RStudio Can Simply Your Life
December 12, 2020
RStudio Can Simply Your Life
Score 9 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with RStudio
We use RStudio as an analytical platform for building models, testing them, and sharing the results with others. We also use it to build Shiny apps and are shared with other users. At the moment, it's primarily used by technical users who have a background in modeling. But we also use it to access, transform, and prepare data that will be used in modeling or reporting use cases.
- RStudio does an excellent job providing a clean user interface for R or Shiny applications
- RStudio integrates natively with version control software
- Users can program with either R or Python
- RStudio has a command line built in, eliminating the need for a separate program for a REPL
- The integration with Packrat is confusing at first
- If you don't create a project, it's easy to accidentally modify the default workspace
- RStudio has allowed us to rapidly build and deploy functional Shiny applications that execute underlying code. In many cases, users don't realize they are running R under the hood.
- Allowed us to integrate Python code and R code in a single application/visualization.
RStudio's user interface is easier to use than Jupyter Notebook (particularly for users that are new to programming). Many of our users have experience with RStudio Desktop, so switching to RStudio Server Pro was very easy. Deploying applications is also much easier thanks to the tight integration between RStudio Server Pro and RStudio Connect.
I've contacted RStudio support on three separate occasions. Each time they were responsive and helpful. The same product manager handled both requests. They were able to understand the questions and provide guidance and solutions. They helped to setup meetings between my company's technical team and their own internal engineers (allowing them to work through some unusual configurations that are a result of my company's requirements). I've been quite pleased with their support.
Prior to purchasing the commercial version of RStudio, our teams have been using the open source version of RStudio. We still haven't retired those open source tools. The desktop version of RStudio works well for smaller projects that involve one or two people and don't require tremendous processing power. However, once we outgrew those tools, we purchased RStudio. It's a natural evolution of the experience that their open source tools provide.
We use all three of the RStudio commercial offerings (RStudio Server Pro, RStudio Connect, and RStudio Package Manager). This suite of tools works seamlessly together. The best part of the tools is how easy it makes sharing and collaboration. We can discuss an idea in the morning, and by early afternoon we can have a working visualizing running on RStudio Connect. Since everything runs in the browser, this visualization can easily be shared with other users who don't have RStudio installed on their computer. When the visualizations are Shiny applications, the users don't even need to know R to benefit. This has definitely increased our iteration speed.
If you are going to build something in R or Python, RStudio is an excellent choice. Simple projects or small teams may be able to use the open source version, however larger teams are going to want to use the commercial edition. Sharing and deploying code is easier in the commercial product. Integration with Active Directory or other authentication mechanisms is also better.