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Google Apps Scripts: Tasker’s big brother for Automating Google Services

Google Apps Scripts: Tasker's big brother for Automating Google Services

Google Apps Scripts (GAS) is a cloud-based development platform that combines Drive apps with Google’s products and services.  Therefore GAS extends the functionality of Drive Apps drastically.  Most important is that GAS’s in-browser environment allows for automation versatility from anywhere.  Additionally, creating automation scripts, web apps, and add-ons for Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms is simple using javascript.  And finally, simple examples and full documentation assist in learning.  While GAS is similar to Tasker in automating functions, it’s far more powerful.

 

Script Types

Bound

Bound scripts are scripts tied into documents that gain special privileges over standalone scripts.  They have special methods reference their parent document’s ID.  Also they interact through custom dialogs, menus in the toolbar, and sidebar.  The bound scripts’ script editor is hidden in the document’s main menu under Tools.


Standalone

Standalone scripts typically serve for utility or as a library.  While they do not have special methods like bound scripts, they appear as separate files in your Google Drive.  Because of this, standalone scripts are flexible.  Standalone scripts execute from within the development environment, triggers, as web-apps, or from another script.  The GAS webpage provides a plethora of examples.  Access standalone scripts via the Google Drive main menu or directly from here.

Tasker’s Similarities

Tasker has many similarities to GAS as an automation platform.  It is an Android automation application just as GAS provides automation for Google’s services.  Tasker and GAS’ simplified coding environments provide many development tools.  Similar to Google’s APIs, Tasker’s extensions and plugins extend functionality of Tasker itself.  As a result of Tasker App Factory, creating Android applications is comparable to GAS web-apps.  Additionally, homescreen shortcuts and child tasks are examples of utility type standalone scripts.  And finally, plenty of online communities and resources help users in development.

More Google Apps Scripts Information




Documentation from Google provides detailed information about GAS.  Also, GAS offers a great javascript learning course.  Google API references refresh users on making API calls with Google services.  Additionally the GAS webpage offers tutorials, references, guides, and support.

Also, see my tutorial on How To Use A Custom Menu To Execute Google Apps Scripts

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