Microsoft has announced the release of Node.js Tools 1.0 for Visual Studio (NTVS 1.0).
The NTVS plug-in has been in development for more than a year, as Microsoft announced a beta of the tooling last April at its Build 2014 conference. NTVS is a free, open source extension for Visual Studio 2012 and Visual Studio 2013 that turns Visual Studio into a Node.js integrated development environment (IDE). NTVS 1.0 supports the free Visual Studio Community and Visual Studio Express for Web editions, as well as Visual Studio Professional and higher.
Highlights of this release include editing and IntelliSense improvements. Visual Studio supports syntax highlighting, code-folding, find in files and also code completions. The new release also features a Node.js Interactive Window with support for read-eval-print loop (REPL). A REPL is an environment that accepts one command at a time, helping developers experiment with code or explore a new package more quickly.
"For the uninitiated, REPLs are awesome," Itani said. "Write some code, and see the results inline. It really speeds up the process of experimenting with code, or exploring a new package. And of course, we've gone a step further and sprinkled the experience with some Visual Studio magic—you'll get full syntax highlighting and completions, just like you do in the editor."
"Explore and manage your npm dependencies in Solution Explorer, search for and install dependencies from the npm registry in the rich UI, and hop into the interactive window or command prompt for everything else," Itani said. "The end-to-end npm integration makes working with your dependencies easy—NTVS will even warn you when one of your dependencies is missing."