Java Experience Futures (January 2016)

Over the next several months, our Visual Studio Team Foundation (VSTS) Java teams are focusing on new essential developer workflows for our IntelliJ plugin and a simplification of our authentication checks and getting-started improvements for our Eclipse plugin, Team Explorer Everywhere (TEE).

The list below is only an indication of direction with more improvements planned and under development.

We encourage you to utilize Team Services User Voice to provide your feedback on the Java Tools improvements you’d like to see and to provide input on our future direction.

VSTS Plugin for IntelliJ

While our current plugin for IntelliJ provides an easy and useful getting-started experience, we are shifting our focus on providing essential workflows to better support daily developer activities and a deeper and richer integration with Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) especially for Git users. 


The primary workflow we are targeting includes the ability to:

  1. View issues or work items assigned to you, and optionally choose one or more to be your active items (move to “in progress” for agile and Kanban);
  2. Assign or relate active work items to your working branch;
  3. Make and commit necessary changes to your code and associate your work items to the changes;
  4. Keep track of build status and code review feedback and make corresponding updates to the code as necessary; and
  5. Complete pull requests, optionally completing associated work items and deleting the current branch post merge.

We will also be releasing our IntelliJ protocol helper to enable you to quickly and easily open your Java projects in IntelliJ from our VSTS web interface on Windows, Mac and Linux platforms.

VSTS Plugin for Eclipse (aka Team Explorer Everywhere)

Team Explorer Everywhere is our 5+ year old, fully-featured plugin for Eclipse.  Over the next few months, we will be working to greatly simplify the “getting started” experience focusing on reducing authentication friction and otherwise streamlining working with Git repositories (repos) on VSTS.  We are also committed to continue improving performance as well as reliability and fixing shortcomings as reported to us by you.  We will continue to add enhancements on the 14.0.2 version we released on December 30 in preparation for our next release.

VSTS Wide Improvements

Across VSTS, we are adding capabilities to improve Java and other cross-platform language development.  Below are just a few highlights, with more to come:

  1. Improved Git features:  We are adding SSH support so you can connect to any Team Services Git repo using an SSH key, which is great news if you are developing on Linux or Mac;
  2. We continue improving our Java testing capabilities on unit testing, test results and various code coverage frameworks including JaCoCo and Cobertura;
  3. We have and continue to expand our cross-platform support for builds by porting our build tasks from PowerShell to JavaScript, including Android, Ant, Gradle, Maven, and Xamarin build tasks; and
  4. We continue improving our Git Credential Manager features and security for Mac and Linux..