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Building the most open and extensible platform for hybrid work

Flexible ways of working have become second nature for people everywhere, especially for the more than 8 million customers that use Google Workspace in their offices, homes, or on mobile devices.

However, the rise of hybrid work has also demonstrated the importance of choice. People don’t want to be locked into a single app or in a closed environment. They want to use productivity tools like email, video conferencing, and chat in a seamless way with other critical apps that perform functions like helping to stay in touch with customers, visualizing data, managing projects, building creative designs, and much more.

Enabling all of those products to work well together — without boundaries or walled gardens — is essential to helping teams and organizations maximize hybrid work. This week at Google Cloud Next, we’re taking significant steps towards making Google Workspace the most open and extensible productivity platform for users worldwide.

Today, we’re launching third-party smart chips in Docs, along with new integrations and enhanced API capabilities for Meet, Chat and Spaces, delivering entirely new ways to use third-party applications within or alongside Google Workspace, allowing organizations to get more value from the solutions they’ve already invested in. The new integrations are with some of the most popular enterprise applications in use today — AO Docs, Asana, Atlassian, Figma, LumApps, Miro, Tableau, and Zendesk — and will help transform the way people work every day.

Together, with our partners, we’re enabling an open ecosystem for hybrid work and ensuring that Google Workspace’s most helpful features don’t stay proprietary. 

Bringing smart chips to popular third-party applications

When we launched smart canvas, we gave Google Workspace users the ability to bring the people and information they needed into Docs through simple @-mentions, creating interactive mentions of people, files, meetings, templates, and more. Today, we’re expanding smart chips to our ecosystem of partners, allowing our users to add even more rich data, more context, and critical information right into the flow of their work.

With these new third-party smart chips, you will be able to tag and see critical information from partner applications using @-mentions, and easily insert interactive information and previews from third-party apps directly into a Google Doc.

Bring your favorite third party-data into Docs with smart chips

Several of our partners including AO Docs, Atlassian, Asana, Figma, Miro, Tableau, and ZenDesk, are now developing third-party smart chips to add more value to your Google Docs experience:

AODocs, a fast-growing content services platform, is creating a smart chip that will allow you to link to and interact with controlled documents using AODocs’ content management capabilities within Google Docs.

Asana, the leading work management platform, is creating smart chips that will enable you to see and manage your tasks and projects easily within a Doc.

Atlassian, a leading provider of team collaboration and productivity software, is creating smart chips for both its Jira and Confluence apps, enabling you to visualize key details for your project plans directly in a Doc.

Figma, a design platform for teams who build products together, is using smart chips to embed helpful information about brainstorms, diagrams, and prototypes that are foundational to a product design project into Docs. The chips provide a visual thumbnail of the project so you can easily tell what you’re clicking into.

Tableau, the analytics platform, is building a new smart chip that will enable Google Docs users to see a live preview of data visualizations and related dashboard metadata. 

Miro, the leading visual collaboration platform, is creating smart chips that will enable you to transform a Miro link into a useful, visual frame of reference that gives preview, title, and other information needed to get a quick summary of your work in a visual format.

Zendesk, the popular customer service platform, is building smart chips to show users all the relevant and pertinent information for a given Zendesk ticket without leaving Google Docs. 

These new smart chip experiences from our partners are examples of the value and innovation we can provide to users and organizations by committing to openness and extensibility. 

Smart chips will be available to developers to build out their app integrations in the coming weeks, and will be available to all users in Docs starting January 2023. 

Adding third-party capabilities to Google Meet

Google Meet is more than just a video conferencing tool — it’s a hub for collaboration. Earlier this year, we rolled out the capability to join meetings and present directly from Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides to make it easier for people to work together in real-time.  We also built an integration with Miro, allowing you to initiate collaboration on Miro whiteboards directly from a Meet call. Now, we’re extending that capability to more third-party applications.

Two new tools for developers — the Google Meet API and Google Meet add-on SDK — will enable our partners to bring their apps together with Google Meet, providing new seamless ways for our customers to use their favorite tools with Google Meet.

