Google Apps bolsters account security while Cloud Platform preps for smart apps

IT workers and developers working in the Google cloud have a handful of new tools and functions to check out this week.


Google is tightening the nuts and bolts behind its cloud infrastructure this week with a number of nitty-gritty updates here and there.

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On the front end, Google for Work users are being promised with bolstered account and identity services security.

Google is beefing up its list of supported OpenID Connect (OIDC) identity providers that offer single sign-on access for Software-as-a-Service (Saas) and custom-built applications deployed on desktop computers and mobile devices.

"These single sign-on options help us address the growing demand for a central cloud based identity service and customers like Netflix are using Google's identity services to make it easy for their employees to sign in to services," explained Shashank Gupta, a product manager on the Google Apps for Work team, in a blog post on Tuesday.

Thus, Google boasted it is adding support for more than 15 SaaS providers employing SAML 2.0 (Security Assertion Markup Language) for managing access to enterprise cloud applications.

A few of the third-party cloud services available for this integration include Dropbox,, Workday and Zendesk.

Elsewhere at a Google Cloud Platform developer summit in Paris this week, the Internet giant quietly unveiled two new developer services intended to encourage production of smart applications.

In center stage was the new Google Cloud Datalab, a web-based interactive developer tool for making sense and insights out of raw machine data processed on the Google Cloud Platform.

Developers can combine code from multiple languages, including Python, SQL and JavaScript. From there, they can build and test data science projects for deployment from Google's BigQuery analytics service.


For developers on the go, Google said it is continuing to build on work for its Compute Engine virtual machine (VM) instances with the release of Google Cloud Shell.

Managed by Google and delivered via VM, Google Cloud Shell is meant to enable developers with command-line access to computing resources hosted on Google Cloud Platform.

"To ensure that you can always pick up where you left off if you disconnect or move to a different machine, we've also set aside sufficient storage space for you to store your Cloud Shell sessions," added Greg DeMichellie, director for product management at Google Cloud Platform, in a separate blog post.

Both Cloud Shell and Cloud Datalab are available now in beta.

Screenshots via Google