Farewell, Java.VS: Evolving Developer Tools and Our Difficult Decision

We’ve been extremely gratified by the enthusiasm with which our announcement of Java.VS, our Java environment for Visual Studio, was greeted by the development community. However, after a great deal of reflection, we’ve reluctantly decided that it no longer makes sense for us to move forward with Java.VS product development. We’d like to explain why here.

Shortly after our announcement of Java.VS, Microsoft and Red Hat announced Java editing and debugging support in Visual Studio Code, using the recently developed Language Server Protocol and Common Debugging Protocol. By itself, this would not have dissuaded us from moving forward with our product: Visual Studio Code is a very different product from Visual Studio, for a very different audience. However, in the last few weeks, Microsoft has publicly announced an early version of support for the Language Server Protocol in Visual Studio 2017, and has said that Debugger Protocol support is coming, too. While there is not yet Java language support for Visual Studio using these protocols, it’s clear that it will be coming, likely using a similar codebase to the Java support for Visual Studio Code.

When planning new products, it’s always been our strategy to focus on products we’re uniquely qualified to introduce, based on our JNBridgePro Java/.NET interoperability technology. This strategy has served us well. Before the advent of the Language Server Protocol, it was clear to us that our technology was uniquely suited for bridging between Visual Studio and the back-end Eclipse JDT. The release of Java support for Visual Studio Code and the announcement of Language Server Protocol support for Visual Studio shows that in this case our offering would not be unique nor worth pursuing, as the market will already be adequately served.

For those of you patiently waiting, Microsoft will likely be delivering LSP-based support for Java in Visual Studio soon, so hang tight. As for us, we’ve learned a lot from this. Stopping development on a forthcoming product that’s this far along is a new experience for us, and one we’ve wrestled hard with. We plan to use what we’ve learned in some exciting new projects that we have planned for the new year. Watch this space for more information over the coming months.

Thanks, JNBridge community. As always, we’re grateful for your support. Please feel free to reach out to us anytime with questions.

Watch our website, or subscribe to our blog, for more information over the coming months.