Anaconda is an open-source software distribution for the coding languages Python and R. It is designed to streamline the package and coding environment installation process for machine learning and other data science applications.
This software comes pre-loaded with all the necessary add-ons to code and run machine learning and data science types of programs on any major operating system. An account is not needed to use Anaconda’s services, although having one provides some benefits. Anaconda allows for the mixing and matching of packages and virtual coding environments in order to optimize for different uses without needing to use separate computers. A virtual coding environment can be thought of as a computer within a computer.
The Anaconda Navigator is the desktop user interface used to manage Anaconda and its add-ons instead of having to use the command line for everything. The command line can still be used and may be necessary in some situations, but most find it more convenient to interact with an application. The user can manage their add-ons and coding environments from this hub. Installation and deletion can be done. They can also access learning resources, program documentation, and the community hub from within the Navigator.
Once the Navigator is connected to the community hub, Anaconda Nucleus, the user is able to access cloud storage. To store one’s own code in the cloud, one must have a subscription. The subscription starts at $9 a month for access to five gigabytes of storage and other Anaconda features. This space can be used to store the user’s own programs and packages. Additionally, the user can access packages, environments, and notebooks uploaded and made public by other users for free.
Conda is the package management system Anaconda relies on. It is useful across various coding languages and is designed to handle package and environment updates and installations. It also allows for channels within the system. Channels are where installers look for packages, and they provide another way to isolate packages with different applications.
Anaconda comes pre-loaded with many useful data science packages and virtual coding environments, such as:
- Visual Studio Code – a popular coding environment
- Tensorflow – a machine learning library
- Numba – a Python compiler
- Matplotlib – a plotting library
- SciPy – a scientific computing Python library
- Spyder – a scientific computing coding environment
- Conda – a package manager which manages the code versions within Anaconda itself
- Jupyter Notebook – A code editing environment which the software’s learning notebooks are used in
- and over 250 more!
Over 8,000 additional packages are available for download in the cloud.
This software is optimized for data science and machine learning applications. Individuals use it to code their projects and collaborate with each other more efficiently. It can be used to design and run neural networks such as those used in image recognition, data visualization such as that used in stock analysis, and much more. Many high-end companies, including Toyota and Goldman Sachs, use Anaconda to meet their needs. For these companies, Anaconda is used to code software for their customer service, data interpretation, algorithm creation, and much more. The only limits are the user’s creativity and coding expertise!
While Anaconda is free to individuals in its base form, there are several paid variations of the product to meet heightened needs. These variations range from $9 per month to more than $180 per month and include features such as:
- Trainer notebooks
- Cloud hosting
- Package usage reporting
- Vulnerability metadata
- Custom installers
- User access control
- and more!
The first subscription tier is for individual programmers and provides access to basic cloud storage and trainer notebooks. Additional paid services allow organizations the freedom to use the distribution across multiple users. Access regulations and data monitoring can be done, and some packages provide access to long-term customer support. In addition to the packages, the company offers custom plans with custom pricing. This allows for mixing and matching of features, as well as add-ons for its premade packages.
All in all, Anaconda is a machine learning and data science-optimized package management and distribution software system used by many major companies. Its primary coding language is Python, and it makes it far easier to install the many packages one might need for these uses across different operating systems. It also provides access to learning resources and a coding community for its users. This enables them to maximize their coding abilities, collaborate, and make awesome things!