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Microsoft Announces the Public Preview of Dev Spaces for AKS

| by Steef-Jan Wiggers Follow 7 Followers on Jul 17, 2018. Estimated reading time: 2 minutes |

Microsoft announced a public preview of Dev Spaces for Azure Kubernetes Services (AKS), which enables the easy creation of and access to a remote Kubernetes cluster, and provides rapid, iterative development experience for teams. The release follows from private preview of Dev Spaces that was annouced during Build 2018 in May.

With this release Microsoft hopes to provide developers with a quick way to build and debug applications for Kubernetes on Azure. Gabe Monroy, PM Lead, Containers at Microsoft, said in the blog post about the preview release:

With Dev Spaces, all a new developer needs are their IDE and the Azure CLI. Simply create a new Dev Space inside AKS and begin working on any component in the microservice environment safely, without impeding other traffic flows.

With Dev Spaces, developers can connect their IDE, such as Visual Studio 2017, to an AKS cluster supporting Dev Spaces. A developer subsequently can scaffold the important artefacts, which builds upon the open source Draft project. Then, the code syncs to Azure, where it is built and deployed as a container into AKS. Finally, the developer can edit and debug this code as if it’s all running locally on its machine – without having to install any Docker or Kubernetes tooling.


Source: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/visualstudio/2018/07/09/announcing-the-public-preview-of-azure-dev-spaces/

In an earlier blog post on Microsoft Azure last month, Brady Gaster senior product marketing manager, Azure Marketing, said about Dev Spaces:

With minimal dev machine setup, you can iteratively run and debug containers directly in Azure Kubernetes Service. Develop on Windows, Mac, or Linux using familiar tools like Visual Studio, Visual Studio Code, or the command line.


Source: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/smarthotel360-microservices-on-azure-kubernetes-service/

Azure Dev Spaces is a technology in its infancy, according to Richard Speed, discussing Azure Dev Spaces in a recent TheRegister article:

However, this is still preview technology with clearly a way to go before it hits the big time. For developers used to a visual way of debugging and happy in the world of Visual Studio, Azure Dev Spaces will indeed provide a familiar wrapper around the potentially alien environment of containerisation. Just not quite yet.

Several other tools exist within this space, including the CNCF-hosted Telepresence project that enables a two-way proxy between a remote Kubernetes cluster and local development environment, and the open source ksync project that enables the synchronisation of files between a remote cluster and local file system. In March this year Shahidh K Muhammed also wrote a blog post "Draft vs Gitkube vs Helm vs Ksonnet vs Metaparticle vs Skaffold" that provides a comparison of Kubernetes tooling that can be used to create an effective local development experience.

AKS is currently generally available in twelve regions, and Dev Spaces currently only works with .NET Core (with VS Code and CLI or VS 2017 and CLI) and Node.js (with VS Code and CLI). Support for additional languages is expected over the next few months. Developers with interests in Dev Spaces can check out the GitHub repo which contains code samples to support product guides, and it also provides additional details and high-level insights into the product's roadmap.

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