Creating, optimizing and synching
R shiny apps using brightRserver

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Building, maintaining, and improving interactive R shiny apps has never been easier. YakData’s brightRserver seamlessly combines the best-in-class R editor and R web app server with Secure FTP publishing and synchronization.

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Leverage the most popular IDE for R

YakData brightRserver Editor

Ready to create a new R shiny app? The brightRserver Editor is a secured version of the most popular open-source IDE for R, so you’re probably familiar with how it works. There also are many online resources for learning the details. If you have an existing app that you’d like to edit, you can do that here too.

To set you up for success, more than 2000 R packages are pre-installed for the brightRserver R environment. In the screenshot above, a search for “shiny” results in a list of the most popular R web app packages, all of which are compatible with brightRserver.

The ubiquitous app.R file

Open a brightR app in YakData brightRserver

For simplicity, let’s focus on opening and reviewing an R shiny app that’s already published to brightRserver. The R file for this app is located in the YakData Launch Demo file, titled “app.R”.

The path to this file shows that this R shiny app is published to a public folder. Public folders on brightRserver allow access to anyone with a web link, whether or not they have an account.

Code behind the scenes

An R web app based on the shiny package from CRAN

Opening the app.R file lets you see how this R shiny app is built. In this example, the R code window displays important comments at the top followed by many R library statements. As you scroll down, you’ll see hundreds of lines of R code which powers the app.

The brightRserver Editor includes many features to maximize your productivity. A few highlights: code completion, syntax highlighting, executing R code interactively, inspecting functions, interactive web app execution and interactive package help.

Inspect and improve the data and app

brightRserver mobile-friendly forecaster app

Running your R shiny app allows you to verify that the analysis and display are appropriate for the dataset. You can also ensure that the app functions as expected for the best user experience. Since you are interactively running the app in the same environment as the web app server, you can be confident that your users will see what you see.

A mobile R shiny app on YakData brightRserver.
A mobile R shiny app on YakData brightRserver. Seamlessly works across screen sizes.

The screenshot shows how clean and simple the final R shiny app can appear. Even users who are not technically skilled can easily sort and filter the data and page through the various tabs at the bottom of the screen.  View and interact with the YakData brightRserver mobile-friendly forecaster app live in the gallery.

Synch data and R shiny apps via SFTP

Use Secure FTP to publish data, brightR apps and supporting files to brightRserver

Using shell scripts or your choice of preferred Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) program, you can synch content from your computer to your brightRserver and vice-versa. Here, Filezilla is used to upload data for the YakData Launch Demo from the desktop to the brightRserver.

brightRserver hosted R shiny apps achieve high performance for several reasons including the fact that file-based data sources are located on the same server as the apps. Of course, you can also use numerous remote data sources such as Amazon S3, MySQL, PostgreSQL and Google Analytics.

Interested in all the user roles involved in creating, sharing and utilizing brightRserver web apps? Check out the next post.

About the author
Stephen McDaniel is Co-Founder and Lead Data Scientist at YakData.


About YakData brightRserver
Develop R shiny web applications with a powerful IDE and securely share them on a dedicated server in one of 14 locations worldwide.​ Explore the brightRserver App Gallery, Blog or Buy page​ to learn more and get started today.​

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