Golang: Interacting with Google spreadsheets

Exploring Google’s sheets API with Golang
Oct 24 2022 · 4 min read

It’s not wondering if we can update google edits from the backend. Google is providing APIs to interact with Google spreadsheets. We can easily access those services and add or update the same using APIs.

Let’s update the google spreadsheet with its own stuff — the so-called Golang.


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Overview

Today, we will learn some case studies with spreadsheets as follow,

  • Authentication and creating spreadsheet service
  • Append data to the spreadsheet
1_6MPTrHnwX798uCyks9VmUQ.webp
  • Update cells of the spreadsheet
1_nnzTLVMDu4aediRz4LcOqA.webp
  • Append data with a background color to a spreadsheets
1_Pkkcct9ghsTux9M5tzsWyw.webp

 

We will use the google SDK library implemented in Golang.

These are some basic demonstrations by using sheet API, you can explore google’s spreadsheet API reference in depth.


Video

Prerequisites

We need a service account on the google cloud platform for server authentication.

Follow this guide to create a service account, download the key, convert it to base64, and store it as an environment variable. This way, you can secure your keys.

Note: It’s necessary to share the spreadsheet with client_email of the service account to access it. Otherwise, you will get 403 forbidden. You can find client_email in the downloaded key’s json file.

Follow me to start with APIs.


Authentication and creating spreadsheet service

Import golang.org/x/oauth2/google and google.golang.org/api/sheets/v4 to use sheet API.

Authentication is a must for accessing any services of google. The following snippet shows the authentication flow for sheet APIs.

// create api context
ctx := context.Background()

// get bytes from base64 encoded google service accounts key
credBytes, err := b64.StdEncoding.DecodeString(os.Getenv("KEY_JSON_BASE64"))
if err != nil {
	log.Error(err)
	return
}

// authenticate and get configuration
config, err := google.JWTConfigFromJSON(credBytes, "https://www.googleapis.com/auth/spreadsheets")
if err != nil {
	log.Error(err)
	return
}

// create client with config and context
client := config.Client(ctx)

// create new service using client
srv, err := sheets.NewService(ctx, option.WithHTTPClient(client))
if err != nil {
	log.Error(err)
	return
}

Let’s go through it…

Authentication :

  • DecodeString converts base64 key string to bytes .
  • JWTConfigFromJSON authenticates using bytes and auth-url and returns config data of the user like client_email, scopes, etc…

Service creation :

  • Client creates client using context and config .
  • NewService creates service from the created client.

Append data to the spreadsheet

// https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/<SPREADSHEETID>/edit#gid=<SHEETID>
sheetId := <SHEETID>
spreadsheetId := <SPREADSHEETID>

// Convert sheet ID to sheet name.
response1, err := srv.Spreadsheets.Get(spreadsheetId).Fields("sheets(properties(sheetId,title))").Do()
if err != nil || response1.HTTPStatusCode != 200 {
	log.Error(err)
	return
}

sheetName := ""
for _, v := range response1.Sheets {
	prop := v.Properties
	if prop.SheetId == int64(sheetId) {
		sheetName = prop.Title
		break
	}
}

//Append value to the sheet.
row := &sheets.ValueRange{
	Values: [][]interface{}{{"1", "ABC", "abc@gmail.com"}},
}

response2, err := srv.Spreadsheets.Values.Append(spreadsheetId, sheetName, row).ValueInputOption("USER_ENTERED").InsertDataOption("INSERT_ROWS").Context(ctx).Do()
if err != nil || response2.HTTPStatusCode != 200 {
	log.Error(err)
	return
}

Credit goes to this thread for this code.

Let’s go through it…

  • Get sheet id and spreadsheet id: Both ids can be found from the spreadsheet URL as given in the snippet.
  • Get sheet name: To append data, you must have the sheet name. You can directly use the sheet name, but if you are uncertain about its name, then you can get it by using Get API.
  • Prepare data: The Append method uses ValueRange and accepts data in [][]interface{}{} format. Each value will be appended in each cell row-wise. We can append multiple data to the sheet.
  • Append data: We will use Values.Append on service to append data. If the response will be successful then it will append data as below,
Append data
Append data

Update cells of the spreadsheet

For updating cells, we need some range in which we want to update certain cells or rows.

