Five-Project Series

Create AI-Powered Workspace Add-ons you own this product

prerequisites
basic Apps Script or JavaScript • basic understanding of how APIs work • Google Cloud Console basics • Google Sheets basics
skills learned
create, implement and test a Workspace Add-on • add functionality from a collection of Google Cloud APIs such as Cloud Storage, CardService, Drive and others • organize extracted data from a variety of documents using the Google AI Platform
Bruce Mcpherson
5 weeks · 5-7 hours per week average · BEGINNER

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Welcome to Acme Widgets, a manufacturing company whose suppliers, local and international, send it documents of various types in a range of formats. Currently, Acme Widgets’ employees have to manually interpret and log data from these documents in spreadsheets. Your job is to automate this tedious process using Google's AI platform which applies Machine Learning models to make sense of and extract meaningful data from a collection of documents. In this series of liveProjects you’ll create, customize and deploy a Google Workspace add-on to automatically convert, deduplicate, organize, archive and extract actionable data from a variety of document types and formats using the power of AI—all from the comfort of a familiar spreadsheet environment.

These projects are designed for learning purposes and are not complete, production-ready applications or solutions.

The code provided was top quality and helped with this project, and can be used in real-life projects.

Alfonso Muñoz, Communities Director, C2CGlobal

here's what's included

Project 1 Basic Add-on

Acme Widgets, a manufacturing company, manually logs its supplier invoices on spreadsheets in Google Workspace. Your task is to free the staff from this tedious task by creating an add-on that automatically extracts and records useful information from invoices. You’ll set up a Google Cloud Platform (GCP) account, implement and deploy the add-on, and create Document AI processors for processing invoices from multiple regions. You’ll add a CardService that improves the user experience by letting them select which files to process. You’ll use the Document AI REST API to process the invoices’ image data and write the processed data to a spreadsheet, enhancing the user interface. When you're done, you’ll have created a basic, easy-to-use Google Workspace add-on that extracts and records invoices in multiple formats, leaving the Acme Widgets staff free to focus on more productive tasks.

Project 2 Customize the Look and Feel

Acme Widgets, a manufacturing company, processes its supplier invoices with an AI-powered Google Workspace add-on that automatically extracts and records invoice data. But the add-on has limited functionality, such as only being able to interpret single image files, which makes tasks like picking files difficult. It’s up to you to make basic tasks like these easier. You’ll enable the Google Picker API to add the ability to navigate and customize files. You’ll create and publish a file picker as a web app, and publish the add-on with the attached file picker. To further enhance the user interface, you’ll add image thumbnails and links to the picked files, as well as support for interpreting PDFs and images to accommodate a larger variety of documents. When you’re done, you’ll have helped ensure Acme Widgets’ accounts are accurate and made the staff’s lives easier—all while learning Google add-on customization skills.

Project 3 Add New Document Types

Acme Widgets, a manufacturing company, uses an AI-powered Google Workspace add-on to automatically extract information from supplier invoices. Your task is to extend the add-on’s functionality so it can handle expense claim receipts, as well. You’ll add a Document AI processor designed for processing expenses, and you’ll enable additional fields in order to group related receipts. To increase user convenience, you’ll enable the uploading of local files and add a tab to re-pick recently selected files. Lastly, you’ll create unit tests that will help you update the add-on with more complex changes in the future.

Project 4 Complex Documents with AI

Acme Widgets has an AI-powered Google Workspace add-on that interprets data from invoices and receipts. Add-ons have a processing time limit that keeps them from processing many documents at once. It’s up to you to solve this problem! You’ll create one delegate web app that archives files to centralized Google Cloud Storage (GCS) and another that batches the documents—allowing processing to be done in a way that bypasses the standard add-on response time limit. As you develop, you’ll implement incremental unit testing to detect code errors. When you’re done, you’ll have a powerful add-on that isn’t constrained by processing time limits and automatically archives documents to secure cloud storage.

