Visual Studio Online preview: coding in the browser seems promising.

Today at Ignite 2019 Microsoft has launched the public preview for Visual Studio Online, a managed cloud-based development environment based on Visual Studio Code that works in the browser.

The tool is actually not finished (it’s a preview version) but I think it’s extremely promising and it opens the doors to many interesting scenarios for developers (imagine to be able to edit and review code directly from a tablet or a smartphone or a mobile device everywhere you are).

I’ve played few minutes today with the preview version. To use Visual Studio Online, as a first step you need to create an environment:

VSOnline_01.jpg

An environment is based on an instance type (VM) totally transparent to you and actually only based on Linux (you can choose between a Standard and a Professional version, differences are only the number of cores and memory).

When you click Create, the environemt is created on your Azure subscription in few seconds:

VSOnline_02.jpg

You can create different environments. To start working, select an environment and magically Visual Studio Code IDE appears to you on the browser:

VSOnline_03.jpg

Now you can install the extensions you need from the marketplace, exactly like you do in the standard Windows version. For my small test, I’ve firstly installed the Azure Function extension and I’ve created a simple HTTPTrigger function:

VSOnline_06.jpg

I was able to create the function and working on the code like in the standard Visual Studio Code version, all from a browser window (the only small problem was the intellisense that sometimes is lacking). Wonderful!

But can a test be finished without trying to use the AL Language extension? NO!

So, I’ve installed the AL Language extension from the marketplace:

VSOnline_04.jpg

Now I want to create a new extension project (AL:Go!):

VSOnline_05.jpg

Select a folder for your project (it’s based on the VM file system):

VSOnline_07.jpgthen select the target platform (for example 4.0):

VSOnline_08.jpg

and voilà! Your AL project is created:

VSOnline_09.jpg

Unfortunately, with AL you can only write code in the browser without intellisense and compilation (you don’t have the launch.json file and the alc.exe compiler), but it’s a nice and promising starting point (I think that things will change in the next days).

 

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