Overview of developing Google Chat apps to import user data

To import user data from other messaging platforms into Google Chat, you can create a Chat app and import mode Chat space. In import mode spaces, Chat apps can import existing messages, attachments, reactions, memberships, and space entities from other platforms into equivalent REST resources. You can only use import mode spaces during the import process.

Why use import mode spaces

Import mode spaces provide a better experience for end users who are transitioning from other messaging platforms to Google Chat. In comparison to copying source data into regular spaces, the use of import mode spaces have the following advantages:

  • Preservation of resource creation timestamps. You can set a historical time for the creation times of space and message resources, letting Chat apps retain historical context during user adoption of Google Chat. For more information, see Import data to Google Chat.
  • End users can't view or access spaces in import mode. To prevent user interference of a space undergoing data import, or to avoid possible user confusion as a result of viewing an in-progress data import, spaces in import mode are hidden from end users. After a space has completed import mode, you can add users to the space.
  • Chat turns off notifications during import mode, so that users can avoid unnecessary alerts about the migration.

Google Chat resources supported in import mode spaces

You can import the following Google Chat API resources with import mode spaces:

  • Messages
  • Attachments with the following considerations:
    • Attachments can be uploaded to import mode spaces with Google Chat API, however we highly recommend using Google Drive API to upload files and link the file URIs to the respective messages in the import mode spaces instead to avoid hitting Google Chat internal limit for attachment upload.
  • Reactions
  • Memberships with the following considerations:

    • Historical memberships must be imported when a space is in import mode. You can't import historical memberships after the space completes import mode.
    • Other existing memberships from the source messaging platform must be created after a space completes import mode.
    • Members must be users within the same domain.
  • Spaces. Only SpaceType.SPACE is supported.

Map source data to Google Chat resources

When importing data from source messaging platforms into Google Chat, review the supported resources that you can create in Chat. Then, determine the source entities that you want to import and map each one to a Chat resource. After you've planned the resource mappings, read the entities from the source messaging platform, and write them into import mode spaces.