Microsoft Open Sources Visual Studio Extension For Arduino

Microsoft has released its Visual Studio Code Extension for Arduino as a new open source tool.

Microsoft, which has the biggest contributor community on GitHub, has launched the MIT-licensed code across the open source platform to enable developers to leverage Arduino hardware specifically for IoT projects and applications.

‘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,’ explained Zhidi Shang, R&D and Product Development, Cloud, Big Data, IoT, Mobile and Open Source at Microsoft.

Shang noted that in the MCU domain, there are millions of Arduino developers looking for advanced features to make development easier.

“Keeping 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,” he said.

The Microsoft Developer blog post further explained that the design builds on the official Arduino IDE, meaning that the extension is almost entirely compatible and consistent with Arduino IDE.

Other features include IntelliSense, Auto code completion, and on-device debugging for supported boards.

Microsoft also listed the following core functionalities; IntelliSense and syntax highlighting for Arduino sketches, Verify and upload 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 (e.g. Verify, Upload…), and Integrated Arduino Debugging.

Microsoft is now encouraging developers to participate in the open source project and suggests numerous ways to get involved including filing bugs, submitting feature requests and sending pull requests.

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