GOOGLE HAS UNLEASHED a new API for Google Docs that will allow users to automate many of the boring tasks of the working day.
The REST API, which was first launched at Google Cloud Next 2018 and has been in preview ever since, is now available to all developers.
Google explains: "Many of the features that make Google Docs so successful are available through the API. This API lets you read and write documents programmatically so that you can integrate data from various sources leveraging the power of Google Docs."
Bit of a posh way of saying "it does cool stuff", then.
Some of that cool stuff includes being able to build in automated workflows, content management services and document creation. It will also be able update documents en-masse after the fact if they become out of date.
All this comes alongside more basic functionality - insertion of text and images, deleting, moving, merging and formatting and work with lists.
Accounts departments everywhere will be delighted with the move which will make it a lot easier to do a mail merge on, say, an invoice or purchase order, which has to be customised many times over but is, essentially the same document.
Several big-name companies have already started using the API in its Preview phase, with MailChimp and Netflix amongst the most notable.
Another example might be creating form letters, with the ability to insert the pertinent details and process them without all the unnecessary faffing about.
All of this sounds quite familiar to Office users, but the addition will doubtless create some interesting alternative use cases as it develops, and is another nod to Microsoft that GSuite is coming for them.
Google has released a video demonstrating the Google Docs API, hosted by a woman who appears to be carrying two heavy suitcases. μ
Bad for shareholders, mildly good for the planet
YouTube on the Tube
Claims that it hasn't ever actually worked