R Shiny Application Split Into Multiple Files

R shiny application framework

A R Shiny application can be completely made of just one file that includes your UI and server code. Depending on the application you’re creating this can get messy as the number of lines grows. Splitting the app across multiple files also helps with debugging and being able to reuse code for another project.

Separating the files for a Shiny Application also helps with version control

For this post, the actual code and what it’s doing will not be covered. The code is more of a placeholder and this is creating a project framework to start Shiny applications.

Creating a new project

The best practice is to create a new project for each application. This is simple with RStudio and using the “File” dropdown to select “New Project”

Create a new r shiny project in rstudio
create a new project in rstudio
Select “New Directory”
create a Shiny Web Application in RStudio
Choose “Shiny Web Application”
create a shiny web application as a new project
Give your directory a name and the location you want to save it to.
example r shiny application

It’s a good idea to run the default Shiny app, if it doesn’t run then you may have installation issues or your security settings do not allow R shiny applications.

Now the code that is used in the example is all in one file, you can delete the file. We will be using 3 files/scripts,

  • ui.R
  • server.R
  • global.R – Not needed but helps to store functions and other code as an application grows large.

I will also create a new subdirectory called data

r shiny application directory structure

I will also create a new subdirectory called to store the data that will be used.

R Shiny Framework Below

UI Code

ui <- fluidPage(
    titlePanel("R Shiny Framework"),
        tabPanel("First Tab",
                 h3("Confirmed Flu Cases by Season"),
                 selectInput("region_id", 'Please select a region', 
                             choices = unique(data$Region),
                             selected = "WESTERN")
            plotOutput(outputId = "plot_id"),
            h6("Data Provided by New York State Department of Health"))

Server Script

server <- function(input, output, session) {
  output$plot_id <- renderPlot({
    temp <- filter(data, Region == input$region_id)
    plot(x = temp$Season, y = temp$Count, xlab = "Season", ylab = "# Confirmed Flu Cases")

Global Script


# Data Provided by New York State Department of Health
# https://health.data.ny.gov/Health/Influenza-Laboratory-Confirmed-Cases-By-County-Beg/jr8b-6gh6
data <- read.csv("./Data/Influenza_Laboratory-Confirmed_Cases_By_County__Beginning_2009-10_Season.csv")

End Results

R Shiny Framework application

2 thoughts on “R Shiny Application Split Into Multiple Files

  1. Hi,

    thank you for this article.
    In addition to what you already proposed I also use this the following line of code to spread my code over as much files as i want to, which makes it – in my case at least – easier to structure my code according to my application.

    “source(“name_of_file.R”, local = TRUE)”

    However, i am only using R as part of my job and not fulltime, so there might be some disadvantages in this approach i dont see.
    But i wanted to share this idea.

    Best regards

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