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 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:

  • Add customized functionality to G Suite applications such as Gmail.
  • Boost your workflow efficiency when working with G Suite.
  • 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.
  • Create custom interfaces (sidebars, menus, and dialogs) that are displayed within the G Suite application the add-on extends, potentially removing the need for a user to switch browser tabs when working with multiple applications.

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: Gmail add-ons and Editor add-ons.

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

These two types 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 You can install and test unpublished add-ons you or your team have developed, provided you have access to the add-on's script project.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 Gmail and editor add-ons. See Building a Gmail add-on or Building an editor add-on to get started.

See what you can make

Add-ons are built with Apps Script, a server-side JavaScript platform that requires zero setup.