Java Tools Challenge results

Brian Harry

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, we are committed to making VS Team Services a great solution for all developers – for any application on any platform.  3 months ago we kicked off the Java Tools Challenge, sponsored by the Visual Studio Partner Program, and the Visual Studio Marketplace which was a longer term virtual hackathon designed to bring awareness to our Java solutions and engage the Java community to build working and published tools and apps. The Challenge was an opportunity for Java developers to explore the extensibility of Visual Studio Team Services as well as make use of some of our solutions for Java developers such as our Eclipse plugin, cross platform command line, IntelliJ plugin, our new cross platform build agent and more.  They were challenged to develop either a Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS) extension that helps developers create, test, deploy, etc. Java apps or create a Java app using Visual Studio Team Explorer Everywhere (Eclipse plugin) or JetBrains IntelliJ plugin. It is my pleasure to announce the following winners of the Java Tools Challenge!  

Best Overall: jSnippy, VSTS extension Prize: $10,000 cash, VSPP Premier Membership, Visual Studio Enterprise 2015 with MSDN (#3), Featured product listing on Visual Studio Marketplace. jSnippy is a code snippet manager that manages code snippets for your team in a secure manner and with an easy to search interface. As a team member, you can contribute by creating Code Snippets in the repository. jSnippy provides an Editor to write your code in and includes a built-in Java language syntax highlighting. Team quote: “With jSnippy team members can easily search for code snippets using powerful tag and full text search capabilities within their modules. For Java-based Teams, jSnippy also provides an option to import commonly used code snippets on first time load.” Best Extension: Allure, VSTS extension Prize: $1,500 cash, Surface Pro 4, Visual Studio Enterprise 2015 with MSDN. To make tests relevant, you need to be able to know when a failure occurs and what caused it. The report must be in a readable format that can help to diagnose test failures quickly.   Team quote: “By creating the Allure VSTS extension, a general approach is used to create an HTML report with test results and failure screenshots intertwined. However, this was easier said than done since there is no proven standard – leaving us to code our own approach based on the test framework we are using. Leveraging a language agnostic open-source library like the Allure Framework, we were able to generate a robust, human-readable HTML report from each of our test runs.”   Best Mobile App: WiChat, Mobile App Prize: $1,500 cash, Surface Pro 4, Visual Studio Enterprise 2015 with MSDN. WiChat is a messaging application that creates a chat-room to connect nearby users using WiFi Hotspot. Need to message nearby friends in an environment where silence is mandatory? Why spend money on texting when instead you can stay connected via WiChat?   Team quote: “The connection is handled by Java’s ServerSocket and Socket Class and VSTS was used to keep track of team progress and enhance the private Git repository experience.”   Best App: Molecula Add-in for Outlook, App Prize: $1,500 cash, Surface Pro 4, Visual Studio Enterprise 2015 with MSDN. Molecula indexes all emails in your Inbox and groups all the people you communicated with using special criteria. Groups are visualized with cool bubbles—bigger ones represent groups of people you communicate with more frequently. You can start a new thread by clicking a bubble, rearranging the recipients for TO, CC and BCC fields, and you are done!   Team quote: “We used IntelliJ IDEA 15 and the VSTS plugin as our primary IDE. Server-side is built using Java and hosted in Microsoft Azure using Docker containers. On the client side we use JavaScript API for Office, Office UI Fabric as a framework for UI and Microsoft Graph API to access user emails.”   Best Runner-up Extension: Documentation (Doxygen), VSTS extension Prize: $1,500 cash, Surface Pro 4, Visual Studio Enterprise 2015 with MSDN. VSTS being a great ALM platform and Doxygen being a great documentation tool, I wanted to integrate both and get the benefit of always having up-to-date documentation that can be viewed directly in VSTS projects.   Team quote: “Documentation (Doxygen) is a VSTS extension that contains two parts: A Build task to generate documentation as part of Build; and a Documentation hub under Code hub group to render the documentation from the selected Build.”   Best Runner-up Mobile App: My Cellars and Tastes, Mobile App Prize: Oculus Rift, Visual Studio Enterprise 2015 with MSDN. My Cellars and Tastes is a free app in 6 languages to manage cellars of wines, champagnes, beers, olive oils, etc.   Team quote: “Originally, the app was built using Eclipse locally, then I added a local SVN repository and I recently configured a dedicated Visual Studio Team Services account for this challenge to manage my backlog, my code with Git and also automate Build and Release.”  

Congratulations to all of our Java Tools Challenge participants that submitted their projects and especially to those that won prizes! And, a big thanks to our other judges: Paul Barham, David Staheli, and Brian Benz as well as DevPost for hosting the Challenge!   You can view all of the Java Tools Challenge entries at   Brian


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