Google Dec. 9 began allowing its Google Apps Premier and Education Edition customers to use Google Groups, the company's consumer application for creating discussion forums and mailing lists. The app joins the Google Sites wiki as another way to let users in the 2 million-plus businesses using Google Apps to collaborate and share content online and allows users to publish a Group in 30 seconds or less. Also, the Google Wave team provided step-by-step instructions for how Wave users can add Google Groups to a wave, set permissions and then view and edit waves with that group.
Google Dec. 9 began allowing its Google Apps Premier and
Education Edition to use Google Groups
, the company's consumer application for creating
discussion forums and mailing lists.
Employees of companies using those Google Apps editions
can create groups for their departments or team members without the help of an IT administrator.
Once a group is set up, employees and students can share a Google
Apps document, spreadsheet, presentation, shared folder, site,
calendar, or video with group users through group e-mail alias. Shared
files will only be accessible by the appropriate people even as group
members come and go.
Users can opt to receive communications directly to their
Gmail inbox in a digest format, or in the Groups forum view, and can access all
the information in the groups archive, Google Apps Senior Product Manager Rajen
Sheth wrote in a blog post
The app joins the Google Sites wiki as another way to let
users in the 2 million-plus businesses using Google Apps to collaborate and
share content online. However, Groups is a easier and quicker to use than
Sites, allowing users to create and launch a Group in 30 seconds or less. This
eases the pains of overworked IT staffs, and makes it a snap for small
mom-and-pop shops that don't have IT staffs.
Google explains how Groups for Google Apps works in this demo video
. Group creators name a
group, add a group e-mail address and choose whether to make it public or
private. Then group creators add the names and e-mail addresses of those in the
group, and send them invites via e-mail. Group users can also search and review
past group messages and activities, which are archived.
Google Apps Premier and Education Edition admins
can now enable the new groups functionality from the control panel by enabling
the "user-managed groups" service.
"After enabling the new service from the
administrative control panel, users can
start managing their own groups without burdening administrators for support,"
Sheth explained. "Administrators can still set group policies and manage
other group settings."
Google Apps isn't the only collaboration entity at Google
leveraging Google Groups. Users of the Google Wave collaboration platform,
which lets users share files and share them with each other in real-time, can
now add Groups to waves.
The Google Wave team
provided step-by-step instructions
for how Wave users can add Google Groups to
a wave, set permissions and then view and edit waves with that group.
waves will only show up in Google Wave, not in the Google Groups
interface, so Google has drawn some separation lines between the two
apps.Eventually, the Wave team will add a groups option in the
Navigation panel to make finding groups easier.
Even as Google Wave has been hailed
for being an incredible technological achievement by collaboration
experts such as Gina Trapani, it has endured a flurry of criticism from
users who find it to noisy, distracting and inefficient to
The Wave team has taken these suggestions in stride and has begun addressing them. Last month the team added a
to give users more control over the waves they care about.
The team also began rolling
Wave out to 1 million users this week, addressing the concern that there aren't enough users with which to wave.