Tag Archives: google cloud

Protect your online accounts with Titan Security Keys

Phishing—when an attacker tries to trick you into giving them your credentials—is a common threat to all online users. Google's automated defenses securely block the overwhelming majority of sign-in attempts even if an attacker has your username or password, but we always recommend you enable two-step verification (2SV) to further protect your online accounts.

There are many forms of 2SV—from text (SMS) message codes, to the Google Authenticator app, to hardware second factors like security keys. And while any second factor will greatly improve the security of your account, for those who want the strongest account protection, we’ve long advocated the use of security keys for 2SV.

Today, we’re making it easier to get a security key by making Google’s own Titan Security Keys available on the Google Store

Titan Security Key

Titan Security Key

Titan Security Keys have extra “special sauce” from Google—firmware that’s embedded in a hardware chip within the key that helps to verify that the key hasn’t been tampered with. We’ve gone into more detail about how this works on the Google Cloud blog.

Titan Security Keys work with popular browsers (including Chrome) and a growing ecosystem of services (including Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox and more) that support FIDO standards

Getting started

It’s easy to get started with Titan Security Keys. Kits of two keys (one USB and one Bluetooth) are now available to U.S. customers on the Google Store and will be coming soon to additional regions.

To set them up with your Google Account, sign in and navigate to the 2-Step Verification page (see detailed instructions on our help center). Titan Security Keys are also compatible with the Advanced Protection Program, Google's strongest security for users at high risk. And Google Cloud admins can enable security key enforcement in G Suite, Cloud Identity, and Google Cloud Platform to ensure that users use security keys for their accounts.

For more information, visit our website or read our detailed post on Google Cloud.

Unlock your team’s creativity: running great hackathons

Creative, talented employees have awesome ideas, but chances are they rarely have enough time to actually try them out and find out which ones are worth pursuing. To allow their imagination to run free and spur creative innovation, companies need to create space and opportunities for employees to try out crazy new proposals. That’s why every so often, we regularly set aside some time to build a small, ad-hoc team around an idea, brainstorm, design, hack and share what we discovered.


A hackathon shifts the routine, gets people out of their comfort zone, and allows decisions to be made quickly. It creates new leadership opportunities, a chance to experiment, and an invitation to innovate. For our teams it’s also resulted in new products, new applications of emerging technologies, and important new cross-team collaborations. While not every hackathon will result in new products or features, we always find value in the learning and exploring that occurs.


Here are our tips for setting up a successful hackathon at your workplace:


Get support from your management and executive leadership.

A hackathon requires asking people to set aside their normal work for a few days (or a whole week) and that will impact the short-term ability to progress toward quarterly or annual goals. Make sure your leadership actively support the hackathon and its goals, so the team isn’t getting mixed messages about the trade-offs involved.


Your leaders also need to set the scene for the hackathon itself: what’s our goal for this hackathon, and what is expected from participants? This is a perfect time to emphasize the opportunity for risk-taking, crazy ideas, new technology experiments and creativity. A hackathon gives leaders the opportunity to empower the team to make decisions, tackle problems in new ways, and fail spectacularly.


Some of those failures can teach you more about your own process, infrastructure and tooling than successful efforts might—allowing the entire organization to become more efficient and productive. In other words, hackathons may only result in learning, not fantastic new product ideas; it’s a gamble, but a good one to take.


Get the right people in the room.

The magic of a hackathon is it encourages your teams to mix and work with new people, so they aren’t just coding with the folks they work with every day. Gather experts in a variety of relevant subject areas (machine learning, privacy, cloud storage, mobile development, etc.) to act as advisors and technology problem solvers, so teams don’t burn time trying to learn new technology from scratch.


Organize, organize, organize.

Organizing and running the hackathon takes its own big chunk of work. We set aside one or two large spaces for presentations and team formation. We set up an internal website to gather information and publicize, and get fun swag items that encourage participation and act as mementos or trophies. In the end we evaluate projects by voting, and award prizes to the top teams.


Real collaboration happens best face to face, and everyone being in the same room allows for free-flowing conversation. We’ve usually coordinate simultaneous hackathons at multiple different office sites, to minimize travel time and open up participation to folks on the greater team, regardless of their location.


