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Update for Python Tools for Visual Studio Released

Microsoft recently announced an update to the Python Tools for Visual Studio (PTVS) -- PTVS 2.0 alpha. This update to the tools provides new IntelliSense and debugging features, and adds improved support for Windows Azure. The PTVS 2.0 alpha is now live and available for installation.

PTVS is an open source, free plug-in that allows for Python developing inside Visual Studio. It supports a variety of Python implementations and frameworks, including IronPython, CPython and Django.

One of the new features in the PTVS 2.0 alpha release is Debug as Script. According to the PTVS CodePlex notes, Debug as Script allows for debugging Python scripts in Visual Studio with the same full debugging experience as provided when "debugging a Python project's startup file using F5." Additionally, remote debugging -- with all of the native debugging features of Visual Studio -- is available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.

PTVS 2.0 alpha includes improved IntelliSense and preliminary support for virtualenv, a Python tool for creating virtual environments. A PTVS team video explained that the PTVS 2.0 alpha virtualenv feature allows for "creating and using virtual environments through the Visual Studio interface." The PTVS team noted that virtualenv support is currently very basic, and feedback from developers on the feature is encouraged.

The 2.0 alpha release also provides stronger ties to Windows Azure, with support for Windows Azure VMs, Web sites, client libraries and more. Using the PTVS Windows Azure features allows developers the flexibility to, for instance, develop a Django application in Visual Studio, and then deploy that application to Windows Azure.

The PTVS 2.0 alpha CodePlex page features a Quick Start Guide, as well as resources for contributing to PTVS and giving feedback.

About the Author

Katrina Carrasco is the associate group managing editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group. She can be reached at kcarrasco@1105media.com.

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