New entry-level experience for Azure Java Tooling on IntelliJ – ADTmag
New getting started experience for Azure Java Tooling on IntelliJ
The team behind Microsoft Azure Toolkit for IntelliJavailable on the JetBrains Marketplace, announced a new Getting Started experience that promises to get developers up and running with their first deployment in minutes.
The toolkit is designed to help Java developers build, configure, test, and deploy highly available and scalable Java web apps. It can also help Azure Synapse Data Engineers, Azure HDInsight developers, and Apache Spark on SQL Server users to build, test, and submit Apache Spark/Hadoop jobs from IntelliJ to Azure on all supported platforms. And it works with all three editions of IntelliJ IDEA (Ultimate, Community and Educational).
Jialuo Gan, Microsoft program manager in Microsoft’s development department, made the announcement in a recent blog post. With this new experience,” he wrote, “you can complete your first deployment on Azure in minutes, even if you have no experience. 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 you update or install the latest toolkit, it will automatically open the Getting Started experience on the right for the first time.”
Microsoft has invested its own developers and resources to maintain the tool for use with JetBrains’ popular integrated development environment (IDE), although the company’s Visual Studio Code editor (which acts like a full-fledged IDE through various extensions) is often used for Java development in the Azure cloud.
Microsoft seems to be hoping that the competitor’s tool will be easier for beginners to use.
“We recognize that getting started is critical for developers just beginning to learn about Azure,” the team had previously said in forecasting the new experience. “As such, we plan to make investments to redefine and enhance our entry-level experience, which includes simplifying the experience for core Java workload deployment scenarios, providing guidance for users on how to manage apps, and monitoring apps after deployment .”
In this week’s July 2022 update announcement, the team listed several challenges faced by developers new to Azure:
- Deep learning curve: Novice developers have to deal with unfamiliar, Azure-specific concepts and other tools
- Scattered Documentation: Documentation can be hard to find and contains too many steps
- Lack of Instructions: No step-by-step guide to guide users from start to finish
Now there’s the new entry-level experience to address these challenges. It is accessible in three different ways: through a toolbar click in Azure Explorer, right-clicking on the Azure node or from the Tools menu.
“With this new experience, you can complete your first deployment on Azure in minutes, even if you have no experience,” Gan wrote. “During this process, you will be introduced to Azure Toolkit features and Azure concepts to increase your productivity as a Java developer on Azure. After you update or install the latest toolkit, the Getting Started experience will automatically open on the right side for the first time.”
When opened, the experience gives developers the opportunity to begin deploying their first web app to Azure or a function app (for serverless computing with Azure Functions). After that, the plugin takes over and guides the developer through the whole process of cloning, logging, preparing and finally building and deploying.
As shown below in the tool’s 2022 roadmap, the new and better onboarding experience is one of Microsoft’s goals to improve the user experience.
The team also added support for Managed Identity Authentication, which is now available in the Maven plugin and the Gradle plugin. Managed identities eliminate the need for developers to manage credentials required to secure communication between Azure services.
Gan also announced support for EAP and Snapshot versions. “Azure Toolkit for IntelliJ supported the IntelliJ 2022.2 EAP release,” he said. “In addition, the latest version of the Azure Toolkit for IntelliJ also includes support for snapshot and beta versions. Now if you want to try some new features that haven’t been released yet, you can download and install the latest version of the marketplace page.”