Microsoft boosts Node development in Visual Studio

Upgrade boosts performance and debugging, backs ECMAScript 6 IntelliSense and Node 6

Microsoft boosts Node development in Visual Studio

Microsoft has updated its Node.js Tools for Visual Studio package, improving IntelliSense ease-of-coding capabilities and enhancing performance, debugging, and unit testing. The upgrade also supports the recently released Node.js 6.

Version 1.2 of the open source tool enables development of enterprise Node.js applications using Microsoft's signature Visual Studio IDE. The upgrade works with Visual Studio 2015.

The big highlight of version 1.2 is faster IntelliSense backing for coding compliant with the ECMAScript 6 specification. ECMAScript serves as a blueprint for new JavaScript features.

"The new ES6 IntelliSense engine takes advantage of type definition files to provide better and more performant IntelliSense," said Sara Itani, Microsoft software engineer for Node.js tools. This capability works with most popular Node frameworks, such as Commander, Express, jQuery, and Knockout. Also, when a new NPM is included, associated typing will be downloaded to the project.

Version 1.2 also improves stability and performance, reducing out-of-memory crashes and offering better project load times. Microsoft has bolstered debugging and mended user-reported issues like breakpoint problems and inconsistencies. The update also improves unit testing with support for the tape test harness.

Node 6 was released in April and improves module loading and better file system and buffer APIs. It backs much of ES6. Microsoft has focused on Node lately, using it for the ChakraCore JavaScript engine and seeking development of a standard interface so that Node is not tied to Google's V8 engine alone. The company also has a seat on the board of directors of the Node.js Foundation, which oversees development of the event-driven asynchronous JavaScript runtime.

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