Prepare your hackers by giving prompts in advance.

We’ve found a variety of prompts and brainstorming exercises to help leading up to the hackathon, so people can hit the ground running when the week starts. For example, you can ask people to finish the sentences:

  • I wish I could …

  • How might we …

  • If only I could take time to fix …

  • It’s such a pain that …

  • Wouldn’t it be better for everyone if …


These prompts can help push people to think outside their normal scope of work. They might experiment with changes to commonly used processes or tools, or try to solve an existing business problem in a totally novel way. We sometimes see teams organize around work that removes a cumbersome task they have to do but don’t want to, or something they can’t do but wish they could.


You may want to schedule tech talks in the week or two before the hackathon, to get people thinking or inspire new ideas. These can cover new technologies you want to explore (augmented reality, deep learning, new wireless protocols), unsolved problems that need attention, or basics of a platform or piece of infrastructure that’s likely to be used by many teams.


Next up

I’ll be back with part two next week, covering advice for forming groups, sharing ideas and showcasing the results of your time hacking.

Google Cloud’s continuing commitment to advance healthcare data interoperability

Patient needs are at the forefront of everything Google Cloud builds for healthcare. And as patient expectations for seamless experiences have increased, so has our commitment to eliminating the technological barriers that make it challenging for providers to deliver connected care.

Data interoperability is one important element to delivering connected care to patients. At HIMSS 2017, we announced our support for the HL7 FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) Foundation to help the developer community advance data interoperability. Earlier this year we launched our Cloud Healthcare API to provide a scalable and security-focused infrastructure solution designed to ingest, process, and manage key healthcare data types. The Cloud Healthcare API empowers customers to use their healthcare data—including HL7v2, FHIR, and DICOM—for analytics and machine learning in the cloud.

To deliver true healthcare data interoperability, many stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem need to engage to develop collaboratively and support open standards, open specifications, and open source tools that facilitate a frictionless healthcare data exchange with appropriate permissions and controls.

To that end, today at the Blue Button 2.0 Developer Conference at the White House, Google along with Amazon, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and Salesforce are announcing our joint commitment to removing barriers for the adoption of technologies for healthcare interoperability, particularly those that are enabled through the cloud and AI. The common goal of this program is to deliver better patient care, higher user satisfaction, and lower costs across the entire health ecosystem.

The statement is available here on ITIC.org.

After NEXT 2018: Trends in higher education and research

From classrooms to campus infrastructure, higher education is rapidly adapting to cloud technology. So it’s no surprise that academic faculty and staff were well represented among panelists and attendees at this year’sGoogle Cloud Next. Several of our more than 500 breakout sessions at Next spoke to the needs of higher education, as did critical announcements like our partnership with the National Institutes of Health to make public biomedical datasets available to researchers. Here are ten major themes that came out of our higher education sessions at Next:

