How we tested Google Apps

Google Apps is a hosted service. As such, there was no software to install, either on servers or user devices.

Once we provided a domain name to Google, engineers there created a domain for us to work within. Then, we created our users. We created a few users individually, but also used the bulk-creation utility to save a lot of time when creating multiple user accounts.

We created documents and spreadsheets, both natively within the Google Apps and by importing Microsoft and Open Office files. We managed our calendars within the Google calendar and shared them with other users. E-mail, or Gmail as Google calls it, was put through its paces in the usual ways by sending “standard” e-mails, replying to them, sending attachments. Using Mozilla’s Firefox and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, both the administrator and user experience was identical on Microsoft’s Windows, Apple’s MacOS and Red Hat’s Linux operating systems.

Finally, we tested out Google Talk, Google’s stand-alone instant messaging and voice application. We sent messages between users, and retrieved the stored conversations. While we tried the voice capabilities between some local users, we didn’t have the opportunity to try it across long distances.

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