TU5 Special: First Look at Building AppSheet Automations Using the New Google Forms Integration

In this TU Special, we dive into the exciting new features coming to Google AppSheet and take a first look at the new Google Forms integration. For this special our co-host, Martin Hawksey is joined by Steve Franks (Head of Workspace Engineering, CTS Appsbroker). The discussion/demo was originally presented as an internal tech talk conducted at CTS Appsbroker – warning the episode contains some ‘passionate’ language.

Initial key takeaways which we discuss are:

  • Seamless Data Collection: Google Forms now acts as a first-class data source for AppSheet, eliminating the need for workarounds and additional add-ons. Data collected through forms automatically flows into AppSheet, creating a smooth and efficient workflow.
  • External Participation: The integration allows external parties to interact with your apps by simply filling out a Google Form. This opens up new possibilities for data collection and process involvement.
  • Powerful Automations: AppSheet’s automation capabilities can be triggered by form submissions, enabling you to create sophisticated workflows. The example discussed involves sending an email with an embedded AppSheet view upon form completion, allowing for approvals or further actions within the email itself.
  • Simplified Development: The integration makes building apps even easier, especially for those already familiar with Google Forms. The need for complex configurations or AppScripts is minimized, empowering users to focus on the business logic and desired outcomes.
  • Versatility: AppSheet has increased functionality, opening up a wider range of possibilities for app development and automation for Google Workspace customers. It can be used to create full-fledged apps with user interfaces or simply act as a behind-the-scenes automation engine.

Overall, the integration of Google Forms and AppSheet should significantly help empower users to build powerful solutions without coding expertise. Read more about “Build AppSheet automations using Google Forms” on the Google Workspace Updates blog.

Source: TU5 Special: First Look at Building AppSheet Automations Using the New Google Forms Integration

Totally Unscripted – What’s new in the AppSheet world? A chat with AppSheet Engineering Lead Mike Procopio May 01, 2024 at 1200 PDT / 1500 EDT / 1900UTC / 2000 BST

AI is changing everything and AppSheet is no exception! In this episode, we will welcome Engineering Lead Mike Procopio from the Google AppSheet team to hear how AI is driving innovation, enabling assisted app development, automated insights, smart workflows, and more! So whether you are no-code, low-code or “what’s code?”, join us to find out what the future holds for AppSheet for building powerful, intelligent apps with Google Workspace

In the next episode of Totally Unscripted*, we will welcome Engineering Lead Mike Procopio from the Google AppSheet team. Mike has in-depth knowledge of Google Workspace, you can thank Mike for simpler file upload in Google Drive launched in 2011.

As part of the session we will be asking Mike about implementing lightweight governance strategies using AppSheet policies, ensuring security and control while enabling creativity and fostering a thriving citizen development culture.

We’ll also take a look at some of the new features that are coming soon to AppSheet, including a new admin console which will be available to Core and Enterprise customers for monitoring app usage, manage user roles, and refine governance policies, as well as AppSheet’s new Google Forms integration which will soon be in public preview.

Finally, and not least, we will explore how you can harness the power of AI in AppSheet, looking at the latest AI features, including AI-assisted app creation and the “extract” capability with Gemini, to streamline development and enhance functionality.

You can join the live stream on YouTube and ask your own questions for Mike during the session. If you miss the live event, you can always watch the recording on the same link:

*Totally Unscripted is an independent Google Workspace developer show co-hosted by Martin Hawksey, Charles Maxson, Alice Keeler and Kara Ireland

The Ben Collins ‘Google Sheets Tips Weekly Email’ hits issue 300 – Get actionable tips direct to your inbox

Join this community of over 53,600 data analysts and Google Sheets aficionados and get an actionable Google Sheets tip every Monday

With a weekly subscription of over 50K we probably don’t need to flag a ‘Monday morning espresso’ of Google Sheets tips from Ben Collins as you are probably already subscribed. However, given Ben recently published the 300th issue it’s a milestone worth celebrating and a chance to say ‘thank you’ to Ben for this invaluable publication.

