At its Google I/O developer conference, Google today is launching new tools that will make it easier for developers to have their apps do things with spreadsheets inside Google Sheets and presentations in Google Slides.
Slides now has its own dedicated application programming interface (API), and there is a second, more powerful Sheets API. This will not affect the existing Sheets API.
“The new Sheets API gives developers programmatic access to nearly all of the features a user can access in the Sheets web and mobile interfaces,” Google Sheets product manager Tom Holman wrote in a blog post. “Developers can use Sheets as part of a rich workflow that involves pushing data from their app into Sheets, allowing users to collaborate on that data, before the updated data is pulled back into the original app.”
The new Sheets API is available now, and the Slides API will come out in the next few months, Holman wrote.
The enhancements make sense as Microsoft has been ramping up its Microsoft Graph for accessing data from Office 365 applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneDrive, and OneNote.
The new API functionality isn’t all that’s new with Google Apps for developers. For those who want to use data from Sheets but don’t want to mess with an API, there is now a way to embed a chart from Sheets right into a document in Docs or Slides. “When the underlying data in the spreadsheet changes, an updated chart in the presentation is just one click away,” Holman wrote.
The corresponding functionality in Microsoft’s Office applications is taking Excel charts and sticking them in Word or PowerPoint. People have been able to do both those things for a while. Now Google is catching up.