Values.Update method used for updating cells of the spreadsheet. Review the given code below,

// https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/<SPREADSHEETID>/edit#gid=<SHEETID>
spreadsheetId := <SPREADSHEETID>

// The A1 notation of cells range to update.
range2 := "A1:C1" 

// prepare data for update cells
row := &sheets.ValueRange{
	Values: [][]interface{}{{"2", "XYZ", "xyz@gmail.com"}},
}

// update cells in given range 
_, err = srv.Spreadsheets.Values.Update(spreadsheetId, range2, row).ValueInputOption("USER_ENTERED").Context(ctx).Do()
if err != nil {
	log.Fatal(err)
}

The output will be…

1_nnzTLVMDu4aediRz4LcOqA.webp
Update cells or rows

Append data with the background color to a spreadsheet

We can format cells using sheet API. CellFormat is providing properties to set the format of cells like background color, border color, text alignment , etc…

Use the below snippet to prepare a cell with background color,

func prepareCells(records []string) []*sheets.RowData {
	// init cells array
	cells := []*sheets.CellData{}

	bgWhite := &sheets.Color{ // green background
		Alpha: 1,
		Blue:  0,
		Red:   0,
		Green: 1,
	}

	// prepare cell for each records and append it to cells
	for i := range records {
		data := &sheets.CellData{
			UserEnteredValue: &sheets.ExtendedValue{
				StringValue: &(records[i]), // add value
			},
			UserEnteredFormat: &sheets.CellFormat{ // add background color
				BackgroundColor: bgWhite,
			},
		}
		cells = append(cells, data)
	}

	// prepare row from cells
	return []*sheets.RowData{
		{Values: cells},
	}
}

In CellData, Add value in UserEnteredValue and format in UserEnteredFormat .

We will use batchUpdate method to append data to a sheet.

// https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/<SPREADSHEETID>/edit#gid=<SHEETID>
sheetId := <SHEETID>
spreadsheetId := <SPREADSHEETID>

records := []string{"1", "ABC", "abc@gmail.com"}

// create the batch request
batchUpdateRequest := sheets.BatchUpdateSpreadsheetRequest{
	Requests: []*sheets.Request{
		{
			AppendCells: &sheets.AppendCellsRequest{
				Fields:  "*",  // for adding data in all cells
				Rows:    prepareCells(records),  // get formatted cells row
				SheetId: int64(sheetId),  // use sheetID here
			},
		},
	},
}

// execute the request using spreadsheetId
res, err := srv.Spreadsheets.BatchUpdate(spreadsheetId, &batchUpdateRequest).Context(ctx).Do()
if err != nil || res.HTTPStatusCode != 200 {
	log.Error(err)
	return
}
  • BatchUpdateSpreadsheetRequest contains Requests. We can prepare multiple requests with it. For appending data, we will use AppendCells , In which pass Fields(that we want to append), Rows(from prepareCells()) and sheetId .

The output will be like this,

1_ZKQeOqM8InIzMNniyh17mg.webp
Append data with background color

Wrapping up

These are just a few examples of using spreadsheet API in Golang. If you want more, please suggest them in the comments section.

Documentation also provides solutions in various technologies like nodejs and python. You can play with some more examples from it.



sumita-k image
Sumita Kevat
Sumita is an experienced software developer with 5+ years in web development. Proficient in front-end and back-end technologies for creating scalable and efficient web applications. Passionate about staying current with emerging technologies to deliver.


sumita-k image
Sumita Kevat
Sumita is an experienced software developer with 5+ years in web development. Proficient in front-end and back-end technologies for creating scalable and efficient web applications. Passionate about staying current with emerging technologies to deliver.

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