Tag Archives: Google Apps

About Google Apps (Google Drive, Gmail, Google Docs, Google Contacts).

Using Google Drive without Google Docs

If you are using Kerika with Google, you don’t have to convert your documents to the Google Docs format in order to use Google Drive.

Google Docs Format Preference
Google Docs Format Preference

You can use this preference setting to ensure that your Microsoft Office documents, for example, are retained in MS Office format even while they they are stored and shared using Google Drive.

 

G Suite Marketplace listing disappeared

About a week ago, the Kerika listing on the G Suite Marketplace disappeared for reasons we still don’t understand.  We have been working actively with Google’s engineers to fix this, and are confident they will soon deliver a solution — the problem is on their end, not ours — and in the meantime we would like to apologize to anyone who is affected by this.

The underlying problem is that G Suite Marketplace is transitioning, and right now there are some overlapping systems in place that are creating problems for Kerika (and possibly other third-party apps).

Historically, if you wanted to publish your app on the G Suite Marketplace, you did so using the Chrome Web Store — which is where you also published your app for the Chrome Web Store, obviously.

This always led to to some confusion from our perspective: we had to maintain two identical product listings using the same Chrome Web Store Developer Dashboard.  And since this process has been in place, for the past several years, Google itself has been deprecating the use of the Chrome Web Store to distribute browser-based apps through this store.

Meanwhile, the Chrome Web Store Dashboard itself is getting a much-overdue UI makeover, and while this is underway the dashboard doesn’t have all the functionality that the old dashboard does, and there, of course, some bugs remaining in the new dashboard that Google needs to iron out.

(While the old Chrome Web Store Dashboard was ugly as sin, it was old and stable. The new Dashboard is much nicer, but not quite, quite ready yet.)

And there’s also the Google Cloud Platform API Dashboard: newer than the Chrome Web Store Dashboard, and with a completely different user interface and functions, since it manages an app developer’s use of many different cloud services from Google.

This has become another place to maintain your app’s product listing, and this seems to be where our problems originated: the G Suite Marketplace currently takes some information from the Cloud Platform Dashboard, and some information from the Chrome Web Store, to define your product listing.

We have been actively working with Google’s engineers, support and product management to try to resolve this problem — and we are grateful for the attention they have been giving us — and we hope to be out of the woods soon. One unexpected benefit of these problems has been the opportunity to talk to Google about our experience as third-party app developers: hopefully our feedback can help them make the G Suite Marketplace more useful to both Google’s customers and ours 🙂

We have added support for Google Team Drive

We have long had a deep, excellent integration with Google Apps: you can sign up with your Google ID and have all your Kerika-related files stored in your own Google Drive, where you can access them independently of the Kerika app.

We are now taking that one step forward, with seamless integration with Google Team Drive.

Google Team Drives are shared spaces where teams can easily store, search, and access their files anywhere, from any device.

Unlike files in My Drive, files in Team Drive belong to the team instead of an individual. Even if members leave, the files stay exactly where they are so your team can continue to share information and get work done.

Team Drives is available on G Suite Enterprise, G Suite Business, or G Suite for Education editions.

You don’t need to do anything different: the integration is built-in with the latest version of Kerika (and, since we are software-as-a-service, everyone always uses the latest version of our product!) and the integration is seamless.

More options to add Google files to your Whiteboards

We have added more options for you to add Google files to your Whiteboards.

We used to have a quick way to create, name, and add a new Google Doc to your Whiteboard:

Old options for adding content
Old options for adding content

As part of our big redesign earlier this year, we added more options for people to create Google documents from within Task Boards and Scrum Boards; now we have the same flexibility for Whiteboards:

Google document options
Google document options

With this new functionality you can create a larger variety of Google Documents from within your Kerika Whiteboards:

  • Google Docs
  • Google Sheets
  • Google Slides
  • Google Forms

After you name your new document, it is automatically added to the canvas you are working on, while the new document itself is opened in a new browser tab for you to start working on.

Enjoy.

Migrating users from Kerika+Google to our own storage

We don’t offer this as a regular service — because it involves some special back-end work that can be a little time-consuming — but we recently helped a bunch of users migrate their accounts over from Kerika+Google to the new version of Kerika that lets you sign up directly with us, and have Kerika store your files instead of linking Kerika to a Box or Google account.

This is the version that you sign up for when you click on the left side of our Sign Up page:

Sjgning up directly with Kerika
Signing up directly with Kerika

 

With this option, Kerika stores your files for you using our new integration with the Box Platform.

Migrating away from Kerika+Google to this new platform helps our users save money: they could discontinue their use of premium (paid) Google Apps which they had adopted only to use as a sign-up mechanism for Kerika.

Handling this migration isn’t something we do for everyone, but this is one of our oldest customers. 🙂

 

Google Apps last Friday

It looks like we were on the bleeding edge of Google’s problems last Friday (Oct 9): fairly early in the day, Pacific Time, we started seeing authentication failures from Google related to our Kerika+Google users.

The exceptions shown in the Kerika server logs were clearly pointing to problems on Google’s end:

Google Errors
Google Errors

 

What was a little frustrating for us — and our beloved users — was that Google itself didn’t seem to be acknowledging any problems until fairly late in the day:

Oct 9 Google Apps status
Oct 9 Google Apps status

By this time — almost noon, Pacific Time — dozens of Kerika users had been affected. We tried to let folks know via Twitter that there was a problem, and continued to monitor the situation through the day:

Google eventually acknowledged the problem as it became clear that it was widespread.

By mid-afternoon, the issue was largely cleared up, at least as far as Kerika was concerned, although it is possible that other apps, which also use Google for authentication or Google Drive for storage, were affected for much longer.

Once again, our apologies for everyone who was affected.