Google Docs' new API will automate your repetitive contracts, reports, invoices

Google's new Docs API tackles boring manual document-based workflows.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Google has released a new application programming interface (API) for Google Docs to help businesses automate key document-based processes. 

The new API could be a huge benefit to organizations that generate lots of repetitive documents like contracts, proposals, reports and invoices. 

Apps can integrate with the Docs API to create documents from user data or system data, allowing organizations to automate manual processes, and create documents in bulk. 

It can be used to create a new document, retrieve the contents of a specific document, or automatically update a batch of specified documents. 

The Docs API has been in preview since it was introduced at Google's Cloud Next 2018 conference last April. 

However, Google already counts several large users of the Docs API, including Netflix, Zapier, and Final Draft. Zapier's automation tool allows users to automatically populate a Google Docs template with information sourced from other apps like QuickBooks, LinkedIn, and Google Calendar.  

SEE: Sensor'd enterprise: IoT, ML, and big data (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic)

Netflix has used the API to automate engineer response processes, while the Final Draft screenplay editing tool uses it to let customers upload scripts and screenplays to its software. 

Besides creating documents automatically and improving workflow automation, the Docs API can be used to sync with enterprise content-management systems, allowing publishers to let customers compose documents in Docs and push content to their sites.

The Doc API joins exiting APIs for Sheets and Slides, rounding out the APIs for Google's editing suite. The Docs API is available now for all G Suite editions and is available by default to all G Suite users.          

Google this week also announced a number of updates to right-click menu options in Gmail. In addition to existing 'Move to tab', 'Archive', 'Mark as read', and 'Delete', new right-click menu options include search, reply/forward, snooze, mark as unread, movement options, labeling, and the option to open an email in a new tab.

Previous and related coverage

Google Chrome could soon kill off most ad-blocker extensions

Ad-blocker developers fear their Chrome extensions will be wiped out by proposed changes to Chrome APIs.

Google Docs: This big update just added some serious new features 

Google Docs gains new team editing features, extra add-on templates, and integrated enterprise search.

Google Docs, Slides new look revealed: Check out G Suite Material Design overhaul

Google updates its G Suite apps to give its business productivity apps a cleaner, crisper look.

Google: Here's how our Chrome ad blocker is killing off pirates

And Google makes the case against using search copyright takedowns to combat piracy.

Google restores 'www' to Chrome URLs after user backlash

But not for long - they will be gone again by Chrome 70.

Google Material Design: A cheat sheet for professionals TechRepublic

This comprehensive guide covers must-know Google Material Design details, including features, core principles, components, and and an introduction to best practices.

Google tests curvy Chrome tabs with Material Design overhaul CNET

Hope you like that flat interface style.

Editorial standards