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 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

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.

Google Increments Security Settings

Back in January, Google announced that for Gmail, default access would shift to https (using SSL).   This change, impacting all versions of Google Apps, is a welcome move to ensure secure communication data in-transit as well as at-rest.

Our recommendation remains that all Google Apps Premier and Education Edition users force SSL use for ALL Google Apps services.  While this may complication connecting older scanning devices, the additional security is worth the need for the occasional work-around.

Google Docs’ “Upload Any File” Has Limitations

In January, Google announced that users can upload files of any time and save them in Google Docs.  With 1GB of space per user, the feature provides limited ability to begin using Google Docs as a file server.

The API implementation — the interface used by programmers — has limitations beyond those in the end user web interface.

  • Only Google Apps Premier Edition allows uploading files of any type, without conversion, to Google Docs.  Somewhat surprisingly, this feature is not available for the Education Edition users.
  • File sizes are limited to 250 MB

What this means is that programs built for the commercial sector will not work for educational institutions and non-profits using Google Apps Education Edition.

W e suspect there are many factors in this decision.  One such issue may be that the Education Edition is free and Google has not yet announced if/how Education Edition users will be able to purchase more space.   Time will tell if this limitation is temporary or part of a larger plan.