The easiest way to develop Google Apps Script projects
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README.md


⚠️🚨 DEPRECATION NOTICE 🚨⚠️

Google has released clasp, please use it instead.

As per the discussion in issue #86, it does not make sense for these two projects to co-exist. This project is locked into it's final version and will receive no future updates.

Happy scripting!


gapps (Google Apps Script)

The easiest way to develop Google Apps Script projects

Using gapps, you can develop your Apps Script locally and push files to the Apps Script servers. This allows you to use any editor of your choice, version control, and other modern webdev patterns in to Apps Script development.

Requirements

  • node >= 8
  • npm install -g node-google-apps-script

Quickstart

1. Get Google Drive Credentials

To use gapps you need access to your files on your Google Drive through the API provided by Google. To make this happen you have to create a Developer Console Project.

You can do this one of two ways:

  1. Use the existing 'API Project' in the Developer Console
  2. Create an independent Developer Console Project (choose this when the default project is not available)

1.1 Use the existing 'API Project' in the Developer Console

This is the easiest approach because you don't need to create a new project. You will use the default Developer Console Project API Project, enable Google Drive and get credentials.

  1. While working in the editor on script.google.com select Resources > Cloud Platform Project... otherwise, go to the Google Cloud Platform
  2. Access the automatically created Google Apps Script Project API Project: click on the blue button at the top and select (API Project - api-project-##########) from the list.
  3. Enable the Google Drive API
    1. Click APIs & services in the left nav and then select Library
    2. Search for Drive and select the Google Drive API listing.
    3. Click Enable API
  4. Acquire Google Drive Client Secret Credentials
    1. If you just enabled the Drive API, hit Create Credentials, otherwise , go to Credentials in the left menu, select Create credentials and choose OAuth client ID
    2. Select your email address from the dropdown OAuth consent screen and assign your add-on a Project Name i.e. My API access project. This can always be changed later.
    3. In the menu that appears, choose Other for the Application type.
    4. Give it any name you like (i.e. Macbook) and click Create.
    5. Finally, download your credentials using the Download as JSON button to the right. Save these credentials to a location of your choosing; ~/Downloads is fine.
    6. You may close the Developer Console window.

1.2 Create an independent Developer Console Project

Use an independent Developer Console Project if the default API Project is deleted, in use or if you want to keep permissions separated.

  1. Create a new Dev Console Project
    1. Use this link to create the project. It will auto-activate the Google Drive API. If you have multiple Google Accounts, append &authuser=1 to the end of the url to choose which account to login with. Note that authuser is zero-indexed.
    2. Make sure Create a New Project is selected and hit Continue.
    3. Once the project has been created, click Go to Credentials.
  2. Acquire Google Drive Client Secret Credentials
    1. Click client-ID in the grey paragraph
    2. Select your email address from the dropdown OAuth consent screen and assign your add-on a Project Name i.e. My API access project. This can always be changed later.
    3. In the menu that appears, choose Other for the Application type.
    4. Give it any name you like (i.e. Macbook) and click Create.
    5. Finally, download your credentials using the Download as JSON button to the right. Save these credentials to a location of your choosing; ~/Downloads is fine.
    6. You may close the Developer Console window.

To return to this project later, select Resources > Developer Console Project while editing your script. Then click the link at the top of the dialog to open the Developer Console with this project selected.

2. Authenticate gapps

This process will set up Google Drive authentication to allow uploading and importing of the Apps Script project.

  1. Run gapps auth path/to/client_secret_abcd.json i.e. gapps auth ~/Downloads/client_secret_1234567890-abcd.apps.googleusercontent.com.json
  2. Follow the directions by clicking on the link generated by the script.
  3. After you're successfully authenticated, feel free to delete the client_secret.json credentials file.

You can pass the option --no-launch-browser to generate a url that will give you a code to paste back into the console. This is useful if you're using ssh to develop.

3. Initialize your project

This proces will create gapps.config.json and a sub-directory where all Apps Script project files will be downloaded to. You can either use an existing project or create a new one.

