Announcing R Tools for Visual Studio


This post is by Shahrokh Mortazavi, Partner Director of Program Management in the Data Group at Microsoft.

I am delighted to announce that Visual Studio now speaks another language: R!

R is decidedly the most popular statistical/data analysis language in use today. R Tools for Visual Studio brings together the power of R and Visual Studio in a convenient and easy to use plug-in that’s free and Open Source. When combined with Visual Studio Community Edition, you get a multi-lingual IDE that is perpetually free (for small teams). Today we’re releasing this as a public preview for evaluation and testing by developers.

Here are the exciting features of this preview release:

Other features requested by the R developer community, including a Package Manager GUI, Visual Studio Code (cross-plat), etc. will be part of one of our future updates.

RTVS is an IDE and as such you can use it with any recent version of R such as 3.2.x. If you install the free Microsoft R Open, you automatically get some turbo options such as threading support on multi-processor machines, providing significant speedup for a variety of analytical functions, as well as package collections check-pointed to a particular date/version. Microsoft R Server provides Big Data support and additional advanced features that can be used with SQL Server.

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RTVS will detect versions of R you have installed, and you can choose the one you wish to use from the Options menu.

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