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GitHub Copilot – July 14th Update

We continue our momentum with new capabilities for administrators and many improvements to Chat in our Visual Studio Code and Visual Studio extensions.

🤖 Automate GitHub Copilot access for your organization with User Management API (beta)

Note: This API is in Beta and is subject to change based on feedback.

Since the availability of GitHub Copilot for Business, we’ve heard feedback that assigning GitHub Copilot licenses to large sets of users through the UI can be tedious and time-consuming, particularly if you need to leverage Teams for your permissions management. Additionally, there has yet to be a way to routinely collect a list of stale users and revoke their access – forcing admins to spend precious time reviewing page after page of users’ last activity date and individually pruning access.

With the new User Management API for Copilot for Business, admins can list all Copilot-enabled organization members with their details and add/remove access for individuals and teams. This allows them to automate access at scale, fitting the company’s process and needs. Be sure to authenticate using an access token with the new manage_billing:copilot scope to get started.

Check out our documentation to try it out today and leave feedback for us in our Discussion post!

✍️ New Create commands in Visual Studio Code 1.80

To help you create projects and notebooks and search for text in your workspace, we have introduced preview-only slash commands in the Chat view.

Note: To get access to the Chat view, inline chat, and slash commands (for example /search/createWorkspace), sign up for the GitHub Copilot chat waitlist and install the Pre-Release version of the GitHub Copilot extension.

Create workspaces

You can ask Copilot to create workspaces for popular project types with the /createWorkspace slash command. Copilot will first generate a directory structure for your request.

Create workspaces

You can then use the Create Workspace button to create and open the project directory as a new workspace.

Create notebooks

You can ask Copilot to create Jupyter notebooks based on your requirements with the /createNotebook slash command. Copilot will generate an outline of the notebook based on your needs.

You can then use the Create Notebook command to create the notebook and fill in the code cells based on the suggested outline.

Visual Studio extension improvements

  • Better support for other programming languages – We have improved the quality of the results of questions for XAML, Blazor, C++, etc.
  • Save & Restore chat history – This prevents the user from losing the discussion/chat whenever they close Visual Studio. It is now persisted and restored.
  • Clear chat history – added the ability to clear the chat history so context from previous conversations is not considered in the prompt and answer by Copilot.
  • Multiline prompt box – We improved the prompt input to allow users to ask more extended questions easily.
  • Streaming support for displaying content in the Chat tool window – We have added streaming support to all chat experiences.
  • Specific insertions for test generation – Test generation sometimes requires insertion into separate files or projects. We now support special handling through action buttons in the chat window.
  • Quality of life updates – better context, UI refresh, and error messages throughout the Chat experiences.

Context-aware actions shown based on embeddings

We are introducing context-aware actions like documentation, explanation, and generating tests. These actions take the existing inline context and craft specific intents to provide an optimal and magical experience on those tasks.

Context-aware actions shown based on embeddings

Analyze method with GitHub Copilot in CPU usage tool

When triggered, Copilot Chat will explain why the issue occurred and suggest a fix. These show up in the diagnostics experience. These require using preview versions of Visual Studio.

Analyze method with GitHub Copilot in CPU usage tool

To learn more about Copilot and take full advantage of all of its power, visit our YouTube Copilot playlist. To sign up, see our Copilot features page.

Codespaces is updating the domain used for forwarded ports

Starting in August, Codespaces will be updating web client port forwarding to improve security, reliability, and performance for users. As part of this update, the URL for forwarded ports will change from https://* to https://*

To prepare for this change, replace any hardcoded references to in your code with the GITHUB_CODESPACES_PORT_FORWARDING_DOMAIN environment variable by July 31 to avoid any disruptions. The environment variable value will be updated from to when the migration completes. Learn more about environments variables here.

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