Today felt like a normal day. I woke up and went through my normal morning routine: got my clothes together, checked the news, watched a few minutes of the Golden Girls (hey – just being honest!), and drove off through the gray day towards work. Indeed, it turned out to be an appropriately "cloudy" day.

Because without any work on my part, without any software updates or downloads, hardware patches or rewiring, today, our Google Translate team added seven new languages to our Google Translate tool in the cloud. This means that anyone using Google Translate technologies, including all the Google Search Appliance customers currently using Cross-Language Enterprise Search (a recent feature added to our Enterprise Labs), instantly had their repertoire of languages increase to include Turkish, Thai, Hungarian, Estonian, Albanian, Maltese, and Galician. With this launch, Google Translate has now achieved automatic translations between 41 languages (that's 1640 language pairs!).

This, to me, is the beauty of the cloud, and the beauty of where we're headed in Enterprise search: securely bridging the gap that had existed in traditional enterprise deployments, bringing together the best of the corporate network and the cloud. With the Google Search Appliance, you get a hardware unit that packages the powerful algorithms of, and which allows you to search all of your internal documents securely behind your corporate firewall. While this hardware sits safely in your office, tools like Cross-Language Enterprise Search, Google Apps integration and Google Sites integration, allow an IT department to tap into the unique features and "versionless" innovation possible only in the cloud.

Previously, bringing seven new languages into an enterprise search solution would have required the addition of entirely new hardware or software, taking hours or days to update and to train people on. Today, the cloud allows these innovations to flow directly into the Google Search Appliance, for any and all to take advantage of. Any Google Search Appliance customers interested in utilizing this tool and others like it can download these features in our Enterprise Labs.

Here's to future innovations - or as some might say:
"gelecek yenilikler"
"jövőbeni innovációk"
"tulevikus uuendused"
"ardhmen novacioneve"
"innovazzjonijiet fil-futur"
"innovacións futuras"

And to all on the Google Translate team: thank you for being a friend.

We made a commitment last year to increase transparency and communication with Google Apps customers in several ways. We heard your feedback around the need for better communication when issues like yesterday's Gmail outage occur.

As part of that commitment, we're pleased to announce today the availability of the Google Apps Status Dashboard. Customers can use this Status Dashboard to check on the current service status of individual services such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk, Google Docs, Google Sites and Google Video for business. Administrators of Google Apps for their businesses, schools and organizations can also view the performance of the administrative control panel.

The Google Apps Status Dashboard represents an additional layer of transparency that we believe will be particularly useful for our business users, and it's also relevant to users of our consumer products. The Status Dashboard is the best place to check for information on service availability for Google Apps anywhere in the world. In my role on the sales team, I regularly talk with customers to make sure that they're getting the most out of Google Apps and I think that you will find this tool indispensable in managing your Google Apps deployment.

Additionally, here are other resources I often recommend to help account administrators get up and running quickly and smoothly and also to stay on top of new functionality:

Google Apps Help Center. Our Help Center for Google Apps admins can answer questions on "getting started" and also help you troubleshoot or find out the status about known issues. Topics include everything from email routing to data migration. We update the information in the Help Center regularly so it's a good starting point for any questions you encounter as you setup and manage your Google Apps account.

Google Apps Help Forum
. In addition to our own online support resources (see below), we have a vibrant community of Google Apps administrators who are always willing to lend a helping hand. To read tips and get help from your peers, join this discussion board for IT admins. This forum is moderated by Google Apps Advisors and fueled by the knowledge of expert Power Posters. Recent questions answered in the Help Forum include ones on IMAP functionality and MX record settings.

Google Apps update alerts
. Whenever we launch improvements to any of the apps or add new administrative capabilities – whether it's a minor user interface tweak or the release of major new functionality
we publish a summary with usage instructions and links where you can find more details. For example, we recently shared information on new capabilities for administrators to authorize who can upload videos to Google Video for business and instructions for setting password strength requirements. You can automatically get this information either as email alerts to your inbox, or you can subscribe to the RSS feed.

Google Apps Channel on YouTube
Here you can find product tutorials and overviews, as well as video testimonials from Google Apps customers and recordings of Google Apps-related talks and webinars. We recently posted a tour of a corporate intranet built by one of our customers and created a Google Apps Learning Center playlist to educate end users on topics such as "Webmail vs. Desktop," "Archiving or Deleting" in Gmail, for example. Take a look at the videos we've created.

