Visibility versus Authentication and Authorization: Service On/Off

You may have already noticed, but the controls to enable and disable individual apps in Google Apps are now all in one place on the domain Control Panel under Organization & users > Services.

Domain administrators were already able to use this tab to enable and disable the Core Google Apps suite. Now they can do the same for apps they’ve acquired from the Google Apps Marketplace. This replaces the old link labeled “Disable {app name}” in the Dashboard > {app name} > “App status” page.

App and Gadget Visibilty

This on/off switch controls app and gadget visibility. Users in suborganizations where a Marketplace App is ON will see that app in the universal navigation bar under “More”, and will see the app’s contextual gadgets in Gmail. Users where the App is OFF will not see these links or gadgets.

Your customers still configure all apps through the Dashboard tab, but now the Control Panel Services tab unifies how they enable and disable every app.

New Scoping by Suborganization

The unified controls also share an important new scoping capability: now a domain administrator can select a suborganization and control which Marketplace Apps are visible to that organizational unit, just like the Core Google Apps suite!

In the example below, the administrator has overridden the domain settings for four Marketplace Apps to make three new tools visible to just the “Engineering” suborganization and to hide one application.

Visibility versus Authentication and Authorization

As developers, you should note that for any valid Google Apps domain user who goes directly to your website, OpenID/Single Sign On will always authenticate them if their domain has OpenID enabled. This includes users who are in suborganizations where your app is OFF. That means this visibility toggle feature is not a substitute for checking that the users accessing your app have a valid license.

Similarly, the on/off switch does not affect the OAuth scopes your app has been granted when the domain admin installed your app — the admin only revokes those by explicitly revoking data access or by deleting your app. The control panel on/off switch is just a way for a domain administrator to control the visibility of apps and gadgets that would otherwise be site-wide.

June summary of Apps Marketplace

Last month Google  announced Google Apps Marketplace Staff Picks, an effort to highlight personal picks from the Marketplace team that have a combination of great functionality and ease of use due to their deep integrations with Google Apps.

Staff Picks are announced on the @GoogleAtWork Twitter account using #mpstaffpick, promoted on the Marketplace and summarized on the Enterprise Blog. We’ll also summarize the recent Staff Picks on this blog, with a stronger developer focus.

Recent Staff Picks are integrated with Gmail, Calendar, Contacts, Docs, Talk, Apps Script and more:

  • Mavenlink (slideshow) – a project management solution for professional services delivery. Integrates with Calendar, Contacts and Docs plus provides a lot of great getting started information for new users.
  • Solve360 (slideshow) – a CRM that integrates with Google Apps to help manage client projects. Provides a full-featured Gmail Contextual Gadget. Contacts sync is 2-way, and they also provide Google Apps Script code that allows customers to use Spreadsheets forms for lead generation, automatically populating submissions into Solve360.
  • Smartsheet (slideshow) – a project management and collaboration tool based on a spreadsheet concept that makes it easy to keep track of tasks and deadlines. Great Gmail, Calendar, Docs and Contacts integration, allowing users to easily import data from and export data to Google Spreadsheets and collaborate with users in their contact lists. The Gmail Contextual Gadget allows to you receive alerts upon sheet updates, and automatically make changes from within your e-mail.
  • GQueues (slideshow) – a task management app that lets you share lists, assign tasks, get reminders and stay organized. Integrates with Gmail, Calendar, Contacts, Google Talk, and provides great gadgets that can be used in Calendar, Gmail or iGoogle. They also have an offline-capable HTML5 mobile app, which the founder has blogged about recently on the Google Code Blog.

We hope that the deep and valuable integrations in these applications inspire you to develop additional integrations with Google Apps in your own applications.

Manymoon – a Google Apps Marketplace success story

When we launched the Google Apps Marketplace less than a year ago the goal was to create a vibrant ecosystem and marketplace for independent third party business applications. Today there are hundreds of applications from developers all over the world using Google Apps Marketplace to sell directly to the 30 million Google Apps users at over 3M businesses and higher education institutions. Manymoon is one of the most popular applications on the Google Apps Marketplace, and this week they were acquired by Congratulations to Amit, Manav, Alex, and the entire Manymoon team!

Manymoon began investing in Google Apps integration very early and was one of the early adopters ofthe Google Apps OpenID login feature. They were also one of the first to create a Gmail Contextual Gadget. We worked closely with Manymoon to get their application on the Google Apps Marketplace when we launched last March. Manymoon had immediate success, and quickly became one of most popular applications. Listen to what Manymoon co-founder Amit Kulkarni had to say in a recent interview;

The results have been fantastic. Since the launch of the Google Apps Marketplace in March, we’ve been signing up as many as 1000 new businesses per week … and that’s with no sales or marketing people in our company. These customers are finding us on their own in the Google Apps Marketplace, adding the app and getting engaged with it.”

“Google Apps Marketplace customers upgrade to a premium edition of Manymoon at a 30% higher rate than non-Google Apps Marketplace customers. The best part, however, is that our monthly registrations increased by 150% since the launch of Google Apps Marketplace. And that’s where the Marketplace really excels, it provides large enough volumes to make the Freemium business model work.”

The Google Developer Relations groups loves to work with developers, and help them build great business applications using Google technologies. The Google Apps Marketplace is there to help them sell their applications directly to Google business customers. There is also the Chrome Web Store for web browser applications, and Android Market for mobile apps.

Manymoon is an excellent success story for Google Apps Marketplace and Google Developer Relations, and a nice testament to the value of integrating product features with Google Apps. We are thrilled with their success and happy to see the founders get a great financial exit with the acquisition by Most importantly, we are thrilled to see’s intentions to invest in growing Manymoon on the Google Apps Marketplace, giving Salesforce a new way to work with Google Apps.

Financial exits are great, but there are many other start-ups building successful businesses on the Google Apps Marketplace. Insightly is another amazing success story. In just 3 months they went from coding an idea on nights and weekends, to a best selling app on Google Apps Marketplace. SlideRocket, Aviary, Tungle, Gist, Smartsheet, Outright, MyERP and many others have experienced dramatic growth since joining the Google Apps Marketplace.

See “How To Get Started” on Google Apps Marketplace for more information. See the Google Developer Relations site for links to technical people who can help you. Visit the Google Support Forums for immediate help and answers to your technical questions. Our job is to help developers build great applications, and provide a vibrant marketplace to sell those applications directly to Google customers. Get started today!