Tutorial: Codewind for VS Code

Follow this example workflow to use the tools for VS Code to develop a Node.js project. All the features demonstrated in this tutorial are also available for Microprofile and Spring projects.

For more detail on any of the commands, see the commands overview.

  1. First, ensure that Codewind is installed and running. For more information, see the Getting started: Codewind for VS Code page. Proceed after your projects appear with the Codewind view.
  2. Create a Node.js project in Codewind. Skip this step if a Node.js project already exists. This tutorial assumes that your project is called nodeproject.
    • Right-click the Projects (Local) item in the Codewind tree and select Create new project.
    • In the Command Palette, select Node.js Template and press Enter.
    • In the Command Palette, type a name for the project and press Enter.
  3. Make the new project your workspace folder. This project is the only project that you need to work on for this tutorial.
    • Right-click the project and select Open Folder as Workspace. VS Code restarts with the selected project folder as the workspace folder.
  4. Open the Project Overview page to view project information.
  5. To view the project standard output and error as you develop it, open the application logs.
    • Right-click the project and select Show Application Log. The log appears in the Output view.
    • Node.js projects do not have build logs, but if you work on some other types of projects, you can also view the build logs.
  6. Open a file to edit. For example, modify the health endpoint of the default Node.js project.
    • Open a Javascript file, such as nodeproject/server/routers/health.js.
    • Make a code change.
    • For example, you can add the following endpoint to health.js after the existing GET / middleware function:
        router.get('/test', function (req, res, next) {
            return res.send("Yep, it worked!!");
    • Codewind detects the file changes and restarts your application.
      • In the Codewind tree, the application stops and starts again as the application server restarts.
      • You can also see nodemon restart the project in the application logs.
    • At this point, your VS Code should look similar to the following example:
      Editing nodeproject
  7. To make sure your code change was picked up, test your new endpoint.
    • Right-click the project and select Open App. The project root endpoint opens in the browser, and the IBM Cloud Starter page appears.
    • Navigate to the new endpoint. If you copied the previous snippet, add /health/test/ to the URL.
    • See the new response:

      New endpoint response
  8. You can debug your application within the container. To debug a containerized project, restart it in Debug mode.
    • Right-click the project and select Restart in Debug Mode.
    • The project restarts into the Debugging state.
    • A debug launch configuration is created in nodeproject/.vscode/launch.json.
    • The debugger attaches, and VS Code opens the Debug view.
    • You can detach and reattach the debugger at any time, as long as the project is still in Debug mode.
  9. All of the VS Code debug functionality is now available.
    • If your code matches the screenshot, set a breakpoint at line 13 in health.js.
    • Refresh the new endpoint page that you opened in step 7 so that a new request is made, and the breakpoint gets hit.
    • VS Code suspends your application at the breakpoint. Here you can step through the code, inspect variables, see the call stack, and evaluate expressions in the Debug Console. Debugging