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google apps accnt
between Gmail, a Google Account, an Apps Account, and an Apps for Business Account
Takeaway: There are four types of Google email
accounts. The group explains the difference between each type and how they apply to enterprise users.
you know what kind of Google Apps Account you have? Do you even know if you have a Google Apps account? There are many variations
of accounts associated with Google from a basic Gmail account to a paid and fully secured Google Apps for Business Account.
In this post, I will explain the four types of Google accounts and how they apply to enterprise users.
you are confused about the different types of Google accounts, you are not alone. As Google’s product offering grows,
they repeatedly change the name of account types and services. They also change the permissions and features associated with
each account on a somewhat random basis. This is not a criticism of Google; it’s just the nature of the rapid development
process of cloud applications. Google also uses the words app, application, product, and service inconsistently throughout
their product documentation.
There are really four types of Google Accounts that you should know when it comes
to Google for the Enterprise.
A Gmailaccount is a free Google Account with an email address
that ends in @gmail.com. Gmail accounts arrived on the scene back in 2004, and they were such a hot commodity that users needed
to receive invitations in order to acquire account. At the time, the 1GB of storage space and the clever threading of conversations
seemed so modern in contrast to the tired old Yahoo and Hotmail accounts. As the amount of free storage space grew, so did
the applications that were associated with a Gmail account.
From the Gmail mailbox, user can also access Google
Docs, Google Calendar and Google Sites. The account also allows users to instantly login to the other applications like Picasa, Blogger and Maps.
Gmail users like the application and the anytime/anywhere access so much that they arrange to have their work email forwarded
to Gmail. This is more common in smaller organizations where email security is more lax. The account settings of Gmail allow
one to use their business email address to appear as the “reply from” address. Gmail accounts are administered
by the individual who owns the account and not the business’ IT administrator.
Google accountis a user name and password that can be used to login
to Google applications like Docs, Sites, Maps and Search (This is different than a Google Apps Account). These accounts do
not necessarily end with “@gmail.com”. For example, a user can sign up for a Google Apps account that is associated
with her @yahoo email address. Using this account she can create, edit and collaborate on Google Docs without using the Google
Email system. A common myth is that Google Apps users cannot share and edit Google Docs with users who do not have a Google
Apps account. But anyone can sign up for a free Google Account and use it to access and edit share docs and files.
A Google Apps account (stressing the words “apps”)
is an account associated with a domain that uses Google Apps (mail, calendar, docs and sites) for messaging and collaboration.
When this product was first introduced it was called “Google Apps for Your Domain, then it was called “Google
Apps Standard Edition” and now it’s just “Google Apps”.
These accounts currently come
with 7GB of email storage space, access to Gmail, Calendar, Docs and Sites. This type of account is useful for organizations,
clubs, and informal groups that do not need the enhanced security, support and administration options of Google Apps for Business.
The only type of support that comes with this account is a link to the Google Help Center and Google Help User Forum. These
accounts are free; however the domain is limited to ten users at one time.
Google Apps for Business
Apps accounts are nice to have, but when it comes to Enterprise the only real player in the game is the Google
Apps for Business account.
Google Apps for Business was previously called “Google Apps Premier Edition”. These accounts allow each user access
to 25GB in Gmail storage space, Calendar, Mail, Docs, Google Video and Google Groups for Business. Businesses are guaranteed
99.9% uptime as well as email and phone support.
The accounts also come with access to the migration tools which are necessary when
migrating old messages, calendar items, and contacts from legacy systems. Google Apps for Business also includes access to
Postini Message and
Security services at no additional cost. A Google Apps for Business account is the only
type of Google account that isn’t free. The price is $50 for each user for each year or roughly $5/month. These accounts
and services are managed by an Admin in the Google Apps Dashboard.
If you want to compare
the features of Google Apps versus Google Apps for Business I recommend going deeper. It also shows the features of Google Apps for Education which is only available to schools
Many Google users have multiple types of account. For example, I have two Gmail accounts,
a Google Account associated with my Yahoo account, and three Google Apps for Business accounts for the three domains that
I own and manage.
difference between a Google account and a Google Apps account?
What is Google Apps?
Google Apps is a suite of Google applications that brings together essential services to help your business.
This is a hosted service that lets businesses, schools, and institutions use a variety of Google products
-- including Email, Google Docs, Google Calendar, and Google Talk -- on a unique domain (e.g., www.yourcompany.com).
For instance, if you own the domain example.com and you sign up for Google Apps services, everyone at your organization
A custom email address (email@example.com)
Tools for word processing
Spreadsheets and presentations
A shared calendaring system
for creating web pages and sites for your business
Access to a flexible intranet system
And much, much more!
How is a Google Account different from a Google Apps account?
Although Google Apps and Google Accounts allow you to access several of the same
Google products, they're different types of accounts. A Google Account is a unified sign-in system that provides access to
a variety of free Google consumer products -- such as Gmail, Google Groups, Google Shopping List, Picasa, Web History, iGoogle,
and Google Checkout -- administered by Google. Google Apps provides access to products powered by Google but administered
by a your organization.
