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Visual Studio Code Extension

The Cortex XSOAR extension for Visual Studio Code enables you to design and author scripts and integrations for Cortex XSOAR directly from VSCode. The extension adds a set of commands, as a sidebar with Automation and Integration Settings, just like the Settings sidebar in the Cortex XSOAR script editor. When writing code, the plugin provides you with auto-completion of Cortex XSOAR and Python functions. The extension also provides an easy-to-use set of demisto-sdk commands to format your packs, lint, and validate. The extension provides an easy virtual environment setup for Cortex XSOAR integrations and scripts.

Extension Workflow#

The extension defines a slightly different workflow than Cortex XSOAR. With the plugin, you can work on your code (whether it is Python, PowerShell or JavaScript). It utilizes the excellent demisto-sdk python package.


Install the Visual Studio Code extension#

Install the Visual Studio Code extension directly from the Visual Studio Code marketplace or use this link.


Cortex XSOAR recommends configuring xsoar.autoFindProblems.readProblems.

This configuration will auto-run demisto-sdk lint and demisto-sdk validate when saving your file if the configuration is set to true.

The default is false, and for now, it is recommended not to enable this configuration for performance.


All of the commands in the extension start with the easy-to-find pattern XSOAR.
Notable commands:

  • XSOAR: Load Script/Integration: Opens a side-panel to easily modify the integration configuration, inputs, and outputs.

  • XSOAR: Demisto-SDK Lint/Validate/Update Release Notes...: Will run the demisto-sdk commands.

  • XSOAR: Configure XSOAR unit tests: Will configure the integration unit tests.

  • XSOAR: Configure Demisto-SDK for XSOAR: Will configure XSOAR environnement variables for demisto-sdk.

Environment setup#

Remote development (Any OS)#

To develop in a fully configured remote development environment, follow the instructions in this guide.

Local development (Linux, MacOS, WSL2)#

The VScode extension supports setting up your development environment. This will:

  1. Install the dependencies using Homebrew (optionally).
  2. Install demisto-sdk (optionally).
  3. Add code to PATH to open VSCode with running code <path> from the terminal.
  4. Bootstrap the Content repository with python and node dependencies.
  5. Install the Content repository recommended extensions.
  6. Configure VSCode settings.json to lint with mypy and flake8.
  7. Configure demisto-sdk settings for XSOAR, selecting the Cortex XSOAR server URL, API key and more.

The first step requires Homebrew:

  • Install Homebrew.
  • If on Linux or WSL, make sure to follow the instructions after installing Homebrew or follow the instructions in this guide.

If you want to install the dependencies manually, follow the instructions in this guide until the Bootstrap step.


Execute the command XSOAR: install local development environment, either from VSCode Command Pallete, or by right-clicking a file.

Open integrations and scripts in Python virtual environment.#

Each integration or script in XSOAR runs on a different environnement, and has different dependencies. With the VSCode extension, you are able to open a workspace of the integration or a script with it's dedicated virtual environment.


  • Go to the integration or a script.
  • Right-click it, and select Open integration/script in virtual environnement


When using it, the following actions are automatically performed:

  • Initializes a Python virtual environment based on the integration Docker image with all dependencies and test dependencies installed.
  • Copies the dependent files to the directory ( , and ApiModules if necessary).
  • Opens a new VSCode workspace that is configured with pytest and linting with mypy and flake8 enabled. Run the tests with the Test Explorer. See the linting errors in the Problems tab.
  • Switches to the newly created virtual environment as the selected Python interpreter in this workspace.
  • Creates a configured launch.json in the workspace, to debug the integration easily with demistomock.
  • If the virtual environment already exists, a popup will be triggered to ask you whether to open the existing environment or create a new one.


You can use Run and Debug (⇧⌘D) in VSCode (or click F5 on the Python file).


  • If during the installation one or more Python packages fail to install, the installation will proceed and create the virtual environment with the packages that were installed.

    It is your responsibility to figure out why the installation failed (probably due to missing non-Python dependencies in your host), and manually install or recreate the virtual environnement afterwards. If you face this issue, you might want to try Open integration/script in Dev Container option.

  • To use demisto-sdk in this workspace it has do be installed globally in your system, with pip install demisto-sdk in the system interpreter.

  • You can use this feature together with the content Dev Container.

Open integrations and scripts in Dev Container (Advanced)#

The XSOAR integrations and scripts actually run on a dedicated Docker image. In some integrations, the Python environment is not enough, and it is not easy to install the system dependencies.

With this feature, you are able to develop inside the integration or a script Docker image, with all dependencies preinstalled. This will use the Docker image that is in the YAML file.

System requirements#

Windows: Docker Desktop 2.0+ on Windows 10 Pro/Enterprise. Windows 10 Home (2004+) requires Docker Desktop 2.3+ and the WSL 2 back-end. macOS: Docker Desktop 2.0+. Linux: Docker CE/EE 18.06+ and Docker Compose 1.21+.


Follow the VSCode documentation.


  • Go to the integration or a script.
  • Right-click it and select Open integration/script in a Dev Container


The same features of the virtual environment feature is available here.

Python 2 support#

VSCode dropped support for Python 2. In order to debug Python 2 code, it is necessary to install an older python extension.

  • Go to VSCode extensions.
  • Select Python. Python
  • Select Install Another version.
  • Select the version 2022.2.1924087327. Version


Open integration/script in a Dev Container or Open integration/script in a virtual environment fails#

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