Alternate Runtimes for G Suite Add-ons is coming soon. Learn more.

Extending G Suite with Add-ons

Add-ons are customized extensions of G Suite productivity applications such as Gmail, Google Sheets, and Google Docs. Add-ons can add new capabilities to the G Suite applications they extend, help automate tasks, or make third-party services or information available in G Suite. Add-ons are built using Apps Script—a rapid application development platform based on JavaScript that lets you create business and productivity applications quickly and easily.

With Add-ons you can do the following:

  • Create customized user interfaces that are directly integrated into G Suite applications such as Gmail, Calendar, and Drive. These interfaces can display information to the user and provide user controls.
  • Boost workflow efficiency when working with G Suite by automating or streamlining tasks.
  • Use Apps Script services to easily control and move data between Google applications.
  • Connect to non-Google services within G Suite applications, allowing you to retrieve or upload data from those services into and from G Suite.
  • Remove the need for browser switching by providing the user everything they need within G Suite.

You can create add-ons for your personal use, for use within your organization, or publish them to the G Suite Marketplace where millions of users and domain administrators can find and install them.

Add-on types

Add-ons are defined by the application they extend (the host application). There are two primary types of add-ons: G Suite add-ons and editor add-ons.

G Suite add-ons are the newest generation of add-ons. The previous iteration, Gmail add-ons, provided desktop and mobile extensions of Gmail only, using interfaces built from an Apps Script widget library. G Suite add-ons add a number of new features and capabilities, including the ability to extend Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Drive—all with a single add-on. Previously created Gmail add-ons now function as G Suite add-ons; you can upgrade your Gmail add-on to take advantage of the new G Suite capabilities.

Editor add-ons extend one of the Google Drive editor host applications:

G Suite add-ons and editor add-ons differ in how authorization is handled and how their interfaces are constructed. See Add-on types for more information.

The add-on development lifecycle

Add-ons go through different stages as they are developed, tested, and published:

  • Building. To create an add-on, you must create an Apps Script project and write code that defines the add-on's appearence and behavior. Depending on the problems the add-on is attempting to solve, you may need to write code that interacts with one or more of the Apps Script services or else use various Apps Script features such as triggers.

  • Testing. In order to provide the best experience for your users, you must throughly test your add-on prior to publishing it. You can install and test unpublished add-ons you or your team have developed, provided you have access to the add-on's script project. When testing your add-on, make sure the add-on UI appearence and behavior is what you intended. Try to anticipate how users interact with your add-on and provide a solid user experience.

  • Publishing. When your add-on is finished you can publish it to the G Suite Marketplace for others to find and use. You can publish publicly for everyone to find, or publish only to your domain.

    Publishing is a complex process that requires preparation. When you publish to the G Suite Marketplace, you must provide a number of text, image, and URL assets that the G Suite Marketplace uses to show your add-on to others. It's best to create these assets before starting the publication process so you avoid delays.

    Publishing add-ons publicly also requires your add-on to undergo an add-on review. During the review a Google review team member examines your add-on to verify that it meets Google's style, content, and design guidelines and provides a good user experience. All add-ons published publicly must pass the review process in order to appear the G Suite Marketplace.

  • Updating. After an add-on is published, at times you may want to update its code or how it appears in the G Suite Marketplace. You may also want to unpublish an add-on if it is no longer useful.

The documentation found here explains each step of the development process for both G Suite and editor add-ons. See Building a G Suite add-on or Building an editor add-on to get started.

Getting started

Add-ons are built with Apps Script, a server-side JavaScript platform that requires zero setup. Here are some ways to start developing your add-on:

Report problems or ask questions

See the G Suite add-ons support guide or editor add-on support guide for information on how to find help for add-on development on Stack Overflow, file bug reports, or make feature requests.