When creating or editing a Google Calendar event, users have the option to quickly create a Google Hangout conference and associate it with the event. Once added, event attendees can easily join the associated Hangout with a simple click.
However, if a user wants to use a third-party conference (such as WebEx) instead of Google Hangouts, the process is more complex. Typically this requires the user to create the conference outside of Google Calendar and then copy a conference code into the Calendar event description. Event attendees then must follow a specific set of steps to enter the conference using the code provided.
G Suite add-ons can help users avoid this complexity. You can build a G Suite add-on that extends Google Calendar with third-party conference solutions. Each added conference solution adds a new conferencing option for Calendar events, allowing users to create and join those conferences directly from Google Calendar.
If you are a conference provider, you can create a G Suite add-on to define a connection between Google Calendar and your product. You can then publish the add-on in the G Suite Marketplace, where users and administrators can discover and install it.
A conference solution represents a type of third-party conference that users can join. Each solution is shown as a conferencing option a user can choose when creating or editing a Google Calendar event.
Examples of conference solutions an add-on might define include the following:
- a standard video conference
- an audio-only conference
- a personal conference
- a publicly streamed conference
Any type of conference that the third-party service provides can have an associated solution, and collections of solutions can be bundled together in a single G Suite add-on.
How conference solutions work
When a conference solution is added to a G Suite add-on, there is no need to provide a detailed UI for it. Instead, whenever a user creates or edits a Google Calendar event, any solutions defined in the G Suite add-ons the user has installed appear as conferencing options.
When a user selects a conference solution, the add-on connects to the third-party conferencing system using its API and creates the conference, syncing data between the conference and the Google Calendar event. If the event is later updated or deleted, the add-on detects this and makes the corresponding updates on the conferencing system. Once a conference is attached to an event, attendees can join the conference from Google Calendar.
Optionally, the add-on can provide a settings page to allow users to control specific conferencing behavior.
G Suite add-ons that provide conference solutions to Google Calendar
require specific information—conference data—in order to let
users join third-party conferences. When you define a conference solution in
your add-on, you specify an
that builds and returns a
ConferenceData object must contain either all the conference data
Google Calendar needs, or a
object that describes an error that occurred when communicating with the
third-party conferencing system.
The table below describes each type of conference data your add-on can use and
lists the ConferenceData service
object that represents it. Each
object your add-on uses must have all elements marked as Required:
||Required if an error occurred, in which case no other data is needed. Use this to report a problem that happened when the add-on tried to connect to the conferencing system.|
||Required if not an error.
Use this ID to identify the conference within the third-party conferencing system.
||Use these key-value pairs to pass any system-specific information to and from the third-party conferencing system. For example, the system may require the email of the conference moderator, or a meeting key.|
||Use this to append a text notice to the conference. Typically you use these to add instructions for conference administrators or legal notices.|
||Required if not an error, in which case at least one
The following documentation can help you learn more:
Build a G Suite add-on with conference solutions. Build conference add-ons provides an overview of the steps required to build a G Suite add-on that implements third-party conference solutions.
Get a closer look. View the source code of a conferencing G Suite add-on example.
Learn more about what Apps Script can do. Review the Google Apps Script documentation.
Wondering what other developers have built? Visit the G Suite Marketplace for Google Calendar.