AppsScriptPulse

Using design patterns in Google Apps Script

Google Apps Script is a JavaScript-based language that has access to Google Workspace-specific libraries for Gmail, Google Sheets, Google Forms, Google Drive, etc., and allows you to quickly and efficiently automate your tasks and program business applications.

A lot of users try and quickly learn GAS and use it to make their lives easier. It’s all great, however the code we sometimes tend to come across on StackOverflow and other sites lacks best practices, hence I thought it was time to start bringing them up and I will start today with design patterns.

I’m all for copy/paste coding and it one of the things I love about the Google Apps Script developer community, there are lots of great snippets out there and in Pulse we’ve now over 800 posts and counting. When you start going beyond quick script solutions into more complex projects investing time planning how you’ll structure your code can save you headaches and frustrations further down the line.

Using design patterns are one way to produce better code that is more readable which in turn is more maintainable and can lead to faster development. This post from Dmitry Kostyuk a nice opportunity to learn about a design pattern for a very common use case of maintaining data in a Google Sheet from a third party API.

Source: Using Design Patterns in Google Apps Script

If you use clasp with Google Apps Script, you need this environment switching utility right now!

When working in a team and/or with a client, you want to have multiple environments. At minimum, you probably want a dev environment (or multiple ones) in which you are working, and a test environment in which the client or your team can run acceptance tests before production. Of course, they must both be separate from the production environment. To push your code to the correct environment, you need to either update the .clasp.json file manually or keep multiple copies of your script with different .clasp.json files. Fortunately, things have just become significantly easier, as I recently built an app for this purpose called clasp-env , which is available on NPM. See the source link for details.

Source: “If You Use Clasp With Google Apps Script, You Need This Utility Right Now”

How I Programmed the Game of Life in a Google Sheet with Google Apps Script

According to Wikipedia, the Game of Life “is a cellular automaton devised by the British mathematician John Horton Conway in 1970.”

It begins on a two-dimensional grid of square cells. Each cell can be either alive or dead. Every cell interacts with its eight immediate neighbors. A live cell only remains alive if it has two or three living neighbors. If it has fewer than two living neighbors, it dies as if by underpopulation. Conversely, if it has more than three, it dies as if by overpopulation. A dead cell remains dead unless it has exactly three living neighbors; otherwise, it becomes a live cell, as if by reproduction.

There is no immediate practical use for the Game of Life in a spreadsheet; however, it is a fun algorithmic challenge. Moreover, Google Sheets natively provides us with the perfect data structure: a two-dimensional array. This is all the more reason to work on those array skills!

As usual, there is a GitHub repo with the full source code. Alternatively, you can just make a copy of this spreadsheet.

Source: “How I Programmed the Game of Life in a Google Sheet with Google Apps Script

The ULTIMATE Guide to NPM Modules in Google Apps Script

The What and Why of NPM Modules

Google Apps Script has some amazing built-in stuff. It gives us native access to all Google apps like Sheets and Gmail, seamlessly integrates with GCP services like BigQuery, allows for the building of interfaces with HTML and CardService, facilitates the creation of simple webhooks/APIs and web apps with simple and efficient client-server communication, can make use of any API through  UrlFetchApp , and can be bundled into add-ons for efficient distribution. In my experience, it’s enough for 99% of all Google Apps Script developers.

However, one thing that Google Apps Script is missing is modules. NPM has an extremely impressive database of JavaScript modules that don’t automatically integrate with Apps Script. Of course, in Apps Script we have libraries, but the selection is extremely limited and there is no marketplace for those. By the way, who wants to participate in creating one? Let me know in the comments! However, the very first warning on the libraries documentation page notes that libraries make Apps Script slow. Well, Apps Script is already far from being the fastest programming language on Earth, so slowing it down further is not an idea that I’m a fan of!

But what if I told you that there actually is a way to use some NPM modules in Apps Script? You just need to bundle them with Webpack. Not sure what I mean? Keep reading.

Source: The ULTIMATE Guide to NPM Modules in Google Apps Script.

How to call Google Cloud Run (or Cloud Functions) from Google Apps Scripts

I struggled how to make an authenticated call from Apps Scripts to Cloud Run even though I had owner rights on the GCP project. This post describes how to do it without reinventing the wheel.

Some very useful setup tips for using Cloud Run with Google Apps Scripts including additional references if you are keen to explore more.

Source: How to call Google Cloud Run (or Cloud Functions) from Apps Scripts

Track Customer Subscriptions with Google Spreadsheet & App Script by sending an Email Automatically

Do you still spend time every day monitoring your sales report, identifying which customer subscription is going to expire soon, and manually draft an email to send out to your customer? Would it be better if this manual task can be automated every day for you? If that’s the case, this article can be a great help for you!

Following on from some recent Google Sheet payment solutions here’s a tutorial that highlights how you can use Sheets and Apps Script as a payment reminder tool. Combine with Stripe or Razorpay and you have a complete subscription management solution.

Source: Track Customer Subscriptions with Google Spreadsheet & App Script by sending an Email Automatically

How to Build Custom Functions in Google Sheets with Google Apps Script

Build your own functions in Google Sheets that do anything you need them to in a few lines of code.

This is a great tutorial if you are interested in finding out more about developing custom functions in Google Sheets. The post includes everything you need to get started from handling single cell and range inputs, to documenting your function so that users see inline help.

Source: How to Build Custom Functions in Google Sheets with Google Apps Script