All the goodies : JUnit 5 @Tag annotation support, Android, Groovy and more

IntelliJ IDEA 2018.1 ready to show its face: Public Preview build available for download

Gabriela Motroc
IntelliJ IDEA 2018.1

© Shutterstock / Grygier

Good news — you can now download the public preview build for IntelliJ IDEA 2018.1. Let’s have a look at the highlights of the upcoming release.

IntelliJ IDEA 2018.1 is ready to show its face — now that Public Preview build is available, we’re one step away from the grand revealing.

You can download the public preview build here.

IntelliJ IDEA 2018.1 highlights

Improvements in data flow analysis

The team has improved data flow analysis, which means that as of now, it detects a wider variety of potential problems in the code. If you want to know more about the enhancements in data flow analysis, read this blog post.

JUnit 5 @Tag annotation support

IntelliJ IDEA 2018.1 will support the JUnit5 @Tag annotation — the goal is to give you the ability to include in the testing scope, tagged classes and tagged methods. All you need to do is select the Tags (JUnit 5) option in the test kind field in the Run/Debug Configuration dialog and make sure to use the Uniqueld field to filter tests according to their id.

Code Generation

IntelliJ IDEA allows you to generate a test class, and by default, the IDE adds the Test suffix to the test class name. What’s different now is that you can customize a test class template to make it possible to create a test class with a Test prefix in the test class name: Preferences | Editor | Code Style | Java | Code Generation.

JVM Debugger

Thanks to the brand new Throw Exception action, you can now throw an exception from a certain location in your program without changing the code. You’ll find it in the Run | Throw Exceptionmenu, or the frame context menu during a debugging session.

SEE ALSO: IntelliJ IDEA 2018.1: New EAP build, new features

Print breakpoint stacktraces

In other news, you can now print breakpoints Stacktraces to the console. The Stacktrace option can be enabled in the Breakpoints dialog box. The IDE also gives you the option to observe multiple breakpoints Stacktraces at the same time in the Console log.

You can also copy the current thread stack trace via a new Copy Stack action — you’ll find it in the frame context menu.

Java Compiler

The new Use --release option for cross-compilation (Java 9 and later) check-box on the Java Compiler page — which can be found in Preferences | Build, Execution, Deployment | Compiler | Java Compiler — is enabled by default. You should know that the new checkbox can be disabled when you want to use the --source and --targetoptions with Java 9 and link against Java 9 classes at the same time.

There’s also a new ability to use a specific version of the ECJ compiler. All you have to do is select Eclipsefrom the Use Compiler drop-down menu, and in the field specify the path to jar with the needed compiler.


For Groovy files and modules, there’s a new refactoring action available from the context menu in the Refactor | Convert to @CompileStatic. Not sure what it does? The Convert to @CompileStatic action annotates every groovy class in the scope of the @CompileStatic annotation.


Some good news for Android Developers! IntelliJ IDEA 2018.1 merges the changes from Android Studio 3.0 and brings in a lot of new features, such as:

  • IntelliJ IDEA now supports the latest Android Oreo APIs and lets you build Java 8 Android applications, as well as Kotlin Android applications.
  • The IDE supports Gradle 3.0.0 for Android applications.
  • The Layout Editor has been improved: a new toolbar layout and icons, updated layouts in the component tree, a new error panel and more.
  • You can create App Icons with the updated Image Asset Studio. Right-click the res folder in your Android project, and select New | Image Asset from the context menu. In the Asset Studio window, select Launcher Icons (Adaptive and Legacy) as the icon type.
  • The IDE now supports the ability to build Instant Apps – lightweight Android apps that can be run without installation. If you want to build Instant Apps, you’ll have to make sure that the Instant Apps Development SDK is installed.
  • IntelliJ IDEA 2018.1 has merged the Android Profiler, a new suite of profiling tools that provide real-time data for your app’s CPU, memory, and network activity.

For more details, read the Android Studio Release Notes.

Enhancement in Docker compose

The Docker Compose workflow is one of the many things that have been improved. The Run/Debug Configurations dialog for the Docker Compose run configuration makes it possible to use important Docker Compose features such as support of multiple compose files, and the ability to choose a service to run.

Furthermore, the Docker plugin now supports Multiple Docker Compose files and respects not only a docker-compose.yml but also an optional docker-compose.override.yml file. You can add the docker-compose.override.yml as any other override file right after the base configuration file.

For Docker Compose files, you can now define an environment variable in the updated Run/Debug Configurations dialog. If you wish to use the --build command line options, you need to enable the Force build checkbox. Thanks to the Docker plugin, you can choose the set of services to run after you pick configuration files in the Docker Compose Run configuration.

The Spring Boot enhancement

  • Support for Spring Boot Devtools.
  • A new gutter icon provides you with the ability to open methods with @RequestMapping annotations via the new REST client.

For more details aboutthe list of v2018.1 changes, make sure to read the IntelliJ IDEA 2018.1 Public Preview Release Notes. 

Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc was editor of and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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