Introducing Project IDX, An Experiment to Improve Full-stack, Multiplatform App Development

Project IDX is a browser-based development experience built on Google Cloud and powered by Codey, a foundational AI model trained on code and built on PaLM 2. It’s designed to make it easier to build, manage and deploy full-stack web and multiplatform applications, with popular frameworks and languages. Project IDX is also built on Code OSS, so it should feel familiar no matter what you’re building.

Where will the online Google Apps Script go next? Google have announced it’s latest experiment in browser based IDEs in the form of Project IDX. A key feature of Project IDX is integration with AI tools to help developers:

With Project IDX, we’re exploring how Google’s innovations in AI — including the Codey and PaLM 2 models powering Studio Bot in Android Studio, Duet in Google Cloud and more – can help you not only write code faster, but also write higher-quality code. Currently, Project IDX has smart code completion, an assistive chatbot, and contextual code actions like “add comments” and “explain this code”. Our AI capabilities are in their very early days, and we’re working on making IDX AI even better at helping you as you work.

Project IDX isn’t publicly available but there is a waitlist you can join from the website. Give Project IDX is an online IDE it will be interested to see if features are rolled into the Script Editor. At the very least as you can develop offline using tools like clasp it open up interesting opportunities for Apps Script development.

Source: Introducing Project IDX, An Experiment to Improve Full-stack, Multiplatform App Development

[News] MakerSuite expands to 179 countries and territories, and adds helpful features for AI makers

When we announced MakerSuite earlier this year, we were delighted to see people from all over the world sign up for the waitlist. With MakerSuite we want to help anyone become an AI maker and easily create innovative AI applications with Google’s large generative models. We’re excited to see how it’s being used.

Today, we’re expanding access to MakerSuite to cover 179 countries and territories, including anyone with a Google Workspace account. This means that more developers than ever can sign up to create AI applications with our latest language model, PaLM 2.

We’ve recently featured a couple of posts on Pulse mostly from Aryan Irani on getting started Google GenAI tools in Google Apps Script. As part of these Google MakerSuite, a tool that lets developers start prototyping with Google’s large language models quickly and easily, is used as part of the API calls to PaLM. MakerSuite is still in private preview, but the good news in the linked announcement that the waitlist has been expanded to 179 countries. Given how Google have rolled out other GenAI tools, in particular Bard, I’m not surprised that EU countries are still not included, but find it strange at time of writing the United Kingdom is still not on the list. Despite this the announcement is worth a read to find about some other new features including automatic text prompt tips and data import/export to Google Sheets and by CSV.

Want to write better prompts? Now, you can write a text prompt and click “Prompt Suggestion” to get ideas and suggestions to get better responses – Image credit: Google

Source: MakerSuite expands to 179 countries and territories, and adds helpful features for AI makers

What’s new for developers building solutions on Google Workspace – mid-year recap

Google Workspace offers tools for productivity and collaboration for the ways we work. It also offers a rich set of APIs, SDKs, and no-code/low-code tools to create apps and integrate workflows that integrate directly into the surfaces across Google Workspace.

Here’s a very useful recap of recent announcements that should interest Workspace Developers. The post covers a range of Google products cover Docs, Chat, Meet and more. For developers particularly interested in finding out might is coming for Google Apps Script there are a couple of announcements:

The eagerly awaited project history capability for Google Apps Script will soon be generally available. This feature allows users to view the list of versions created for the script, their content, and different changes between the selected version and the current version.

It was also announced that admins will be able to add an allowlist for URLs per domain to help safer access controls and control where their data can be sent externally.

Details for both of these are still to hit the Google Workspace Updates blog, but with Next around the corner hopefully there will be more information very soon.

Source: What’s new for developers building solutions on Google Workspace – mid-year recap

A tool for exploring and testing Google Workspace APIs

Image credit: Google

We recently launched the Google Workspace APIs Explorer, a new tool to help streamline developing on the Google Workspace Platform. What is this handy tool and how can you start using it?

The Google Workspace APIs Explorer is a tool that allows you to explore and test Google Workspace APIs without having to write any code. It’s a great way to get familiar with the capabilities of the many Google Workspace APIs.

The Google Apps Script editor bakes in some nice features including inline documentation to help when you are coding your script project (and if you don’t already know, next time you are in the online script editor press ctrl + space :). To help with discovery Google have recently published the Google Workspace APIs Explorer website, which lets you see and test a range of Google APIs. For Google Apps Script developers this site is a great way to help you understand how you can use the Advanced Services (my tip for Workspace admins is to check out the Directory and Report API which as part of the Admin SDK API Advanced Service).

Source: A Tool for Exploring and Testing Google Workspace APIs


Build your first AppSheet app: How I built a food tracker (with AppSheet Databases)

I keep forgetting what I have in the freezer. At first I used Google Sheets to keep track of it, but I wanted something that was easy to consult and update on my smartphone. So I turned to AppSheet! Here’s a tutorial to follow to make a similar tracking solution.

This post on the Google Developers blog covers the basic steps for creating an AppSheet app using AppSheet Databases, which are currently in public preview. I’ve recently also been having a play with AppSheet Databases, and I’ve been impressed with the improved performance whilst also keeping them simple to use. I’ve encountered a some issues when setting up columns as references so not ready for prime time yet. Projects like the one mentioned in this post are a great way to ‘kick the tyres’ and experience yourself.

