In the past few months the number of apps on OHDSI’s Shiny server has gone from 5 to 18. Although that is a welcome development, I’m not sure all these apps have similar life spans, and requirements over these life spans. Some apps, like SystematicEvidence and AhasHfBkleAmputation are supplements to published papers, and must be kept alive for eternity. Other apps like oxfordStudyathonData1 I wonder if they need to be kept running for very long.
I see several issues with allowing unlimited unorganized growth of the number of apps:
Hard to find a specific app (although probably not a big issue because for example papers should link to a specific app).
Increased resource requirements (some of these apps are really big in terms of disk space or memory requirements). I think it is even possible for one app to bring the entire server down, knocking out all others.
Incompatible requirements on dependencies. All these apps run in a single R instance. If packages are updated that may require updating these apps. For example, I already had to make changes to SystematicEvidence to accommodate changes in ggplot2. If we have hundreds of apps that doesn’t seem feasible.
Perhaps we should have several Shiny servers? One for long-term apps, one for those supporting ongoing studies, and one sandbox for development purposes?
@lee_evans: any thoughts?