RStudio Connect 1.6.0 – A Year in the Making!

April 11, 2018
By

(This article was first published on RStudio Blog, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

We’re pleased to announce RStudio Connect 1.6.0. Connect 1.6.0 caps a year of significant updates and we encourage all customers to upgrade.

New Content Types

Plumber APIs

RStudio Connect introduces support for deploying Plumber APIs, allowing any R function to be served as an HTTP RESTful service. API support makes it easy to integrate R into external systems. Connect handles scaling and securing published APIs.

TensorFlow Serving

The new TensorFlow R bindings enable R users to tap into the powerful TensorFlow library. In conjunction with tfdeploy, Connect helps R users deploy deep learning models built in TensorFlow to be accessed and used by external systems.

Improvements for Shiny and R Markdown

Connect users continue to share analytics through reports, dashboards, and web applications. New features make these favorite tools even more powerful.

Runtime Settings

Application publishers have the ability to fine-tune performance settings for their content, including timeout and scaling settings. Administrators can enforce global defaults and caps.

Environment Variables

Trying to avoid saving your password or API key in your code? Connect supports encrypted secrets, which can be managed through the web interface. Secrets are injected into the R process as environment variables.

Report Histories

The output from ad-hoc and scheduled R Markdown documents are saved and accessible, making it easy to compare prior runs.

Other Big Updates

Content Organization and Discovery

To organize all this content, Connect added tags. Administrators create a tag schema that publishers can use to organize content into categories. Viewers are able to filter and search for content by tag. In addition to tags, users can search for content by title.

Best-in-Class Security

Connect has added additional security features, including support for CAPTCHA, “Web Sudo Mode”, improved User Management, and support for Kerberos and PAM Sessions.

Scaling

Connect can be scaled horizontally by adding execution servers. This type of scaling ensures Connect can handle mission-critical content and guarantee high availability. We’ve used a Connect cluster to support a Shiny app with 10,000 simultaneous users!

We’ve also added new licensing mechanisms to support transient servers and containerized deployments.

Looking Ahead

We’re excited to be working on two new features that are previewed in Connect 1.6.0.

Email Customization

In 1.5.14, we introduced the ability to customize the subject line for emails. 1.6.0 adds support for specifying attachments, like Excel files, generated by a report. Look out for more options in the future. Share analytics by pushing the most important results directly to your audience’s inbox.

Connect Server API

Connect’s web interface helps users manage their content interactively from a browser. However, we know there are times when you’d rather write code to automate certain tasks. To this end, we’re excited to announce the Connect Server API. The Server API lets you “drive” RStudio Connect programmatically. This release includes a small piece of the API, an endpoint that lists the R versions available on the server. We’ll gradually roll out more of the API. Email us if you have specific functionality you would be excited about automating!

1.5.14 to 1.6.0?

Normally we outline the incremental improvements from release to release. While this blog post has highlighted changes throughout the 1.5 series, there are specific updates in 1.6.0. For full details see the 1.6.0 release notes.

Deprecation Announcement

Version 1.6.0 no longer supports Ubuntu 12.04 or Internet Explorer 10. For more information see RStudio’s deprecation policy.

Upgrade Planning

There are no special precautions to be aware of when upgrading from v1.5.14 to v1.6.0. You can expect the installation and startup of v1.6.0 to be complete in under a minute.

If you’re upgrading from a release older than v1.5.14, be sure to consider the “Upgrade Planning” notes from the intervening releases, as well.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to download and try RStudio Connect, we encourage you to do so. RStudio Connect is the best way to share all the work that you do in R (Shiny apps, R Markdown documents, plots, dashboards, Plumber APIs, etc.) with collaborators, colleagues, or customers.

You can find more details or download a 45-day evaluation of the product at https://www.rstudio.com/products/connect/. Additional resources can be found below.

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