A demo of Google's Apps Sync: links Outlook to Gmail

Google yesterday launched a product called "Apps Sync" that will allow enterprises to scrap Exchange on the back end, in favor of Gmail and Google apps, while allowing users to continue to use the Outlook client. The app is dubbed Google App Sync for Microsoft Outlook. It is only available to users of Google Apps Premier, the company's $50-per-user corporate offering, and those using the Education (Edu) version.

While users can already link Outlook ... or Thunderbird for that matter ... to Gmail via IMAP, Apps Sync is different in that it uses a newly created protocol, called GDATA, which Google claims is faster than IMAP when synching between Outlook and Gmail or other Google apps. It also makes it easier to import contacts, e-mail and contacts from Exchange to Google Apps.

This isn't the first synch tool for Outlook that Google has created, Network World reader David Backeberg points out. He writes:

"I personally think IMAP is just fine, but faster is faster. It also syncs contacts better. What we really need is a way to extract proprietary calendar data out of Exchange and sync it to a standards-complaint calendar. Google made something that does this (kindof) with http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2008/04/calendar-sync-updated.html but I've had some problems with it."

Third-parties also offer Outlook to Gmail/calendar plug-ins. But in addition to using a protocol other than IMAP, this is aimed at the enterprise. It can be installed en masse through Microsoft's own Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manager.

Check out this video from Google that demonstrates Apps Sync:

While you are at it, you might want to check out this user case study produced by Google that documents why giant biotech enterprise Genentech deployed Google Apps, and Apps Sync. Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook CIO Video.

Like this post? Visit the Google Subnet home page for more news, blogs and podcasts. Sign up for the weekly Google newsletter. (Click on News/Google News Alert.) More blog posts from Google Subnet:
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