The Solutions Marketplace.
If you know that Google Apps is right for you but need some extra help, visit the Solutions Marketplace to find details about products and services from vendors whose solutions integrate and extend Google Apps. You can find vendors to help you with setup and deployment, data migration, integration with existing IT systems, user training and more. You can see how vendors have been rated by other customers and also read about customer experiences with partners.

I hope that this information helps you get the most out of Google Apps. One of the great things about Google Apps is the community that has grown up around it, thanks to you!

Posted by Tessa Prescott, Google Apps Sales Team

As you may have read here a couple of months back, we've been focused recently on the "art of findability" – or the ability to find and locate critical information quickly through the power of enterprise search. At Google, we believe that finding relevant business information through effective search should be as easy as...well, finding a yellow Google Search Appliance in your data center!

In this spirit, we're launching
a contest to see how "findable" the Google Search Appliance is in your workplace, and to learn more about how search is making a difference. Two lucky winners will receive an all-expense paid trip to the Google IO conference and have a chance to tell their story during an enterprise search session (if that's not your cup of tea we can also shoot a video). Other prizes include two HTC Dream phones, and a whole host of Google schwag. The only catch: contest rules being what they are, we can only offer these prizes to winners in North America.

Want guidelines? Read on:

1. Take a picture of you and your Google Search Appliance. Pictures can be of just you, or of your whole workgroup, as long as you're near your GSA. Yes, the GSA has to be in the picture. Have fun and be as original as possible! Oh, but make sure that this is in keeping with company guidelines – in other words, get the right "sign offs" first.

2. Submit your GSA story. Read the rules , then fill out the form to describe how your GSA has impacted your business. What do your users do better with the power of search? How much time is your IT team saving? What's easy about working with the GSA?

3. The GSA team will convene.
We'll look at your pictures and read your stories, and judge on both – 50% on the quality and uniqueness of your picture (look here for inspiration!), and 50% on what you say in your story.

Come on! Enter the contest. Don't yet own a Google Search Appliance? Click here to learn more. We'll share the news here when we announce our winners, so stay tuned. We look forward to hearing your stories and seeing your GSA.

Contest Deadline: March 31, 2009. Winners will be announced on April 17.

We always enjoy going "back to school" – visiting college campus quads and K-12 classrooms – especially because we get to learn from our users, who are always happy to tell us what they want. One idea we hear a lot is, "Build a learning management system (LMS) to go along with Google Apps." We love the concept – but we also really value the great work being done by educational software developers - including those in the Open Source community who work on projects like Moodle, an LMS web application that educators can use to create effective online learning sites.

Up until now, Google Apps and Moodle were pretty much eying each other across the classroom – but not quite talking. Then Moodlerooms, a Moodle partner, entered the scene.

Here's why. Moodlerooms, a SaaS provider of Moodle, just launched an application built on the Moodle platform that lets school admins bring Moodle and Google Apps together with a single sign-in.
So now, students who told us they didn't want to sign in to multiple environments – like an LMS to get their course content and a productivity suite like Google Apps to actually do their work – have the answer they've wanted.

With the update, administrators of Moodle can easily set up Google Apps accounts for their students. And students who log into their school's version of Moodle can now automatically be signed in to their school's Google Apps Education Edition service. Now, they can access whatever their instructors may have posted in their LMS, such as lecture notes, homework assignments, and relevant links and resources, and easily integrate that content into their workspace on Google Apps. They can collaborate with their classmates in Google Docs, build a fully fleshed-out Google Site, or even just send an email - without having to manage multiple accounts in multiple systems. And, needless to say, the same goes for their teachers, professors, administrators – anyone who uses the system.

used the industry standard SAML 2.0 and OAuth protocols to securely integrate with Moodle, building on open extensibility features of Google Apps Education Edition. Using these extensibility features, any educational software vendor can take a similar approach to provide user directory synchronization, single sign-on, and user data integration with their service.

At what cost is this daring combination, you may ask. That is one of the best parts - both products are, in fact, free, and the integration components are open source and hosted on Google Code. So be sure to sign up for Google Apps Education Edition and for Moodle and provide an integrated experience for your students.

If you've ever looked at your existing email system and wondered if there might be a better way, tune in to Andy Nallappan's online review of his recent migration to Google Apps on Monday, March 2, at 10:00 AM PST (1:00 PM EST).

Andy, Director, IT, Engineering and Enterprise Infrastructure for Avago Technologies (which provides components and subsystems to equipment manufacturers) recently migrated 3,000 of his company's employees from Microsoft Exchange 2003 to Google Apps – and he promises to tell all.

Explore the questions and concerns he faced as he researched the migration, including global integration, technology capabilities and workarounds, feature tradeoffs, cost savings, and more. Andy will share how he found his answers, what he'd do differently, what his internal pilot revealed, and how, in the end, Google Apps is working for his users.

This will be a clear, first-hand account what it takes to move a large corporate email system over to an integrated Google solution – and what that means for email systems of any size. We hope you'll join us, no matter what email system you're currently using, for a real-world look on what's possible in email today and what it takes to get there.

The agenda includes time for Q&A, so bring your questions and learn from Andy's experience.

Register for this free 60-minute webinar
. We hope that you'll join us.

Monday, March 2, 2009 10:00 AM PST / 1:00 PM EST

Webinar: Avago Technologies: from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps
Kevin Gough, Google Apps Team

Update (03/02/09): More than 200 participants joined in as Andy Nallappan, Director, Enterprise Infrastructure for Avago Technologies, reviewed how he moved 4,100 users to Google Apps, primarily for email, in Q408 through Q109.

Avago expects to realize $1.1M in annual savings from moving from Exchange 2003 to Google Apps.

Editor's note: We always value learning how our customers use our products to meet critical business needs. Here's a case where those needs were especially critical. The FDA recently mobilized website search, powered by the Google Search Appliance (GSA), to address a major public health issue. The FDA sped information access to the public, removing barriers that could have made this type of information difficult to find.

Rajesh Sripada, a Certified Google Search Engineer with GlobalNet Services, Inc. – a fast-growing provider of web development and system integration solutions to business and government clients – explains the pivotal role of the GSA in providing this service. Thanks to Rajesh for sharing this story.

Did you think twice the last time you reached for a jar of peanut butter? You’re not alone. The ongoing salmonella outbreak in peanut products has sparked one of the largest product recalls in history. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proactively keeping the public up to date on recalled products, and they’re doing it with the help of the Google Search Appliance.

If you want to know whether the box of granola bars in your pantry has been recalled, simply visit the FDA web page and query for the type of product, like granola bars, or a brand name, to see whether the product has been recalled.

Previously, people would have had to scroll through a long list of products to try and locate the one they were looking for – a much more time-consuming process. Thanks to search, people can make fast, informed decisions.

GlobalNet Services, Inc. (GNSI) is a Google Enterprise Partner who manages and administers the intranet and Internet search for the FDA. For the peanut butter recall, GNSI is responsible for daily database and website updates to Information is available to the public through the Google Search Appliance (GSA), and visitors to the site can also download information in PDF and XLS files. The speed of the search appliance is crucial and the data in the GSA needs to be updated as soon as we receive it. Each night, the GSA re-crawls the database and refreshes any new information. This takes less than an hour and still allows late-night visitors to search for recall information.

In its first three weeks of existence, the peanut butter product search page received over 25 million page views, and the search appliance has handled the resulting search traffic with ease. This graph shows the number of queries per minute on the FDA search appliance. A spike like this happens every morning, with a sustained use of around 250 queries per minute for most of the working day. Public safety depends on the availability of this information, and the search appliance keeps it available. To help the search appliance handle the traffic, GNSI turns on caching during the day, and turns off caching at night to re-crawl the database.

- Rajesh Sripada, Certified Google Search Engineer, GlobalNet Services, Inc.

Posted by Dan Israel, Google Federal Team

Editor's note: We've had enough interest in this story, which ran yesterday on the Official Google Blog, to share it again here. If you are using (or interested in using) Google Apps and other Google solutions in education, be sure to watch the video – and use comments, below, to fill us in on Google Apps stories from your school.

You might remember reading our
posts from the road when we hit the streets and headed "App to School" in our retro bio-fuel bus (below) to visit ten universities across the U.S. that used Google Apps. One of our main goals for this trip was to hear from the technology experts themselves -- the students -- about how they were using Google tools like Gmail, Docs, Calendar, Sites, and Talk to be more effective on and off campus.

Luckily we had a video camera along for the ride, and we filmed a bunch of students telling their stories. Every week we'll share a new video on the
Google Students blog, so you can hear from the students themselves and hopefully learn a few new ways to use these products. If you want to make sure you catch all the latest videos, and stay up-to-date about other news and tips for students, you can subscribe to the student blog.

Here's one video from a student who uses Google Calendar to manage lab studies with his classmates:

Can't wait another week to see more videos? Check out our
playlist. And if you have your own story to share, we encourage you to upload it as a response.

Posted by
Miriam Schneider, Associate Product Marketing Manager, Google Apps for Education

For workers on the go, having up-to-date calendar and contacts information is crucial. Knowing about last-minute changes to schedules can mean the difference between winning and losing a big deal. Today, we're happy to announce two-way push sync of calendar and contact information for Google Apps users with iPhones and Windows Mobile devices. We're also releasing contact sync for mobile devices that support SyncML.

With Google Sync, whether users make changes to calendar events and contacts from their browsers or mobile devices, changes will be reflected in both places automatically, within minutes. And because Google Sync ties directly into devices' pre-installed calendar and contacts applications, employees don't need to learn a new interface.

To get started, Google Sync must be enabled for your domain from the Google Apps control panel. Then, employees will be able to configure Google Sync from their devices. The instructions for each type of phone are different, so check out our help center for device specific information.

Before getting started with this beta release, please take a minute to review some syncing limitations we're aware of with the iPhone and Windows Mobile devices. Also, keep in mind that Google Sync will replace all existing contacts and calendar information on your phone, so make sure to back up any important data before you get started.

For more information, visit

Posted by Debbie Leight, Google Apps Team

Every month, we invite a featured customer to talk about their experience bringing Google Apps into their businesses, sharing insights and suggestions for other teams looking to bring Apps into the workplace. We invite you to join this conversation since it's a great opportunity to get "real world" answers to your questions about Google Apps.

These talks are informal and open. We share an overview from our featured customer and a brief look at Google Apps, followed by Q&A. There's a lot to say about Google Apps, and we figure that our customers are the best people to tell you how they've used Google Apps in business – what's worked, what they've learned, and what they'd recommend to other businesses who might be considering a move to Google Apps.

Next Thursday, February 12, we're pleased to welcome Jud Clift, President and Founder of ASE Technology, who uses Google Apps to manage his print technology business. ASE Technology migrated from Microsoft Exchange and a Blackberry Enterprise Server to Google Apps and since then has used services like Google's email and integrated IM to help field sales reps get faster answers from headquarters when they're out with prospects.

ASE Technology also uses for Google Apps to manage forecasting and product SKUs to get a more complete picture of sales activity.

We hope you'll join us as Jud shares tips and learning from his migration from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps. Details follow:

Migrating from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps: a business perspective
Thursday, February 12, 2009
10:00 a.m. PST, 12:00 p.m. CST, 1:00 p.m. EST

Sign up here.

Serena Satyasai, Google Apps


Get timely updates on new features in Google Apps by subscribing to our RSS feed or email alerts.

Following up on last week's announcement of offline access in Gmail Labs, we're happy to let you know that read-only offline access is now an option in Calendar for Google Apps customers.

So on top of organizing your Gmail inbox while you're traveling or without a strong Internet connection, you will be able to see your events in Google Calendar from wherever you are. Offline Calendar will let you view your existing schedule and events, but not edit them, so you don't have to print out calendars the night before a trip.

To enable offline in Calendar:
  1. Sign in to Calendar.
  2. In the upper right-hand corner of your account, next to your username, there will be a new 'Offline Beta' link. Click this link to start the offline synchronization process.
Users of Google Apps Standard Edition can get started on these steps immediately. For Premier and Education Edition, domain administrators will first have to check the box next to 'Turn on new features' in the 'Domain Settings' page of the Google Apps control panel before their users can enable this option.

This offline feature uses Gears, an open source browser extension that adds offline functionality directly to the browser.

We've heard quite a few requests for email list enhancements, so we know our users will be happy to hear that several new administrative features for email lists are available today.

First, administrators can now assign permissions per email list that determine who can send email to that list. The sending of email can be restricted to members of the list, anyone in the domain, anyone in the world, or even a subset of members designated as list owners. This means you can more effectively use lists for internal communications, announcements, external contact aliases, and even cross-organizational collaboration.

Second, lists and list membership are easier to manage in bulk in the control panel. Mailing lists can even contain other mailing lists, which allows you to easily reuse frequently-referenced lists. We've also updated the Provisioning API for Premier and Education Edition administrators, which replicates all the email list functionality in the control panel, enabling automated mailing list management. We already have individual customers managing upwards of ten thousand lists using this API.

Third, we've renamed "email lists" to "groups". You can access the feature from your control panel under 'Users and Groups' > 'Groups'. Why would we bother renaming it? We see more uses for groups than just sending email to lists. So, we'll be making groups useful for other enterprise tasks in the future, like easily sharing a document with a group of people. Also, we'll be incorporating many of the features that our consumer users love in Google Groups into Google Apps over time.

All of your existing Google Apps email lists have been converted to groups, so check out our getting started guide and get more out of those lists today!

Justin Sadowski, Google Apps Engineer

New Google Apps users quickly notice that Gmail uses labels instead of traditional folders for organizing email. Why this design decision? Put simply, you can organize and then find messages more efficiently with labels.

Here's why: a message can be tagged with multiple labels like "Project Orion" and "Budget," so you can find that message in either context down the road. With folders, you'd need to pick the one best place for that message – let's say the "Project Orion" folder – making it harder to find later if you're looking for that same message in the context of budget planning.

We hear that the concept of labels can feel foreign at first, and, up until now, the way you had to first apply a label and then archive to move it from your inbox was a two-step process. Listening to users, we heard that people wanted the flexibility of labels but the simplicity of folders.

As of today we're making it easier for you to work with labels. From your inbox or when viewing labeled messages, you'll see a new "Move to" button that labels and removes messages from the current location in one step, just like folders. To apply a label without archiving or removing existing labels, click the "Labels" button.

For you keyboard shortcut diehards, V lets you quickly move, and L lets you label selected messages...but first make sure you've turned on keyboard shortcuts.
Jeremy Milo, Google Apps Product Marketing Manager

The big news at the Googleplex today is the latest release of Google Earth, making features like Ocean, Historical Imagery, and Touring available to Google Earth users everywhere.

We're happy to open up these new worlds of exploration to our Enterprise customers, with new releases of Google Earth Pro and Google Earth Enterprise also available today. This is a tremendous advance for organizations who work on -- or under -- the Seven Seas, or who have archives of historical photos and data that they'd like to make more accessible to their employees.

People who use Google Earth Pro, the workplace edition of Google Earth, will see the new oceanographic data, historical imagery, and other features through their connection to Google's public globe of satellite imagery, maps, terrain & 3D buildings. With today's release of the Google Earth Enterprise 5.0 client, customers can start to realize the benefits by layering their own private data on top of the Google-hosted Ocean or Historical Imagery via KML. Google's public data about the world's oceans and images from the past should give a glimmer of what's possible.

We're hard at work to allow Google Earth Enterprise customers to build their own Ocean or Historical Imagery for their private networks, in much the same way they today build their own Earth. This will enhance organizations' ability to build private globes displaying this information while ensuring that authorized users can visualize the data quickly and easily.

(That's Cape Fear under water, by the way.)

The new Touring feature already works with private globes, allowing for simple creation of narrated tours of an area to share critical information with other Google Earth users. Touring compliments the Movie Maker capability,
which lets users "fly through" Google Earth while capturing video that can be used in presentations, broadcasts, or on websites, available only in Google Earth Pro and the Google Earth Enterprise client.

And there's more.
With this latest release, importing data from GPS devices is easier than ever. Customers will also find better ways to interact with their data. Pop-up windows for your data can now include fully compliant HTML and javascript, allowing organizations to provide their employees with richer context about the location they're viewing. And we've improved the startup speed and the performance of layers.

Existing customers who want to get started with the Google Earth Enterprise 5.0 client should contact Google customer support to access the download. Google Earth Pro customers will be prompted to upgrade the next time they start Google Earth. If you want to learn more about either product, drop us a line.

We hope you'll learn more about this announcement and bring the power of these new services to your organization, no matter where in the world (or the ocean!) you may be.

Bryan Atwood, Product Manager, Google Earth Enterprise