Using VSCode for Development


We recommend using Visual Studio Code for Gawati Development. It is available as a free download ( and works on most major OS Platforms.

Setting up defaults

Go to File-> Preferences -> Settings. Add / Edit entry “files.encoding” to “utf8”. You can also set “files.autoGuessEncoding” to true.

Using VS Code with eXist DB

eXist-DB runs XQuery code from within an eXist-db database collection. You can use VSCode to directly edit XQUery, XSLT or XML within eXist-db. Assumption is you have installed eXist-db and VSCode on the same machine.

Configuring VSCode

Launch VSCode, and then type Ctrl+Shift+X, and you will get the extension marketplace search box –

VSCode extensions
Install the following plugins from there:
  • XML Tools
  • XML Formatter

You can also install other plugins that you may need for CSS / JS development.

Connecting to eXist-db via WebDav

eXist-db provides an inbuilt Web-Dav server ( by default, this allows us to map the eXist collection as a folder.

Launch windows explorer, click on “This-PC” and then click “Map Network Drive”:

VSCode extensions

You will need to connect using SSL, for example the gawati-portal project installs in a collection in eXist-db with the following path: /db/apps/gawati-portal to access that you will need to enter: https://localhost:8443/exist/webdav/db/apps/gawati-portal (as shown below) –

Web Dav Connect

Remember to check the “Reconnect at Sign-in” option, that way your network mapping to the eXist dav folder will be persistent between reboots of your computer.

It will prompt you for a user name and password, enter the user name and password credentials for the collection / application. For the gawati-portal application for example, the default user name is gawatiportal. Once that is complete you will be able to open the `Z:` folder in VSCode, and edit the XQuery, XSLT code.

VSCode, open webdav folder

You can save, edit and create new files in the eXist collection via VSCode now.