Microsoft has released the Visual Studio Code Update Roadmap for Java Developers, showing off some important new features and improvements. The roadmap covers July through December 2021. Microsoft says it will focus on development experience, remote development, testing, security and more in the coming months.

Continuously improve the basic development experience

Internal loop development has a fundamental impact on a developer’s daily work, so Microsoft will continue to improve the basic internal loop development experience, including continued investment in better code completion/navigation, package imports, compilation, debugging, testing, and more. In addition, Microsoft will further improve the experience of using Visual Studio Code Java for large and complex structured projects, which will help developers of enterprise-level codebases, which are often more complex. At the same time, Microsoft will also further improve performance and reliability.

Build tool support

Build tools and dependency management are a key part of the Java developer experience, and Microsoft is looking to increase the breadth and depth of this area. In terms of breadth, Microsoft plans to add support for Gradle. The initial Gradle feature set will revolve around task management and Gradle file authoring. In depth, Microsoft will continue to improve the existing Maven tool experience and add new features to support more scenarios, such as switching configuration files.

Remote development /Codespaces

Remote development has always been a popular feature in Visual Studio Code that allows developers to use containers for a full-featured development environment. In the coming months, the Visual Studio Code Java team will be working to support more versions of Java and the Spring framework in the container so that developers can access these technologies in remote development scenarios. Microsoft released support for Java 16 in the Remote Development Container in June.

In addition, GitHub Codespaces is a configurable online development environment that allows developers to develop entirely in the cloud. Visual Studio Code plays an important role in Gtihub Codespaces because it provides a basic Code editing experience. The Visual Studio Code Java team is working to provide support for Java language extensions in Codespaces so that Java developers can find all the Java-related tools they need.


On the testing side, the Visual Studio Code Java team is actively implementing the new VS testing API. This means that when Java developers work with tests in Visual Studio Code, they not only see a richer test-related UI, but they also have access to more test-related data, such as test coverage.

Debugging – Explore virtual threads

To provide better debugging performance in Visual Studio Code Java, the team will also explore the possibility of enabling virtual threads (Project Loom). The goal is to improve developer productivity and further optimize the Visual Studio Code Java debugging experience.


Visual Studio Code takes security very seriously and does everything possible to ensure that users can safely browse and edit Code. The new Workspace Trust feature lets developers decide whether a project allows or restricts code execution.

Visual Studio Code Java has also been working to support these new security features. First, when a developer opens a Java project in an untrusted workspace, the Java language server will run in restricted mode with limited support, and certain features will be disabled.

In addition, this past June, Visual Studio Code Java provided some new features, such as the aforementioned limited Java language support for untrusted workspaces and enabling Java 16 support in remote development containers.

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