Connect to Zendesk Data in Google Apps Script

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CData Connect



Use CData Connect Cloud to access Zendesk data in Google Apps Script.

Google Apps Script gives you the ability to create custom functionality within your Google documents, including Google Sheets, Google Docs, and more. With CData Connect Cloud, you get a MySQL interface for any of the 200+ sources supported by CData, including Zendesk. The MySQL protocol is natively supported through the JDBC service in Google Apps Script, so by utilizing Connect Cloud, you gain access to live Zendesk data within your Google documents.

This article shows how to create a virtual database for Zendesk in Connect Cloud and provides sample scripting for processing Zendesk data in a Google Spreadsheet.

Our script only reads data from a specified table, but you can easily extend the script to incorporate update functionality.

Create a Virtual MySQL Database for Zendesk Data

CData Connect Cloud uses a straightforward, point-and-click interface to connect to data sources and generate APIs.

  1. Login to Connect Cloud and click Databases.
  2. Select "Zendesk" from Available Data Sources.
  3. Enter the necessary authentication properties to connect to Zendesk.

    Connecting to Zendesk

    To connect, set the URL and provide authentication. The URL is your Zendesk Support URL: https://{subdomain}.zendesk.com.

    Authenticating to Zendesk

    You can authenticate using the Basic or OAuth methods.

    Using Basic Authentication

    To use Basic authentication, specify your email address and password or your email address and an API token. Set User to your email address and follow the steps below to provide the Password or ApiToken.

    • Enable password access in the Zendesk Support admin interface at Admin > Channels > API.
    • Manage API tokens in the Zendesk Support Admin interface at Admin > Channels > API. More than one token can be active at the same time. Deleting a token deactivates it permanently.

    Using OAuth Authentication

    See the Getting Started guide in the CData driver documentation for an authentication guide.

  4. Click Test Database.
  5. Click Privileges -> Add and add the new user (or an existing user) with the appropriate permissions.

With the virtual database created, you are ready to connect to Zendesk data from any MySQL client.

Connect to Zendesk Data with Apps Script

At this point, you should have configured a virtual database for Zendesk in Connect Cloud. All that is left now is to use Google Apps Script to access Connect Cloud and work with your Zendesk data in Google Sheets.

In this section, you will create a script (with a menu option to call the script) to populate a spreadsheet with Zendesk data. We have created a sample script and explained the different parts. You can view the raw script at the end of the article.

1. Create an Empty Script

To create a script for your Google Sheet, click Tools Script editor from the Google Sheets menu:

2. Declare Class Variables

Create a handful of class variables to be available for any functions created in the script.

//replace the variables in this block with real values as needed
var address = 'myinstance.cdatacloud.net:port';
var user = 'CLOUD_HUB_USER';
var userPwd = 'CLOUD_HUB_PASSWORD';
var db = 'zendeskdb';
var serverSslCert = '-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
...
-----END CERTIFICATE-----';
var clientSslCert = '-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
...
-----END CERTIFICATE-----';
var clientSslKey  = '-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
...
-----END CERTIFICATE-----';

var dbUrl = 'jdbc:mysql://' + address + '/' + db + '?useSSL=true';

3. Add a Menu Option

This function adds a menu option to your Google Sheet, allowing you to use the UI to call your function.

function onOpen() {
  var spreadsheet = SpreadsheetApp.getActive();
  var menuItems = [
    {name: 'Write data to a sheet', functionName: 'connectToZendeskData'}
  ];
  spreadsheet.addMenu('Zendesk Data', menuItems);
} 

4. Write a Helper Function

This function is used to find the first empty row in a spreadsheet.

