2-for-1: Application Insights Widget for VSTS, Azure Toolkit Update

Microsoft offers up a new dashboard widget for Visual Studio Team Services that monitors performance, and updates the Azure Toolkit with support for Java Web Apps.

There's always lots going on in Microsoft's cloud, even in the developer front. Here's a two-for-one: The Azure team has released a tool that allows for quick looks at applications and services performance directly from a Visual Studio Team Services dashboard, and it has also updated the Azure Toolkit for Eclipse and IntelliJ with support for Java Web Apps on Azure.

The first tool takes the form of an Applications Insight widget that can be installed to a Visual Studio Team Services dashboard. "It's very simple to install and set up, and will help you keep tabs on your telemetry and diagnostic data even when you're not viewing it through the Azure Portal," writes Mike Gresley, AI's senior program manager, in a blog post. Developers just need to download the widget from the Visual Studio Marketplace, and install it by choosing it in the Add Widget dialog. Once that's done, you specify an application ID and API key via the Settings link, for the resource that is to be monitored. Clicking the Settings link opens up dialogs for entering app ID and API key data, and a drop-down menu with metric options opens up.

The widget can be added several times, but it's limited to 60 instances. "If you do need to display a very large number of metrics on your dashboard simultaneously, you may need to generate additional API keys to handle that scenario," said Gresley. This looks to be the first of many widgets his group is working on. As he notes in his blog post, they're looking for feedback on the usefulness of other widgets, such as one that is alert-specific, an AI-type widget made for Kusto, and a charting widget. If any of these are of interest, check his post for where to provide feedback.

The other tool is an update to the Azure Toolkit for Eclipse and IntelliJ that now adds support for Java Web Apps on Azure, and specifically, for debugging. It needs to be set up from Eclipse by right-clicking on a Web App project. Under the Debug As menu there should appear an option for Azure Web App, which brings up the debug configuration wizard.

"Afterwards, your IDE will go ahead and enable remote debugging on Azure and launch a command prompt or shell that will prepare necessary remote connection for debugging," writes Asir Selvasingh, principal program manager for Java on Azure. "Then, insert a break point in a JSP or servlet in the Web App, open the Java Web App URL in a browser, and the IDE will now enter into debug mode."

The Azure Toolkit for Eclipse is here; the one for IntelliJ is here.

About the Author

Michael Domingo is a long-time software publishing veteran, having started up and managed several developer publications for the Clipper compiler, Microsoft Access, and Visual Basic. He's also managed IT pubs for 1105 Media, including Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine and Virtualization Review before landing his current gig as Visual Studio Magazine Editor in Chief. Besides his publishing life, he's a professional photographer, whose work can be found by Googling domingophoto.

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