Playing with Google Docs Scripts and Get Satisfaction

March 15th, 2012

Sometimes I do things that don't really have a point... yet. One of them was pulling some information from GetSatisfaction (GSFN) to a Google Docs Spreadsheet (GDS). GSFN has an API that returns everything in JSON, so writing script in a GDS to pull in that information is quite easy.

The first step is to create a spreadsheet in Google Docs.  This will act as a container for the data.

The second step is to create a script to parse the JSON output and put it in the spreadsheet.  An example of this, which is a script I used to only get the topic, date, and type of topic (question, idea, problem, or praise).  It's simple, and it can be expanded on.  But for the sake of example, here it is:

function fillGSFN() {
  var r=1; 
  for(var page=89;page<200;page++){
    var jsondata = UrlFetchApp.fetch("{COMPANY}/topics.json?page="+page);
    var object = Utilities.jsonParse(jsondata.getContentText());
    var ss=SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet();
    var sheet=ss.getSheets()[0];
    for(var i in{
      sheet.getRange(r, 1).setValue([i].subject);
    if(i!="14") return 1; //This was not a full page

This script is still a work in progress, and there are better ways to consume a JSON feed, but for what I was doing, this was a nice quick-and-simple way to do it.

Adding a Search Engine in Chrome to Track UPS Shipments

December 22nd, 2010

One of the cool features of the Google Chrome Browser is the ability to add search engines and search them from the address bar. This tip builds on that capability to track UPS shipments based on their UPS Tracking Number.

The first step is to go to the options menu by clicking on the wrench icon and going to Options:

The second step is to go to the Basics tab (or on Mac, click on the Basics icon)

Step 2: Manage Search Engines Step 2: Manage Search Engine (OS X)

The third step is to add the search engine.  On Windows, click Add, and then fill out the resulting form, on OS X, click the '+' button and do the same.

Step 3: Add a Search EngineStep 3: Click on the '+' and add the search engine settings (OS X)

Windows Form:

Windows Form

The following are the items for the form:

Name: UPS

Keyword: UPS

URL: ayed=1&TypeOfInquiryNumber=T&loc=en_US&InquiryNumber1=%s&track.x=0&track.y=0

NOTE: The entire URL above should be one line with no spaces!

Click OK on everything (or in some cases, the red circle on OS X).  To use this, open Chrome, type 'ups' in the address bar and press Tab and enter the tracking number (copy-paste works well for this).

Type 'UPS' in the address bar...

...Press Tab, and paste your tracking number...

Once you press Enter, you will immediately go to the UPS website showing your tracking information.  In this case, my shipment won't make it by Christmas.  Oh well.

...and see your tracking information