With our new Meet add-on SDK, partners can bring the power and functionality of their apps into Meet, where users can then collaborate using other products without leaving the meeting space. For example, Figma is utilizing this SDK to bring its popular design and whiteboarding capabilities into Google Meet. Our shared customers will now be able to collaborate within Figma in real time during Google Meet video calls.

See and hear co-workers as you collaborate in Figma

We’re also announcing new Meet API that will enable users to schedule and launch meetings directly from third-party applications. These APIs will also enable users to see whether a meeting is currently live and who is currently in the meeting — all without leaving the application of their choice.

Asana is working to bring the new Meet API together with Drive APIs to create or link to an existing Google Meet meeting directly from a task in Asana. In addition, we’re working with Asana to explore functionality that would allow users to add tasks to a meeting, create a clear agenda for the team, and assign pre-work so teams arrive prepared for a purposeful meeting. We believe that together, Asana and Google Meet can make meetings more actionable by helping users prepare and host results-focused meetings.

Figma is working on bringing Figma and Figjam files right into Meet with this new Meet integration, giving teams the ability to brainstorm and build designs together right in the flow of a meeting. All participants can contribute and engage through Meet, so more voices are heard and projects move forward faster. 

We’re also making it easy for people to find and launch partner applications within Google Meet. Joint partner and Workspace customers will be able to discover and install Meet add-ons directly within the Meet UI — even during a live meeting. And of course, partners can register their apps in the Google Workspace Marketplace, helping them reach millions of Workspace users.

The Google Meet API will be available for early access later this year, and the Meet add-on SDK will be available for early access by the end of 2022.

Bringing partner applications into Google Chat and Spaces

Developers already use our Chat and Spaces APIs to add new experiences to Google Workspace. For instance, they are enabling third-party applications to automatically add people to Chat Spaces in time-sensitive, critical scenarios like incident response. 

Now, we’re expanding the Chat and Spaces APIs to enable more functionality between Google Chat and our partners’ applications. Soon, these apps will be able to automatically create 1:1 direct messages or group chats programmatically. These apps will also be able to read and write Chat messages without requiring a user to launch an app, further extending the capabilities to allow for contextual understanding of conversations. 

For example, imagine you’re discussing an upcoming project with your team in a space, and when you start working on the project in a given app, the app suggests adding a related link or Doc based on the Chat conversation. An app could also automatically copy all messages from one space to another to ensure important messages are shared as broadly as possible with your team. 

These are just a few ways partner apps using the Chat and Spaces APIs will be able to enhance user experiences in Chat. Several of our partners are already leveraging these Chat and Spaces APIs to create unique Chat experiences: 

Asana is currently using the new Chat and Spaces APIs to notify users and act on Asana tasks right from Google Chat, including actions such as marking a task complete, reassigning a task or even creating an entirely new task, all without leaving Google Chat.

LumApps, the widely-used employee experience platform, is building a new integration with Chat that will enable our joint users to launch a private Google Chat with another employee, directly from their LumApps user directory. Bringing together these two common use cases — finding a coworker and initiating a conversation — helping Google Workspace and LumApps customers communicate more seamlessly and quickly.

Integrating LumApps with Google Chat

Some capabilities for the Chat and Spaces APIs are already available in the Developer Preview Program, with more APIs launching in the next few weeks. Make sure you check out the Developer Preview Program for more details.

The power of an ecosystem

We’re committed to making Google Workspace the most capable, open, and extensible platform for users, and delivering a product that reflects reality for workers today: work doesn’t get done in a single application or a legacy suite of programs anymore.

Together with our partners, we can deliver more helpful, flexible tools, create best in class capabilities for hybrid work, and enable entirely new ways of communicating and collaborating.

You can learn more about Google Workspace add-ons and integrations here, our partner applications here, and read more about the benefits of modernizing legacy office programs here.  You can also express interest in partnering with Google Workspace here.

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