The democratisation of app development with Duet AI for AppSheet

From one simple prompt with Duet AI for AppSheet you are able to create a well structured application.

I recently had the pleasure of the opportunity to speak at DevFest Scotland. My topic was how you can use code with Google’s ‘no-code’ solution AppSheet. You can see some of the ways this is achievable in my shared slides. Whilst there are coding opportunities with AppSheet and having some coding/data schema knowledge is useful, I would argue that this is increasingly becoming less important.

In this post on the CTS Medium I share how Duet AI for AppSheet has hugely reduced the entry point for app creation. As part of this I share how a simple request to the Duet AI for AppSheet assistant of ‘an easy way for volunteers to borrow a laptop’ becomes the starting point for a well structured application. Having introduced AppSheet to a number of customers I can’t emphasise enough how big a step this is in the democratisation of app creation. Exciting times!

[Thanks to Christian Schalk and the AppSheet team for early access to Duet AI for AppSheet and providing input on the source post].

Source: The democratisation of app development with Duet AI for AppSheet

Discovering Google AppSheet in 48 hours | Part 4 (Actions, Assistants and Automations)

An intense 48-hour tour of AppSheet, Google’s flagship nocode tool, from the perspective of a newcomer to the platform (part 4/4).

The forth and final part in Pablo Felip’s AppSheet in 48 hours series 😟. I’m sure there will be more from Pablo on AppSheet, but the rumour is he’ll be next publishing some Apps Script posts.

For the final part Pablo discusses the different types of actions available in AppSheet, including system actions and user-defined actions, and how to use them to create custom functionality in apps. There is a lot you can do with actions from writing data, navigation and more.

Something else touched upon in Pablo’s post is the intelligent assistant available throughout AppSheet. Using the assistant to help you create actions can also save you a lot of time, particular with toggling actions for yes/no checkboxes. If you can find the good way to describe what you want the assistant can handle creating the action, related icons and behaviour to toggle the appearance of one of the actions.

Follow the source link to find out more…

Source: Discovering Google AppSheet in 48 hours | Part 4

How to write Google Apps Script logs into Google Sheets

In Google Apps Script, the ability to track and record actions, errors, and performance metrics is crucial for both developers and users. However, the built-in logging mechanisms often fall short regarding accessibility and ease of use. This is where Local Google Apps Script Logging comes into play, offering a streamlined and integrated approach to capturing script activities.

Google Apps Script has a couple of logging options, including the native Apps Script execution log, to setting up a Cloud Developer Console project and using Cloud Logging and Error Reporting.  There are a couple of alternative Apps Script logging solutions out there, like Peter Herrmann’s BetterLog. Here’s the latest alternative Apps Script logging solution from Dimitris Paxinos called LocalLogger.

LocalLogger has some nice features including built-in severity colour coding and customisable email notifications. Even if you don’t need a alternative logging solution the code is well structured and includes a way to mimic an Enum list. You can find all the code and a video explaining LocalLogger via the source link 👇🏻

Source: How to write Google Apps Script logs into Google Sheets

Handling date objects between Google Sheets with different timezones using Google Apps Script

This is a sample script for copying the date object between Google Spreadsheets with the different time zones using Google Apps Script.

As I’ve previously mentioned working with dates, times and time zones can often be a bit of a headache. If you’d like to learn more about some of the challenges of dealing with ‘big balls of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey… stuff’ I recommend watching Comptuerphile’s Problem with Time & Timezones.

This post from Kanshi Tanaike highlights a couple of approaches for handling date/time objects in Google Apps Script when you are using Google Sheets.

Source: Copy Date Object between Google Spreadsheets with Different Timezone using Google Apps Script

Discovering Google AppSheet in 48 hours | Part 3 – (Slice, dice, filtered and viewed)

An intense 48-hour tour of AppSheet, Google’s flagship nocode tool, from the perspective of a newcomer to the platform (part 3/4).

It’s the third part of Pablo Felip’s AppSheet in 48 hours series. Christian Schalk has already post an announcement in the AppsSheet community which gives a great summary of this latest episode:

Here are some of key view centric topics covered:

  • A thorough introduction to Views, including their position (Primary, Menu, Reference), as well as user defined vs. and auto-generated. There’s also coverage on the new visual editing feature introduced in August!
  • Building custom views based on data slices, including coverage on performance implications between security filters and data slices.
  • As well as coverage on conditional formatting, including making view-aware expressions with the CONTEXT function.
  • And more!

The post is packed with lots of great tips, highlighting some of the key features and approaches for designing your AppSheet app.

Source: Discovering Google AppSheet in 48 hours | Part 3

Ghislain Sanjuan on LinkedIn: Google Admin and the raiders of the lost calendar (combining Google Workspace BigQuery logs and Apps Script)

#GoogleCalendar gave me a funny adventure !

Here’s a fun and useful take from Ghislain Sanjuan explaining how you can restore deleted calendar events using Google Apps Script. To restore the events data is used from BigQuery Workspace Logs. For those unfamiliar Google Workspace Admins on supported editions of Workspace can setup a streaming export of activity data to BigQuery. This can be incredibly useful in situations where you need to review audit and usage data and in this scenario use it to restore data.

