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Google Docs Integration with Drupal

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Google Docs Integration with Drupal

Written by Jonathan Lambert on

So, for a while now, we at WorkHabit have been wanting to integrate two of our favorite tools: Google Docs, and Drupal.


Right now, it's possible to publish through Drupal's blog interface to Drupal, but it's not currently possible to embed Google docs as an embedded editor in Drupal so you can mirror the content of a Drupal Website in a Google Doc, and enable bi-directional publishing. This is a bit of a panacea, but it would drastically decrease the barrier to entry to business folks to use Drupal for content publication. Not only would customers be able to work inside of their familiar word processor, they wouldn't have to learn Drupal to be able to update their website. This would be a big win for untechnical folks.

So I contacted my friends at Google, who put me in touch with the Google Apps Partner Lead. This was his first response:

I think you're looking for an ACL API for Google Docs so you can modify collaborators/viewers programatically? If so, unfortunately that API isn't available yet :-(

There are a couple of key issues, but most of them relate to the Access Control Lists (ACLs), where Google docs have a relationship to just one user, and mapping those between systems is very difficult. You also have to have a content API, which is currently just one directional, so not useful for this case.

The reply back was:

RE: ACL API, the good news is it will actually be available "soon." No exact time, but given it's key for you, we're close enough that it's likely worth your wait.

Unfortunately, that conversation happened on May 1st, 2008. And so far, the data is still all locked up! Sure you can get a list of all docs and their characteristics, search within documents (see text query here for an example), but there is a complete lack of ability to pull data from Google Docs.

Google, what's the deal guys? Why are you locking this data up? Seems antithetical to the corporate culture, so I'm actually seriously asking.