Google Apps gains LDAP support

The new feature is likely to appeal to enterprise IT staffers

Google Apps has gained a directory tool designed to simplify and accelerate the setup of this hosted collaboration and communication suite.

With the new Directory Sync, Apps can tap into existing LDAP-based user directories, such as the ones in IBM's Lotus Domino and Microsoft's Active Directory, so that administrators don't have to set up a separate directory in the Google suite.

This functionality will likely appeal in particular to a segment of the collaboration market that Google is very interested in attracting: enterprise IT departments.

Google Apps has mostly been adopted in small and medium-size companies, and groups within large organizations, although the suite has nabbed large deployments in universities and government settings.

The new tool, which comes from technology Google acquired when it bought Postini, runs behind customers' firewalls and offers a one-way delivery of directory information to Google Apps.

"The utility offers many of the customization settings, tests and simulations originally developed and refined for the Postini directory sync tool," wrote Navneet Goel, Google enterprise product manager, in a blog posting Thursday.

The LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) component is available at no additional cost for administrators of the Premier, Education and Partner versions of Apps.

It will be available as a software download that can be loaded onto an on-premise server, said Rajen Sheth, Google Apps senior product manager.

Until now, administrators have had several ways of loading user directory data into Apps, including a user-provisioning API, a Web-based interface for manual data entry and a bulk-uploading capability, Sheth said.

However, the new tool is tightly integrated into Apps and offers more directory management features than the other options, he said.

LDAP support is a basic requirement for any enterprise software-as-a-service offering, Gartner analyst Matt Cain said via e-mail. "Organizations want to manage as few directories as possible and they want a secure one-way upload to the cloud. It's another example of Google gaining enterprise prowess from the Postini buy."

"It's good to see Google taking steps to show they are serious about the enterprise IT administrators. Certainly, LDAP is how they do a lot of management of enterprise accounts," said Rebecca Wettemann, an analyst with Nucleus Research. "There's still more that Google needs to do, but this is a strong step forward."

In enterprises, Apps is often a complement, not a substitute, for collaboration platforms like the ones from IBM Lotus and Microsoft, so this directory utility will come in handy for IT staffers in those situations, she said.

With this now in place, Google would do well to give Apps administrators a tool to manage the content that the suite's users create, something that other products, like Microsoft's SharePoint, offer for their own platforms, she said.

"It's not just about managing the user accounts, but also managing what continues to sit out there in terms of content," Wettemann said.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Topics: Google, ldap, Google Apps
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
Use WhistleOut's technology to compare:
Mobile phone plans & deals
Mobile phone models
Mobile phone carriers
Broadband plans & deals
Broadband providers
Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?