Source: Ghislain Sanjuan on LinkedIn: Google Admin and the raiders of the lost calendar

New Smart Chips (including AppSheet apps) plus third-party @menu resources in the Google Workspace Editors 

There have been a number of recent updates and announcements around Smart Chips and other integrations to Google Docs, as well as Sheets and Slides. Some have just gone into the Google Workspace Developer Preview Program (DPP), whilst in the case of AppSheet smart chips for Google Docs they are generally available!

AppSheet smart chips for Google Docs

Starting with AppSheet smart chips for Google Docs if you already had the AppSheet Google Docs add-on installed you already have AppSheet smart chips enabled. More details including a link to the Workspace Marketplace Add-on are included in the related Workspace Updates post. The AppSheet smart chips are great way to integrate some of your app functionality in your Google Docs.

Preview links with smart chips in Sheets and Slides

We’ve had custom smart chip link previews for Google Docs for some time, but Google have recently added the same functionality to Sheets and Slides. If you have already developed link previews for Google Docs the good news is there isn’t much more you need to do to enable these for Sheets and Slides (mostly updating your manifest). More details are included on the updated Preview links with smart chips documentation page.

Create third-party resources from the @ menu

Finally, also gone into preview is third-party resource integration which you can use to “let users quickly create resources, such as tasks, support cases, or issues, in your service right from Google Docs. The new resource is then inserted into Google Docs as a smart chip.”. You can read more in the create third-party resources from the @ menu documentation page.

In the case of the preview features a reminder that this is your opportunity to test and give feedback to Google. Links to join and provide feedback are included in the Google Workspace Developer Preview page. Enjoy!

Tutorial: Respond to incidents with Google Chat, Vertex AI, and Apps Script

Imagen: photo looking over the shoulder of a robot looking at a screen with chat messages and hand writing notes

This tutorial shows how to make a Google Chat app that responds to incidents in real time. When responding to an incident, the app creates and populates a Chat space, facilitates incident resolution with messages, slash commands, and dialogs, and uses AI to summarize the incident response in a Google Docs document.

Paraphrasing noted Google Workspace Developer Expert, Romain Vialard, GenAI has made Google Chat apps a tangible prospect. This tutorial from the  Google Developers site is a great example of how you can use Google’s Vertex AI with Google Chat. The tutorial will help you create a Google Apps Script powered Chat app that is able to summaries the messages in a Google Chat space.

There is a lot to take away from this example, but here are some of the headlines:

  • Setting a Google Cloud Project to use the new Google Chat Advanced Service for Apps Script
  • Setup and code for making calls to Google’s Vertex AI PaLM API (LLM) from Google Apps Script
  • Using the responses from Vertex AI to generate new assets.

There is a lot more you can do from this starting point, but hopefully it gives you a great starting point.

Source: Respond to incidents with Google Chat, Vertex AI, and Apps Script  |  Google for Developers

Discovering Google AppSheet in 48 hours | Part 2 (Formula and Expressions)


An intense 48-hour tour of AppSheet, Google’s flagship nocode tool, from the perspective of a newcomer to the platform (part 2/4).

The second part in Pablo Felip’s in ‘Discovering Google AppSheet in 48 hours’ series. This post focuses on the AppSheet formula language which are similar to formula/functions you would use in spreadsheets. As highlighted in Pablo’s post ‘expressions’ can be used in numerous places in AppSheet not only to calculate new values but also control your AppSheet app behaviour and functionality.

An area I often struggle with is handling data lists. Pablo’s post walk you through from basic list operations to more complex list filtering and list operations such as combining and subtracting data. This and more is covered in the posted linked to below:

Source: Discovering Google AppSheet in 48 hours | Part 2

Uploading files without authorizing scopes  with a dialog in Google Sheets using Google Apps Script

Making the shared users input a value and upload a file without authorization of the scopes with a dialog on Google Spreadsheet.

It’s usually unavoidable when you are creating and sharing Apps Script projects that the user will be required to complete an authentication flow to approve access to the services you include in your script such as reading/writing to Google Sheets, Drive etc.

The process is reliant on OAuth scopes, which are identifiers that specify the level of access an application requests from a user’s Google Account data. They are essentially a way for developers to define the specific actions or data their application needs to access. When a user grants an application access to their Google Account, they are agreeing to allow the application to perform the actions or access the data specified by the scopes.

Sometimes you can restrict the ‘scope’, for example, usually for Sheets, Docs, Slides, and Forms where I need only permission for the current doc I will include the following documented comment to only require access to the doc that the script project is bound to:

 * @OnlyCurrentDoc

There are some limitations when defining the scopes you need. For example if you would like a user to upload a document to Drive usually you would require the very broad scope which will prompt the user to ‘view and manage all of your Drive files’.

Understandably users may become nervous approving such a scope and in some cases Google Workspace Admins may prevent authentication for this type of scope for unverified/unconfigured applications.

There are alternative approaches to allowing users to execute Apps Script projects without having to approve scopes like Google Drive. There are clearly security considerations when you do this, so always proceed with caution.

This post from Kanshi Tanaike has some examples of how users can be prompted to upload files to Google Drive without authorising Drive access. The post includes two approaches, the first using a Web App which is pre authenticated to run as the user who has deployed the Web App, the other using a service account. The source post contains all you need to know include the code.

Source: Uploading Files without Authorizing Scopes by Shared Users with Dialog on Google Spreadsheet using Google Apps Script