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Dev Spaces for Azure Kubernetes Services Now in Public Preview

Microsoft today announced Dev Spaces for Azure Kubernetes Services (AKS) is available in a public preview, simplifying development and debugging of team-oriented projects with many moving parts, including containers and microservices.

The service targets enterprise dev teams working with tools like Visual Studio 2017, Visual Studio Code and a command-line interface (CLI) on Windows, Mac or Linux.

Such teams are increasingly leveraging containers and microservices to create cloud-scale apps with a parallelized workflow that lets different team members work concurrently on different parts of a project. However, all those moving parts can create workflow problems, especially when it comes to individual debugging efforts.

Specifically, Microsoft said it created Dev Spaces to address issues such as:

  • How do you work on your service when it depends on other services that are also being changed at the same time?
  • How do you establish a baseline that all members in the team can work on until they are ready to commit changes?
  • How do you test any changes to a project end-to-end, considering your microservice by design only handles a specific functionality needed by the application?

Normally, a developer trying to fix a bug in such an app would need to configure a local development environment to mimic production including setting up an IDE, building a tool chain, containerized service dependencies, a local Kubernetes environment, mocks for backing services and so on.

Microsoft says its new offering does away with all that hassle, along with clearing up the accumulated clutter on a local machine after the debugging process is finished.

"With Dev Spaces, all a new developer needs is their IDE and the Azure CLI," Gabe Monroy said in a blog post today (July 9). "Simply create a new Dev Space inside AKS and begin working on any component in the microservice environment safely, without impeding other traffic flows."

Developers can connect their IDE or code editor to an AKS cluster supporting Dev Spaces and work in their own "space" into which they can clone and "up" other services their individual component works with. That lets them edit and debug their services while always operating in the context of the overall application.

Besides easing the debugging experience by compressing work that might take days into just seconds, letting developers edit and debug microservices independently from Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code, the service can also be used in other ways.

"We are excited to see customers starting to use Dev Spaces for other scenarios such as integration testing and for supporting their GitHub flow," Balan Subramanian said in another blog post."

The public preview follows a private preview announced during the Build conference in May. While it currently works with .NET Core (with VS Code and CLI or VS 2017 and CLI) and Node.js (with VS Code and CLI), support for additional languages is expected over the next few months.

For more information, interested developers can check out the GitHub repo that hosts code samples to support product guides along with high-level insights into the product's roadmap; Azure Dev Spaces documentation and the main Azure Dev Spaces site.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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