New APIs Open Opportunities for 3rd Party Admin Solutions

The Google Apps Audit API now allows Google Apps administrators to audit a user’s email, email drafts, and archived chats.  In addition, a domain administrator can retrieve account login information and download a user’s mailbox.

These features, and others Google is adding to the Google Apps API, open new opportunities for more advanced administrative features — a necessity in today’s enterprise computing environment.

Keep an eye on the Google Apps Marketplace for new management apps.

Google Documents Editor Updates

Google has released several enhancements to the Google Docs word processor.

  • Comment scrolling:
    Whenever you click in a comment it will now scroll so that it’s directly beside the associated text.
  • Dictionary:
    Select a word in your doc, you can look up the definition for that word by going to ‘Tools’ then ‘Define…’.
  • Special Characters:
    Click ‘Insert’, then ‘Special characters’.
  • Metric Units:
    If your language is set to ‘English US’, your ruler will be set in inches. All other locales will now see the ruler with metric units but this will soon be a setting that you can modify.

Google Spreadsheet Update

As Google continues to aggressively enhance the user interface and functionalities, they continue to announce more capabilities:

  • Range sorting: You can now choose column ranges in ascending or descending order. You can also add and take away rules as well as selecting if data has a header or not.
  • Formula highlighting in Internet Explorer: Highlight the ranges in the formula – each range referenced in a formula gets highlighted a different color automatically.

You can learn more here.

MS Office Suite and Apps Prices Jump 4% to 10%

With May 12 set for the official launch of MS Office 2010, the folks at ZDNET are reporting on pricing analysis done by Directions on Microsoft.  After analyzing the maze of Microsoft pricing programs for businesses, they report that prices are jumping 4% to 10% across the suite, and for applications like Project and Sharepoint.

Are these increases enough to prompt businesses to look at other solutions, or just another annoying fact of life when running a Microsft-based ecosystem?

Google Spreadsheet: Copy Sheets Between Files

Google Spreadsheet continues to rapidly mature.  You can now copy a Sheet from one spreadsheet to another.  This feature increases your ability to manage data, distribute sheets for gathering information, and organize your information

Learn more …

Google Security: Enterprise Tools for Mobile Security

Google recently added new security features for managing mobile users.  Administrators can now:

Remotely wipe all data from lost or stolen mobile devices.
Lock idle devices after a period of inactivity.
Require a device password on each phone.
Set minimum lengths for more secure passwords.
Require passwords to include letters, numbers and punctuation

These features are available for iPhone and most Nokia and Windows Mobile devices.

Want help implementing, contact us.

Google Apps Helpful Hint: Delegation in MS Outlook

If you delegate your email and calendar in Google Apps (Premier or Education editions), the person to whom you delegate, can handle messages and calendar events on your behalf from the Outlook client if you are using the Google Apps Sync for MS Outlook tool.

When you grant access to your account in Gmail, and share your primary Calendar, those messages and events are synced to the Outlook client. The person to whom you delegate can then receive and answer email on your behalf, as well as create and respond to calendar invitations on your behalf.

Click here to learn how to delegate access

Google Apps Helpful Hint: Subscribe to Resource Calendars

Want to add resource calendar (conference rooms, etc.)  information to your calendar,  follow these easy steps:

  • In Calendar Settings, go to the ‘Calendars’ tab
  • ‘Browse interesting calendars’
  • Yhen ‘More’
  • You will see an option for the resources at your domain
    • Clicking on this allows you to either preview the calendar or subscribe

Did you miss these Google Docs updates?

Over the past several weeks and months, Google has released many updates to Google Docs.  While the big updates — such as uploading of any file type — get a lot of attention, here are a few that you may have missed:

  • Thumbnail View in the Docs List
    • By selecting the this view for your document list, you can now see a thumbnail image of your document when viewing the list or searching.  When combined with search by relevance, the thumbnail view makes it really easy to find the file you’re looking for.
  • Spelling correction when searching for a doc
    • When searching for a document, the search bar now recognizes common misspellings and prompts you for corrections.
  • Upload any file limit increased from 250MB to 1GB
    • When uploading a file that you are not converting to Google Docs formats, the size limit is now 1GB.

You can learn more about these features here.

New Google Apps Security Against an Idle Threat

While security breaches related to Google products make great headlines, the all have one thing in common.  The user’s identity was comprimised.  In some cases, users had passwords that were easy to guess given publicly available information.  In other instances, users downloaded malware from infected web sites that let hackers read the usernames as passwords.

This week, Google provided Google Apps Premier and Education Edition admins a new tool against this threat.

Administrators can now reset sign-in cookies from the Control Panel.  So, even if users have the “Stay signed in” box checked, the next time to open Google Apps, they will be forced to login.  In doing this, Admins can reset the sign-in status of all users and prevent accidental access.