Tag Archives: Google APIs

Monitoring the Apps Script issue tracker…with Apps Script



Apps Script is just as popular inside Google as it is among external users and developers. In fact, there are more than 70,000 weekly active scripts written by thousands of Googlers. One of our many uses for Apps Script at Google is to automate and monitor our internal issue tracker.

Your business depends on Apps Script...so does ours 

In spring of this year, we migrated our G Suite issue trackers to a new system based on our internal tracker. This carries a lot of benefits, including improving our ability to track how issues reported from outside of Google relate to bugs and features we’re working on internally. We also have an internal Apps Script API that talks to our issue tracker, which we can now use to work with issues reported from outside of Google.

As soon as the migration was finished, we put Apps Script to work monitoring…itself. Now we have a script in place that monitors Apps Script issues as they are reported and upvoted on the public tracker. When we see an issue that’s having widespread or sudden impact, the script generates an alert that we can then investigate. With the help of our large, active community of developers, and leveraging Apps Script, we’re now able to identify and respond to issues more quickly.

There’s no substitute for independent monitoring, and our Apps Script-based approach isn’t the first or the last line of defense. Instead, this new script helps us catch anything that our monitoring systems miss by listening to what developers are saying on the tracker.

If you see something, say something 

Please help us keep Apps Script humming! When you notice a problem, search the issue tracker for it and file an issue if it's new. Click the star to let us know you’re affected and leave a comment with instructions to reproduce, along with any other relevant details. Those instructions and other details help us respond to the issues more effectively, so please be sure to include them.

Happy scripting!

Stackdriver Logging for Google Apps Script is now available


Google Apps Script has always provided a simple logging tool—the Logger service—to help developers better test their scripts. This works for many simple use cases, but developers need other ways to log messages and errors, particularly when:
  • Troubleshooting or analyzing scripts across multiple executions
  • Working on a script or add-on with multiple users 
  • Looking for trends or insights about their scripts and users
To make Apps Script a friendlier environment for developers, we are announcing general availability of a new integration with Google Stackdriver. This is in addition to the pre-existing Logger service, which is still available.

Using Stackdriver Logging in Google Apps Script

Log messages can now be sent to Stackdriver Logging using the familiar console.log(), console.info(), etc. functions. You can also instruct Apps Script to log messages and stack traces for all exceptions, which also become available for analysis in Stackdriver Error Reporting by simply checking a box. No need to add a single extra line of code.

In Stackdriver, logs are kept for 7 days for free, and the premium tier offers 30-day retention. Powerful search and filtering are available to quickly find log entries by text content or metadata, and developers can also choose to export logs to BigQuery, Cloud Storage, and Cloud Pub/Sub for further analysis, long term conservation, and custom workflows.

Log messages and errors are reported for all users of a script, with a unique but obfuscated identifier assigned to each user. This means log entries can be aggregated anonymously per user, for example allowing developers to count unique users impacted by an issue or analyze user behavior, but without logging users’ personally identifying information.


Developers get some of these aggregated analyses for free. In the Stackdriver Error Reporting tab of the developer console, you can see recurring errors and the numbers of users impacted. You can even subscribe to receive an email alert when a new type of error is detected.


How developers are using Stackdriver Logging

Developers of scripts and add-ons have started to rely more on more on this new logging capability. Romain Vialard, creator of Yet Another Mail Merge, a popular Google Sheets add-on, is using Stackdriver Logging to time the execution of his add-on, exporting data to BigQuery to perform aggregations and analyze trends. Read this tutorial to learn how to export logs to BigQuery and run queries to analyze how users are interacting with your script.

Stackdriver Logging is one of the ways we’re making Apps Script a more manageable platform for developers. We hope that it and other features coming soon make Apps Script developers more productive and their scripts, add-ons and integrations more robust.

You can read more about how to enable and use the Stackdriver integration by reading Apps Script’s logging documentation.

About the authors 

Romain Vialard is a Google Developer Expert. After some years spent as a consultant, he is now focused on products for G Suite (formerly Google Apps) users, including add-ons such as Yet Another Mail Merge and Form Publisher.

