Microsoft makes Visual Studio Code Extension for Arduino open source


Does Microsoft support open source? Absolutely. The company has released many open source projects, and believe it or not, its has the most open source contributors on GitHub. With that said, Microsoft stops short of being a complete open source proponent. After all, the company makes a lot of money from two of its closed source golden geese -- Windows and Office.

Today, Microsoft releases yet another open source tool -- Visual Studio Code Extension for Arduino. This MIT-licensed code should greatly help developers that are leveraging Arduino hardware for Internet of Things-related projects and more.

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"Our team at Visual Studio IoT Tooling, researched the development tools developers are using today, interviewed many developers to learn about their pain points developing IoT applications, and found that of all layers of IoT, there are abundant dev tools for cloud, gateway, interactive devices, and industrial devices, but limited availability and capability for micro-controllers and sensors. In particular in MCU domain, there are millions of Arduino developers demanding advanced features to make their development with device easier. Keep open source and open platform in mind, we started the work to add an extension on Visual Studio Code, the cross-platform, open sourced advanced code editor, for Arduino application development," says Zhidi Shang, ‎R&D and Product Development, Microsoft.

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Shang further says, "The design leverages the official Arduino IDE, so that our Arduino extension can be almost fully compatible and consistent with Arduino IDE, embracing the Arduino developer community. On top of it, we added the most sought-after features, such as IntelliSense, Auto code completion, and on-device debugging for supported boards."

Microsoft shares the following core functionalities of the project.

  • IntelliSense and syntax highlighting for Arduino sketches
  • Verify and upload your sketches in Visual Studio Code
  • Built-in board and library manager
  • Built-in example list
  • Built-in serial monitor
  • Snippets for sketches
  • Automatic Arduino project scaffolding
  • Command Palette (F1) integration of frequently used commands
  • Integrated Arduino Debugging

If you are a developer that wants to use this tool, you can check out Visual Studio Code Extension for Arduino on GitHub here. If you need any assistance with using this project, you can join the official Gitter chat here.

Photo CreditESB Professional / Shutterstock

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