Google Adds 'Gadgets' To Online Spreadsheets - InformationWeek

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Google Adds 'Gadgets' To Online Spreadsheets

Consumers and small businesses primarily use Google Apps, but the company has been trying to push adoption to large companies.

Google on Wednesday launched tools for building small Web applications called "gadgets" that can display data from Google's online spreadsheet application.

The Gadgets-in-Docs and Visualization API are meant to act as a platform on which anyone can build an application for displaying spreadsheet data on a chart, a table, or any other area with a Web page. The idea is to let users expand the use of Google spreadsheets, which are part of the company Google Docs product that also includes online word processing and presentation applications.

Nondevelopers can find a gadget by opening up a Google spreadsheet, clicking on the chart icon and then clicking on "gadget," Google said. The tiny application can then be customized to fit the data on a spreadsheet and then published to an iGoogle personalized home page or any other Web page.

Developers looking to reach a broader audience can use the Visualization API, which provides a platform that can be used to create, share, and reuse visualizations written by the developer community. The technology provides a common application programming interface to access structured data sources, the first being Google spreadsheets, the company said.

Google Docs are considered a complement and rival to Microsoft Office, the industry's dominant productivity suite for homes and businesses. Docs are part of a collection of online software called Google Apps, which also include Web mail, calendar, instant messaging, and a personalized home page.

Consumers and small businesses primarily use Google Apps, but the company has been trying to push adoption to large companies. Google in September partnered with Capgemini, which agreed to offer a desktop outsourcing service for Google Apps. The IT consulting firm also offers an outsourcing service for Microsoft Office.

As part of the deal, Google agreed to host the apps from its data center, while Capgemini supported them, and charged businesses additional fees for services such as deployment, integration, help desk support, software and hardware provisioning, and security monitoring and software.

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