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Cloud Explorer (VS 2017 Azure Workload) Gets IoT Update

The Cloud Explorer tool installed automatically with Azure Workloads in Visual Studio 2017 now sports additional functionality for interacting with the Azure IoT Hub.

IoT-specific concerns are increasingly making their way into a variety of development tools, of which the latest example is Cloud Explorer for VS 2017, downloaded some 2.3 million times and installed 3,709 times from the Visual Studio Marketplace to help developers "View your cloud resources, inspect their properties, and perform key developer actions from within Visual Studio."

Now, the IoT Hub is among those "cloud resources" whose properties can be inspected, says Chaoyi Yuan, software engineer for IoT tools, in the VS blog.

"What we’ve heard and experienced ourselves is that when building applications, you have a frictionless experience when your code editor and tools are integrated and seamless," he said. "Yet when developing IoT apps, you often need to manage connected devices and send test messages between the device and IoT Hub at the same time that you’re debugging and working on your code. You’ll likely spend time switching between windows or even screens to monitor the messaging and many components of your development."

He said new features to help IoT developers easily interact with Azure IoT Hub and its connected devices include:

  • Interact with Azure IoT Hub
    • Send D2C messages to IoT Hub
    • Monitor D2C messages sent to IoT Hub
    • Send C2D messages to device
    • Monitor C2D messages sent to device
    • Invoke Direct Method
    • View and update device twin
  • Device management
    • List devices
    • Get device info
    • Create and delete devices
  • IoT Edge development support
    • Create IoT Edge deployment for device
    • List modules
    • View and update module twin

More resources include:

Accessing the new features requires Microsoft Visual Studio 2017 Update 9 or later and the latest extension from Visual Studio Marketplace.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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