Python Tools for Visual Studio 2.1 Beta

Python has been a widely used programming language across the industry for more than two decades.  We've provided great support for Python in Azure for some time.  And in Visual Studio, we've been developing the Python Tools for Visual Studio for the last 2 years.

Today, we've released Python Tools for Visual Studio 2.1 Beta

The Python Tools for Visual Studio offer a great IDE experience for general scripting, web programming and technical computing.  With integrated IPython REPL support for smart history, shell commands and inline images, these tools provide a great exploratory coding environment.  And with unique features like mixed mode debugging of Python with C++ and remote debugging of Linux servers in Azure, Visual Studio provides a great development environment for Python developers.

Python Tools for Visual Studio for Data Sciences

PTVS provides a great environment for many Data and Scientific Computing scenarios such as Machine Learning.  In the example below, Visual Studio is being used on a machine learning problem using scikit-learn for code that can be developed and debugged in Visual Studio or deployed to IPython locally or in Azure.

Here, the code is being developed interactively in PTVS using different ML algorithms to try to “draw” the bottom half of various human faces.

You can also run the same Python code in any modern browser backed by a Python engine running locally or in Azure.  Where PTVS provides detailed IntelliSense and advanced debugging and profiling support, IPython enables easy sharing of “executable” notebooks comprised of mixed code, markdown and graphics.

See this page on how to set up your own IPython notebook on a Windows or Linux VM on Azure.

PTVS 2.1 Beta

Today's release of PTVS 2.1 Beta brings important new additions, including support for new web frameworks including Bottle and Flask, support for installing on Visual Studio Express and improvements to Django template IntelliSense.

New web frameworks    

PTVS has had support for Django since 1.5, including debugging of Django Templates.  In this release we’ve added support for two new frameworks: Bottle and Flask.  There is also a “generic” web framework template that you can use for frameworks such as Pyramid.

 

You can use PTVS to build your site and easily publish it to either Azure Web Sites or an Azure Cloud Service.  Simply right click and select Publish:

 

Check out this video which covers setting up a Flask web project, importing an existing Pyramid one and publishing them to Azure Web Sites.  We're also working on adding support for remote debugging for Azure Web Sites, which we expect to be available in PTVS 2.1 Beta 2 in the near future.

Express for Web and Desktop

With the 2.1 Beta the Python Tools are now installable in the free Visual Studio Express for Web and Express for Windows Desktop.  Developers have access to great free tools for Python Web development with Visual Studio, as well as a complete Python + C++ IDE for data sciences work. 

Open Source

The Python Tools for Visual Studio are open source (Apache 2.0) and hosted on CodePlex.  Since the release of the Python Tools 2 years ago, this implementation of a language extension for Visual Studio has been used as a reference implementation by many other language extensions developed both by Microsoft and by Partners.

Conclusion

The Python Tools for Visual Studio provide a great IDE experience for Python, integrated with all the features of the Visual Studio IDE.  The 2.1 Beta release includes support for more web frameworks, access to the tools in Express and integration with Azure publishing.

Namaste!