As eloquently demonstrated on a recent episode of Totally Unscripted, Ben is the Google Sheets “King of Functions”. Ben’s expertise isn’t limited to solving Google Sheet challenges, he’s also a master at explaining his thinking and helping other people learn. If you haven’t subscribed to Ben’s newsletter follow the source link (it’s free!) and check out Ben’s website for loads of great tips and resources.

Source: The Google Sheets Tips Email – Get actionable tips direct to your inbox

Google Apps Script workflow solution for simplifying date tracking in Google Sheets

Template for a workflow to track tasks that follow steps. It can alert on due and expired steps per each task, while also navigating to alerted cells with a single click. It also demonstrates the use of conditional rules and ARRAYFORMULA.

Sig Mandel has created this clever Google Apps Script solution which might be suitable for anyone struggling to manage tasks and deadlines in Google Sheets. This template lets you easily configure overdue and upcoming deadlines, letting you jump directly to problem areas with a click. It also cleverly uses conditional formatting and ARRAYFORMULA to streamline your task tracking.

You can use the provided Google Sheets template as a starting point and add your workflow steps as columns, input your tasks, and the sheet takes care of the rest. You can also use a number of other features including real-time “toast” messages, a  dynamic installation menu for easy setup, and optimized code for smooth performance.

You can find the template and instructions in the source link or join in the conversation on LinkedIn.

Source: GitHub – zmandel/workflow-apps-script

Google Apps Script: vs. doGet/doPost Endpoints

Learn about the different options for making API calls in Google Apps Script web apps: `` and GET/POST endpoints (`doGet` and `doPost`). Understand their strengths and weaknesses to choose the best approach for your project.

Google Apps Script web apps are a popular way to publish user interfaces for automation processes. I’d never really considered the decision between and GET/POST endpoints (doGet and doPost) when making server side calls, but as outlined in this post from Justin Poehnelt there are scenarios where both of these approaches might be most appropriate. Justin also provides some useful code snippets to help you get started with both methods. Follow the source link to read more…

Source: Google Apps Script: vs. doGet/doPost Endpoints | Justin Poehnelt

Google Apps Script gets a public knowledge base of Github projects with Gassypedia

All the Google Apps Script related github activity is now on Google Bigquery and Google Looker. Here’s how it was done.

Bruce Mcpherson has recently revisited his work on the visual Google Apps Script explorer tool, scrviz. Bruce has been working diligently to address limitations with the Github API and overcome quota restrictions. This new iteration still allows users to explore Google Apps Script projects and creators, but this time through a shared Looker Studio dashboard. The underlying dataset has also been made available on BigQuery if you would like to do your own analysis.

Follow the source link to find out more and explore the data!

Source: Gassypedia – public Google Apps Script on Github – Desktop Liberation

Totally Unscripted – Apps Script and Gemini Next ’24 Redux: Build custom AI-powered Google Workspace solutions April 17, 2024 at 1200 PDT / 1500 EDT / 1900UTC / 2000 BST

Join the TU team* as we delve into the world of custom generative AI solutions for Google Workspace using Apps Script. Discover how developers are seamlessly integrating Gemini’s large language models to revolutionize productivity and automation. We’ll explore real-world examples demonstrating how AI can supercharge your Workspace experience. Imagine having Gemini as your Apps Script coding assistant, intelligently naming untitled documents, crafting next-generation mail merges, and so much more.

Get ready to learn, be inspired, and unlock the full potential of intelligent automation within Google Workspace.

Join us LIVE on April 17, 2024 at 1200 PDT / 1500 EDT / 1900UTC / 2000 BST

*Totally Unscripted is an independent Google Workspace developer show co-hosted by Martin Hawksey, Charles Maxson, Alice Keeler and Kara Ireland

Answer questions based on Google Chat conversations with a Gemini API powered Chat app

This tutorial shows how to make a Google Chat app that answers questions based on conversations in Chat spaces with generative AI powered by Vertex AI with Gemini. The Chat app uses the Google Workspace Events API plus Pub/Sub to recognize and answer questions posted in Chat spaces in real time, even when it isn’t mentioned.

