud-native development, inner-loop optimizations for Azure-based code, performance and reliability, deep integration with Java on Azure services, and more.

Documentation for the toolkit is available here.

The toolkit update is part of Microsoft's ongoing Java on Azure push, which includes updates to Azure Spring Apps and the general availability of Azure Spring Apps Enterprise.

Azure Spring Apps is Microsoft managed Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering launched in 2019 in conjunction with VMware to help developers create modern microservice patterns for Spring Boot apps by eliminating boilerplate code and speeding up app development in the cloud. "It enables Java developers to easily build and run Spring-boot-based microservices on Azure with no code changes," according to documentation. Spring Boot is an open-source Java-based framework used for developing stand-alone, production-grade Spring-based applications, with a microservices focus.

The Enterprise tier makes it possible to right click the node with the option “Create” under the Spring Apps Cluster node to finish the configuration. Also, it now supports 0.5 core and 512Mi memory for vCPU version, and there's no longer a need to specify Runtime for Enterprise Tier app because it will auto detect the runtime from either the source code or artifact to deploy. After deployment, users can simply right click the node with the option “Show properties” to see the configuration.

"With Azure Spring Apps Enterprise, you gain productivity and access to Spring experts for Spring app development and deployments," Microsoft said. "Azure Spring Apps Enterprise builds on top of all the features available in the Standard tier, including the ability to leverage the broader Azure ecosystem to supercharge your Spring Boot applications."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.