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Graphical Code Editor Added to Azure Cloud Shell Developer Tools

This week Microsoft announced that it has added a graphical code editor (in preview) to its Azure Cloud Shell developer tools.

Launched last year, Azure Cloud Shell is a collection of command line-based developer tools that are accessible anywhere through an authenticated browser. According to Microsoft's description, users can access the Azure Cloud Shell from the "Azure portalshell.azure.comAzure mobile app, Azure docs (for example, Azure CLI 2.0) and VS Code Azure Account extension."

But, according to a recent announcement by Brendan Burns, a distinguished engineer for Microsoft Azure, Azure Cloud Shell now uses the same Project Monaco open source code editor that's found in Visual Studio Code.

With the Monaco addition, developers now have access to features such as "syntax coloring, auto completion and code snippets" in Azure Cloud Shell, Burns added. In addition, users can just type "code ." to open the file explorer from any Web browser experience that uses Azure Cloud Shell. Burns also indicated that Azure Cloud Shell now has support for various open source tools, such as TerraformAnsible and InSpec.

The Monaco graphical tooling originally found its way into Visual Studio Code because of the work of Eric Gamma, a Microsoft distinguished engineer, who was formerly an IBM technical lead on Java dev tools for the Eclipse IDE. Gamma had been recruited by Microsoft from IBM back in 2011 to build "a subset of Visual Studio" that would work in various browsers, according to a ZDNet article by veteran Microsoft reporter Mary Jo Foley.

The Azure Cloud Shell currently supports various languages, such as Go, Java, .NET, Node.js and Python. Back in November, Microsoft added the Bash command-line interface for Linux systems into Azure Cloud Shell. The shell also has support for the PowerShell command-line interface, but it's still at the preview stage. The shell is housed on Azure infrastructure and is free to use except that it requires having an Azure Files account, which incurs monthly storage and data transfer costs. The Azure Files account is needed to add persistent file storage.

In other Azure DevOps news, Microsoft announced last week that its Azure DevOps Projects had reached the "general availability" stage, meaning it's commercially available. Azure DevOps Projects is a continuous integration and continuous delivery solution for bringing code (Java, .NET, Node.js, PHP, Python or static Web site code) to Azure using Visual Studio Team Services. Microsoft also added support in Azure DevOps Projects for the Go and Ruby languages.

Users can start a project using Azure DevOps Projects from within the Azure Portal. It'll deliver all of the Azure resources needed for a project, along with a Git repository and a dashboard for monitoring. It's also possible to monitor projects using an integration with Microsoft's Application Insights service. Azure DevOps Projects supports Web app deployments, along with the "Azure Kubernetes Service, Azure Service Fabric Mesh, Virtual Machines and Azure SQL Database," according to Microsoft's announcement.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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