Microsoft Open Sources Full-stack Web Templates for Visual Studio Code

Microsoft is showing immense love towards the open source community these days. After acquiring GitHub, a code management and version control tool last year, the company is open sourcing some of their greatest secret assets.

The Redmond giant has already open sourced quantum computing development tools and an important algorithm behind the Bing Search, and now open sourcing Web Template Studio (WebTS), a cross-platform Visual Studio Code extension developed by a team of Microsoft Garage interns and showcased at Microsoft Build 2019.

The extension is currently available in preview form on VS Marketplace under the MIT license. “A lot of times in a hackathon, you spend the whole hackathon just setting all of that up before you can start programming. With our tool, you can hook everything up in just 5 or 6 minutes,” said Kelly Ng, a software engineering intern who helped in build explaining the vision behind the extension.

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What is the Microsoft Web Template Studio?

Microsoft WebTS allows developers to easily develop useful web applications with the help of its “dev-friendly wizard”. It’s written in TypeScript and React, and built along the same lines of a Visual Studio extension, Windows Template Studio which not only simplifies but also accelerates the creation of Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps.

With this extension, you can select your preferred front-end and back-end frameworks, pages, and cloud services, for generating boilerplate code for a full-stack web application. As of now, the Microsoft Web Template Studio (WebTS) only supports React.js for frontend and Node.js for the backend but the team has to expand its support for Angular, Vue and other frameworks.

WebTS comes with many app page templates including common layouts, and pages with grid or list, blank page, etc. Just choose the required page to add a common UI into your web app.

Once you finished the user interface, you need to define which Azure cloud services you want to use for your application. Currently, the WebTS extension supports Azure Cosmos DB for storage and Azure Functions for computing.

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The extension is perfect for someone who wants to prototype or get things started quickly, without having to be dependent o tedious amounts of research. According to Imho Traore, Program Manager Intern for the project, “One of the things we focused a lot of attention on was the setup wizard.” “The tool also helps you easily integrate Azure so you can start to experiment with cloud services. That’s huge when you’re just starting out.” he also added.

If you’re interested in this extension and want to try it out, head over to VS Marketplace’s Web Template Studio page and click download. The project is still in its initial stages but the team will add support of more frameworks and services with its growth. In case you want to contribute, here’s its GitHub repository.