Google expands APIs to import other apps' data

New APIs for Google's Sheets, Slides, and Classroom apps offer integrations to eliminate repetitive tasks like copying and pasting

Google this week began offering APIs to help the flow of data between users' apps and those Google offers.

APIs introduced include Sheets, for programmatic access to features users can add to a Google Sheets spreadsheet, and Slides, for exporting business data from apps to provide content and visuals for Google Slides slide decks. The Classroom API, launched last year, has added coursework endpoints for developers to sync grades and assignment data between the Google Classroom tool and applications.

The Sheets API offers programmatic access to Sheets Web and mobile interfaces, including pivot tables and charts. "For example, developers can use Sheets as part of a rich workflow that pushes data from their app into Sheets and allows users to collaborate on that data before the updated data is pulled back into the original app, removing altogether the need to copy and paste," said Tom Holman, Google Sheets product manager. The API is available today. Documentation for Google Sheets is on Google's developer site.

The Slides API, due in a couple of months, lets developers build apps that can push data and charts into Slides to create a report from source data in other applications.

Developers building workflow and tools for classrooms now can use the Classroom API to access coursework endpoints for data integration. "Learning tools can focus on creating great content and, in turn, use Classroom to manage the workflow for assignments created with this content," said Ed Kupershlak, a Google Classroom software engineer. "Grade books and reporting systems can now also sync grades with Classroom, eliminating the need for teachers to manually transfer grades."

To keep data flowing seamlessly between apps, users can embed links from Sheets into Docs or Slides. "Once the underlying data in a spreadsheet changes, whether that change comes from an action taken in another app via the API or a collaborator, an updated chart in the corresponding presentation or document is just one click away," Holman said.

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