3.1 An existing Apps Script project

  1. Navigate to your Apps Script project from Google Drive (must be a standalone script)
  2. Get your project ID from the address bar, located after /d/ and before /edit i.e. '//script.google.com/a/google.com/d/abc123-xyz098/edit?usp=drive_web'
  3. Navigate to a directory where your Apps Script project will live
  4. Run gapps init <fileId> within your project directory i.e. gapps init abc123-xyz098

3.2 A new Apps Script project

  1. Head to https://script.google.com and create a new blank project.
  2. Save the mostly empty project and give it a name. Saving is important; the project is not in your Google Drive until it is saved.
  3. Get your project ID from the address bar, located after /d/ and before /edit i.e. '//script.google.com/a/google.com/d/abc123-xyz098/edit?usp=drive_web'
  4. Navigate to a directory where your Apps Script project will live
  5. Run gapps init <fileId> within your project directory i.e. example, gapps init abc123-xyz098

4. Develop locally

Start scripting and enjoy total freedom of your local dev environment and source control options! Create script files with a .gs or .js extension and html files with a .html extension

5. Upload New Files

Run gapps upload from within your project directory. You should then be able to reload your Apps Script project in the browser and see the changes.

Best Practices

Check out Matt Hessinger's blog post: Advanced development process with apps

Docs

gapps auth

  Usage: gapps auth [options] <path/to/client/secret.json>

  Authorize gapps to use the Google Drive API

  Options:

    -b, --no-launch-browser  Do not use a local webserver to capture oauth code
                              and instead require copy/paste of key returned in
                              the browser after authorization completes.
    -p, --port [port]        Port to use for webserver

Performs the authentication flow described in the quickstart above.

gapps init

  Usage: gapps init|clone <fileId> [options]

  Initialize project locally. The external Apps Script project must exist.

  Options:
    -k, --key [key]
    -s, --subdir [subdir]
    -o, --overwrite

Creates gapps.config.json, which contains information about your Apps Script project and downloads all project files into a subdirectory (default: src/)

gapps upload

  Usage: gapps upload|push

  Upload back to Google Drive. Run from root of project directory

Upload the project to Google Drive. Sources files from ./src or the configured subdirectory.

gapps oauth-callback-url

  Usage: gapps deployment oauth-callback-url

  Get the OAuth Callback URL for a project

Returns the OAuth Callback URL required by most 3rd-party OAuth services.

Development

Please submit any bugs to the Issues page. Pull Requests also welcome.

If you want to develop, clone down the repo and have at it! You can run npm link from the root directory of the repo to symlink to your local copy. You'll have to uninstall the production version first npm uninstall -g node-google-apps-script.

Limitations

gapps allows you to nest files in folders, but the Apps Script platform expects a flat file structure. Because of this, no files can have the same name, even if they are in separate directories. One file will overwrite the other, making debugging difficult.

Your add-on must be developed as a standalone script and tested within Doc or Sheet. This means that it cannot use certain functions of bound scripts, namely installable triggers. While testing within a Doc, you have access to the "Special methods" mentioned in the docs, though. If you followed the quickstart above, you should be set up correctly.

Common Issues

The Google Drive API frequently returns a 400 error without a helpful error message. Common causes for this are:

  • javascript formatting errors
    • The server-side javascript code (.js or .gs) is validated upon upload.
    • If there is a syntax error, the upload will fail.
  • The project does not exist yet.
    • Verify that the project exists in your Google Drive folder.
    • If you have been added to an existing project, verify that the owner has shared the file with you with the "can edit" permission.
  • Missing server-side libraries
    • verify that any required Libraries (frequently Underscore or OAuth2) have been added to the Apps Script project
  • Authentication error
    • Verify that ~/.gapps exists and has 4 values: client_id, client_secret, redirect_uri, and refresh_token
    • To reset authentication, 'rm ~/.gapps' and then perform the authentication steps in part #2 of the quickstart again.

Acknowledgements

Huge thanks to Shrugs for a massive PR that bumped this project to v1.0

Extra Resources