Shiny vs. interactive RMarkdown for complex dashboard

Our organization has created a rather large and complex dashboard in shiny, and will be branching this into several other projects. Some of our developers have advocated building with flexdashboard and an interactive rmarkdown file instead. I'm intrigued by this idea because flexdashboard actually matches our sites' look and feel better than shinydashboard (we're doing some hacks to add top tabs instead of sidebar links), but I'm not sure what, if any, pitfalls we'll hit.

I'm looking for recommendations as to whether rmarkdown will scale to meet this challenge. Some concerns:

  • unit testing (our interactive shiny app is set up as a package, so we can run the test suite -- not sure if this is possible with an rmarkdown-based project)
  • global behavior that runs before a specific rmd page loads (some actions need to happen on each page and it would be preferable for it to happen once rather than per page)
  • interacting with the shiny session
  • organizing code
  • performance

If anyone has experience building larger apps with RMarkdown, or has hit specific roadblocks when trying to do so, please let me know. I did find this older response to a similar question:

But it doesn't go into a great deal of detail.


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