This week, Microsoft announced that the Arduino extension for Visual Studio Code is now open source. The extension is consistent and compatible with the official Arduino IDE.  Now developers can easily code, build, and deploy Arduino sketches in Visual Studio Code, which is Microsoft’s lightweight but powerful source code editor that is available for free on Windows, macOS and Linux.

In this release, the Visual Studio IoT team integrated debugging features into the extension, which is currently unique in Arduino development.

“Our team at Visual Studio IoT researched the 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,” wrote Zhidi Shang, a Microsoft Program Manager for the project. “In particular, for the MCU domain, there are millions of Arduino developers demanding advanced features to make their development with devices 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 source advanced code editor, for Arduino application development.”

Embracing the Arduino community, the Visual Studio IoT team has further incorporated some of the most sought-after features for Arduino development:

  • 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 (e.g., verify, upload)
  • Integrated Arduino debugging (fully tested for the MXChip IoT Developer Kit, Arduino M0 PRO, Adafruit WICED WiFi Feather, Adafruit Feather M0, Arduino Zero Pro)

You can directly download and install the extension from the Visual Studio Marketplace at: aka.ms/Arduino.

The project is now available on GitHub under the MIT open source license and developers can participate in many ways:

Check out the IoT Developer blog to learn more about the Arduino extension and other Azure IoT tools and services. Get the code on GitHub and let us know what you think in the comments.

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