  1. Collaborating across campuses. Learning technologists from St. Norbert College, Lehigh University, University of Notre Dame, and Indiana University explained how G Suite and CourseKit, Google’s new integrated learning management tool, are helping teachers and students exchange ideas.
  2. Navigating change.Academic IT managers told stories of how they’ve overcome the organizational challenges of cloud migration and offered some tips for others: start small, engage key stakeholders, and take advantage of Google’s teams of engineers and representatives, who are enthusiastic and knowledgeable allies. According to Joshua Humphrey, Team Lead, Enterprise Computing, Georgia State University, "We've been using GCP for almost three years now and we've seen an average yearly savings of 44%. Whenever people ask why we moved to the cloud this is what we point to. Usability and savings."
  3. Fostering student creativity. In our higher education booth at Next, students demonstrated projects that extended their learning beyond the classroom. For example, students at California State University at San Bernardino built a mobile rover that checks internet connectivity on campus, and students at High Tech High used G Suite and Chromebooks to help them create their own handmade soap company.
  4. Reproducing scientific research. Science is built on consistent, reliable, repeatable findings. Academic research panelists at the University of Michigan are using Docker on Compute Engine to containerize pipeline tools so any researcher can run the same pipeline without having to worry about affecting the final outcome.
  5. Powering bioinformaticsToday’s biomedical research often requires storing and processing hundreds of terabytes of data. Teams at SUNY Downstate, Northeastern, and the University of South Carolina demonstrated how they used BigQuery and Compute Engine to build complex simulations and manage huge datasets for neuroscience, epidemiology, and environmental research.
  6. Accelerating genomics research. Moving data to the cloud enables faster processing to test more hypotheses and uncover insights. Researchers from Stanford, Duke, and Michigan showed how they streamlined their genomics workloads and cut months off their processing time using GCP.
  7. Democratizing access to deep learningAutoML Vision, Natural Language, and Translation, all in beta, were announced at Next and can help researchers build custom ML models without specialized knowledge in machine learning or coding. As Google’s Chief Scientist of AI and Machine Learning Fei-Fei Li noted in her blog post, Google’s aim “is to make AI not just more powerful, but more accessible.”
  8. Transforming LMS analytics. Scalable tools can turn the data collected by learning management systems and student information services into insights about student behavior. Google’s strategic partnership with Unizin allows a consortium of universities to integrate data and learning sciences, while Ivy Tech used ML Engine to build a predictive algorithm to improve student performance in courses.
  9. Personalizing machine learning and AI for student services. We’re seeing a growing trend of universities investigating AI to create virtual assistants. Recently Strayer University shared with us how they used Dialogflow to do just that, and at Next, Carnegie Mellon walked us through their process of building SARA, a socially-aware robot assistant.
  10. Strengthening security for academic IT. Natural disasters threaten on-premise data centers, with earthquakes, flooding, and hurricanes demanding robust disaster-recovery planning. Georgia State, the University of Minnesota, and Stanford’s Graduate School of Business shared how they improved the reliability and cost-efficiency of their data backup by migrating to GCP.
We've been using GCP for almost three years now and we've seen an average yearly savings of 44%. Whenever people ask why we moved to the cloud this is what we point to: usability and savings Joshua Humphrey
Enterprise Computing, Georgia State University



To learn more about our solutions for higher education, visit our website, explore our credits programs for teaching and research, or speak with a member of our team.

Helping enterprises stay competitive with new updates in G Suite

In 1958, U.S. corporations remained on the S&P 500 index for an average of 61 years, according to the American Enterprise Foundation. Fast forward to today and companies are being replaced approximately every two weeks. In this rapidly changing market, traditional companies are looking for ways to stay competitive and more and more enterprises, including Nielsen, Colgate and Airbus, are turning to G Suite to help them reimagine how they work to keep pace.

We know that enterprises want to move to cloud-first collaboration to transform how they work, but, understandably, they have questions about how to make it work in a business of their size. What happens with email security? How can they manage their data? How does G Suite work with the tools and systems they already have in place?

Yesterday we announced new products to help businesses reimagine how they work, and today we’re sharing additional solutions we’ve built to address these concerns.

Here’s a snapshot of what we’re announcing today. Read on for more detail.

  • New Gmail (Redesigned security warnings, Snooze, Offline Access and more generally available for G Suite users)

  • Cloud Search (being deployed by an initial set of customers)

  • Google Voice for G Suite (available in our Early Adopter Program*)

  • Drive Enterprise Sku (available for purchase)

Keeping businesses (and emails) secure

Keeping your data secure is our top priority, which is why we use machine learning to analyze threat indicators across billions of messages in Gmail to help quickly identify potential security attacks in the making. Machine learning helps protect more than 1.4 billion active Gmail user accounts from nearly 10 million spam and malicious emails every minute.

Today, we’re making the new Gmail generally available to G Suite customers so that, in addition to these baked-in security features, more companies can take advantage of features like redesigned security warnings, snooze, offline access and more. You can learn more in this post.

Bringing the best of Google Search to enterprise data

Searching through your company’s data should be as easy as doing a web search. But the reality is most companies’ information is spread across different silos and systems that don’t talk to each other, which makes finding things a lengthy chore. We introduced Cloud Search last year to make it easy to find information across G Suite in a way that’s intuitive and assistive. Today, we are announcing new Cloud Search functionality to help companies intelligently and securely index their third-party data beyond G Suite, whether that data is stored in the cloud, or on-prem.

