R Shiny For Absolute Beginners – Hands-On Tutorial

Build your first shiny app from scratch, even if you have no experience with Shiny

What you will learn

Know the basic components of a Shiny app

Understand the concepts of reactivity and reactive context

Create a layout for the user interface

Build input controls and output placeholders

Build output objects using the server function


In this Shiny tutorial you will learn the fundamentals of Shiny programming and, more important, you will build your first shiny app, starting from zero. So even if you have no experience with shiny right now, when you finish this tutorial you will be able to start building simple shiny applications.

So, let’s see what you are going to learn in this course.

In the second section of the course, before getting into stuff, we review the app that we are going to build. This way you will have a clear idea about our goal. You can refer to this section at any time – while learning – to see what you have done until that moment and what remains to be done.

In the third section we’ll clarify the main Shiny concepts. We’ll talk about the big components of any Shiny app – user interface and server – and we’ll explain their role and function. Then we’ll present the basic shiny app template – you can use this template as a starting point for any app that you’ll build in the future.

In the next section we’ll build a neat layout for our app. We cannot enter into advanced layout techniques , but we’ll still create a grid layout to organise the app elements in the page and make the user interface good-looking.

The fifth section is about creating input objects. The inputs are the elements that allow the user to interact with the app. You’ll learn how to write input objects using shiny code and we’ll create the inputs that we need in our app.

The sections six and seven are about the outputs. First, we’ll learn about output placeholders – some special functions that indicate the type and place of each output object in the user interface. You will be acquainted with the output objects that the shiny program can build – text, tables, charts and images. Furthermore, you will learn the exact procedure that shiny employs for creating outputs.

After learning about the user interface elements, you must understand how the server function works. But first you must grasp the concept of reactivity. The section number eight is dedicated to this topic. Here we define reactivity and explain the crucial concept of reactive context. To manipulate variables in Shiny we absolutely need to generate reactive context. That’s why we’ll learn a few functions that do exactly that. Everything is presented in detail in section eight.

When you become familiar with reactivity, you are able to write the server part of you application. This is what we are going to do in the last section of the course. We will learn how to manipulate data in a Shiny environment (that is, in a reactive context), how to print text in the user interface, how to create and display an interactive table, how to build charts in shiny using the ggplot2 package.

At the end of this section, our app will be completely functional.

There is also a bonus section, where I shortly present a more complex app and explain a little bit how it works. This way you’ll realise better the possibilities and capabilities of the Shiny package.

Enrol today and start your journey to becoming a Shiny expert!



Getting Started


What Are We Going to Build?

Application Overview

Essential Concepts

Shiny App Components
Basic App Template

Build a Layout

The Grid Layout
Create a Layout For Our App

Input Controls

Shiny Input Objects – An Overview
Building Our App Inputs
Complete Guide to Build Input Controls

Output Placeholders

What Are Output Placeholders?
Creating Output Placeholders For Our App

Generating Outputs

Inputs and Outputs List
Procedure For Building Outputs

The Basics About Reactivity

Reactivity Definition
Reactive Context
Producing Reactive Context: Render Functions
Producing Reactive Context: eventReactive

Writing the Server Function

What Our Server Function Will Do
Data Preparation
Building the Text
Creating the Table
Building the Charts

There Is More to Shiny Than This

A More Complex App
The App Code – Quick Look
Even More Amazing Apps – Realise the Power of Shiny!



Course Materials

App Code
Powerpoint Slides

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