Microsoft Updates Java Extensions for Visual Studio Code

Microsoft has released another update of its Java on Visual Studio Code, the package of extensions used by Redmond's lightweight source code editor to support Java coding, testing and debugging.

The year's second update adds new options for dependency management and updates to popular Java frameworks and runtimes.

Among the key changes in this update is the Java Dependency Viewer's ability to provide an easier way to deal with dependencies. Developers can, for example, add a Maven or Gradle project with the + button in the Java dependency explorer. Devs not using a build tool can reference binary jars in the local file system.

This update supports a new preference mapping (java.configuration.runtimes) for Java execution environments. Visual Studio Code will detect the runtime required for the project and choose the appropriate one configured.

Microsoft has also added new capabilities for developers working with some popular Java frameworks. These include:

  • The Spring Boot Tools extension now reports connection failures in live hover.
  • The new MicroProfile Extension Pack now includes MicroProfile Starter for quick generation of a MicroProfile Maven project, along with development tools for runtimes, such as Open Liberty and Quarkus, with other of new features.
  • For those working with any Red Hat server or runtime products, such as Wildfly or JBoss, there's the Server Connector extension, which allows developers to start, stop and deploy to any of them.

Visual Studio Code is a general-purpose editor designed to utilize extensions from Microsoft's huge and growing Visual Studio extension marketplace. Visual Studio Code is a popular tool among developers working in multiple programming languages, because the same editor can be used for each language, and there's a large and reliable supply of useful extensions. It's also cross-platform and free to use.

The Java Extension Pack is a collection of popular Java extensions for Visual Studio Code that includes Language Support for Java by Red Hat, Debugger for Java, Java Test Runner, Maven for Java, Java Dependency Viewer and Visual Studio IntelliCode (which provides AI-assisted development features for Python, TypeScript, JavaScript and Java, with "insights based on understanding your code context combined with machine learning"). There are also Visual Studio Code extensions available for TomcatJettyDocker and Kubernetes.  

Xiaokai He, senior program manager for Java on Visual Studio Code and Azure at Microsoft, announced the update in a blog post.

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].