Companies, like Whirlpool Corporation, have started deploying Cloud Search’s new capabilities to unify search across multiple data sources. Using Cloud Search’s new SDKs, APIs and connectors for third-party connectivity, Whirlpool created a custom app called Whirlpool SearchPro that indexes more than 12 million documents across different on-prem and cloud systems and returns results in 100s of milliseconds on average. Moreover, search results reflect the specific permissions and access controls from each of the source systems to ensure that individuals only see the information they should.

Whirlpool Cloud Search - G Suite Next '18

Cloud Search’s new functionality will be available to G Suite Enterprise customers as well as  any company looking to power their enterprise search needs as a new standalone offering. We’re also pleased to offer qualifying Google Search Appliance customers an upgrade pathto Cloud Search. Cloud Search is currently being deployed by an initial set of customers, and we’re excited to have 15 launch partners on board, including SADA, Onix and Accenture. Learn more.

Enabling smarter and easier collaboration

We first introduced Hangouts Chat, Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Meet hardware last year to make it easier for employees to collaborate with colleagues across the globe, be it face-to-face or via chat. Aside from bringing the best of video conferencing to businesses, we also want to create better telephony solutions so that employees can be more productive over the phone. For close to a decade, millions of consumers have used Google Voice to connect with folks across the globe. Now we’re bringing an enterprise version of Voice to G Suite.

On top of the existing features that users love, Google Voice is tightly integrated with G Suite apps, like Hangouts Meet and Google Calendar, and provides administrator capabilities best suited for the enterprise. Admins can manage users, provision and port phone numbers, access detailed reports and set up call routing functionality. Voice also lets you deploy phone numbers to employees, or even entire departments, at once, and assigns a  number that’s not tied to a specific device. AI-powered features in Voice also help facilitate voicemail transcription and spam filtering, which helps eliminate disruptions for employees so they can focus on what’s important.

Google Voice quickly emerged as our preferred telephony solution for remote teams and frequent travelers. Kim Anstett
Chief Information Officer, Nielsen

We’ve been testing this enterprise version with key customers since last October. As a part of the Trusted Tester* program, Nielsen noticed major improvements in reliability and call quality compared to previous phone solutions. “Google Voice quickly emerged as our preferred telephony solution for remote teams and frequent travelers,” says Kim Anstett, Chief Information Officer at Nielsen. “In fact, we’re excited to announce plans to leverage Voice as the standard for remote work telephony at Nielsen.”


To try out Google Voice within your organization, you can sign up for the Early Adopter Program.

Making transitioning to the cloud simple

Lastly, we want to make it simpler for businesses to adopt and use G Suite, and a large part of this is ensuring a smooth transition off legacy enterprise content management (ECM) systems. To help, our customers will now be able to purchase Drive Enterprise as a standalone offering with usage-based pricing.


With Drive Enterprise, businesses can move their content to the cloud in Google Drive, and employees can create and collaborate securely with tools like Docs, Sheets and Slides without disrupting other legacy office productivity tools. More than 2 trillion files are stored in Google Drive to date, and most recently, Google was named a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Content Collaboration Platforms (CCP) for the second year in a row. Learn more about the new Drive Enterprise.

Drive Sku - G Suite Next '18

We’ve also made a concerted effort to make it easier to use G Suite with existing legacy tools so that you can avoid interruptions at work. Whether it’s making sure your calendar details stay intact between Microsoft Exchange and Google Calendar, providing new ways to integrate Hangout Meet with existing hardware, making it easier to collaborate with teams outside of your domain and more, we’re focused on building solutions to make your work day easier. Read more about our latest interoperability capabilities in this post.

Try today

Visit the G Suite website to see how you can transform how your enterprise operates.

*The G Suite Trusted Tester and Early Adopter Programs will soon be renamed as Alpha and Beta, respectively. More details to come.

Build the apps your business needs with App Maker

It’s easy to get used to doing things a certain way. This can be a good thing if you're prepping for the World Cup, where practice, repetition and routine can make you a champion. But if you're like the rest of us who rely on certain processes to get things done at work—like budgeting or filing expenses—“trusting the process” doesn’t always feel rewarding.

Today, we’re making App Maker generally available to help you rethink how your teams operate. App Maker is G Suite’s low-code application development environment that makes it easy for teams to build custom apps to speed up workflows and make processes better.

Apps to fill business gaps, built for your needs

Analysts estimate that the right custom mobile app can save each employee 7.5 hours per week (that’s a week’s worth of lunch breaks!). Yet, too few businesses have the means, let alone the resources, to invest time and effort in building custom apps. Why? Because their IT budget centers on big enterprise apps like CRM, ERP and SCM and beyond those priorities, IT executives’ attention focuses on security and governance.

App Maker was created to enable your line-of-business teams to build apps for the jobs these bigger apps don't tackle. With App Maker, you can revamp company processes like requesting purchase orders or filing and resolving help desk tickets, as if you designed and built the processes yourself.

Pooling talent resources was always an ad hoc process, but App Maker let us quickly build an app that tracks allocation requests in detail. Peter McAuley
Director of IT, EA

Take Electronic Arts (EA) for example, a global interactive entertainment software company that makes games and more. To create many of its games, EA has to occasionally allocate staff resources to different projects—whether it’s a designer needed on a new game project or an HR consultant to advise on setting up a studio. EA’s IT department used App Maker to create a custom app to streamline capital resourcing.

“Pooling talent resources was always an ad hoc process, but App Maker let us quickly build an app that tracks allocation requests in detail,” says Peter McAuley, director of IT at EA. “Our custom app also calculates and provides management with a view of total resource utilization by month, something which was always more of a chore to put together manually.”

Over the last few months, we've worked closely with customers and partners around the world, including EA, Colgate-Palmolive, SADA Systems and more, to build apps to solve specific business needs.

Create custom apps in G Suite with App Maker

Powerful new database model and governance

Since launching App Maker in our Early Adopter Program, we've made changes and added new features and improvements to make it even more useful for our customers.

  • Open:App Maker now offers built-in support for Cloud SQL (GCP account required), offering high performance, scalability and convenience. It also supports a Bring Your Own Database (“BYODB”) model, letting you connect it to your own database using JDBC or a REST API.
  • Fast: Responsive templates, samples, a drag-and-drop UI design and declarative data modeling make it easier for IT developers, or anyone who wants to automate work, to design and build apps even faster.

App Maker
  • Connected:Whether it’s Gmail, Calendar or Sheets, App Maker makes it a cinch to connect with the data and services you need, all while making your apps more powerful. Plus, you can use Apps Script to accessover 40 Google services, Google Cloud Platform and other third-party services that support JDBC and REST.
  • Managed: G Suite administrators now have visibility over the apps running in their organization including owners, usage metrics and OAuth permissions. Expanded OAuth Whitelisting controls mean administrators will also be able to prevent apps from running without their approval. Learn more.

Get started

App Maker is now available to all G Suite Business and Enterprise customers, as well as G Suite for Education customers. Learn more, or see how you can get started with documentation and this codelab. We can’t wait to see what your companies build with it.

Source: Google Cloud


ICYMI in May: here’s what happened in G Suite

While Laurel vs. Yanny dominated office chatter this past month, businesses also got their first taste of working in the all-new Gmail. Packed with advanced security features, more integrations and new applications of Google’s artificial intelligence, Gmail is already receiving positive feedback like this, this and this from users.

To experiment with the new Gmail in your personal Gmail accounts, go to Settings in the top right of your inbox and select “Try the new Gmail.” It’s also available for G Suite businesses to use in the Early Adopter Program (EAP).

Subhead 1 ICYMI G Suite

We all have that one coworker who we rely on for tips on how to master spreadsheets, draft functions, organize email and more. We want to empower anyone who uses G Suite to become the go-to “pro” in the office. To help, we’re kicking off a bimonthly series called “G Suite Pro Tips.”

This month, a Google developer expert breaks down how to combine data from one spreadsheet into another spreadsheet in less than two minutes:

Import data from one spreadsheet to another
Subhead 2 ICYMI G Suite

→ Now you can work offline with ease in the new Gmail. Open Gmail in Chrome browser and search, write, delete or archive up to three months worth of messages.

→ We’ve made it easier for IT admins to export and download a copy of data securely from core services like Gmail, Google Docsand more. Navigate to the Tools section in the right-side slideout menu of the Admin console and select “Data Export.”

→ We made some minor changes to Drive’s user interface (UI), stuff like colors and fonts.

Drive UI change

→ We're rolling out Hangouts Meet to new regions. Welcome Colombia, Croatia, Lithuania and Portugal! We’re also automatically enabling Hangouts Meet (instead of Classic Hangouts) for all G Suite domains. Now, you’ll see Meet video meeting details in your Google Calendar events.

→ We’ve expanded Braille support for Sheets on Windows computers. Now you can use Braille on ChromeOS, Windows and Mac systems. Learn more.

Jamboard is now Bluetooth-enabled. Connect Bluetooth Conferencing devices (speaker and microphone combined) for your next jam session.

Check out a full recap of all product updates in May (PDF version).

Source: Drive


Bring teams together with new G Suite integrations

The average employee uses 36 cloud services at work to collaborate or share files. That’s more apps than hours in a day! With so many apps and services, it’s important that your business  chooses modern, open tools that make it easy to work with anyone—be it inside or outside of your organization.

We want to reduce complexity for your teams, which is why we’ve built integrations in G Suite like third-party add-ons in Gmail and Google Docs and better interoperability with Microsoft. Today, we’re announcing new integrations in Hangouts Meet and Calendar to help you have even better meeting experiences regardless of the conference technology you use. We’re also bringing you new ways to collaborate in Hangouts Chat and Sheets.

Collaborate easily with new compatibility in Hangouts Meet

Nothing’s more frustrating than hosting a meeting and having trouble getting people to join because of issues with technology—it can interrupt workflows and slow down productivity. We want to make it easier for businesses to use meeting solutions, like Hangouts Meet, without worrying about compatibility with existing equipment. This is why we’re making Meet compatible with traditional video conferencing systems, like Polycom and Cisco. In partnership with Pexip, teams will be able to join a meeting on Meet from their preferred equipment in the coming weeks. We’re also making it possible for Microsoft Skype for Business users to easily join a meeting on Meet directly from their Skype app.

Spotify has benefited from using Hangouts Meet to collaborate both internally and externally. Says Martin Antonsson, AV Infrastructure Engineer at Spotify, “Interoperability between Hangouts Meet and other video conferencing systems is fundamental to enabling collaboration. Now we can focus on having productive meetings instead of worrying about the technology.”

Now we can focus on having productive meetings instead of worrying about the technology. Martin Antonsson
AV Infrastructure Engineer, Spotify

Build add-ons in Google Calendar, join meetings in a cinch

A big part of having productive meetings is making sure that the right folks are able to join them. That’s why we’re announcing support for third-party conferencing natively in Google Calendar. Soon conference providers can easily build add-ons to create, view and join a video conference directly from a Calendar event. Users can simply click a link in the Calendar invite to join on web or mobile.

Interop Image 1

Cisco Webex is building an add-on to help users easily schedule meetings right from Google Calendar without requiring a download or plug-in. Arkadin, GoToMeeting, LogMeIn, Dialpad, RingCentral, Vidyo and Vonage are also building add-ons to help them more easily meet with their customers. These third-party conferencing add-ons will be available in the G Suite Marketplace in the coming months with details to come for developers.

You might have seen that we made it easier to view schedule availability across Google Calendar and Microsoft Exchange last year. Building on this, we’re also announcing a way for you to book resources like rooms, equipment and more in Microsoft Exchange. If you use G Suite, you’ll be able to easily view and book resources stored in Exchange and Office 365 in the coming months.

Work with teams outside of your domain in Hangouts Chat

After you get the right people in the room with the right setup, it’s important to be able to share information in real time during your meetings—even with folks who may not be in your company. In the coming months, you’ll be able to include people from outside of your organization in Chat, making it easy to stay aligned with clients, vendors, partners and others, all from one place.

Resuelve, a consumer debt management business based in Mexico, has been using Chat to collaborate within their organization, particularly as they look to grow their presence in additional regions. "Hangouts Chat has been crucial to our company's ability to expand into other markets,” says Jordi Adame, Chief Technology Officer of Resuelve. “It’s helped our internal teams be productive and we're looking forward to connecting with people outside of our organization in a similarly efficient way.”

New SAP integrations with Google Sheets

Companies often have critical business data in their SAP systems. In an upcoming SAP release, employees will be able to discover additional insights from their ERP content by importing it directly into Google Sheets. With this new integration, you can skip manually exporting data to CSVs and uploading them to Drive. Instead, export directly to Sheets and analyze data with tools like intelligent pivot tables. You can also skip tedious formatting by recording macros in Sheets, making it easier to streamline business processes and share information across teams right away.
SAP Sheets integration

Looking ahead

In the coming months, you’ll be able to join conferences on Hangouts Meet from your existing meeting room hardware, book rooms from Microsoft Exchange in Google Calendar and collaborate with folks outside of your domain in Hangouts Chat. You’ll also start to see integrations with Google Sheets in an upcoming SAP release, too.

Learn more about how your business’ technology can co-exist with G Suite. Visit the Next ‘18 website to register.

Source: Google Cloud


G Suite Pro Tips: how to sync one spreadsheet to another in Google Sheets

When it comes to analyzing data at work, we often have to pull information from several different sources in order to see the big picture. But if you need to manage product inventory or report on quarterly sales figures, spending time flipping between spreadsheets or manually copying and pasting data into one place can take up too much time. There’s a better option.

With G Suite—Google’s suite of cloud-based collaboration and productivity apps—there are a ton of ways you can skip repetitive tasks, including in Google Sheets.

Today, we’re kicking off a tips series to help you become a G Suite pro—starting with how to combine data from one spreadsheet into another. Check it out.

G Suite Pro Tips: syncing one spreadsheet to another

Combining data from two Google Sheets in four steps

With Sheets, it’s easy to combine data into one spreadsheet to create a single source of truth.

Step 1: Identify the spreadsheets you want to combine.

Pull up the two spreadsheets that you’d like to import data between. You should have the original spreadsheet (Ex: “Sales Revenue”) and the one you want to add information into (Ex: “Product Inventory”).

Step 2: Grab two things from the original sheet.

You need two pieces of information from the original spreadsheet in order to move the data: the spreadsheet URL and the range of cells where you want to pull the data from. In this example, our original spreadsheet’s name is “Sales Revenue.”

First, highlight and copy the full spreadsheet URL from the original spreadsheet (Note: you can also use the spreadsheet “key,” which is a code hidden inside the URL between the “d/” and “/edit.” It looks like a jumbled mix of letters and numbers.).

G Suite Pro Tips: image 1

Next, before you switch to the new spreadsheet, make sure to note the range of cells where you want to pull the data from in the original spreadsheet. For example, A:1 to C:10.

Step 3: Use a Google Sheets function to port your data over.

Now we use the IMPORTRANGE function. First, click into the new spreadsheet where you’d like to add data into. In this example, it’s named “Product Inventory.” Insert columns or rows into the spreadsheet where you want to put data.

Next, type =IMPORTRANGE in the cell (you can choose to use all caps or not, it doesn’t matter.). The function will then ask you for three things:

  1. The URL of the original spreadsheet (or the spreadsheet key, both options work.)
  2. The name of the specific tab in your spreadsheet that you’re pulling information out of
  3. The range of cells for data you need

It will look similar to this:

=IMPORTRANGE(“https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1RNez4bhTMt_evAdHrFOBHeBgk1l5HAWVTb43EKpYHR8/edit#gid=0,””Sales Revenue by Quarter!A1:C10”)

It’s important to note that you have to use the specific name of the tab in the sheet in the formula. So for this example, the name of the original spreadsheet housing multiple datasets is called “Sales Revenue,” but the name of the specific tab with our data in it is called “Sales Revenue by Quarter.” We want to use the specific tab’s name to avoid our function breaking in the future when new sheets or tabs are created.

Oh and another trick: don’t forget to add the exclamation point (!) before the data range. That’s important, too.

Step 4: Import your data.

After you’ve added your IMPORTRANGE formula, you can click enter.

If it’s the first time you’ve imported data from that particular spreadsheet, a pop-up might appear. Don’t worry! This security check makes sure you’re okay with granting any collaborators on this spreadsheet access to data that lives in another spreadsheet. It will ask you to “Allow access” when you see the #REF in your cell. Go ahead and click yes.

Voilà! Your data will appear in the new spreadsheet.

Focus on work that’s important

Google Sheets has more than 400 functions you can use to help speed up work. To learn more about how cloud-based tools like Sheets can help businesses uncover insights quicker—and, as a result, encourage employees to spend time on strategic work—check out this post.

Developing bots for Hangouts Chat

Posted by Wesley Chun (@wescpy), Developer Advocate, G Suite

We recently introduced Hangouts Chat to general availability. This next-generation messaging platform gives G Suite users a new place to communicate and to collaborate in teams. It features archive & search, tighter G Suite integration, and the ability to create separate, threaded chat rooms. The key new feature for developers is a bot framework and API. Whether it's to automate common tasks, query for information, or perform other heavy-lifting, bots can really transform the way we work.

In addition to plain text replies, Hangouts Chat can also display bot responses with richer user interfaces (UIs) called cards which can render header information, structured data, images, links, buttons, etc. Furthermore, users can interact with these components, potentially updating the displayed information. In this latest episode of the G Suite Dev Show, developers learn how to create a bot that features an updating interactive card.

As you can see in the video, the most important thing when bots receive a message is to determine the event type and take the appropriate action. For example, a bot will perform any desired "paperwork" when it is added to or removed from a room or direct message (DM), generically referred to as a "space" in the vernacular.

Receiving an ordinary message sent by users is the most likely scenario; most bots do "their thing" here in serving the request. The last event type occurs when a user clicks on an interactive card. Similar to receiving a standard message, a bot performs its requisite work, including possibly updating the card itself. Below is some pseudocode summarizing these four event types and represents what a bot would likely do depending on the event type:

function processEvent(req, rsp) {
var event = req.body; // event type received
var message; // JSON response message

if (event.type == 'REMOVED_FROM_SPACE') {
// no response as bot removed from room
return;

} else if (event.type == 'ADDED_TO_SPACE') {
// bot added to room; send welcome message
message = {text: 'Thanks for adding me!'};

} else if (event.type == 'MESSAGE') {
// message received during normal operation
message = responseForMsg(event.message.text);

} else if (event.type == 'CARD_CLICKED') {
// user-click on card UI
var action = event.action;
message = responseForClick(
action.actionMethodName, action.parameters);
}

rsp.send(message);
};

The bot pseudocode as well as the bot featured in the video respond synchronously. Bots performing more time-consuming operations or those issuing out-of-band notifications, can send messages to spaces in an asynchronous way. This includes messages such as job-completed notifications, alerts if a server goes down, and pings to the Sales team when a new lead is added to the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system.

Hangouts Chat supports more than JavaScript or Python and Google Apps Script or Google App Engine. While using JavaScript running on Apps Script is one of the quickest and simplest ways to get a bot online within your organization, it can easily be ported to Node.js for a wider variety of hosting options. Similarly, App Engine allows for more scalability and supports additional languages (Java, PHP, Go, and more) beyond Python. The bot can also be ported to Flask for more hosting options. One key takeaway is the flexibility of the platform: developers can use any language, any stack, or any cloud to create and host their bot implementations. Bots only need to be able to accept HTTP POST requests coming from the Hangouts Chat service to function.

At Google I/O 2018 last week, the Hangouts Chat team leads and I delivered a longer, higher-level overview of the bot framework. This comprehensive tour of the framework includes numerous live demos of sample bots as well as in a variety of languages and platforms. Check out our ~40-minute session below.

To help you get started, check out the bot framework launch post. Also take a look at this post for a deeper dive into the Python App Engine version of the vote bot featured in the video. To learn more about developing bots for Hangouts Chat, review the concepts guides as well as the "how to" for creating bots. You can build bots for your organization, your customers, or for the world. We look forward to all the exciting bots you're going to build!