Use Google Apps APIs without writing a program

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Today we are releasing the Google Apps Shell Interface (GASI), a graphical user interface for administrators working with Google Apps APIs.

Google Apps administrators work with the APIs for a variety of reasons. First, there are a number of features that are only exposed to the administrator through the APIs. Second, the administrator may wish to save time by automating a task instead of repeating it for thousands of users. Traditionally, you’d write a program directly using the Google Apps APIs, use libraries such as gData, or write a shell script using third party scripts such as the Google Apps Manager (GAM).

Now you can also use the user interface in GASI to issue commands. GASI allows Google Apps administrators to make certain API calls through a graphical user interface without having to write a program. You can also execute commands dynamically generated with variables from a CSV file, for batch execution.

The commands available in GASI are listed in the documentation page for the Google Apps Shell (GAS), a library that comes with GASI. GAS can also be called from a command line interface. The current version of GAS contains commands to configure email settings, Google Groups, user nicknames, user accounts, and domain organizations. For example, there is a GAS command to move a user to an organization in the control panel. With GASI, you can programmatically run this command for a number of users listed in a CSV file. Other common use cases include renaming usernames or creating user nicknames.

If you’re looking for other ways to use Google APIs through a command line, check out the Postini EZCommand Shell and Google CL, two other open source projects from Google.

By Jeff Pickhardt, Enterprise Sales Engineering Team