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Microsoft extends Cordova mobile dev to Visual Studio Code editor

With its Cordova Tools extension for Visual Studio Code, Microsoft this week is extending editing options for developers using Apache's mobile development framework.

The extension will enable developers building Cordova apps with Visual Studio Code to debug projects, find commands in the Command Palette, and use IntelliSense to browse objects, functions, and parameters in plug-in APIs. Since it's available as open source on GitHub, developers can track issues and submit pull requests.

Apache Cordova enables development of cross-platform mobile apps via HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, with developers able to target multiple platforms with one code base. Applications execute within wrappers for each platform and leverage API-bindings to access a device's sensors, data, and network status. Microsoft already has its Visual Studio TACO (Tools for Apache Cordova), but this extension provides new ways to build, debug, and preview apps via Visual Studio Code.

"You can use [the extension] with both stock versions of the Apache Cordova framework and downstream frameworks like Ionic, Onsen, PhoneGap, and SAP Fior Mobile Client," said Microsoft's Ryan J. Salva, principal program manager for the Visual Studio Client Tools Team, in The Visual Studio Blog. "Because they all use the same Cordova build systems and core runtime, the TACO extension is adaptable to the JavaScript framework of your choice."

Visual Studio Code and Cordova Tools now support debugging of apps on emulators, simulators, and tethered devices for Android and iOS. "You can also attach the debugger to an app that is already running on a device; the debugger simply uses the application ID to locate the running instance," Salva said.

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