/*
 * Finds the first empty row in a spreadsheet by scanning an array of columns
 * @return The row number of the first empty row.
 */
function getFirstEmptyRowByColumnArray(spreadSheet, column) {
  var column = spreadSheet.getRange(column + ":" + column);
  var values = column.getValues(); // get all data in one call
  var ct = 0;
  while ( values[ct] && values[ct][0] != "" ) {
    ct++;
  }
  return (ct+1);
}

5. Write a Function to Write Zendesk Data to a Spreadsheet

The function below writes the Zendesk data, using the Google Apps Script JDBC functionality to connect to Connect Cloud, SELECT data, and populate a spreadsheet. When the script is run, two input boxes will appear:

The first one asks the user to input the name of a sheet to hold the data (if the spreadsheet does not exist, the function creates it).

The second asks the user to input the name of a Zendesk table to read. If an invalid table is chosen, an error message appears and the function is exited.

Note, while the function is designed for use as a menu option, you can extend it for use as a spreadsheet formula.

/*
 * Reads data from a specified Zendesk 'table' and writes it to the specified sheet.
 *    (If the specified sheet does not exist, it is created.)
 */
function connectToZendeskData() {
  var thisWorkbook = SpreadsheetApp.getActive();

  //select a sheet and create it if it does not exist
  var selectedSheet = Browser.inputBox('Which sheet would you like the data to post to?',Browser.Buttons.OK_CANCEL);
  if (selectedSheet == 'cancel')
    return;

  if (thisWorkbook.getSheetByName(selectedSheet) == null)
    thisWorkbook.insertSheet(selectedSheet);
  var resultSheet = thisWorkbook.getSheetByName(selectedSheet);
  var rowNum = 2;

  //select a Zendesk 'table'
  var table = Browser.inputBox('Which table would you like to pull data from?',Browser.Buttons.OK_CANCEL);
  if (table == 'cancel')
    return;

  var conn = Jdbc.getConnection(dbUrl, {
    user: user, 
    password: userPwd, 
    _serverSslCertificate: serverSslCert,
    _clientSslCertificate: clientSslCert,
    _clientSslKey:         clientSslKey
  );

  //confirm that var table is a valid table/view
  var dbMetaData = conn.getMetaData();
  var tableSet = dbMetaData.getTables(null, null, table, null);
  var validTable = false;
  while (tableSet.next()) {
    var tempTable = tableSet.getString(3);
    if (table.toUpperCase() == tempTable.toUpperCase()){
      table = tempTable;
      validTable = true;
      break;
    }
  } 
  tableSet.close();
  if (!validTable) {
    Browser.msgBox("Invalid table name: " + table, Browser.Buttons.OK);
    return;
  }

  var stmt = conn.createStatement();

  var results = stmt.executeQuery('SELECT * FROM ' + table);
  var rsmd = results.getMetaData();
  var numCols = rsmd.getColumnCount();

  //if the sheet is empty, populate the first row with the headers
  var firstEmptyRow = getFirstEmptyRowByColumnArray(resultSheet, "A");
  if (firstEmptyRow == 1) {
    //collect column names
    var headers = new Array(new Array(numCols));
    for (var col = 0; col < numCols; col++){
      headers[0][col] = rsmd.getColumnName(col+1);
    }
    resultSheet.getRange(1, 1, headers.length, headers[0].length).setValues(headers);
  } else {
    rowNum = firstEmptyRow;
  }

  //write rows of Zendesk data to the sheet
  var values = new Array(new Array(numCols));
  while (results.next()) {
    for (var col = 0; col < numCols; col++) {
      values[0][col] = results.getString(col + 1);
    }
    resultSheet.getRange(rowNum, 1, 1, numCols).setValues(values);
    rowNum++;
  }

  results.close();
  stmt.close();
}
  

When the function is completed, you have a spreadsheet populated with your Zendesk data, and you can now leverage all of the calculating, graphing, and charting functionality of Google Sheets anywhere you have access to the Internet.


