Monday, June 20, 2011

Merging with Google Apps Developer Blog

Coming out of Google I/O, Google Apps Script has accelerated its momentum, introducing a lot of cool new features that have been top requests of our community. Over the last six months we’ve released Document Services, Gmail Services, a debugger and a drag and drop GUI Builder. We’ve also invested in the Script Editor, improved UI Services and revamped Contacts Services. It’s also now easier to embed Apps Script in Google Sites and enhance Sites to an infinite possibilities. All this is in addition to vast improvements in performance, reliability and infrastructure upgrades that we think have made Google Apps Script a thriving part of Google Apps.

To continue this momentum, we’re streamlining our communications by merging this blog into the Google Apps Developer Blog. Integrating the two will help strengthen the community by reaching more of you, and it better reflects that Apps Script is a vital part of Google Apps. We’ve contributed several posts to the Google Apps Developer blog over the past few months and received a very warm response—and we’re looking forward to posting more there in the future.

We hope you’re as excited as we are about the future of Google Apps Script. Please follow us at our new home, the Google Apps Developer Blog.

Posted by Saurabh Gupta, Google Apps Script team

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Apps Script @Boston GTUG

We will presenting Google Apps Script at the upcoming Boston GTUG meeting on Wednesday, April 20th at 6:30pm. If you are in the area then be sure to stop by and check out what Google Apps Script is all about.

The details of the event are available here.

Posted by Saurabh Gupta, Google Developer Relations

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Grading Made Easy using Apps Script

Repost from Google Apps Developer Blog.

Editor's Note: Guest author Dave Abouav is a Google employee who is a part-time instructor for a night class in physics. He created Flubaroo as a 20% time project at Google based on his own teaching experiences.

As an instructor for a night class in physics at De Anza Community College, I didn't have enough time to grade assignments. Because it was a survey course, multiple choice assignments seemed like a viable option. So I used Google Forms to collect homework assignments. But I needed a way to grade the collected submissions and perform some useful analysis. The idea for Flubaroo was born and is now ready to share with other teachers thanks to Google App Script!

Flubaroo is designed as a simple grading solution for teachers using existing tools they're already comfortable with. It allows automated grading of quizzes and assignments administered via Google Forms. Beyond just grading, Flubaroo also provides analytics such as a histogram of grade distribution and identification of questions that many students missed. Flubaroo's most popular feature is its ability to email each student their grade, along with the answer key if desired.

Here are the key reasons I chose Google App Script to implement Flubaroo:
  1. I wanted to build a simple application which can be easily integrated with Spreadsheets without the need to compile and deploy code.
  2. I liked its ability to integrate right into the spreadsheet as a menu, easily giving teachers access to all of Flubaroo's features.
  3. Apps Script provided UI Services which allowed me to build UI applications very easily from within a browser. I did not have to install complex tools to create a UI.
  4. Apps Script Services makes it very easy to integrate other Google APIs such as Google Charts API for the grade histogram.
  5. A JavaScript syntax is easy to program and without the need to learn more complex languages like Java and Python.
  6. App Script gave me the ability to easily share my grading technique with other teachers through the Apps Script Gallery. It is very easy for anyone to install the Flubaroo script in their Apps Script editor.

It was easy to get started with App Script, and the examples already provided in the Apps Script Documentation further helped me get it working quickly. Flubaroo is about 2300 lines of code. I used Spreadsheet Services to process and grade assignment submissions. I extensively used Ui Services to create the grading flow. In addition, Flubaroo makes use of the Google Chart API to create the grade distribution chart. Integration with Apps Script with Google Chart API was very easy. Below is an example of the types of charts I was able to generate using Apps Script's integration with Google Chart API.

One of the great features of Apps Script is the availability of Triggers and Events. Events helped me provide a menu to the users. I created an onOpen function which installed a menu on the spreadsheet every time the spreadsheet is opened by a user. This allows users a menu based access to the various functions in the script.

If you'd like to give it a try then please install the script from the Apps Script gallery. You can also visit Flubaroo website to go through a full tutorial of the script. Thanks to Apps Script, grading assignments is no longer a chore for me.

Want to weigh in on this topic? Discuss on Buzz

Friday, April 1, 2011

Video Tutorial for Ui Services

We are continuously improving our documentation and tutorials. Recently, we created a video tutorial to teach the basics of Ui Services. In this tutorial, you will learn how to create your very first UiApp. Enjoy the video!

Posted by Saurabh Gupta, Google Developer Relations

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Webinar for Educators

Join us at an upcoming webinar to learn more about Google Apps Script. This webinar is a part of Google Apps for Education Professional Development webinar series. The webinar will cover a high level overview of Google Apps Script with basic example demonstrations. If you have always been interested in Apps Script and wanted to know what it is all about then this webinar is a great opportunity. This webinar will be focused on educators and how Apps Script can help them.

Date: Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Time: 4:30pm PT
Duration: 1 hour
Speaker: Saurabh Gupta, Google Developer Relations

Register Now

Posted by Saurabh Gupta

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Last Call for Google I/O: Google Apps Challenge

Repost from Google Apps Developer Blog

On March 8th, we announced the Last Call for Google I/O contest for a chance to win tickets to the event. The contest is currently underway -- with 5 challenges remaining. 

The last challenge, starting on March 29th at 4:00 P.M. PDT, will be based on Google Apps and we’d encourage all eligible developers to participate. To be sure that you’re prepared for the challenge, we have indicated a prerequisite to read up on Google Apps Script.

For more information on the contest rules and timeline, please see the Google Code Blog and the Contest Site.

Posted by Ryan Boyd, Google Apps Team

Build Applications in Sites using Apps Script

Google Sites makes it easy for organizations to create and manage their intranets or external web pages. By making content management available to non-technical users, information is managed by more people making it more relevant and up to date.

But sometimes intranets have more complex needs such as:
  • Content varied based on an employee’s location
  • Information in another system that needs to be presented in a site
  • A project tracker with a custom workflow
  • An issue tracker
  • A team issue tracker
To support these needs, we are excited to announce further integration between Google Sites and Google Apps Scripts that allows custom applications to be built in your Google Sites. To get started, take a look at our “hello world” tutorial and our Apps Scripts help center. To get a sense for what is possible, we also recommend our tutorial on how to build an entire time-tracking application, right in your site.