Microsoft Goes All Out On Java
Written by Nikos Vaggalis   
Monday, 05 September 2022

Microsoft has released an update to VSCode that has support for Spring-based applications. At the same time there's a new Microsoft website, a dedicated to Java.

It's not just .NET any more, but the JVM too. Back in 2021,  in "Microsoft Jumps on the OpenJDK Bandwagon" we witnessed the beginnings of Microsoft's love affair with Java, when Microsoft released its own build of Java's OpenJDK. Why would Microsoft do that that when there are so many choices already?

One reason is to establish a foothold on Java's market share.The other is that internally it uses Java a lot in its own infrastructure, especially its Azure ecosystem (Azure Spring Cloud, Azure App Service, Azure Functions, Azure Kubernetes), and for that it needs to have its own uniform and universal build applied to them.

Of course, there's also the promotional incentive of pushing Azure to Java's developers, with Microsoft trying to lure them in,  even helping them to migrate their applications through offering free courses, as described in "Learn How To Do Java On Azure", which shows how to build, migrate and scale Java applications on Azure.

It comes as no surprise then that Microsoft is also pushing its tools in the Java direction, VSCode in this instance, which has been upgraded with Spring enhancements:

Spring bean properties when live process is connected
The IDE helps in listing all the beans loaded when the Spring app is itself loaded.To get at the same result without the support of the IDE you would had to write code that would get the ApplicationContext and call .getBeanDefinitionNames(),
like :


With that new addition,VScode goes one step further in also revealing the beans' property information,i.e whether they are singletons, prototypes and so on while also marking your own beans with 'defined' to keep things organized.

A better getting-started experience for projects initialized with Spring Initializr has been added by having the IDE automatically load Initializr's which contains useful information but is largely ignored by developers unbeknownst of its existence.

Maven and Gradle improvements in Java Project Explorer
A bit like Intellij which keeps Maven's goals and profiles at a dedicated panel at the top right corner of the IDE, Microsoft enhances VSCode by making it easier to access the most frequent build actions like accessing a POM or calling Maven's goals.

And finally some debugging enhancements coming from the Community: 

But that's not all - together with VSCode's upgrading a new website on everything about Java was also launched where you'll find resources, tools, tutorials, documentation, videos and code samples to get your started with Java in general, but also specifically in learning how to deploy your Java applications on the Cloud, well Azure that is.

MS Javawebsite

But Microsoft has not confined Java and Spring support to VSCode. It has also pumped up support for Intellij and Azure, which proves the point that given the Microservices and Cloud frenzy the goal is to firmly establish Azure as THE platform to go to when developing Java applications. So we have the release of "Azure Toolkit for IntelliJ", a plugin that provides templates and functionality with which you easily create, develop, test, and deploy Azure applications, and "Integrating Azure and Spring with Spring Cloud Azure" an open-source project that provides seamless Spring integration with Azure services.

So what is the verdict on VSCode vs IntelliJ for developing Java/Spring applications?

While VScode has made great improvements, it hasn't yet reached the level of quality that IntelliJ gives to Java, especially in the code refactoring business. Still if you also program in other programming languages besides Java, then VSCode might be the most fitting option.


More Information

Java on Visual Studio Code Update – August 2022

Java at Microsoft

Related Articles

Microsoft Jumps on the OpenJDK Bandwagon

Learn How To Do Java On Azure

Integrate Azure and Spring with Spring Cloud Azure

Azure Toolkit for IntelliJ

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 25 October 2023 )