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Visual Studio Online is here!

Introduction:

With Visual Studio Online getting some traction, it is something that is not stable but at-least it is a pathway to something great in the history of computing.

Pre-requisites:

Microsoft Office/Live Account
Microsoft Azure Subscription

Demonstration:

1. Signing Up with VS Online:
Goto https://online.visualstudio.com, you will see an introduction page.
Visual Studio Sign-in Page
After you have signed in, you will see a screen with no Azure Plans selected and no environments
Visual Studio Online Home Page
Here, you can select the environments, create plans based on your Azure Subscription, Create new environments.

2. Creating Plans:
From the VS Online homepage, you are need to create a plan first. For this you will need an Active Azure Subscription. Your VS Online is then hosted as per your Azure Subscription and the location where you want to host.
VS Online - Creating Plan

After you select your subscription, you can view it in your VS Online Plans.

3.Creating Environments:
With the help of your VS Online Plan, you are allowed to create an environment with Standard (4 Cores 8GB RAM) or Premium(8 Cores 16GB RAM).

Creating VS Online Environment

4. List of VS Online Environments and their process:
 With VS Online envrionments created there a list of options that you can do with it.
 i. Connect: Opens VS Online in the browser

VS Online - List of environments and options
After you have created a VS Online Environment, automatically a Resource Group is created in Azure. This means that VS Online is hosted in someplace inside Azure as a VM or a Docker container.

Azure Resource Group- VS Online.

i. Connect: Connects you to VS Online in the browser window itself.
VS Online - In the browser

ii. Suspend: This turns off  the VM hosting VS Online. After this you cannot access VS Online until you turn the instance ON. This means that you have option to save your Azure credits by turning this instance OFF.

iii. Delete: This action, deleted the VS Online Environment itself. After deletion of the VS Online environment, you cannot get it back. You will need to create a new environment. Also, check if the Resource Group in Azure gets deallocated or deleted.

iv. Open in VS Code: This action actually links your VS Code (Local) with your VS Online just like you are using a VM with VS Code installed on it.

VS Code Connecting to VS Online
Connecting VS Code to VS Online Environment
VS Code Connected with VS Online Environment

5.Installing VSIX Extensions:
After the VS Online is successfully setup, it is time to start working on it. Nothing comes first in mind except the great AL Language Extension. Lets try and install the AL Language Extension
Installing AL Language Extension
After the AL Language Extension is installed, let try to create a sample project for Business Central using AL: Go!
AL : Go! does not work
So I was let with no other choice but to explore the Work-space and folder structure.

6. Exploring Work-space and Folder Structure:
There is a terminal present by default where you can input Linux Bash commands and get to the desired folder.
Going back to the parent folders, I discovered that VS Online is hosted on Linux Kernel.
VS Online on Linux Kernel


Conclusion:

With Visual Studio Online, the dependency on the physical machine is reduced and most of the stuff can be done through browser.
Although there are some perks with the IntelliSense and issues which are expected in Public Preview, overall this Visual Studio Online seems pretty promising.
I also understand that I couldn't demonstrate the creation of AL Project and actually use it but I think I am missing some information which will help us create a AL Project in VS Online sooner.

Hope this helps! 👼👼

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