Episode 15: Introduction to Shiny

Posted on Thursday, Dec 31, 2015 | Category: Podcast
Just in time for the new year is a new episode of the R-Podcast! I give a brief introduction to the Shiny package for creating web applications using R code, provide some of my tips and tricks I have learned (sometimes the hard way) when creating applications, and point to excellent resources and example apps in the community that show the immense potential at your fingertips. You will see that r-podcast.org has gotten a major overhaul, and as a consequence the RSS feeds have changed slightly. Be sure to check out the Subscribe page for the updated feeds, but all of the previous episodes have been migrated successfully. As always you can provide your feedback in multiple ways:

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Happy New Year and I hope you enjoy the episode!

Show Notes

r-podcast.org gets a face lift!

My shiny development tips

  • Start with the excellent Shiny development portal by RStudio as well as recent webinars
  • Also check Dean Attali’s great tutorial on his blog
  • Shiny UI: Make sure to not have any missing commas or too many commas!
  • On top of the official shiny app gallery, also check out the shiny user showcase as well as showmeshiny.com for great examples.
  • Many shiny functions (such as reactive) allow you to supply R code enclosed in {} as the first parameter. Like writing a regular R function, make sure that you explicitely call the desired result object at the end or use a return call.
  • Using the sidebar layout is good for apps with a few UI controls and output containers, but my complex apps benefit from the flexibility offered by the grid layout system. See the layout article for more details.

Apps that helped me learn the power of Shiny

Keeping up with the Shiny community

New features to watch

R Community Roundup

Building Widgets blog by Kent Russell: Great showcase of converting many different javascript libraries for use in R, many of which are a great fit for Shiny.

Package Pick


ggplot2 version 2.0.0 released!

  • “Perhaps the bigggest news in this release is that ggplot2 now has an official extension mechanism. This means that others can now easily create their on stats, geoms and positions, and provide them in other packages. This should allow the ggplot2 community to flourish, even as less development work happens in ggplot2 itself. See vignette(“extending-ggplot2”) for details.
  • Additional details can be seen in the release notes


  • Leave a comment on this episode’s post
  • Email the show: thercast[at]gmail.com
  • Use the R-Podcast contact page
  • Leave a voicemail at +1-269-849-9780

Music Credits


Eric Nantz

Eric Nantz

Eric Nantz is a principal research scientist at a large life sciences company, creating innovative analytical pipelines and capabilities supporting study designs and analyses. Outside of his day job, Eric is passionate about connecting with the R community as the creator/host of the R-Podcast, Shiny Developer Series, and a curator / podcast host for the R Weekly project. Plus, he likes to share his adventures with R and general computing on Twitch livestreams at twitch.tv/rpodcast.