Paul McReynolds is a Product Manager at Google focused on Apps Script and G Suite Marketplace. Previously a startup founder and CTO, Paul believes that the easy things need to be easy or the hard things don’t get done. At Google, he's excited to be a part of the company that makes solving problems for business fun again.

Editor's note: Yet Another Mail Merge and Form Publisher are not created, sponsored, or supported by Google.

What’s new for shortcuts and widgets in Android O

Posted by Gloria Liou, Associate Product Manager Intern


Why use shortcuts and widgets?


One of our favorite features in Android O is the ability to pin shortcuts and widgets for your app onto the launcher through deep linking.


Shortcuts let users quickly start a specific task, while widgets give users instant access to specific actions and information from your app. Users want to get things done, and get things done fast - shortcuts and widgets are a way to help them and to increase user engagement with your content.

To pin a shortcut or widget, users long press your app's icon for options and drag and drop the selected item to a location of their choice.


Dynamic / static shortcuts
Pinned shortcuts






Adding shortcuts and widgets from within your app




The API has a new flow for adding shortcuts and widgets from within your app. The new method uses a modal dialog, deprecating the old method of using a broadcast, which will not work on O devices.

That's not all. We've made improvements to the user interface and experience. In the old experience, there was no app icon on the shortcut, so users had no idea which app the shortcut was from. Marking shortcuts with the app icon provides better branding while protecting users from potential malware.





Old shortcut
New shortcut



There is also a new option to add a specialized activity to help users create shortcuts. The activity is complete with custom options and confirmation.



With these new additions and improvements, users will be more likely to use your shortcuts and widgets, leading to more meaningful and impactful engagement with your app and happier, more productive users.

To learn more, head over to the shortcuts and widgets page on the Android Developers website.


New security protections to reduce risk from unverified apps

Originally posted by Naveen Agarwal, Identity team and Wesley Chun (@wescpy), Developer Advocate, G Suite on the G Suite Developers Blog

We're constantly working to secure our users and their data. Earlier this year, we detailed some of our latest anti-phishing tools and rolled-out developer-focused updates to our app publishing processes, risk assessment systems, and user-facing consent pages. Most recently, we introduced OAuth apps whitelisting in G Suite to enable admins to choose exactly which third-party apps can access user data.

Over the past few months, we've required that some new web applications go through a verification process prior to launch based upon a dynamic risk assessment.

Today, we're expanding upon that foundation, and introducing additional protections: bolder warnings to inform users about newly created web apps and Apps Scripts that are pending verification. Additionally, the changes we're making will improve the developer experience. In the coming months, we will begin expanding the verification process and the new warnings to existing apps as well.

Protecting against unverified apps

Beginning today, we're rolling out an "unverified app" screen for newly created web applications and Apps Scripts that require verification. This new screen replaces the "error" page that developers and users of unverified web apps receive today.

The "unverified app" screen precedes the permissions consent screen for the app and lets potential users know that the app has yet to be verified. This will help reduce the risk of user data being phished by bad actors.

The "unverified app" consent flow

This new notice will also help developers test their apps more easily. Since users can choose to acknowledge the 'unverified app' alert, developers can now test their applications without having to go through the OAuth client verification process first (see our earlier post for details).

Developers can follow the steps laid out in this help center article to begin the verification process to remove the interstitial and prepare your app for launch.

Extending security protections to Google Apps Script

We're also extending these same protections to Apps Script. Beginning this week, new Apps Scripts requesting OAuth access to data from consumers or from users in other domains may also see the "unverified app" screen. For more information about how these changes affect Apps Script developers and users, see the verification documentation page.

Apps Script is proactively protecting users from abusive apps in other ways as well. Users will see new cautionary language reminding them to "consider whether you trust" an application before granting OAuth access, as well as a banner identifying web pages and forms created by other users.

