Draft how-to: using Microsoft365R in Shiny

Hi all,

I've received multiple requests for help on getting Microsoft365R to work inside Shiny. In particular, people usually run into difficulties authenticating with AAD. I've now gotten off my butt and written up a draft vignette, which is reproduced below.

Comments appreciated. I'm not a Shiny expert so any feedback is good.


This vignette describes how to incorporate Microsoft365R and interactive authentication with Azure Active Directory (AAD) into a Shiny web app. There are a few steps involved:

  • Register your app with AAD
  • Use the app ID to authenticate and get an OAuth token
  • Pass the token to the Microsoft365R functions

App registration

The default Microsoft365R app registration only works when the package is used on a local machine; it does not support running in a remote server. Because of this, when you use Microsoft365R inside a Shiny app, you (or your friendly local sysadmin) must register that app in AAD.

The main things to set in your app registration are:

  • The redirect URI of your app, ie, your user-facing site address. For example if your app is hosted in shinyapps.io, this would be a URL of the form https://youraccount.shinyapps.io/appname. If your app uses a special port number rather than the default port 80, don't forget to include that as well. It's possible to set more than one redirect, so you can reuse a single app registration for multiple Shiny apps.

  • The type of redirect, either native (mobile & desktop) or webapp. There are also other types of redirects, but these are the only ones relevant to R. The difference between a mobile & desktop and a webapp redirect is that you supply a client secret when authenticating with the latter, but not the former. It's recommended to use a webapp redirect for a Shiny app, as the client secret helps prevent third parties from hijacking your app registration. The client secret is also set as part of the app registration.

  • The intended audience of your app, ie, who is allowed to use it. This can be only members of your AAD tenant; members of any AAD tenant; or anyone with a Microsoft account (including personal accounts).

  • The permissions required by your app. Refer to the app_registration.md file for the list of permissions Microsoft365R uses. You can omit any permissions that you don't need if your app doesn't use all of Microsoft365R's functionality, eg if you don't handle emails you can omit Mail.Send and Mail.ReadWrite.

The following pages at the AAD documentation will be helpful:

Shiny code skeleton

Below is a basic app that logs the user in, retrieves their OneDrive, and lists the contents of the root folder.

One thing to note is that the regular Microsoft365R client functions like get_sharepoint_site, get_team etc are intended for use on a local machine. While they will still work when called in a web app, it's a better idea to call the underlying R6 methods directly: Microsoft365R extends AzureGraph with several R6 classes and methods, which do the actual work of interacting with the Microsoft 365 REST API.

Here, we call the get_drive() method for the AzureGraph::az_user class, which retrieves the OneDrive for a user. For more information, see the online help page in R for the Microsoft365R "add_methods" topic: ?add_methods.

library(AzureAuth)
library(AzureGraph)
library(Microsoft365R)
library(shiny)

tenant <- "your-tenant-here"

# the application/client ID of the app registration you created
# - not to be confused with the 'object ID' or 'service principal ID'
app <- "your-app-id-here"

# the address of your app: also the redirect URI of your app registration in AAD
redirect <- "https://example.com/mysite"
port <- httr::parse_url(redirect)$port
options(shiny.port=if(is.null(port)) 80 else as.numeric(port))

# if your app reg has a 'webapp' redirect, it requires a client secret (password)
# - you should NEVER put secrets in code: here we get it from an environment variable
# - leave the environment variable unset if you have a 'desktop & mobile' redirect
pwd <- Sys.getenv("EXAMPLE_SHINY_CLIENT_SECRET", NULL)

# get the Graph permissions listed for the app, plus an ID token
resource <- c("https://graph.microsoft.com/.default", "openid")

# a simple UI: display the user's OneDrive
ui <- fluidPage(
    verbatimTextOutput("drv")
)

ui_func <- function(req)
{
    opts <- parseQueryString(req$QUERY_STRING)
    if(is.null(opts$code))
    {
        auth_uri <- build_authorization_uri(resource, tenant, app, redirect_uri=redirect, version=2)
        redir_js <- sprintf("location.replace(\"%s\");", auth_uri)
        tags$script(HTML(redir_js))
    }
    else ui
}

server <- function(input, output, session)
{
    opts <- parseQueryString(isolate(session$clientData$url_search))
    if(is.null(opts$code))
        return()

    token <- get_azure_token(resource, tenant, app, password=pwd, auth_type="authorization_code",
                             authorize_args=list(redirect_uri=redirect), version=2,
                             use_cache=FALSE, auth_code=opts$code)

    # display the contents of the user's OneDrive root folder
    drv <- ms_graph$
        new(token=token)$
        get_user()$
        get_drive()
    output$drv <- renderPrint(drv$list_files())
}

shinyApp(ui_func, server)

This has now been merged (with some fixes) into master. I've verified that it works for an app deployed to Shinyapps.io, if there are still problems please message me or raise an issue at the repo.