Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Hottest Script in Hollywood

In just a few hours at the recent Apps Script hackathon in Los Angeles, we saw attendees build everything from website monitoring to room booking to financial tracking apps. For those of you who couldn’t make it, attendees were given a brief introduction to Apps Script and a few hours to let their imaginations run wild. Apps Script’s ease of use enabled them to quickly create fully functioning, useful apps. Here are a few interesting things we saw from local developers:


Website Monitor by Eduardo Arino de la Rubina

These days, small businesses are quickly increasing their online presence; a website outage during a critical period can be devastating to a mom-and-pop shop. Eduardo realized that existing network-monitoring solutions require a significant investment in technology and infrastructure that is beyond the reach of many small-business users. Using Apps Script’s UrlFetch and Spreadsheet services, he was able to quickly create a website monitor packaged in an easy-to-use spreadsheet that, given a list of URLs, tries to fetch each one and records the latency and content length.

The code is available here.


Get A Room by Danny Favela

Get A Room allows users to book meeting rooms by taking advantage of Apps Script’s tight integration with Google Calendar and events. The app, built entirely on a Chromebook utilizing Apps Script's cloud friendliness, displays building floorplans with buttons that users can click to book a room. In response to a booking request, the app fetches the room’s calendar and creates a new event. It also updates the UI by replacing the floor plan with a modified image to show the newly booked room. Here is a snippet of the booking code:

// Click handler for the interaction to book a room
function bookBoardroomHandler(e) {
 var app = UiApp.getActiveApplication();

 // Perform the calendar-booking operations
 bookBoardroom();
 
 // Swap the images as visual confirmation
 app.remove(app.getElementById('imageDefaultLayout'));
 app.add(app.getElementById('imageBoardroom'));

 app.close();
 return app;
}

function bookBoardroom(e) {
 var calendarBoardroom = CalendarApp.getCalendarsByName("Boardroom");
 calendarBoardroom[0].createEventFromDescription("Boardroom Meeting");  
}


Stock Info by Matt Kaufman

Matt decided to build a web service that provides information about publicly traded stocks. The app’s backend consists of a spreadsheet with stock symbols of interest. Using Apps Script’s FinanceService, Matt loops through the spreadsheet on a timed trigger and appends the latest stock information for each symbol. He then uses HtmlService to create a web app that outputs an XML page of the stock info based on a symbol parameter in the URL. Here’s a picture of his script in action:

These are just some examples of how quickly useful apps can be created with Apps Script. Thanks to all the attendees for coming out! If you couldn’t make it to the hackathon, check out these tutorials to see how you can get started making great apps.


Kalyan Reddy profile | Stack Overflow

Kalyan is a Developer Programs Engineer on the Google Apps Script team based in NYC. He is committed to increasing developer productivity by helping them fully utilize the power of Apps Script. In his free time, he enjoys participating in the Maker community and hacking together robots.

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