The Neo Blockchain Toolkit for VS Code by NGD Enterprise has been updated to v3.3.1 with a number of new features. A Twitter thread shared by development head Harry Pierson provided insight into the most notable improvements, such as the ability to download contracts and respective storage records from MainNet or Testnet to local Express chains.
The contract download feature was proposed and drafted by long-time COZ developer Erik van den Brink, better known in the Neo community as ixje. Now available in Neo Express, the feature makes it easy for developers to test their contracts or other services against production contracts and chain data without leaving their local development environment.
When using contract download, developers can specify a block height to retrieve storage state at, whether or not to replace already deployed contracts or storage, and choose to download from MainNet, TestNet, or manually select an RPC node. Future development work will see the contract download functionality included as part of the Visual DevTracker, further improving its accessibility.
Neo Express also received the show notification method in the update, which can be used to retrieve all event records for a given contract or within a defined time frame. Notifications could already be viewed from within the Visual DevTracker, however the new method makes it possible for developers to access this data directly from the command line.
Improvements were also made to the build tools, with new tasks to automatically run the Neo C# compiler and Express batch files when running the build process. With the new changes, developers of C# contracts will benefit from greatly simplified project files.
The team also published an updated draft of the Debug Info standard, modified to support the Storage Schema feature added in a previous release. Though not in itself backwards compatible, the revised format includes a new version property to allow the Debugger to correctly interpret both the v1 and v2 debug info formats.
This release also sees a significant update to Neo.BuildTools. We’ve added new tasks to automatically run the Neo C# compiler and NeoExpress batch files during the build process. The C# contract template provided in the Visual DevTracker has been revised to ensure newly created contracts are aligned with the changes to the build tools.
The new version of the Neo Blockchain Toolkit can be installed via the Visual Studio marketplace at the link below: