Tag Archives: Beta

Google Forms API now available in open beta

What’s changing 

At Google Cloud Next 2021, we announced the Google Forms API Beta, which provides programmatic access for managing Google Forms and acting on responses— empowering developers to build powerful integrations on top of Forms. 

The Google Forms API is now rolling out as an Open Beta which means developers who are part of our Early Adopter Program can make their integrations available to the public. We’ll no longer require individual end-user accounts to be allowlisted. Developers should keep in mind, however, that their integrations are in Beta. 

Developers can apply to join our Early Adopter Program and begin developing using the Google Forms API by filling out this form

See below for more information. 

Who’s impacted 

Admins and developers 

Why you’d use it 

The Google Forms API provides programmatic access to manage Forms and receive responses, supporting the development of a variety of powerful integrations. For example, the API could be utilized to develop real-time dashboards or data visualizations, trigger business workflows incorporating project management, CRM, or LMS tools, or auto-generate forms from question banks or other data sets. 

The API is useful for a variety of tasks such as: 

  • Creating and modifying forms or quizzes 
  • Retrieving form responses or quiz grades 
  • Reading form content and metadata 
  • Receiving push notifications for form or quiz responses and updates 



Getting started 

Rollout pace 

Integration availability for end users 

Availability 

Resources 

Google Workspace Client-side encryption beta expanded to include Google Meet and Google Drive for desktop

What’s changing 

Earlier this year, we announced the beta for Google Workspace Client-side encryption, specifically for Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides, with support for all file types in Drive including Office files, PDFs, and more. 

We’re now expanding the beta to include desktop data for Google Meet and Google Drive. Additionally, key access service APIs are now publicly available for anyone to use. 

Encryption notice in Meet

Encryption notice in Meet

Lastly, we are adding two new Key access service partners (Fortanix, Stormshield) for customers looking for a dedicated partner that integrates with the key access service APIs. Previously, we had announced key service partnerships with Flowcrypt, FutureX, Thales and Virtru

The beta is available to Google Workspace Enterprise Plus and Google Workspace Education Plus customers—eligible customers can now apply for the beta here. Important note: Customers who are already participating in the beta will have to reapply for access to the Google Meet and functionality, but you will be able to reuse your key service configuration. 

Who’s impacted 

Admins and developers 

Why it’s important 

Google Workspace already uses the latest cryptographic standards to encrypt all data at rest and in transit between our facilities. With Client-side encryption, we’re taking this a step further by giving customers direct control of encryption keys and the identity provider used to access those keys. This can help you strengthen the confidentiality of your data while helping to address a broad range of data sovereignty and compliance needs. 

When using Client-side encryption, customer data is indecipherable to Google. Customers can create a fundamentally stronger privacy posture to comply with regulations like ITAR and CJIS or simply to better protect the privacy of their confidential data 

Read our announcement post to learn more about this beta and our plans for Client-side encryption across Google Workspace. 

Additional details 

If you are looking to choose a key service access partner, Flowcrypt, Fortanix, Futurex, Stormshield, Thales, and Virtru have built tools in accordance with Google’s specifications and provide both key management and access control capabilities. Your partner of choice holds the key to decode encrypted Google Workspace files, and Google cannot access or decipher these files without this key. 

If you prefer to build or integrate your own in-house key services, we have published the key access service API specifications that can be used with Client-side encryption. 

Getting started 

Availability 

  • Available to Enterprise Plus and Education Plus customers 
  • Not available to Google Workspace Essentials, Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, Education Fundamentals, Frontline, and Nonprofits, as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers. 

Resources 

Refine search results in Google Drive with search chips, launching in beta

What’s changing

We’re launching a new beta for Google Drive that will help users refine their search and locate files faster using search chips. This is similar to functionality available in Gmail today. 



This beta will be available for all Google Workspace editions—eligible customers can use this form to express interest in the beta.


See below for more information.


Who’s impacted

Admins and end users


Why you’d use it 

When searching in Drive, users often use a few key words to try and locate the file they’re looking for, such as “marketing plan” or “sales report,” which may return results that are too broad. 


Now, after a query is entered, users can use search chips to surface more relevant results based on:

  • File type, such as a Google Doc, PDF, or image
  • People
  • Location, such as a shared drive or specific folder
  • When the document was last modified
  • File titles only
  • Shared drive labels
  • Tasks
We hope search chips in Drive make it easier to find relevant files faster, eliminating the need to perform multiple searches or sort through irrelevant results.


Getting started

  • Admins: Use this form to express interest in the beta. We’ll begin accepting domains into the program in the coming weeks.

  • End users: If accepted into the beta, search chips will be available by default to users in the Google group(s) provided at sign-up. Simply enter a search query and select one or multiple chips to further drill down results.

Availability

  • Available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers

Resources


Google Workspace Updates Weekly Recap – October 1, 2021

New updates 

Unless otherwise indicated, the features below are fully launched or in the process of rolling out (rollouts should take no more than 15 business days to complete), launching to both Rapid and Scheduled Release at the same time (if not, each stage of rollout should take no more than 15 business days to complete), and available to all Google Workspace and G Suite customers. 



New look and feel for Workspace Updates email subscriptions 
We’ve improved the look and feel of the emails you receive when you subscribe to Workspace Updates. 
  • The emails themselves will be sent from [email protected], so be sure to update any inbox filters or labels you may have and check your spam folders if you don't immediately see them. 
  • Emails for the Workspace Updates Blog in non-English markets will update to this new format in the coming weeks. 
  • If you have any feedback about these emails after September 29th, please feel back to let us know in the linked form
Available now | Available to all Google Workspace customers and users with personal Google Accounts. | Workspace Updates Blog Email Subscription Feedback 



Porting in Google Voice now available in Canada 
If your organization has existing phone numbers with another service provider, you can port (or move) those numbers to Google Voice in Canada. | Learn more.



Previous announcements 

The announcements below were published on the Workspace Updates blog earlier this week. Please refer to the original blog posts for complete details. 



Live translated captions in Google Meet available in beta 
Launching in beta, live translated captions help video call participants communicate better by translating a spoken language to captions in another language. | Learn more here and here. | Available to meetings organized by Google Workspace Business Plus, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Plus, and Teaching & Learning Upgrade customers. | Apply to beta 



Add image watermarks in Google Docs 
You can now add image watermarks directly into Google Docs. This watermark image will repeat behind the text on every page of your document. | Learn more. 



Renaming “whitelisted domains” to “allowlisted domains” in the Admin console 
We’re updating instances of “whitelisted” in the Admin console to “allowlisted”. This change more accurately describes this action, as well as eliminates a non-inclusive term from our products. | Learn more.



Comment size increasing in Google Docs 
Comment width will intelligently scale based on your browser window to maximize the use of available screen space. | Learn more.



Replace your background with a video in Google Meet on Android 
In addition to replacing your Google Meet background with a static image on web and mobile, you can now replace your background with a video on Android. | Learn more. 



Quickly access Google Drive files in Chrome browser 
We’re adding a card onto the New Tab Page in your Chrome browser that will surface relevant files from your Google Drive, making it easier and more efficient to find the files you need. | Learn more.



View Alert Center notifications directly from the Admin console toolbar 
You can now quickly access Alert Center alerts from anywhere in the Admin console from the toolbar at top of the page. Selecting the new bell icon will surface the ten latest alerts, along with a brief description. | Learn more.



Use the “Slideshow” button in Google Slides 
We’re replacing what was previously the “Present” button in Slides to now say “Slideshow.” We hope this makes it clearer when you are beginning a slide show, and when you are sharing your screen in Meet. | Learn more. 



Review smart home devices used for work in your Admin console
Admins can now view and manage the smart displays and speakers that access work data in the Admin console, alongside other devices managed with Google endpoint management. | Learn more. 



For a recap of announcements in the past six months, check out What’s new in Google Workspace (recent releases).

New beta makes it easier for admins to move folders to shared drives

What’s changing 

We’re launching a new beta that makes it easier for admins and delegated admins to move folders from My Drive to shared drives. This beta will add several usability enhancements including: 
  • Retaining folder IDs (“copyless moves”) to reduce disruption due to the move 
  • Preventing moves that would exceed any shared drive limits 
  • Reparenting any unmovable items under the item owner's My Drive root, and creating shortcuts in the existing hierarchy as a reference 


See below for more information and availability. Eligible customers can use this form to express interest in the beta



Who’s impacted 

Admins 


Why you’d use it 

Shared drives are a powerful way to empower teams and organizations to store, access, and collaborate on files. With this beta, admins and delegated admins will notice significant improvements when moving folders from My Drive to shared drives. 



Currently, when admins move folders, the existing folder IDs change, existing links to these folders can break, and impacts on shared drive limits are unclear. With this beta, folder IDs will not change and moves that can potentially exceed any shared drive limits will be rejected. 



We hope this streamlined process will allow admins to confidently migrate folders from My Drive to shared drives by providing them with more context on the changes they’re making. 




Additional details 

In the coming months, we will introduce end user support for moving My Drive folders to shared drives. We will provide an update on the Workspace Updates Blog when the end user portion of this feature becomes available. 

Dragging and dropping a folder from My Drive into a shared drive



Getting started 


Availability 

  • Available to Google Workspace Essentials, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Fundamentals, Education Plus, and Nonprofits, as well as G Suite Business customers 
  • Not available to Google Workspace Business Starter and G Suite Basic customers, as well as users with personal Google Accounts 

Resources 

New beta makes it easier for admins to move folders to shared drives

What’s changing 

We’re launching a new beta that makes it easier for admins and delegated admins to move folders from My Drive to shared drives. This beta will add several usability enhancements including: 
  • Retaining folder IDs (“copyless moves”) to reduce disruption due to the move 
  • Preventing moves that would exceed any shared drive limits 
  • Reparenting any unmovable items under the item owner's My Drive root, and creating shortcuts in the existing hierarchy as a reference 


See below for more information and availability. Eligible customers can use this form to express interest in the beta



Who’s impacted 

Admins 


Why you’d use it 

Shared drives are a powerful way to empower teams and organizations to store, access, and collaborate on files. With this beta, admins and delegated admins will notice significant improvements when moving folders from My Drive to shared drives. 



Currently, when admins move folders, the existing folder IDs change, existing links to these folders can break, and impacts on shared drive limits are unclear. With this beta, folder IDs will not change and moves that can potentially exceed any shared drive limits will be rejected. 



We hope this streamlined process will allow admins to confidently migrate folders from My Drive to shared drives by providing them with more context on the changes they’re making. 




Additional details 

In the coming months, we will introduce end user support for moving My Drive folders to shared drives. We will provide an update on the Workspace Updates Blog when the end user portion of this feature becomes available. 

Dragging and dropping a folder from My Drive into a shared drive



Getting started 


Availability 

  • Available to Google Workspace Essentials, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Fundamentals, Education Plus, and Nonprofits, as well as G Suite Business customers 
  • Not available to Google Workspace Business Starter and G Suite Basic customers, as well as users with personal Google Accounts 

Resources 

Assign SSO profile to organizational units or groups with the new SAML Partial SSO beta

What’s changing 

Currently, you can configure to authenticate your users using a third-party identity provider — this configuration applies to all users within your domain. Now, you have the option to specify groups or organizational units (OUs) to authenticate a subset of your users using Google. This feature is available beginning today as an open beta, which means you can use it without enrolling in a specific beta program. 


Who’s impacted 

Admins 


Why you’d use it 

Currently, when you configure SSO with a third-party identity provider, the setting applies to your entire domain. However, there are some instances where you may want a subset of your users, such as vendors or contractors, to authenticate with Google instead. The Partial SSO beta gives you the flexibility to specify the authentication method for various users in your organization as needed.



Getting started

Image description: Within the Admin console, navigate to Security > Settings > Set up single sign-on (SSO) with a third party iDP > Manage SSO Profile assignments to specify a specific OU or Group who should identify using Google.

Rollout pace



Availability

  • Available to all Google Workspace and Cloud Identity customers


Resources


Beta Channel Update for ChromeOS

The Beta channel has been updated to 89.0.4329.16 (Platform version: 13729.8.0) for most Chrome OS devices. This build contains a number of bug fixes, security updates and feature enhancements. Changes can be viewed here.


If you find new issues, please let us know by visiting our forum or filing a bug. Interested in switching channels? Find out how. You can submit feedback using ‘Report an issue...’ in the Chrome menu (3 vertical dots in the upper right corner of the browser).

Geo Hsu
Google Chrome

Cloud Spanner Emulator Reaches 1.0 Milestone!

The Cloud Spanner emulator provides application developers with the full set of APIs, including the full breadth of SQL and DDL features that can be run locally for prototyping, development and testing. This offline emulator is free and improves developer productivity for customers. Today, we are happy to announce that Cloud Spanner emulator is generally available (GA) with support for Partitioned APIs, Cloud Spanner client libraries, and SQL features.

Since Cloud Spanner emulator’s beta launch in April, 2020, we have seen strong adoption of the local emulator from customers of Cloud Spanner. Several new and existing customers adopted the emulator in their development & continuous test pipelines. They noticed significant improvements in developer productivity, speed of test execution, and error-free applications deployed to production. We also added several features in this release based on the valuable feedback we received from beta users. The full list of features is documented in the GitHub readme.

Partition APIs

When reading or querying large amounts of data from Cloud Spanner, it can be useful to divide the query into smaller pieces, or partitions, and use multiple machines to fetch the partitions in parallel. The emulator now supports Partition Read, Partition Query, and Partition DML APIs.

Cloud Spanner client libraries

With the GA launch, the latest versions of all the Cloud Spanner client libraries support the emulator. We have added support for C#, Node.js, PHP, Python, Ruby client libraries and the Cloud Spanner JDBC driver. This is in addition to C++, Go and Java client libraries that were already supported with the beta launch. Be sure to check out the minimum version for each of the client libraries that support the emulator.

Use the Getting Started guides to try the emulator with the client library of your choice.

SQL features

Emulator now supports the full set of SQL features provided by Cloud Spanner. Some of the notable additions being support for SQL functions JSON_VALUE, JSON_QUERY, CEILING, POWER, CHARACTER_LENGTH, and FORMAT. We now also support untyped parameter bindings in SQL statements which are used by our client libraries written in languages with dynamic typing e.g., Python, PHP, Node.js and Ruby.

Using Emulator in CI/CD pipelines

You may now point the majority of your existing CI/CD to the Cloud Spanner emulator instead of a real Cloud Spanner instance brought up on GCP. This will save you both cost and time, since an emulator instance comes up instantly and is free to use!

What’s even better is that you can bring up multiple instances in a single execution of the emulator, and of course multiple databases. Thus, tests that interact with a Cloud Spanner database can now run in parallel since each of them can have their own database, making tests hermetic. This can reduce flakiness in unit tests and reduce the number of bugs that can make their way to continuous integration tests or to production.

In case your existing CI/CD architecture assumes the existence of a Cloud Spanner test instance and/or test database against which the tests run, you can achieve similar functionality with the emulator as well. Note that the emulator doesn’t come up with a default instance or a default database as we expect users to create instances and databases as required in their tests for hermeticity as explained above. Below are two examples of how you can bring up an emulator with a default instance or database: 1) By using a docker image or 2) Programmatically.

Starting Emulator from Docker

The emulator can be started using Docker on Linux, MacOS, and Windows. As a prerequisite, you would need to install Docker on your system. To bring up an emulator with a default database/instance, you can execute a shell script in your docker file to do so. Such a script would make RPC calls to CreateInstance and CreateDatabase after bringing up the emulator server. You can also look at this example on how to put this together when using docker.
Run Emulator Programmatically

You can bring up the emulator binary in the same process as your test program. Then you can then create a default instance/database in your ‘Setup’ and clean up the same when the tests are over. Note that the exact procedure for bringing up an ‘in-process’ service may vary with the client library language and platform of your choice.

Other alternatives to start the emulator, including pre-built linux binaries, are listed here.
Try it now

Learn more about Google Cloud Spanner emulator and try it out now.

By Asheesh Agrawal, Google Open Source

Update on the Google Ads API Beta

Since our last announcement in July, we've made several updates to improve the performance of the Google Ads API. Your feedback was essential to us in making these improvements and will continue to be throughout the remainder of the Beta.

What has been fixed?
Over the past several months, we've rolled out performance improvements to Google Ads API read and mutate functionality. Some of these updates are visible in recent versions of the API, such as the launch of GoogleAdsService.SearchStream() in v3_0, while other improvements have sped up the response times of existing services and methods.

What's next for the Google Ads API Beta?
It is our top priority to get the Google Ads API ready for general availability. This involves rolling out features for key user journeys, for example: a service for asynchronous batch updates. If you have any feedback on the API's readiness to address your tool's requirements, we'd like to hear from you!

Which API should I use?
Throughout the remainder of the Beta, the AdWords API will continue to be the primary API for programmatically accessing and managing Google Ads campaigns. When deciding whether to use the Google Ads API Beta to run production systems, please keep in mind that we may release updates in preparation for general availability. As a reminder, changes will be released in new versions of the Google Ads API Beta. They will not affect your existing code unless announced otherwise on this blog.

If you have any feedback or questions regarding the performance, feature availability and overall usability of the Google Ads API Beta, please contact us at [email protected].