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Connecting Your Favorite Google Services Using Google App Script

Google App Script

Through Google Documents, Google provides amazing web based tools for students, businesses, and educators.   During a Google Developer Group meeting at Mercer University,  I was introduced to a cool programming technology enabling developers to customize Google App experiences using JavaScript.   Using Google App Script, you can automate tasks and connect Google products to together.   You can also connect apps to third-party data sources and API’s.

Why Would You Use Google App Script?

Dr. Robert Allen from the Google Developers Group shared his experiences in building a grade book application for his classes.   In the past, Dr. Allen would manually construct grade book spreadsheets based on a class roster.   His clever grade book application works in the following manner:

1) On the first day of class, students fill out a Google form with their name and gmail e-mail address.

2) After Dr. Allen captures the class roster from the students, he presses a “generate grade book” button that constructs his grade book.

3) Dr. Allen wanted students to be able to track their grades as he documented them in his Google Spreadsheet.  He, however, wanted to make sure students could not see the grades of another.   His Google App Script generated “read only” data sheets so that students can only see their data.   The data sheets were shared with the student automatically.

4) As Dr. Allen posts grades to his master Google Spreadsheet, he can press a “publish” button to distribute the updated grade information to the “readonly” spreadsheets.

In the example, Dr. Allen used Google spreadsheets, Google Forms, and programming functions to share data.

Using Google App Script, you can connect all of the following Google products together to solve a broad range of use cases and business problems:  Calendar,  Contacts,  Document,  Drive,  Finance,  Forms,  Gmail,  Groups,  Language, Maps,  Sites,  and Spreadsheet.

What else can Google App Script Do?

  • Google App Script can be used to create small web applications.
  • Create custom functions in Google Spreadsheet
  • Create Google Sites Gadgets
  • Check out the Google Developers Blog to learn more about how people leverage  Google App Script.

How do you get started with Google App Script?

The following video provides a nice introduction to Google App Script concepts.

Abstract:   This video is a recording of our Introduction to Apps Script.    Eric Koleda, a Developer Programs Engineer at Google, covers what Apps Script, use cases, code examples, and hold q&a. Check out https://developers.google.com/apps-script/ to learn more or get started!

Check out more videos from Google I/O conference here.

You program Google App Scripts using the popular language JavaScript.   If you’re interested in learning this language, check out the following links:

Google provides nice tutorials and learning resources here:

We love to hear from our readers.  Let’s keep the conversation going.  What types of tasks would you like to see automated? What tasks keep you away from the work that you really enjoy?

 

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