by October 9, 2006 0 comments

Google has a new solution out and its called Google Apps for Your Domain (let’s
call it GAYD for short). This is a packaged offering that bundles other well
known Google products: Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk and Google Page
Creator and allows you to use them. Unlike Microsoft’s Office Live that is
being billed explicitly as an offering for businesses, GAYD has no such
labeling. However, there is an Academic edition (“Google Apps for Your
Education”) without the Page Creator component. You need to register a domain
name from any registrar-select a registrar who allows you to modify your MX
and CNAME records for best results. Once this is done, you can start using
Google’s mail, chat, calendaring and Web page creation/hosting services for
free, with minor configuration operations.

If you have otherwise used Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk and Google
Page Creator, using the packaged offering requires no new learning. There are,
however, a couple of minor differences. Your e-mail storage quota is fixed when
you create an account. And for a password change, users will need to contact the
designated domain administrator (read on the article) instead of being able to
do it on their own.

IT managers 
Reduce messaging and collaboration costs with this hosted, free and modular service 
google apps 

We take you through the steps of signing up and configuring accounts for
yourself. We also see what kind of tools are at the administrator’s disposal
to manage various modules. Do note that when you configure each module for the
first time, there is a ‘verification’ period that can last up to 48 hours.

Note: When we say ‘admin e-mail account’ below, we refer to the e-mail
address you have logged in with to create and administer your services on the
Google website. 

Step 1: Sign up
To begin, browse to and login at the box to
the right. If you don’t yet have a Google/Gmail account, click on the ‘Create
an account now’ link to sign up for one. Regardless of the number of accounts
you have created, you will see the Interest Form, which asks for a few details
about your organization as well as yourself. Make sure your domain already

Sign up as an IT decision maker for your

Now, Google’s FAQ says, “we won’t be able to consider your organization
for this beta unless we hear directly from someone who makes your group’s IT
decisions”. So, in ‘About You’ section of this form, select the first or
second option for ‘How are you involved in IT decisions for your organization?’

The next step lets you set up the account for the first administrator for
this domain. Select a username and a password for this account. The username is
in an e-mail address format and the sign-up application will automatically
create this account for you in your GAYD mail module. Since GAYD is still an
early stage of the beta, chances are your application is immediately accepted
(check the admin e-mail account) and you’re taken to the Dashboard.

Step 2: Enable and configure
You are now at the Dashboard of your control panel for this service, logged on
as the designated administrator. Only the administrators configured for this
domain (through this control panel) can see this website. Check on the services
you need for your domain (E-mail, Chat, Calendar and Domain Web pages are
currently available) and click on ‘Setup Selected Services’ to continue.

Before you can start using these services, there are a couple of steps you
need to perform for each. To set up E-mail, you need to change the DNS MX
records for your domain. Contact the service provider who registered and manages
your domain account for you to make this change.

The settings you need to make are given on the page when you click on ‘Set
up email delivery’. You need to similarly make modifications to your DNS CNAME
records to use the Domain Web pages module.

Add or remove the modules available at any time

To verify domain ownership, you need access to upload files to the root
folder of your domain’s website ( The page shows
instructions on what file to upload and what to put in that file when you click
on the ‘Verify domain ownership’ link.

Once you have performed each step, click on the ‘I’ve completed these
steps’ button at the bottom of that page. Enabling Chat and Domain Web pages
can take up to 48 hours from the time you click on this button. You can set up
catch-all addresses (receives e-mail sent to accounts that don’t exist on your
domain), time zone you operate in, contact sharing and branding for various
pages from the Services>Domain settings.

Step 3: Manage user accounts
It is easier if you have a CSV file with the user account information and upload
this file to the configuration applet. To do this, open Excel. In the first row
of the worksheet, type in ‘username’, ‘first name’, ‘last name’ and
‘password’. On each subsequent row, type in the corresponding names and
passwords of those users.

Finally, do a File>Save As, type in a filename and select the file type as
‘CSV (comma delimited) (*.csv)’. On the Google Apps control panel, click on
the Advanced Tools menu item and upload this file. This update can take a couple
of hours to a day depending on the number of accounts you have asked to be
created. All status (including error) reports are e-mailed to your admin e-mail

Check quota usage of a user and promote him to administrator

To change a user’s setting or suspend or delete the account, go to
Accounts>User accounts on the left side menu and click on the user’s name.
All users enjoy a fixed 2 GB storage limit on their e-mail account and can
receive e-mail from multiple addresses as configured on this page.

You can set up Nicknames (alternate IDs) that have no storage space by
themselves, but is a pointer to one or more real accounts. You can also
subscribe a user to a mailing list (a single address that delivers e-mail sent
to it to multiple real user accounts). You can look up the mappings from
Services> Email addresses.

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