Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Google Apps Directory Sync: Tips for Microsoft Active Directory

The Google Apps Directory Sync tool really should be installed at any mid to large corporation using a Microsoft Windows Server (or any LDAP compatible directory server).  It eliminates the need to add, change, or delete users in two different places.

LDAP Directory Sync is definitely complex with a steep learning curve.  You need a good understanding of how to create LDAP queries as there are only limited examples in the provided documentation.  However, once it's configured there should be little reason to change it.

It's our experience that in most installations you'll need one configuration file for synchronizing Users, Profiles, and Contacts and another configuration file for Groups.

If you're migrating in batches from an email server such as Exchange Server to Google Apps it's best to synchronize only users that are a member of a Security Group such as "Google Apps Users".  That way the user is created in Google Apps only after they've been made a member of the security group.

Here's a sample LDAP user query: 
(memberOf=CN=Google Apps Users,OU=Security Groups,DC=domainname,DC=local)

Replace OU=Security Groups,... with the appropriate location in your Active directory tree of the security group.

And note that Google Postini has the same ability to synchronize to Microsoft Active Directory or your LDAP directory server.

Or give us a call at Interlockit.com.  We're happy to configure it for you.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Google Apps and Docs misconceptions

The Microsoft camp frequently points out how Microsoft Office has all the features that businesses want right now and therefore wants you to conclude that you don't need Google Apps, but this misses the main point; Google Docs are complementary to Microsoft Office.

Google Docs has been providing rich real-time collaboration to millions of users for nearly four years.  You can edit and share documents from the browser from anywhere in the world.  A growing number of corporations are using it as their primary productivity software but there's no need to.

Google Docs makes Office 2003 and 2007 better because you can store any file in Google's cloud and share them in their original format with anyone on the internet.  No more guessing if you have the latest version.

Google Docs represents a real alternative for companies: a chance to get the collaboration features you need today and end the endless cycle of "upgrades".

Try it out free for 30 days.  The only thing you have to lose is a server or two.