A little Java with your Visual Studio Code

Java on VS Code update: Call hierarchy support added

Sarah Schlothauer
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Programming with Java on Visual Studio Code is better than ever. Java on VS Code uses a package of popular Java extensions for the editor. Now, it receives its first update of the year, which includes a few new features, UI changes, and performance improvements. Take a look at the newest update and what it adds to the playing field.

The very first 2020 update for Java on Visual Studio Code has arrived, introducing the newest feature: support for call hierarchy. That’s not all. The update also adds new features to the Debugger and Test Runner, and improves performance.

First, a brief rundown on what Java on Visual Studio Code is. Java on VS Code is supported via a number of extensions that increase the capabilities of Visual Studio Code, allowing the editor to support Java coding, testing, and debugging.

The Java Extension Pack consists of a number of popular extensions used by Java developers, including Language Support for Java by Red Hat, a debugger, Java Runner, Maven for Java, Java Dependency Viewer, and Visual Studio IntelliCode. (Other helpful extensions for Java devs using VS Code include Tomcat, Jetty, Docker, Kubernetes, Spring Boot, and Quarkus.)

After installing the necessary extensions, you must create a file in order to create your program. Opening the file will automatically begin loading everything you need to begin using Java on VS Code.

SEE ALSO: Java retrospective #5 – what will change the Java world in 2020?

Call hierarchy view

Take a look at the newest update and see how it improves the user experience.

Let’s see what Xiaokai He, senior program manager of Java on VS Studio Code and Azure, has to say about the latest feature in the update announcement post.

A call hierarchy view shows all calls from or to a function and allows you to drill into callers of callers and call of calls. Just right-click on the functions and click Peek -> Peek Call Hierarchy.

vs code

New feature: Call hierarchy. Source.

More improvements

This update cleans up some of the UI and adds a few quality of life changes.

    • Debugger: With the new release, Java on VS Code supports data breakpoints in the debugger. The user experience also receives a slight update as now the Run and Debug buttons are easily viewed in the debug panel. You can use the F5 shortcut to begin debugging.
    • Test Runner: The Test Runner extension will now show test status and results in the Test Explorer. For more detailed results, you can still go into the report.
    • Upgraded performance: Duplicate calls of APIs have been removed, which will improve performance time.
    • User interface update: Child folders are now compact inside of the File Explorer. The Problems panel also receives additional predefined filters and the ability to filter problems by their type.

Read the release announcement by Xiaokai He for the full report on the latest additions.

Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is the editor for She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey. She currently lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband and cat where she enjoys reading, writing, and medieval reenactment. She is also the editor for Conditio Humana, an online magazine about ethics, AI, and technology.

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