Microsoft rolls out open-source Python extension for Visual Studio

Microsoft is making available to Python developers a free, open-source add-on to its Visual Studio suite.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor on

Microsoft released on August 29 an integrated environment for developing in Python using Visual Studio 2010.

Known as Python Tools for Visual Studio (PTVS), the new, free tools are available under the Apache 2.0 license, and available for download from Microsoft's CodePlex site. PTVS came out of the Technical Computing Group unit at Microsoft.

PTVS supports CPython, IronPython, Jython and PyPy. Microsoft no longer owns IronPython and is now being built/supported by the IronPython community. The new tools include a Python editor with support for IntelliSense; debugging and profiling capabilities; and support for parallel computing (via integrated IPython REPL).

Microsoft is aiming the PTVS extension at both enthusiasts and professional Python developers. PTVS can be used with the Visual Studio Integrated Shell (also available as a free download), with Visual Studio Professional and higher.

Microsoft rolled out a test version of PTVS in March 2011, with officials saying at that time that the final release would happen this fall.

In (somewhat) related news, the SQL Server team blogged on August 29 that it will be adding a new release of its PHP driver for SQL Server and an updated release of JDBC 4.0 for Java developers to the next version of SQL Server, codenamed "Denali." Denali is currently at the Community Technology Preview 3 stage, and may be available late this year or some time next.

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