What's New in Java Tooling for VS Code and Azure

Microsoft this week detailed new features for its Java tooling, both in its Visual Studio Code extension and the Azure Toolkit for IntelliJ.

Here's a summary of new features announced for both:

Java on Visual Studio Code
This tooling comes in the Extension Pack for Java. Microsoft's January 2024 update post says the dev team has almost completed its integration of support for JDK 21, which shipped September 2023. The post lists 13 features now supported and two that aren't yet: Unnamed Patterns and Variables (Preview) and Unnamed Classes and Instance Main Methods (Preview).

Devs who don't need those two work-in-progress features can already use JDK 21 in VS Code.

Other updates affect:

  • Test Coverage UX: Two updates were made to streamline the Test Coverage experience for a more intuitive and informative workflow. VS Code's Insider's recently introduced Test Coverage feature had limitations: Users needed to choose a specific non-intuitive option to see results, and there was no visual indicator in the code editor. The latest pre-release version addresses both issues such that devs can now view test coverage with a single click on the "Run Test With Coverage" button, located next to "Debug Test," and coverage information will be directly displayed within the editor, making it easier to see which parts of code are covered by tests.
    Run Test With Coverage' in Animated Action
    [Click on image for larger, animated GIF view.] Run Test With Coverage' in Animated Action (source: Microsoft).
  • Java Language Server Status UX:Before, the status icon was only visible when a Java file was open, which was not ideal for users involved in polyglot projects with multiple file types. Now the status icon is more accessible and is displayed whenever the Java extension is active, irrespective of the file type currently open. This change allows users to easily monitor the status of the Java Language Server without the need to have a Java file open.
  • "Editor Content Out of Sync" Issue: An issue that caused editor content to be out of sync with the Java Language Server, resulting in false compilation errors, was fixed, resulting in a "a notable reduction of occurrences."

Java on Azure
As noted, Azure tooling for Java comes in the Azure Toolkit for IntelliJ. In an announcement post for the January 2024 update, the team listed these improvements:

  • Azure Key Vault support: The team added support to create and manage Azure Key Vault resources in Azure Explorer. "This feature enables you to create, show and download your secrets, keys, and certificates conveniently in IntelliJ IDEA," Microsoft said. "Moreover, it can also reduce the risk of exposing sensitive data by storing them in a centralized and encrypted vault."
  • Project scaffolding based on Azure Samples: This update addresses challenges associated with choosing and combining Azure modules together in the scaffolding process, such as Azure Functions, Event Hubs, Azure SQL Database and other cloud services. The team integrated Azure Samples (GitHub repositories with code samples and examples for various Azure services and features) into its toolkit. "This enhancement lets you reuse existing code and templates to save your time and effort," Microsoft said.
  • Azure Kubernetes experience enhancement: "When Java developers use Azure Toolkit to manage their Azure Kubernetes resources, they often need more access to interact with their clusters and view/edit their configurations to customize their needs. In the latest release, we have improved this experience to open Azure Kubernetes clusters with Kubernetes plugin from IntelliJ IDEA in a shortcut way."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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