James Blair

Solutions Engineer, RStudio

James is a Solutions Engineer at RStudio, where he focuses on helping RStudio commercial customers successfully manage RStudio products. He is passionate about connecting R to other toolchains through tools like ODBC and APIs. He has a background in statistics and data science and finds any excuse he can to write R code.



How R Developers Can Build and Share Data and AI Applications that Scale with Databricks and RStudio ConnectSummit 2020

Historically it has been challenging for R developers to build and share data products that use Apache Spark. In this talk, learn how you can publish Shiny apps that leverage the scale and speed of Databricks, Spark and Delta Lake, so your stakeholders can better leverage insights from your data in their decision making. They will walk through how to decouple a Shiny app from a Spark cluster without losing the ability to query billions of rows with Delta Lake. Learn how to safely promote models from development to production with the MLflow Model Registry on Databricks. By tracking model experimentation with MLflow and managing the lifecycle with the Registry, organizations can improve reproducibility and governance when publishing artifacts to RStudio Connect for batch or online scoring with Shiny or Plumber APIs.

Sample of topics discussed:

  • The best way to leverage Spark for a Shiny app, and how to make that Shiny app reliably available to your decision makers
  • Benchmarking performance of connecting to Spark from Shiny natively or via JDBC/ODBC
  • Programmatically managing models trained on Databricks with the MLflow Model Registry Exploring different serving patterns for MLflow models with R