Azure Java Tooling Delivers a New “Getting Started” IntelliJ Experience — Visual Studio Magazine



Azure Java Tooling offers a new “Getting Started” IntelliJ experience

A new “get started” experience for Java development tools on Azure promises to have IntelliJ jockeys up and running with their first deployment in minutes.

Microsoft’s development team for Azure Toolkit for IntelliJ, available on JetBrains Marketplace, announced the new experience in a July 5 blog post.

The toolkit helps Java developers develop, configure, test, and deploy highly available and scalable Java web applications. Additionally, it can help Azure Synapse data engineers, Azure HDInsight developers, and Apache Spark on SQL Server users in building, testing, and submitting Apache Spark/Hadoop jobs to Azure from IntelliJ on all platforms. supported. It works with all three editions of IntelliJ IDEA (Ultimate, Community, and Educational).

Microsoft has invested its own developers and resources in maintaining the tool for use with the JetBrains IDE, although the company’s Visual Studio Code editor (which acts as a full-fledged IDE via various extensions) is often used for Java development in Azure cloud.

Now, Microsoft hopes that its competitor’s tool will be easier to use for beginners.

“We realize that the starter experience is critical for developers who are just getting started with Azure,” the team said earlier in previewing the new experience. “As a result, we plan to make investments to redefine and improve our getting started experience, which includes simplifying the experience for key Java workload deployment scenarios, providing user guidance to manage applications and monitor applications after deployment.”

In this week’s update announcement for July 2022, the team listed several challenges faced by developers new to Azure:

  • Deep learning curve: Developer has to go through unknown and Azure specific concepts and other tools as beginners
  • Scattered documentation: Documentation can be hard to find and contains too many steps
  • Lack of guidance: No step-by-step guide to guide users from start to finish

Now, the new Starter Experience has arrived to address these challenges. It can be accessed in three different ways: by clicking in the Azure Explorer toolbar, right-clicking on the Azure node, or via the Tools menu.

“With this new get experience, you can complete your first deployment to Azure in minutes, even if you don’t have any experience,” said program manager Jialuo Gan. “During this process, you will become familiar with Azure Toolkit features and Azure concepts to increase your productivity as a Java developer on Azure. After upgrading or installing the latest version of the toolkit, it will automatically open the start experience on the right side for the first time.”

Upon opening, the experience gives developers the option to start by deploying their first web app to Azure or a function app (for Azure Functions serverless computing). After that, the plugin takes over, guiding the developer through the process of login cloning, preparation, and finally building and deploying.

The animated GIF below illustrates the process.

    Get started with Azure Toolkit for IntelliJ 2022 in animated action
[Click on image for larger, animated GIF view.] Get started with Azure Toolkit for IntelliJ 2022 in animated action (source: Microsoft).

As noted below in the tool’s 2022 roadmap, the new and better startup experience is one of Microsoft’s goals to improve user experience.

Azure Toolkit roadmap for IntelliJ 2022
[Click on image for larger view.] Azure Toolkit roadmap for IntelliJ 2022 (source: Microsoft).

The team also added support for managed identity authentication, which is now available on Maven and Gradle plugins. Managed identities eliminate the need for developers to manage credentials needed to secure communications between Azure services.

Gan also announced support for EAP and snapshot versions. “Azure Toolkit for IntelliJ has supported IntelliJ 2022.2 EAP version,” he said. “In addition, the latest version of Azure Toolkit for IntelliJ also supports instant and beta versions. Now, if you want to try new features that have not yet been released, you can download and install the latest version at from the market page.”

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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