Below are answers to some common questions about the technical deployment of Google Apps

What are the differences between groups, organizations, alternate domains, and domain aliases?

Usage Example
Organizations Organizations allow you to set policies for a subset of your users. Students
Groups Groups are mailing lists.
Alternate domains Divide users into separate domains for branding reasons.        
Domain aliases Every user receives two email addresses (or more) -- one for the primary domain and one for each domain alias                               
Nicknames Allow users to receive mail sent to additional usernames (generally a variation of their primary usernames) within their mailboxes If has a nickname of, then mail sent to either address will be delivered to   

Should I migrate data for my users?

We've seen schools carefully evaluate whether or not they'll be migrating user data to Google Apps.  In many instances, we've seen schools that have opted to migrate data for faculty and staff but have decided to let students decide whether they'd like their data migrated. Another option is to send out a survey to your students, faculty, and staff and ask whether or not they'd like their data migrated.  Some people will probably decide that they'd like to start with a clean slate and not migrating data can help to reduce the deployment time!

How can I add contact objects from our legacy mail environment to Google Apps?

Do you have contacts that you'd like to share with your users, but the contacts are for users that are outside of your domain?  If so, you can look into using Google Apps Directory Sync or the Shared Contacts API in order to add these contacts to your Google Apps account.

Should I implement single sign-on?

Single sign-on (SSO) allows users to authenticate to Google and other services that you may have (such as a portal or learning management system) with one login.  With SSO passwords are kept in sync and only one login is required.  Single sign-on also allows for far greater customization of the login page.  It is, however, one of the more technically complex pieces of a Google Apps deployment.  If you decide to implement single sign-on, you should make sure that you have a person (or more) on your project team that will be working on this part of the project.  If you don't have the resources internally, we recommend contacting a Google Apps partner.

Why am I being told that my domain is already registered?

If you're receiving a message stating that your domain is already registered, it's likely that some users on your domain may have Team Edition Google Apps accounts. Google Apps Team Edition can be used by anybody with an active email address at a domain and is designed to help students and co-workers collaborate using Google Apps.  To change this account to a Google Apps for Education account, you'll need to do the following:

How can users integrate their Google Apps accounts with their existing Gmail accounts?

Users that have existing Gmail accounts may be interested in integrating some of this data to their new Google Apps account.  If this is the case, please have users reference  The link contains instructions for migrating data between Google accounts.

How do I block inappropriate Gadgets in Google Sites?

Certain Google properties, such as Google Sites, allow users to access community-created Gadgets. Some schools The Feed Server Client Tool (FSCT) allows administrators to set which gadgets may be accessed within their domain. You can read more about this at

How do I lock password changes?

Some schools want to block users from changing their Google Apps passwords but aren't sure how to do it if they're not using single sign-on. To achieve this, specify a ‘Change Password URL’ in the single sign-on settings page; when users attempt to change their password, this will redirect them to the supplied URL. Make sure that you're leaving the 'Enable Single Sign-on' box at the top of the screen unchecked.