Workspace Plugin Vs. Chrome Extension | C2C Community
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Workspace Plugin Vs. Chrome Extension

  • 10 December 2022
  • 5 replies
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Does anyone have a good resource outlining the pros and cons of Developing a Workspace Plugin vs. a Chrome extension?

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Best answer by PaulRLees 12 December 2022, 08:56

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Userlevel 7
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Hi @chanelgreco@alan.muntadas, @PaulRLees@Paulogier 

Can you help @LymanMissimer ?

Userlevel 6
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@LymanMissimer it really depends on your use case as to which is best.

 

Here are my observations having developed both a Workspace Add-on and Chrome extension.

 

Chrome extension - Gave us a rich and fully integrated solution and allowed us to truly blend our application with elements of Workspace through the browser. However, as we are having to interact with the DOM, our code is unsupported by Google and can break when Google change the layout etc. We typically have to revisit the code every few months to make sure it’s working 100%. 

 

Workspace Add-on  This approach gave us a fully supported model, however the functionality is limited to a small set of features, and the UX can be poor due to the constraints of the framework provided. We created an email template plug-in which was a really nice use case for an Add-on and worked well. 

If your use case can work within an Add-on that would be my recommended route. With a Chrome extension you can do whatever you like, but you may find it breaks every now and again.

 

Good luck  🚀

Userlevel 7
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WOW

Thanks, @PaulRLees 😀

@LymanMissimer have you checked Paul's answer? What do you think?

Userlevel 5
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As a Developer Advocate for Google Workspace my is: always use the official resources. That would be creating a Google Workspace add-on

Check this guide on how to create and publish such an add-on: https://workspace.google.com/blog/developers-practitioners/customize-google-workspace-with-add-ons

 

As Paul outlined, creating a Chrome extension and relying on the DOM is not supported by Google and can break with any future changes. 

@PaulRLees This is SO helpful, thank you!

It’s interesting, our needs for our prototype (getting to a minimum testable product) likely point to a Workspace Add-on being the right route (we need limited functionality that works REALLY well within Google Docs), but perhaps as we build out the product, transitioning to a Chrome extension might be needed.

Have you ever made that switch, or developed both options for your product?

@chanelgreco Thank you! I did not have this documentation. Understood re: not being able to forecast changes that could break things.

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