Source: Build your first AppSheet app: how I built a food tracker

Introducing AppSheet databases: Build data driven apps for Google Workspace

Over the past year, we’ve added more functionality to AppSheet, extending how it can maximize the power of Google Workspace through integrations with products such as Gmail, Google Drive and Apps Script. To improve the experience for app creators and users, we’re excited to introduce in public preview AppSheet databases, a built-in database for citizen developers to easily and securely manage their data.

During public preview, access to AppSheet databases will be enabled by default for everyone but it will not affect existing apps. Use of this feature in public preview will be included at no additional cost in your AppSheet subscription plan, but limited to 10K rows per table, 20 tables per database and 20 databases per user. Please note that these limits may change when the feature is generally available.

For people who tuned in to TU3.5: New workflow solutions with Tables and Google Apps Script back in 2020 AppSheet databases will look very familiar. Since that episode the Area 120 team behind the Tables beta moved into Google Cloud and specifically AppSheet.

The big question for me is whether AppSheet databases can find a sweet spot for citizen developers looking for something with more performance than a Google Sheet and easier to setup than a Google Cloud project. In public preview AppSheet databases are limited to 10,000, which interestingly is the same limit as the old paid version of Tables.

Ultimately this may however be less able size and performance but a data solution that the AppSheet team has full control, particularly removing  a reliance on features developed by the Google Sheets team.

Source: Introducing AppSheet databases: Build data driven apps for Google Workspace

How to reach global markets as a Recommended for Google Workspace app

Today we announced our 2022 Recommended for Google Workspace apps. This program offers a distinct way for third-party developers to better reach Google Workspace users and attract new customers to their apps. So, for those developers who may be interested in it in the future, we wanted to walk through the basics of what the program is and how to apply for it.

Back in June 2021 Google announced they were restarting the “Recommended for Google Workspace” program. Partners who applied to this program were required to demonstrate “the quality of their solution, their strategic investment in Google Workspace integrations, and security and privacy posture”.

The 2022 Recommended for Google Workspace apps have recently been announced. This post from the Google Workspace team provides more information about the Recommended for Google Workspace program and how to apply for the next application window [spoiler: it will be announced via the Google Workspace developers newsletter – subscribe to avoid disappoint].

Source: Reach global markets as a Recommended for Google Workspace app

Create Spaces and add members with the Google Chat API (and introducing the Google Workspace Developer Preview program)

Image credit: Google

In Google Chat, Spaces serve as a central place for team collaboration—instead of starting an email chain or scheduling a meeting, teams can move conversations and collaboration into a space, giving everybody the ability to stay connected, reference team or project info and revisit work asynchronously.

We are pleased to announce that you can programmatically create new Spaces and add members on behalf of users, through the Google Workspace Developer Preview Program via the Google Chat API.

Besides the new ability to programmatically create and populate Google Chat spaces outlined in the source post, if you are a member of the  Google Cloud Partner Advantage program you may want to apply for the new Google Workspace Developer Preview Program. This program will give you access to this new Chat API functionality and other Google Workspace Developer preview developments.

Not a Cloud Partner Advantage member? You can apply to join

If you are interested in building on the Google Chat platform there is the What’s new in the world of Google Chat apps session at Google I/O (this session will be available on-demand from 12 May 2022).

Source: Now in Developer Preview: Create Spaces and Add Members with the Google Chat API

Getting started is the hardest part: Find inspiration with new Apps Script samples

Google Apps Script is a hosted JavaScript development environment that makes it easy for anyone to build custom business solutions across several Google products. Figuring out where to begin can be a hurdle for such an expansive tool, so we’ve recently released 10 new inspirational sample solutions to help you get started. These additions bolster the Apps Script documentation, which now hosts more than 30 sample solutions.

Here are a few use cases our newest sample solutions address:

Google recently announced latest figures around Google Workspace reach in 2021:

With 3B people globally using Google Workspace there is an opportunity to grow the Workspace developer community and to help users get started Google have recently published 10 new sample solutions. The samples cover a range of coding skills and even experts should take a look as there are some great examples that can help with developing add-ons, Google Chat apps and more.

Source: Getting started is the hardest part: Find inspiration with Apps Script samples

Announcing the Apps Script connector for AppSheet: Automate workflows for Google Workspace

This week, we launched the Apps Script connector for AppSheet, which now makes it possible to call Apps Script code functions from a no-code AppSheet app. This greatly extends the abilities of AppSheet apps by letting them access the power that Apps Script provides. For example, an AppSheet app can now use Apps Script to automate workflows with Google Workspace using the Workspace APIs for Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Admin SDK, and more – as well as other Google services like YouTube, Google Analytics, and BigQuery.

We’ve previously highlighted the Calling Google Apps Script from an automation in #AppSheet, which at the time of writing was a preview feature. This feature has now been announced as being generally available to AppSheet users.

If you are already familiar with this new feature you may find it useful to read the full announcement as it contextualises this feature within the ‘no-code’ / low-code marketplace and the benefits of integration with Google Workplace, Workplace APIs and other opportunities through Google Apps Script.

Source: Announcing the Apps Script connector for AppSheet: Automate workflows for Google Workspace