Google has been rolling out feature-rich and very useful apps for the past few years. They have even worked out a way for users to easily consolidate multiple accounts. This fix appeared shortly after my first post when I was utterly confused by Google’s first attempt to consolidate accounts. So it is with high hopes that after the publication of this article, we will also see a resolution for the confusion regarding Google Apps and Google Apps within Google Sites (which is NOT the normal Google Apps). Let me explain.
If you have been using Google Docs and Google Calendar within Google Apps, you will know that these are extremely useful applications. I found them to be so useful that I created a Googles Sites account to better administer these fantastic Google Apps. For those of you who may not know, you can actually create a free Google Sites account and control users and administer privileges tied to a specified domain within Google Sites (ie. your users will be able to log in to Google Sites using a URL provided by Google like so: http://partnerpage.google.com/domain.com – with domain.com being your domain name). Everything you find in normal Google Apps will be inside your Google Sites… or so it appears. More on this later.
Once you are logged in to Google Sites and using say Google Calendar (a Google Apps within Google Sites), this is actually a different account that a normal Google Calendar. Even though, you may have setup the exact same ID & password to log in to both Calendars but once you are logged in, you will know that these are separate applications. If one day you find that you are logged in to Google Apps and all your documents or calendar events have completely disappeared, this would be the first thing I would check. Log out and log in to the correct “Google Apps”.
Getting back to the differences between Google Apps and its counter part within Google Sites. There are a few minor differences but a recent the great feature rolled out by Google allowing users to view Google Calendar even when you are offline has not been ported to Google Sites yet. Google’s instructions say that
Users of Google Apps Standard Edition can get started on these steps immediately.
When I am logged in to Google Sites >> Manage this domain, I see this:
Google Apps for domain.com – Standard Edition
(domain.com being our own domain)
I assume the Calendar offline feature would be at our disposal but for whatever reason, it’s not there. As we move forward, I am hopeful that Google will find a solution to better manage the discrepancy between the normal Google Apps and Google Apps within Google Sites. This will lead to less confusion and allow more users to take full advantage of what cloud computing has to offer and more importantly, for businesses to full utilize all the great applications that come out of Google Labs.