July 2014 Google Apps Admin Newsletter: Key Updates and Information for Administrators, Management and Key Users

Welcome to the AppsEvents Google Apps Admin Newsletter. Inside is a digest of key updates and information to efficiently and effectively manage your GAFE domain.

This month sees a major new release to the Google Apps Directory Sync, designed exclusively for schools, the new School Directory Sync is going to save Google Apps Admins a lot of time. The admin dashboard receives much improved reporting features and Google Apps Vault is now available for Google Drive.

Changes for Administrators

Google Apps School Directory Sync

Another major release for schools this year is Google Apps School Directory Sync. Designed to ease the process of getting SIS (Student Information System) data into Google Apps, this tool is a school customized version of GADS (Google Apps Directory Sync). This tool will free up a lot of time for Admins, now with the ability to create users, organizational units and Google Groups.

The tool is downloaded and run securely on a school machine, keeping data secure and transferred to Google Apps for Education on a secure port.

School Directory Sync and further documentation are available for download here: http://goo.gl/kPFwTi

What Admin Should Do Now:

Review documentation at http://goo.gl/kPFwTi if requiring this tool.

New Admin Reports

Admins looking for better reporting now have the new Admin Reports to help out. Snapshots of all activities are viewed simply from the main window, whether Admins will be searching for externally shared files or viewing the Drive space of users, the new reporting sections will be a powerful tool. Filters can be employed to gain greater granular views of files and storage usage.

The Security and Login Audit pages will help Admins further investigate suspicious login activity, and use filters sort columns to gain greater control of the data.

What Admin Should Do Now:

Familiarise the admin team with the controls for new admin features.

Google+ Premium Features Enabled for Everyone

Over the next Google+ Premium Features will now be enabled by default for all Google Apps customers. For existing customers, the premium features will be enabled over the next few weeks.

The premium features bring together several enhancements for an educational setting:

  • Greater control of posts and external sharing
  • Ability to hide profiles from external search
  • Correct age of users
  • Users can start video calls from calendar events
  • Users can create private Hangouts unique to their domain

What Admin Should Do Now: 

Familiarise the admin team with the controls for new admin features.

Google Hangouts Without a Plugin

For users collaborating on or off campus, Google has just released an update that allows for Hangouts through the Chrome browser without the need for a plugin. This update will be rolled out to users over the next few weeks, further information can be found at:

What Admin Should Do Now:
Try out the new feature using the Canary or Dev version of the Chrome browser.

New Google Apps Migration for Microsoft Exchange tool

GAMME has been updated to support up to Outlook 2013. With the ability to migrate email, contacts and calendar information, GAMME is the essential tool for administrators migrating to Google. This update brings it in line with newer Exchange installations.

What Admin Should Do Now:

Share amongst admin team.

Restoring Google Drive files.

A potentially powerful new tool for school admins is the ability to restore files that have been deleted from the trash. Admins now have the functionality to restore files for a specified date range. This new feature should appeal to schools supporting teachers and students in managing their files.

What Admin Should Do Now:

Notify admin and users of changes.

Google Apps Vault for Drive

Google Apps Vault is a service that allows admins to retain, archive, search, and export email for eDiscovery and compliance needs. Google Apps Vault for Drive brings these important tools to Apps customer’s Drive accounts.

With Google Vault users will be able to search for and view individual files, create and save searches on files, and search for specific users’ files.

Google Apps Vault for Drive is a free addition to Google Apps Vault.

Google Apps Vault now offers the additional functionality to exclude email drafts from searches. This can be configured by deselecting the checkbox in Google Vaults search.

What Admin Should Do Now:

If using Google Apps Vault familiarise the admin team on new features

Changes for Key Users

Google Sites Improvements

Google Sites has received several new improvements which will improve user experiences:

  • Google Sites will showcase images when embedded in social media posts
  • Embedding of Google Maps Engine Lite is now enabled
  • Google Sites supports Universal Analytics
  • Numerous accessibility improvements including image size to 100% width of page and ability to customize lower level headers

What Admin Should Do Now:

Announce to users

Improved document and image viewing in Gmail and Google Drive

Google has launched a much improved interface for viewing documents and images within Gmail and Google Drive. The toolbar now appears at the top of the screen with images and documents shown in a wider window.

What Admin Should Do Now:

Share details with users.

Google Drive New Home Screens

New home screens will be rolled out to users over the next few weeks that will make getting to user’s most recent documents much easier. The home screens will feature a recent documents list at the top and can be accessed via the following links:


What Admin Should Do Now:

Inform users of the changes

Microsoft files can now be edited directly in Chrome and Chrome OS

Chrome and Chrome OS users now have a way to edit Microsoft Office files from directly within the browser, documents can be edited from within Drive, Gmail, and the new Docs, Sheets and Slides home screens. Chrome OS users don’t need to do anything, Chrome browser users will need to install the extension.

The Chrome extension is available at: http://goo.gl/4rs8ts

What Admin Should Do Now:

Inform users of the changes and location of the extension

Suggested Edits

A minor change to Google Docs introduces ‘Suggested Edits’. This new feature allows for users with ‘can comment’ access to be able to make editing suggestions that will appear inline with the document. These edits will be accepted or rejected by users with ‘can edit’ permissions.

What Admin Should Do Now:

Inform users of the changes

The New Google Drive

Numerous aesthetic and performance updates are coming to Google Drive in the next few weeks. Including new icons for creating documents and easier dragging and reorganisation of files and folders.

When the new Drive is available for users, ‘Experience the new Drive’ will appear underneath the Settings icon.

What Admin Should Do Now:

Inform users of the changes.

Our ‘Google Apps for Education Admin newsletter’ helps school IT departments and management teams effectively run Google Apps by keeping them up to date on a monthly basis with changes in Google Apps for Education. Learn more and subscribe here.

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