Google Docs Gets an API for Task Automation

Google announced the general availability of a new API for Google Docs that will allow developers to automate many of the tasks that users normally perform manually in the company’s online office suite.

As Google points out, the REST API was designed to help developers create workflow automation services for their users, create content management services and create documents in bulk. By using the API, developers can also configure processes that manipulate documents after the fact to update them, and the API also offers the ability to insert, delete, move, combine and format text, insert images online and work with lists, between other things.

The canonical use case here is billing, in which you need to regularly create similar documents with constantly changing order numbers and line items based on information from third-party systems (or maybe even a Google Sheet). Google also notes that the API import/export capabilities allow you to use Docs for internal content management systems.

Easy work

One of the situations in which this API would reduce the manual steps when automating tasks is to create invoices in which similar documents should be updated with the data collected from the system and the user’s comments.

Some of the companies that created solutions based on the new API during the preview period include Zapier, Netflix, Mailchimp and Final Draft. Zapier integrated the Docs API into its own workflow automation tool to help its users create offer letters based on a template, for example, while Netflix used it to create an internal tool that helps its engineers to Collect data and automate your documentation workflow.

Three areas are its main virtues: first, the creation of massive documents, in second, workflow management, and finally, the creation of content management services.

All this information could be provided through the API, through an external source or even through Google spreadsheets, if they are already used.

Naturally, and as they indicate their response, the intention is that these uses are made with prototypes and in tests. For projects in earnest, that handle sensitive data or have large access numbers, this way of making the web work would not be advisable.

The API allows you to automate processes, create bulk documentation and generate invoices or contracts. This really shortens the work time and made it easier. If you want to know more about IT trends, visit stoplight.

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