Updated Apps Script pre-OAuth alert with cautionary language
Apps Script user-generated content banner

Extending protections to existing apps

In the coming months, we will continue to enhance user protections by extending the verification process beyond newly created apps, to existing apps as well. As a part of this expansion, developers of some current apps may be required to go through the verification flow.

To help ensure a smooth transition, we recommend developers verify that their contact information is up-to-date. In the Google Cloud Console, developers should ensure that the appropriate and monitored accounts are granted either the project owner or billing account admin IAM role. For help with granting IAM roles, see this help center article.

In the API manager, developers should ensure that their OAuth consent screen configuration is accurate and up-to-date. For help with configuring the consent screen, see this help center article.

We're committed to fostering a healthy ecosystem for both users and developers. These new notices will inform users automatically if they may be at risk, enabling them to make informed decisions to keep their information safe, and will make it easier to test and develop apps for developers.

New security protections to reduce risk from unverified apps



We’re constantly working to secure our users and their data. Earlier this year, we detailed some of our latest anti-phishing tools and rolled-out developer-focused updates to our app publishing processes, risk assessment systems, and user-facing consent pages. Most recently, we introduced OAuth apps whitelisting in G Suite to enable admins to choose exactly which third-party apps can access user data.

Over the past few months, we’ve required that some new web applications go through a verification process prior to launch based upon a dynamic risk assessment.

Today, we’re expanding upon that foundation, and introducing additional protections: bolder warnings to inform users about newly created web apps and Apps Scripts that are pending verification. Additionally, the changes we're making will improve the developer experience. In the coming months, we will begin expanding the verification process and the new warnings to existing apps as well.

Protecting against unverified apps 

Beginning today, we’re rolling out an “unverified app” screen for newly created web applications and Apps Scripts that require verification. This new screen replaces the “error” page that developers and users of unverified web apps receive today.

The “unverified app” screen precedes the permissions consent screen for the app and lets potential users know that the app has yet to be verified. This will help reduce the risk of user data being phished by bad actors.

The "unverified app" consent flow

This new notice will also help developers test their apps more easily. Since users can choose to acknowledge the ‘unverified app’ alert, developers can now test their applications without having to go through the OAuth client verification process first (see our earlier post for details).

Developers can follow the steps laid out in this help center article to begin the verification process to remove the interstitial and prepare your app for launch.

Extending security protections to Google Apps Script 

We’re also extending these same protections to Apps Script. Beginning this week, new Apps Scripts requesting OAuth access to data from consumers or from users in other domains may also see the "unverified app" screen. For more information about how these changes affect Apps Script developers and users, see the verification documentation page.

Apps Script is proactively protecting users from abusive apps in other ways as well. Users will see new cautionary language reminding them to “consider whether you trust” an application before granting OAuth access, as well as a banner identifying web pages and forms created by other users.
Updated Apps Script pre-OAuth alert with cautionary language
Apps Script user-generated content banner

Extending protections to existing apps 

In the coming months, we will continue to enhance user protections by extending the verification process beyond newly created apps, to existing apps as well. As a part of this expansion, developers of some current apps may be required to go through the verification flow.

To help ensure a smooth transition, we recommend developers verify that their contact information is up-to-date. In the Google Cloud Console, developers should ensure that the appropriate and monitored accounts are granted either the project owner or billing account admin IAM role. For help with granting IAM roles, see this help center article.

In the API manager, developers should ensure that their OAuth consent screen configuration is accurate and up-to-date. For help with configuring the consent screen, see this help center article

We’re committed to fostering a healthy ecosystem for both users and developers. These new notices will inform users automatically if they may be at risk, enabling them to make informed decisions to keep their information safe, and will make it easier to test and develop apps for developers.

Identifying app usage in your Google Drive audit logs



If you’re a G Suite admin (or a developer creating apps for admins), it’s important to understand the various applications your company’s employees are using and how they’re accessing them. Today, we’re making that easier by introducing app identification (i.e. originating_app_id) in the Google Drive audit logs within the Admin SDK Reports API.

