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R for Web Services with RevoDeployR

Advanced Analytics for Web Applications

Three trends are driving demand for Web applications that employ advanced analytical techniques and data visualization: the mobile Web's explosive growth; the acceptance of cloud computing for business applications; and the demand for sophisticated predictive analytics.

The need for an application to provide near real-time, Web-accessible customer risk profiles to department managers located throughout an enterprise, for example, is not far-fetched, although developing such an application might require evaluating and deploying recently published classification algorithms.

The R language is well suited for such fast-moving quantitative analysis because it allows users to rapidly prototype new techniques and package them in a small profile. Because R scripts contain only the code required for particular calculations, they fit nicely into the Web applications development environment.

The RevoDeployR Web services framework allows Web application developers to use R's analyses and graphics without requiring them to become R experts. The RevoDeployR Application Programming Interface (API) allows any client program running in a browser or any Web-connected desktop application to use R. Its client/server model separates client-side application development from R programming. Web developers can specify the inputs and results required for their applications, then leave the statistical calculations to the R experts.

This document describes RevoDeployR from the R programmer's point of view.

R has been primarily used by statisticians and data analysts as an interactive analysis and algorithm development tool. Its successful implementations and increased use in business and financial applications makes R a logical choice for Web-based analytics applications.