Friday, August 05, 2016

Do great statistics using R Tools for Visual Studio 2015

Microsoft's strategy is to bind all its assets and stay in a continuous state of integration, be it SQL Server; Office or its Communication set of products such as Exchange, Live or Skype.

With the addition of R technology for SQL Server in its most recent, highly touted product SQL Server 2016, integration of R with SQL Server and by default with Visual Studio 2015 was a natural extension. Probably integrating R with Excel is not far behind.

As it moves forward embracing Open Source concepts, Microsoft R client is free, the details of which follow:
Microsoft R Client (x64) - (English)
SHA1: B5A7053C7CBC1079091DD1420D04E0489F43AD00
File name: en_microsoft_r_client_x64_8839107.exe
You can download R Client from here:

With Microsoft R Client you are not limited to Microsoft R Open and you can use any open source R package. ScaleR is a powerful new technology in Microsoft Client. ScaleR's propriety functions can be used to great advantage for parallelization and remote computing. With R Client you can work locally using ScaleR but is somewhat constrained limited by local memory and speed. This is improved by pushing the compute context to Microsoft R Server(SQL Server R Services) and R Server for Hadoop.

Here are the highlights of R Tools to start off with. You get all these and much more
  • R aware Editor with IntelliSense
  • R Interactive Window with multi-line editing
  • Debugger with Locals and Stack views
  • Plots and Shiny apps
  • Variable Explorer, data frame viewer
  • Support for CRAN R, Microsoft R Open, Microsoft R Server
  • Free and Open Source
Microsoft R Client is also part of the R Tools for Visual Studio which gets installed with Visual Studio Update 3 install.

Here are some screen shots from a Visual Studio 2015 Community Update 3 upgrade from Update 2. You can also install the latest version of Visual Studio 2015 Community.

As a default, you get notified of product updates right within Visual Studio 2015 Community (presently Update 2).

 In the Extensions and Updates window you see more details and you can launch the installation from here by clicking the Update button.

This is an intermediate window during updating. R Tools 0.3 for Visual Studio 2015 are being applied to Visual Studio.
This is the Help screen of Visual Studio 2015 after update. I am not sure why the window is stall showing Update 2!! However, notice that R Tools have been added.

R Tools appear to provide a comprehensive set programming support for using R with Visual Studio 2015.

A R Tools toolbar item is added to the menu as shown.

Looks like there are two independent ways of getting Microsoft R Client, the hyperlink which downloads the executable to your computer to being installing or upgrading Visual Studio 2015.

Please note before upgrading to Visual Studio 2015 Community Update 3 I might have started the independent client installation. I will have to check on that.

Here is an image from R Tools site.

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