Now, your apps will be able to determine whether an activity logged was performed by a user in the Drive Android app, Drive iOS app, Google Chrome, or through a variety of other third-party apps that leverage, modify or create files within Google Drive, like Smartsheet or Asana. This will give you a better sense of the apps being used in your organization, as well as the extent and context of that usage.

Note that App IDs that show up in the logs will be numeric. Should you want to retrieve app names, a separate request using the Google Drive REST API is needed. If you already retrieve information through the Drive activity request, you should start seeing the originating_app_ids show up in your logs. Here are a pair of HTTP requests you can use to query this information:

GET 
https://www.googleapis.com/admin/reports/v1/activity/users/userKey

Or
GET 
https://www.googleapis.com/admin/reports/v1/activity/users/all/applications/drive

To learn more about this new feature, take a look at the documentation, then integrate into your code so you and other G Suite admins can gain a better understanding of app usage in your domain(s). We look forward to seeing what you build!

Google People API now supports updates to Contacts and Contact Groups


Starting today, the Google People API will get new endpoints for contacts and contact groups. Last year, we launched the Google People API with read-only endpoints with plans to eventually replace the old Contacts API. We’re one step closer to that goal by adding write endpoints that allow developers to create, delete and update a single contact. In addition, there are new contact group endpoints that allow developers to read and write contact groups.

Applications need to be authorized to access the API so to get started, you will need to create a project on the Google Developers Console with the People API enabled to get access to the service. All of the steps to do so are here. If you’re new to the Google APIs and/or the Developers Console, check out this video, the first in a series of videos to help you get up-to-speed.


Once you’re authorized, you can simply create new contacts like this (using the Google APIs Client Library for Java):
Person contactToCreate = new Person();

List names = new ArrayList<>();
names.add(new Name().setGivenName("John").setFamilyName("Doe"));
contactToCreate.setNames(names);

Person createdContact =
peopleService.people().createContact(contactToCreate).execute();

The scope your app needs to authorize with is https://www.googleapis.com/auth/contacts. Full documentation on the people.create method is available here. You can update an existing contact like this:

String resourceName = "people/c12345"; // existing contact resource name
Person contactToUpdate = peopleService.people().get(resourceName)
.setPersonFields("names,emailAddresses")
.execute();

List emailAddresses = new ArrayList<>();
emailAddresses.add(new EmailAddress().setValue("john.doe@gmail.com"));
contactToUpdate.setEmailAddresses(emailAddresses);

Person updatedContact = peopleService.people().updateContact(contactToUpdate)
.setUpdatePersonFields("emailAddresses")
.execute();

Full documentation on the people.update  method is available here. We look forward to seeing what you can do with these new features allowing you to modify contacts. To learn more about the People API, check out the official documentation here.

Modifying events with the Google Calendar API

Originally posted by Wesley Chun (@wescpy), Developer Advocate, G Suite, on the G Suite Developers Blog.

You might be using the Google Calendar API, or alternatively email markup, to insert events into your users' calendars. Thankfully, these tools allow your apps to do this seamlessly and automatically, which saves your users a lot of time. But what happens if plans change? You need your apps to also be able to modify an event.

While email markup does support this update, it's limited in what it can do, so in today's video, we'll show you how to modify events with the Calendar API. We'll also show you how to create repeating events. Check it out:

Imagine a potential customer being interested in your product, so you set up one or two meetings with them. As their interest grows, they request regularly-scheduled syncs as your product makes their short list—your CRM should be able to make these adjustments in your calendar without much work on your part. Similarly, a "dinner with friends" event can go from a "rain check" to a bi-monthly dining experience with friends you've grown closer to. Both of these events can be updated with a JSON request payload like what you see below to adjust the date and make it repeating:

    
var TIMEZONE = "America/Los_Angeles";
var EVENT = {
"start": {"dateTime": "2017-07-01T19:00:00", "timeZone": TIMEZONE},
"end": {"dateTime": "2017-07-01T22:00:00", "timeZone": TIMEZONE},
"recurrence": ["RRULE:FREQ=MONTHLY;INTERVAL=2;UNTIL=20171231"]
};