Project 5 Process Other Formats

Acme Widgets has a Google Workspace invoice processing add-on that uses Google Document AI to interpret data from PDFs and image formats. To make the tool more valuable, your task is to add the ability to accept documents in other formats. You’ll start by enabling a pop-up web app that displays the expanded list of newly supported file types. You’ll add functionality for picking additional file types and automatically converting them to a Document AI-supported format, then archiving them. You’ll also enable sorting and duplicate removal as you create a summarized view of invoices and expenses, making the company’s employees’ tasks easier and less time-consuming.

book resources

When you start each of the projects in this series, you'll get full access to the following book for 90 days.

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project author

Bruce Mcpherson

Bruce Mcpherson is a Google Developer Expert focusing on Google Workspace and Google Cloud Platform. Throughout his distinguished career, he’s held titles including Chief Architect, Head of Engineering, CTO, and CIO, at Motorola, Lucent, and Symbol. He's the author of O'Reilly Media’s Going GAS, Google Apps Script for Beginners, and Google Apps Script for Developers. His long-running Desktop Liberation site provides his expert guidance on Google Apps Script and Microsoft automation. He’s the developer of many open-source libraries (github.com/brucemcpherson) in a variety of languages and platforms. He speaks at conferences on Google technologies. He’s currently developing the platform for a startup specializing in AI-assisted video content analysis and classification and continues to mentor organizations whose mission is to improve diversity in tech.

Prerequisites

These liveProjects are for beginner-level Apps Script or JavaScript developers who want to automate tasks by creating Google Workspace add-ons. To begin these liveProjects you’ll need to be familiar with the following:

TOOLS
  • Google Workspace (Google Sheets, JavaScript/Apps Script, Google Drive)
  • Google Cloud Console
TECHNIQUES
  • Basic JavaScript/Apps Script
  • Create and manage a billing account and cloud projects

you will learn

In this liveProject series, you’ll learn to create a powerful Google Workspace add-on that automatically converts and archives documents of various types to permanent, secure storage.

  • Work in the Google Apps Script development environment, and deploy a Google Workspace Add-on
  • Set up and manage a Google Cloud Platform (GCP) project and its Billing account in the GCP Console
  • Enable an assortment of APIs in GCP, manage authorization of your Apps Script project, and create Document AI processors
  • Write both service and client side UIs using CardService and HTMLService to create delegate web apps styled with MaterializeCss
  • Create and execute progressive unit testing
  • Batch-process and de-duplicate multiple documents with the DocumentAI Long
  • Running Operations API and archive them to Google Cloud Storage
  • Use metadata in Google Cloud Storage objects to archive conversions history and thumbnail images

Google Workspace and Cloud Platform Charges

It’s assumed that you have a Workspace account (any level will do). There won’t be additional Workspace charges for creating and running scripts as part of this project.


Document AI

The AI platform is not free, but you will use few resources in developing this project. The starter script has caching built in to minimize reprocessing on images it’s already seen while you are debugging and developing. The pricing for Document AI is here.


Controlling Google Cloud Platform costs

When you set up your billing account, you can set up budget monitoring, so it will warn you if you are likely to spend more than you want to.


Platform credits

Unlike most other Cloud products, Document AI doesn’t currently have a free tier; however, if you are using Cloud for the first time, you’ll be entitled to $300 credit when you sign up, which you can use on this and subsequent Cloud adventures. The entire project series should only cost a few dollars, which can be covered with some of the sign-up credit.


Google Cloud Storage

Cloud platform is not free. However, the costs you will incur with projects like this are negligible. Here is the official Google pricing table.

features

Self-paced
You choose the schedule and decide how much time to invest as you build your project.
Project roadmap
Each project is divided into several achievable steps.
Get Help
While within the liveProject platform, get help from other participants and our expert mentors.
Compare with others
For each step, compare your deliverable to the solutions by the author and other participants.
book resources
Get full access to select books for 90 days. Permanent access to excerpts from Manning products are also included, as well as references to other resources.
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