Sunday, June 9, 2013

[Gd] For shipping jewelry, Apps Script is golden

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Google Apps Developer Blog: For shipping jewelry, Apps Script is golden

Editor’s Note: Guest author Jason Gordon is a co-founder of Beth Macri Designs — Arun Nagarajan

Beth Macri Designs creates jewelry from the point of view of a structural engineer. The forms are designed using generative 3D software systems and materialized using 3D printing technologies. Our company understands that to make beautiful fine jewelry, 3D printing is only the first step; traditional jewelry craft is then employed for final production. After our first product, The Hidden Message Necklace, was recently featured on The View as part of its Valentine's Day Gift Guide, we had a lot of orders to ship out. As soon as the mail leaves the building, though, the process is literally out of our hands: something unexpected was bound to happen to at least one or two packages. Several package-tracking services exist, but getting the names and tracking numbers into them was a cut-and-paste operation.

I knew that all of the tracking numbers were being delivered by email and I had already set up a Gmail filter to archive them and apply a label. With a little help from Google Apps Script, I knew I could automatically parse those emails and add them to my account on PackageTrackr (which syncs to their newer service, Fara).

The script supports reading emails from multiple shipping providers and is set up so one could easily add more. Every 30 minutes on a time-driven trigger, using the Gmail service, the script runs and looks through unread emails from the shipping provider label, then parses the name and tracking number out of each one. The provider, tracking number, and recipient are stored in a JavaScript array.

function getUSPSConversations(){
return"in:usps is:unread subject:(Click-N-Ship)");

function matchUSPSHTML(data){
var out = [];
var track_num = data.match(
var to = data.match(/*[\r\n]*.*>([a-zA-Z\s-_]*)<br>/g);
for(i in track_num){
var o = new Object();
var track = track_num[i].match(/(\d+)/g);
var person = to[i].match(/>([a-zA-Z\s-_]+)<br>/);
var myPerson = person[1].replace(/(\r\n|\n|\r)/gm,"")
return out;

You can parse all of your different shipping providers in one run of the script. After the all of the shipment emails are read, it composes an email to PackageTrackr to give it all of the tracking numbers it just harvested.

var user = Session.getActiveUser().getEmail();
if(data.length > 0){
for(d in data){
body += this["formatForPackageTrackr"](data[d]["number"],
data[d]["carrier"], data[d]["person"]);

GmailApp.sendEmail("", "Add Packages",
body, {bcc: user});

function formatForPackageTrackr(tracking_num, service, person){
return "#:" + tracking_num + " " + service + " " + person + "\n";

Down the line, other shipping providers could be added such as UPS and Fedex. Additionally, more tracking services could be added instead of just PackageTrackr.

Jason Gordon   profile

Jason Gordon is a co-founder at jewelry startup Beth Macri Designs. He is responsible for software development, logistics and e-commerce. While working at Beth Macri Designs, Jason gets to find creative ways to put his software development skills to work to improve logistics and user experience.


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