This event can then be updated with a single call to the Calendar API's events().patch() method, which in Python would look like the following given the request data above, GCAL as the API service endpoint, and a valid EVENT_ID to update:



GCAL.events().patch(calendarId='primary', eventId=EVENT_ID,
sendNotifications=True, body=EVENT).execute()

If you want to dive deeper into the code sample, check out this blog post. Also, if you missed it, check out this video that shows how you can insert events into Google Calendar as well as the official API documentation. Finally, if you have a Google Apps Script app, you can access Google Calendar programmatically with its Calendar service.

We hope you can use this information to enhance your apps to give your users an even better and timely experience.

Modifying events with the Google Calendar API


You might be using the Google Calendar API, or alternatively email markup, to insert events into your users’ calendars. Thankfully, these tools allow your apps to do this seamlessly and automatically, which saves your users a lot of time. But what happens if plans change? You need your apps to also be able to modify an event.

While email markup does support this update, it’s limited in what it can do, so in today’s video, we’ll show you how to modify events with the Calendar API. We’ll also show you how to create repeating events. Check it out:

Imagine a potential customer being interested in your product, so you set up one or two meetings with them. As their interest grows, they request regularly-scheduled syncs as your product makes their short list—your CRM should be able to make these adjustments in your calendar without much work on your part. Similarly, a “dinner with friends” event can go from a “rain check” to a bi-monthly dining experience with friends you’ve grown closer to. Both of these events can be updated with a JSON request payload like what you see below to adjust the date and make it repeating:
var TIMEZONE = "America/Los_Angeles";
var EVENT = {
"start": {"dateTime": "2017-07-01T19:00:00", "timeZone": TIMEZONE},
"end": {"dateTime": "2017-07-01T22:00:00", "timeZone": TIMEZONE},
"recurrence": ["RRULE:FREQ=MONTHLY;INTERVAL=2;UNTIL=20171231"]
};

This event can then be updated with a single call to the Calendar API’s events().patch() method, which in Python would look like the following given the request data above, GCAL as the API service endpoint, and a valid EVENT_ID to update:
GCAL.events().patch(calendarId='primary', eventId=EVENT_ID,
sendNotifications=True, body=EVENT).execute()

If you missed it, check out this video that shows how you can insert events into Google Calendar as well as the official API documentation. Also, if you have a Google Apps Script app, you can programmatically access Google Calendar with its Calendar service.

We hope you can use this information to enhance your apps to give your users an even better and timely experience.

Introducing Team Drives for developers

Originally posted by Hodie Meyers, Product Manager, Google Drive, and Wesley Chun (@wescpy), Developer Advocate, G Suite on the G Suite Developers Blog

Enterprises are always looking for ways to operate more efficiently, and equipping developers with the right tools can make a difference. We launched Team Drives this year to bring the best of what users love about Drive to enterprise teams. We also updated the Google Drive API, so that developers can leverage Team Drives in the apps they build.

In this latest G Suite Dev Show video, we cover how you can leverage the functionality of Team Drives in your apps. The good news is you don't have to learn a completely new API—Team Drives features are built into the Drive API so you can build on what you already know. Check it out:

By the end of this video, you'll be familiar with four basic operations to help you build Team Drives functionality right into your apps:

  1. How to create Team Drives
  2. How to add members/users to your Team Drives
  3. How to create folders in Team Drives (just like creating a regular Drive folder)
  4. How to upload/import files to Team Drives folders (just like uploading files to regular folders)

Want to explore the code further? Check out the deep dive blog post. In all, the Drive API can help a variety of developers create solutions that work with both Google Drive and Team Drives. Whether you're an Independent Software Vendor (ISV), System Integrator (SI) or work in IT, there are many ways to use the Drive API to enhance productivity, help your company migrate to G Suite, or build tools to automate workflows.

Team Drives features are available in both Drive API v2 and v3, and more details can be found in the Drive API documentation. We look forward to seeing what you build with Team Drives!