Complete Google Apps Script

//replace the variables in this block with real values as needed
var address = 'myinstance.cdatacloud.net:port';
var user = 'CLOUD_HUB_USER';
var userPwd = 'CLOUD_HUB_PASSWORD';
var db = 'zendeskdb';
var serverSslCert = '-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
...
-----END CERTIFICATE-----';
var clientSslCert = '-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
...
-----END CERTIFICATE-----';
var clientSslKey  = '-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
...
-----END CERTIFICATE-----';

var dbUrl = 'jdbc:mysql://' + address + '/' + db + '?useSSL=true';

function onOpen() {
  var spreadsheet = SpreadsheetApp.getActive();
  var menuItems = [
    {name: 'Write table data to a sheet', functionName: 'connectToZendeskData'}
  ];
  spreadsheet.addMenu('Zendesk Data', menuItems);
}

/*
 * Finds the first empty row in a spreadsheet by scanning an array of columns
 * @return The row number of the first empty row.
 */
function getFirstEmptyRowByColumnArray(spreadSheet, column) {
  var column = spreadSheet.getRange(column + ":" + column);
  var values = column.getValues(); // get all data in one call
  var ct = 0;
  while ( values[ct] && values[ct][0] != "" ) {
    ct++;
  }
  return (ct+1);
}

/*
 * Reads data from a specified 'table' and writes it to the specified sheet.
 *    (If the specified sheet does not exist, it is created.)
 */
function connectToZendeskData() {
  var thisWorkbook = SpreadsheetApp.getActive();

  //select a sheet and create it if it does not exist
  var selectedSheet = Browser.inputBox('Which sheet would you like the data to post to?',Browser.Buttons.OK_CANCEL);
  if (selectedSheet == 'cancel')
    return;

  if (thisWorkbook.getSheetByName(selectedSheet) == null)
    thisWorkbook.insertSheet(selectedSheet);
  var resultSheet = thisWorkbook.getSheetByName(selectedSheet);
  var rowNum = 2;

  //select a Zendesk 'table'
  var table = Browser.inputBox('Which table would you like to pull data from?',Browser.Buttons.OK_CANCEL);
  if (table == 'cancel')
    return;

  var conn = Jdbc.getConnection(dbUrl, {
    user: user, 
    password: userPwd, 
    _serverSslCertificate: serverSslCert,
    _clientSslCertificate: clientSslCert,
    _clientSslKey:         clientSslKey
  );

  //confirm that var table is a valid table/view
  var dbMetaData = conn.getMetaData();
  var tableSet = dbMetaData.getTables(null, null, table, null);
  var validTable = false;
  while (tableSet.next()) {
    var tempTable = tableSet.getString(3);
    if (table.toUpperCase() == tempTable.toUpperCase()){
      table = tempTable;
      validTable = true;
      break;
    }
  } 
  tableSet.close();
  if (!validTable) {
    Browser.msgBox("Invalid table name: " + table, Browser.Buttons.OK);
    return;
  }

  var stmt = conn.createStatement();

  var results = stmt.executeQuery('SELECT * FROM ' + table);
  var rsmd = results.getMetaData();
  var numCols = rsmd.getColumnCount();

  //if the sheet is empty, populate the first row with the headers
  var firstEmptyRow = getFirstEmptyRowByColumnArray(resultSheet, "A");
  if (firstEmptyRow == 1) {
    //collect column names
    var headers = new Array(new Array(numCols));
    for (var col = 0; col < numCols; col++){
      headers[0][col] = rsmd.getColumnName(col+1);
    }
    resultSheet.getRange(1, 1, headers.length, headers[0].length).setValues(headers);
  } else {
    rowNum = firstEmptyRow;
  }

  //write rows of Zendesk data to the sheet
  var values = new Array(new Array(numCols));
  while (results.next()) {
    for (var col = 0; col < numCols; col++) {
      values[0][col] = results.getString(col + 1);
    }
    resultSheet.getRange(rowNum, 1, 1, numCols).setValues(values);
    rowNum++;
  }

  results.close();
  stmt.close();
}