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Chrome Insider: Enhanced extension reporting with Chrome Browser’s Takeout API

June 8, 2020
Fletcher Oliver

Chrome Enterprise Customer Engineer

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Extensions offer enterprise users a great way to customize their Chrome Browser experience and help them get more work done in the cloud. But IT teams often want more visibility into extension usage to help them apply security policies that address the needs of the business. Chrome Browser Cloud Management provides a great way to view the installed extensions that your users have on their managed machines. The console also provides insight into the permissions (rights) that those extensions need to function properly. 

Many enterprises manage extensions both for security and productivity reasons. While they can use Chrome Browser Cloud Management to gain insights on extension usage and set policies centrally, admins have told us they also want to export the data directly from the admin console. Now IT can use the Chrome Browser Cloud Management Takeout API or extension reporting using Chrome Browser Cloud Management. (Don’t have Cloud Management set up yet? Follow these easy steps to get up and running.) 

This API makes it easier for enterprises to access key information about extensions and enables improved security and compliance reporting. To help IT make better decisions about how they want to handle extensions in their environment, the data they can export from the console via the Takeout API includes:

  • The unique ID and name of the extension

  • The detailed permissions that the extension requires to run 

  • How many permissions the extension requires to run

  • Which machines have the extension installed, disabled, or force installed by an admin

  • The number of times the extension has been installed, disabled, or force installed by an admin

Check out this quick video that walks you through the steps to get this information:

Video Thumbnail

Here are some tools to get you started:

  • Here is a direct link to the script where you can copy the text and save it as a .py 

  • You can refer to this guide for a step by step guide on how to enable the Admin SDK API and run the python script on Windows, Mac or Linux. 

  • A help center article with additional API information is located via this link

With this information, you’ll have a great starting point for deciding how to approach extension management in your enterprise. Knowing what extensions are installed on which devices and by whom is a crucial data point to prevent disrupting users if you roll out extension policy changes. You can also generate regular reports or use this data to meet your security or regulatory needs. Check out the Managing Extensions in your Enterprise guide for all of the options that Chrome Browser offers for making this a simpler process.

Extension details are just one of the takeout capabilities for Chrome Browser Cloud Management available via API. Learn more about the new API and how it can help you with your enterprise reporting here.

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