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VS Code-Based Particle IoT Dev Tool Now Generally Available

A new Internet of Things development tool from Particle is based on the increasingly popular Visual Studio Code editor from Microsoft.

VS Code is an open source, cross-platform code editor that can sometimes seem more like a full-fledged IDE when bolstered by a large universe of extensions. Its utility recently propelled it to No. 1 on a list of the most popular developer environments in the sprawling Stack Overflow developer survey.

In announcements yesterday, Microsoft and Particle revealed the brand-new Particle Workbench release based on VS Code. It includes tools, libraries and extensions in one package and can be further customized with another 8,000-plus available extensions.

"Workbench adds Particle-specific integrations to help make you more productive," Particle said. "This is our most powerful, professional IoT development environment yet and starting today, it's now generally available with our custom, cross-platform Particle installer with support for Windows, Linux (Ubuntu), and macOS."

Although it just hit general availability, the tooling was actually announced in preview last fall.

"Particle Workbench and Visual Studio Code are available together through a single, downloadable installer, which include the toolchains and extensions for Particle's IoT ecosystem, supporting local offline compilation and device programming, or cloud compilation and over-the-air (OTA) device programming," Microsoft said in its own announcement yesterday.

"IntelliSense for Particle Device APIs are provided by Visual Studio Code language services and the C/C++ extension," Microsoft continued. "Advanced hardware debugging is available in Visual Studio Code, for actions like setting breakpoints and step-through debugging, all pre-configured for Particle hardware. There's also access to more than 3,000 official and community Particle libraries, enabling more reusability and less typing."

Particle said out-of-the-box Workbench features include:

  • Compile where you want: local or cloud
  • Stress-free toolchain management
  • Built-in version control and debugging
  • Flexible deployment: over-the-wire or over-the-air
  • Code complete with IntelliSense for Particle device libraries
  • Quick installation experience for Windows, Linux, and macOS

Particle Workbench is available for download here. Documentation is available here. The complete Particle hardware/software project is hosted on GitHub here.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.