Notes on the future of Google Apps Script from Google Cloud Next ‘18 #GoogleNext18

At Google Cloud Next ‘18 it was great to see and hear about a number of G Suite and Google Apps Script updates. In the past when I’ve presented on App Script a common question used to be what was the sustainability of the product. Given the continued investment in Google Apps Script and it’s integration within other Google products like AdSense, Data Studio and App Maker to name a few, the future looks very promising. There were also some impressive stats shared about Google Apps Script at Next: 3.3B weekly executions; 8.7M weekly end users; and 270K weekly developers.

Google Apps Script Stats

Some of those 270K developers had the opportunity to meet-up at Next, many meeting face-to-face for the first time, as well as an opportunity to speak to some of the Googlers who are supporting Apps Script developers.

Google Apps Script Meetup at Google Cloud Next '18

As part of Next ‘18 there were a number of sessions introducing and highlighting user stories, a summary of some of these have been highlighted in this list compiled by Wesley Chun and I’ve created a YouTube playlist of recorded sessions).

Getting up to speed – recent updates

If you have a look at the Google Apps Script release notes even before Next ‘18 there have been a number of recent updates which includes:

  • Sheets – 100+ new methods
  • Gmail – new methods including GmailDraft
  • Calendar – triggers for new and modified events and 7 new methods
  • Slides – 40+ new methods
  • Google Apps Script dashboard
  • Google Apps Script API which enables:
    • Create, read, and update Apps Script projects.
    • Create and manage project versions.
    • Create and manage project deployments.
    • Monitor script use and metrics.
    • Run script functions remotely.
  • clasp – a Google Apps Script Command Line Interface (CLI) which now supports TypeScript.

Other recent announcements include the Hangouts Chat Bots, which can be powered by Google Apps Script, were announced in February 2018, news of Calendar Add-ons broke in June 2018 and the Google Sheets Macro Recorder was launched in April 2018.

Launched and roadmap developments from Google Next ‘18

Launched

Announced at Next ‘18 were:

  • OAuth Whitelisting – control over Apps Script projects that can be run in your organisation
  • 30 Minute Executions – these were in early access but are now available business, enterprise and education customers

Coming soon

Announced as ‘coming soon’ were a number of core updates to Google Apps Script :

  • Modern Javascript – A common request is updating the JavaScript syntax to be able to use more modern features and libraries. At Next ‘18 it was announced that this would be supported by moving to ECMAScript 2017 scripting-language specification.
  • Performance – a tenfold (x10) faster execution
  • Job Service – breaking long running jobs into batches that can be run in parallel
  • Reliability – “simplified and more robust architecture for enterprise grade reliability” … whatever that is.
  • Flexible Quotas – removal of daily quotas are replaced with high cap rate limits. You can sign-up for early access.
  • Managed Projects – domain policies for Apps Script projects with associate cloud console cloud projects
  • G Suite Developers Hub – expanded dashboard with templates, starred projects and you’ll be able see the status/health and manage all of your triggers.

Apps Script Training Resources

As part of Next ‘18 the event was top and tailed with a number of boot camps including one on “Power your apps with Gmail, Google Drive, Calendar, Sheets, Slides and more”. The codelabs used as part of these is available for free from the following links:

There were other product updates announced at Next ‘18 and of particular interest are updates to Google Sheets which have been compiled in a post by Ben Collins. Overall the future of Google Apps Script looks very healthy…