MOVING ON TO THE TOP....GIVING UP THE REGULAR GOOGLE ACCNT AND GOIN'
UP TO A GOOGLE APPS ACCNT
A few months ago I switched from my normal Google account (@gmail.com)
to my Google Apps account (@filiwiese.com). I ran into a few snags along the way and I haven’t solved them all yet,
however I thought it might be useful to share my experiences so far with my readers so you can consider what I have learned.
First, you will need to sign up for a Google Apps account,
register your domain name (or use a
domain you have already registered) and verify your domain ownership. Once you have done all of that we can move on to the next step: migrating your
In order to email
from your Google Apps account, you will need to activate the Gmail service in your Google Apps control panel. Once
you have done this, you have two options:
Start over with a clean slate, in which case you can move on to the next topic.
Migrate your email from your normal Gmail account to your
Google Apps Gmail account.
If you decide to migrate your email (like I did), you may want to explore one of the following two options:
A popular paid option is the easiest but requires your to share your password (even if you temporarily change it) to a third party and
Alternatively, a free option is to do it yourself by using POP3 from one Gmail account to another.
It is important to keep in mind that both options mentioned
above will take a few days to complete and your chat history is main thing that will not be transferred (unfortunately I did
not find a solution for migrating the chat history). I tried both options to see if I was able to also transfer my chat history.
Both options mentioned above worked absolutely fine for me.
After you migrated your emails, you can also migrate your contacts by exporting them as Google CSV from your old account and import
them into your new account.
Once you have migrated your contacts you will need to invite your friends to Chat in order to use Google Chat on your Google Apps account.
That is it! You have migrated your email to your Google Apps
Gmail, you will need to activate the Calendar service in your Google Apps control panel.
Once you have done this, you have again two options:
normal Google Calendars (on your normal Google account) with your new Google Apps account. Be sure to set the permissions to “Make changes to events” to enable edit rights for your Google Apps account.
your existing calendar events as CSV from your normal Google account, and then import
these into your main calendar in your Google Apps account.
Of the two options described
above, I went with the second option. Mainly because the second option has as major advantage that all your events are added
into your main calendar. I found that maintaining calendar events and notification in the first option became very messy very
That is it! Let’s
tackle the next service: Google Docs.
Migrating Your Documents
I love Google Docs! I don’t know why people still send around Word and Excel files (even if
you make a spreadsheet, you can better share it with your friends/colleagues if it is in the cloud). Google Docs allows me
to share the latest version with anyone without having to send around another file. Also, I can edit/access the documents
in any modern browser and I don’t need to start up another program. I really love that too!
Of course I am using Google Docs extensively within Google
(like most Googlers), and also in my private life. Allowing me to share plans for trips (in spreadsheets) with my partner
or save a PDF file or writing a blog post and using the comment feature get feedback on it from friends (like this post) is
haven’t used it yet that much, I suggest you to also activate the Google Docs service in
your Google Apps control panel. And start using it!
If you have been using it already, you probably want to move your files to your Google Apps account. In order to
do this, also do activate the service and again you have two options:
Share the documents you would like to have in your Google Apps account with your new Google Apps account. Now you should be able to
see them in the Document List of your Google Apps account. In case you want to move ownership, be sure to change the sharing
rights with your Google Apps account to “Is Owner”.
Then you can remove the old Google account from the sharing and voila, your document
has moved (including revision history) to your Google Apps account.
The second option you can explore is to download all the files from your normal Google account to your computer. Once you have done that, you can upload your files into your new Google Apps account (you may need to unzip the downloaded files first).
What used to be a problem for Google Apps account (versus
normal Google accounts) was the limitation of space. Until recently you only had 1GB storage space in your Google Apps account
for Google Docs and you were unable to purchase more storage space (unlike the normal Google account, where you could purchase
more storage space). Luckily this is not an
Now that we have moved over our Gmail, Calendar and Docs,
lets migrate our Google Reader.
Migrating Your Feeds
also use Google Reader extensively. It allows me to keep my inbox empty and most importantly: the content
comes to me (I don’t have to search for the latest update of a favorite blog). I guess that most of the readers of this
blog are also using Google Reader so here is how your migrate your feeds.
First open Google Reader in your normal Google account. Then export your subscriptions to an OPML file. Now go to your Google Reader in your Google Apps account and import the OPML file you have just exported.
Important to keep in mind: Exporting and importing the OPML file will not migrate the read/unread statuses of the
feed items in your Google Reader. This means that your Google Reader on your Google Apps account will have no idea which feed
items in which feed you have already read in Google Reader on your normal Google account. As such, I suggest you quickly go
through your Google Reader on your normal Google account and make sure you have read everything before exporting the OPML
file. Then once you import the OPML file into your Google Reader in your Google account, mark everything (all feed items)
as read and you are at the state where you left off on your normal Google account. Note that there are other ways around this,
but I found this to be the easiest.
