JetBrains opens early access to upcoming data science development environment

JetBrains is building a development environment focused on data science workflows and has opened up an early access programme (EAP) for potential users to get a sneak preview.

Known by the working name JetBrains DataSpell, the new integrated development environment (IDE) is based on that of the firm’s existing PyCharm Python platform. The decision to create this new IDE flowed from work the company was already doing to improve PyCharm’s support for data science processes, according to JetBrains product marketing manager Andrey Cheptsov.

“During this process, it became evident that data scientists and software developers have different workflows and expectations of their tools,” Cheptsov wrote on the JetBrains Blog. “As a result of that process, we decided that the best course of action would be to use PyCharm’s IDE engine as the foundation for a brand new IDE that is focused solely on data science.”

According to the firm, JetBrains DataSpell aims to offer a productive developer environment for data science professionals who are actively involved in exploratory data analysis and prototyping machine learning models.

For this reason, the user interface will focus on data as much as on code, and features that relate to working with data will be prioritised. This will be reflected in the layout of the tool windows and menus

It will offer native support for Jupyter notebooks, including local Jupyter notebooks as well as remote Jupyter, JupyterHub, and JupyterLab servers.

Python will obviously be the initial focus for JetBrains DataSpell, but the firm said that support for R and other data science languages will be added in future, with basic support for R already included.

DataSpell will also support Python scripts, offering a scientific REPL (command shell) for running code, as well many additional tools for working with data and data visualisations. Those interested in getting pre-release access to the new data science IDE can sign up for the EAP via the JetBrains website.