Here is another great tutorial from the Google Chat DevRel team, this time showcasing how the Google Workspace Events API and some new Google Chat UI elements can be used to turn a Chat space into a Gemini Pro powered knowledge base.

The sample solution will let you consume your Chat space message history into a Firestore database. The Chat app is an intelligent agent that can then monitor for new questions and make suggestions using Gemini to generate content based on the previous messages.

There is quite a bit of setup required as part of this tutorial, but it provides a solid foundation for quickly scaling this to your needs.  A demonstration and explanation of the sample app was given as part of the Google Chat apps and APIs: Build connected workflows for the hybrid workplace session at Google Cloud Next and a recording might be available soon!

Source: Answer questions based on Chat conversations with a Gemini AI Chat app  |  Google Chat  |  Google for Developers

How to access secrets from Google Secret Manager using Google Apps Script

This detailed guide explains how you access your passwords, API keys and other sensitive data stored in the Google Secret Manager with Google Apps Script.

API keys and other credentials are your digital passports to access valuable data and services from various online platforms. When you’re developing Google Apps Script projects that connect to using keys, it’s of paramount importance to handle these keys with care and prevent them from falling into the wrong hands. Mishandled API keys can lead to unauthorized access, data breaches, and potentially even financial consequences.

One way to store API keys in Google Apps Script is the built-in Properties Service. This service offers a mechanism to store key-value pairs attached to your Apps Script project. While the Properties Service offers a convenient way to store sensitive data, it comes with limitations:

  • Not True Encryption: The Properties Service stores data in a readable format. Anyone with sufficient access to your Apps Script project might be able to view the API keys.
  • Limited Access Control: It’s challenging to implement fine-grained access restrictions over who can see the stored keys within the Properties Service.

For a more secure and scalable approach you might consider using Google Cloud’s Secret Manager. As described by Amit Agarwal in this source post:

Google Secret Manager is a cloud service where you can store sensitive data such as passwords, database credentials, encryption keys or any other confidential information that you don’t want to hardcode in your application’s source code. You can also set up an expiration time for the secret and the Google Secret Manager will automatically delete the secret after the specified time.

You can read more about using the Google Cloud Secret Manager in Amit post, which also includes the setup and Apps Script code snippets to make it work. For some general best practices on key management, Google provide this support article.

Source: How to Access Secrets from Google Secret Manager using Apps Script – Digital Inspiration

We’re bringing new generative AI and security innovations to businesses of all sizes to Google Workspace | Google Workspace Blog

we’re making it easy for organizations to extend the power of their data and custom AI models by using Vertex AI with Workspace as a platform, enabling next-generation workflows that are built right into Docs, Gmail, and other Workspace apps

Google Cloud Next ’24 has just started but already a number of exciting product updates have been announced, including the indications of a possible deeper integration of Vertex AI into Google Workspace.

In one of our recent Pulse updates we highlighted Dialogflow CX and Google Chat API integration is now in Developer Preview. The reason I feel this is an important development is Dialogflow CX lies at the heart of Vertex AI Agent Builder (formerly Vertex AI Search and Conversation … formerly Gen App Builder).

Vertex AI Agent Builder lets developers easily build and deploy enterprise-ready gen AI experiences via a range of tools for different developer needs and levels of expertise — from a no-code console for building AI agents using natural language

This integration is significant because it addresses a key challenge I’ve experienced as a Vertex AI Agent Builder trusted tester. Previously, using Google Workspace data in your agents required moving it to a Cloud Storage bucket. The new integration potentially streamlines this process, allowing seamless access to your Workspace data.

This aligns with a broader trend I’m seeing at Google Cloud Next: the emphasis on custom Generative AI-powered agents. Gabe Weiss’s demo in  this morning’s keynote showcased the potential of such agents to intelligently support users. Though details about the underlying technology were limited to Vertex AI Agent, the UI does hint at a integration. You can see for yourself at the queued clip (this may change if Google trims the video).


Source: We’re bringing new generative AI and security innovations to businesses of all sizes | Google Workspace | Google Workspace Blog