Now that we have also tackled Google Reader, lets have a look at Google Bookmarks.
Migrating Your Bookmarks
Most of us will have bookmarks stored in Google Chrome, and
if you have synced Chrome with your account then you don’t have to worry about losing them. However
I also found it come in handy to use Google
Bookmarks to store my other bookmarks (the ones
I don’t want to have in my browser drop down menu). Although it is made easy to export your bookmarks from Google Bookmarks,
importing bookmarks into Google Bookmarks is not that easy (to say the least).
My solution so far has been as follows:
The first step is to go to Google Bookmarks on your normal Google account and click
the “Export bookmarks” link in the left hand menu. This will trigger a download of your bookmarks
in a HTML file.
For the second step, activate your
Google Bookmarks by accessing the website and sign in with your Google Apps account (this will activate
the service for your Google Apps account unless you have limited the access to other Google
The third step
is where it gets tricky. You now need to go to Delicious and import your Google Bookmarks HTML file into their service. This
will copy all your bookmarks into Delicious. Tip: You may just want to create a new Delicious account for this purpose so
you don’t mix up an already existing account with the newly imported bookmarks.
Once you have successfully imported your Google Bookmarks into your (new?) Delicious
account, go for the fourth step back to your Google Bookmarks on your Google Apps account and click the “Import bookmarks”
link in the left menu. This will prompt you for your Delicious login credentials and then import the Delicious bookmarks into
is it! Your Google Bookmarks have now been migrated to your Google Apps account. At this stage you may want to delete your
(new?) Delicious account (or at least all the bookmarks) but that is up to you.
Migrating Other Services
Now that we have migrated Google Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Reader
and Google Bookmarks from your normal Google account to your Google Apps account, I will shortly discuss some of the remaining
services. Please keep in mind that you will need to access the websites of the mentioned services before you try to migrate
your data, to make sure you have activated the specific services for your Google Apps account.
Google Picasa Web Albums: In order to migrate your photos in your Picasa Web Albums, log into your normal
Google account and go to the Privacy and Permissions
tab. Here you can choose to migrate your photos to your Google Apps account. Once you have done this you may want to also purchase additional storage space for your Google Apps account.
Google Analytics: In order to keep
your Analytics history you will need to share
your Google Analytics accounts (from your normal
Google account) with your Google Apps account (make sure to give your Google Apps account administrator rights). Your Analytics
profiles/accounts will now appear Google Analytics under your Google Apps account.
Google Checkout: As far as I have experienced, you will not be able to migrate your transactions history (and this article confirms this). But you will be able to use Google Checkout with your Google Apps account. So just go to Google
Checkout with your Google Apps account, re-enter your credit card details and address information and you are ready to go.
Google Webmaster Tools: You can not transfer your Google Webmaster Tools data to another account, however
it is possible to add your Google Apps account to your existing Google Webmaster Tools site profiles (on your normal Google
account) and then revoke the access to your normal Google account. All you need to do is add your Google Apps account as an owner to each site you want to transfer.
Google App Engine: In order to use your Google App Engine applications with your Google Apps account you just need to add your Google
Apps account as an owner for each application. You can do this in the permission settings in the Admin Panel. After which you can, if you so prefer, remove the access rights of your normal Google
YouTube: Unfortunately, if you created your YouTube account after
May 2009 you will not be able to transfer your videos that easily to your Google Apps account. Your best bet then to create
a new YouTube account and to download each video from your old YouTube account and re-upload it to your new YouTube account.
That said, if you created your account before
May 2009 you should be able to unlink your YouTube account from your normal Google account and then link it to your Google Apps account. If you are unsure, just give it a try.
Google AdWords: You can move your AdWords account to your Google Apps account by inviting your Google Apps account as another user and
then terminate access to your normal Google account. However, you may just want to make a new account on your Google Apps
account and use one of those coupons you get in the mail to get some free advertisement.
For migrating any Google service not discussed above I recommend
you also check out the Google Apps migrations
guide and the “Moving product data” articles. Although most of these instructions are meant for migrating data between conflicting accounts,
but there are still some useful tips in there for migrating your data from a normal Google account to a Google Apps account.
Last but not least, I highly recommend
and urge you to activate two-step verification on your Google Apps account (if you haven’t done so
already). Simply because this will make your data more safe in the cloud by adding another layer of security for accessing
verification takes only 15 minutes to set up once and if you run your business from Google Apps I personally believe you can
not afford not to activate this additional security layer. Ask yourself: Can you really justify not activating this free service
on your Google Apps account to protect any data related to your clients? What if someone was to guess or steal your password
and this someone was also able to copy and/or delete all the confidential data related to your client from your Google Apps
account (e.g. email, business plans, marketing strategies, etc.) because you did not activated this free service in time?
Seriously, activate it now!