bs4Dash

David Granjon

23 July, 2021

Introduction

{bs4Dash} relies on the same basis as {shinydashboard}, that is the AdminLTE HTML template, except the version is higher (3.1.0 vs 2.4). The biggest difference is the dependence on Bootstrap 4, which is not natively supported by {Shiny}. That’s why elements like tabsetPanel(), actionButton(), … have been rewritten to provide full Bootstrap4 support. In addition, {bs4Dash} comes with extra elements that will help you to develop Shiny apps with a more professional look and feel. Below is a summary of the main features:

Features (sample) shinydashboard shinydashboardPlus bs4Dash
Popover, tooltips enhanced support
Fullscreen toggle
dark/light skin switch
right sidebar (controlbar)
semi collapsible sidebar (sidebar mini)
expand on hover sidebar
closable boxes
box sidebar
get box state on the server (open, closed, …)
control sidebars on the server
dashboard user dropdown
theme selector
social box
user box
control AdminLTE options
seamlessly customize appearance
beautiful preloaders
scroll to top button!

Since the 2.0.0 release, {bs4Dash} overwrites most of the {shinydashboard} functions such as dashboardPage() and box() to facilitate the transition from one package to another.

What changes in v2.0.0 ?

Breaking changes

v2.0.0 is clearly a major breaking change for {bs4Dash}. It means that coming from v0.5.0 (latest CRAN version to date), you will have to rewrite part of the code. It was not an easy decision to take but necessary to improve the package quality (naming consistency, …). Now the transition from {shinydashboard} to {bs4Dash} will be easier since function parameters have been harmonized. The reverse is not always guaranteed because of the number of extra parameters in {bs4Dash}.

More checks

Under the hood, functions are safer and more controls are done on the user inputs to reduce the risk of accidentally providing wrong values.

New features

The most exiting features of 2.0.0 are probably the ability to leverage the awesome {fresh} package (see here for more details) through the dashboardPage() freshTheme parameter. Additionally, the skinSelector() allows to dynamically change the dashboard skin on the client side. There are also more update_ functions to programmatically control elements from the server. Now the dashboardSidebar() may be collapsed, so is the dashboardControlbar(). The dashboardPage() options parameter is an easy way to fine tune the AdminLTE behavior (see here for the list of available options). The box() component has been reworked to reduce the number of parameters and include new sub-components like the boxSidebar() that may be programmatically collapsed, or the boxLabel(). box() has an input binding indicating its current state on the server side, to perform specific tasks. Finally, colors are better documented thanks to Victor Perrier from dreamRs. For instance, the primary color is shown as , danger is , which eventually helps users to choose between all available options.

Basic Example

Below is a simple app you may build with {bs4Dash}. Interestingly, you’ll be able to notice the scroll to top button feature if you scroll to the bottom (bottom-right corner), as well as the live theme switcher in the navigation bar that goes from light to dark. This new feature is exclusive to {bs4Dash}.

library(shiny)
library(bs4Dash)

shinyApp(
    ui = dashboardPage(,
        header = dashboardHeader(
            title = dashboardBrand(
                title = "My dashboard",
                color = "primary",
                href = "https://adminlte.io/themes/v3",
                image = "https://adminlte.io/themes/v3/dist/img/AdminLTELogo.png"
            )
        ),
        sidebar = dashboardSidebar(),
        body = dashboardBody(
            lapply(getAdminLTEColors(), function(color) {
                box(status = color)
            })
        ),
        controlbar = dashboardControlbar(),
        title = "DashboardPage"
    ),
    server = function(input, output) { }
)