With the recent updates to Google Docs, users of Google Apps Premier and Education Editions can now save files of any time. Added with the ability to affordably increase storage space, Google Apps is becoming a viable hosted file service.
To integrate Google Docs with end users’ local systems, several companies are building solutions, including Memeo.
After testing MemeoConnect and working through several support calls, we cannot recommend this as a solution … yet. The software is lacking features we consider critical for usability. Here is what we learned:
- After starting MemeoConnect and entering our Google Apps credentials, the connection does not always happen. Once in the software, there is now way to see why the state is disconnected and there is now way to attempt to reconnect. You must exit and start over. Also, when the connection does work, it often disconnects after some period of time without notice. Our ability for MemeoConnect to initiate and stay connected to Google Apps was only about 40%.
- When you pick a desktop or network folder to synchronize with Google Docs, MemeoConnect automatically pulls in all subfolders. You cannot granularly select just a folder. As such, we ended up with drafts and previous versions of documents we did not want in Google Docs.
- When moving documents up to Google Docs, everything ends up in the Root folder. MemeoConnect does not create folders to mimic those on your desktop or server, and we could not figure out any way to tell MemeoConnect where to place the folders.
- Once you add a folder to the sync process, there is no means to remove it. Per a response from MemeoConnect, the only way to remove a folder from the sync list is to uninstall MemeoConnect and reinstall. Not the most friendly or usable solution.
- There is no means to see which local or network folders are setup to sync with Google Docs.
Surely, we expect Memeo will address these shortcomings in upcoming releases, at which time we will retest and review again.
One longer term concern, though, is the model. MemeoConnect becomes another tool users must use to manage files. Working locally and saving files to Google Docs using MemeoConnect still requires users to save locally, then run a program to ensure the file is copied up to Google Docs. And, if the tool is not running, the synchronization does not happen.
Our preference is for tools that let you save to Google Docs and Sites from within your applications and for tools that you can setup to manage synchronization without additional user activities.