When I started learning R, I started with R Console and RStudio, which are both good. Two days ago, I came across a video I was watching that opened my eyes to R Tools for Visual Studio (RTVS). I have used Visual Studio now for over 10 years starting from VS 2003 when ASP.NET was in version 1.1, so I was quickly compelled to see what RTVS was all about. RTVS is a powerful development environment for R.

So, why do I need to care about RTVS? Microsoft has an enhanced distribution of R called Microsoft R Open (MRO),  and it is completely open source platform for statistical analysis and data science. There are two versions of MRO:

  • Microsoft R Open, which is fully compatible with all packages, scripts and applications. It includes additional capabilities for improved performance (think multithreaded performance), reproducibility, as well as support for Windows and Linux-based platforms)
  • R Open for R Server 2016, which is customized version of Microsoft R Open supports a variety of big data statistics, predictive modelling, and machine learning capabilities.

Additional resources for R are listed below: