Google adds global address list to Apps suite

The company has also made it possible for enterprise and education users of Google Apps to share templates for documents, spreadsheets and presentations internally

Google has added global address list functionality to its enterprise application suite, and made it possible for companies to share templates internally.

The enhancements to the Premier Edition of Google Apps were announced on Wednesday. Global address list functionality was added by the publication of an application programming interface (API) for user profiles.

Software engineer Valerie Blechar wrote on the Google Enterprise blog that the user-profiles API would, when combined with the shared-contacts API that Google published in December last year, give IT administrators "the ability to maintain an updated and detailed global address list in Google Apps".

The contacts interface throughout Google Apps has also been changed to allow employees to find their colleagues through the global address list. Previously, the only contacts that would show up in Gmail, for example, were those added or previously emailed by the individual user.

It was already possible to share templates for documents, presentations, forms or spreadsheets publicly, but on Wednesday Google allowed users of the Premier and Education editions of Google Apps to share such templates internally, without them becoming visible outside the company domain.

Once a template has been shared within an organisation, colleagues can preview, use and rate that template.

Google has been frequently updating Google Apps in recent months, in an effort to convert customers of companies such as Microsoft to its hosted applications. At the start of June, an Outlook synchronisation plug-in was released that allowed companies to use Gmail as the back-end for their email and personal information management systems, while still using Outlook as the front-end. However, Google subsequently admitted that the tool broke several other common Outlook plug-ins.


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