Tag Archives: Google Apps

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

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.

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.

Google Authentication Errors

We are currently seeing a bunch of errors from Google with respect to their authentication service — which lets you login to your Kerika+Google account using your Google ID, and they seem to be affecting a wide range of users.

Here’s a sample of what we are seeing:

Google Errors
Google Errors

 

This error normally shows up when a user is logging in with a Google for Work ID, e.g. Google Apps for Business or Google Apps for Education.

What’s surprising today is that we have seen at least 1 user with a regular Gmail address have this same problem, which is theoretically impossible.

Right now there’s not much we can do but wait this out. The problem seems to be small enough that Google is not even reporting it on their Google Apps Status Dashboard. 🙁

When you add an existing Google or Box file, we copy it into your Kerika folders

If you use the “file picker” that’s built into Kerika to add an existing Google Drive or Box file to a card, canvas or board — for a Task Board, Scrum Board or Whiteboard — you will see a message that says the file is being copied.

This is the file picker:

File picker
File picker

Clicking on the File Picker button brings up the File Picker dialog:

Using the Box file picker
Using the Box file picker

And this is the “copying…” message that’s shown.

Copying message
Copying message

So, what’s happening?

Well, Kerika stores all your Kerika-related files in a set of special folders within your Google Drive or Box account, if you are using Kerika+Google or Kerika+Box, and these are organized neatly into folders corresponding to each of your boards.

Here’s what the folders in your Box account look like (you can learn more by reading about how Kerika integrates with Box):

It’s a similar structure if you are using Kerika with Google:

Keeping all the Kerika files together in a set of related folders makes things cleaner for you: when you look at your Google Drive or Box Account, you know exactly what’s being used by Kerika, and what’s other stuff.

And this is why we make a copy of your existing Google Drive or Box file when you use the File Picker: it enables us to put a copy into your Kerika-specific folders, where it is easier to share with the rest of your project team.

Adding a Google Map to your Kerika canvas

Did you know that you can embed a Google Map in your Kerika Whiteboards? It’s easy: just copy the Google Map’s URL:

Adding a Google Map to Canvas
Adding a Google Map to Canvas

And paste it into the dialog box that appears when you click on the “Add Web Content” button on your canvas toolbar:

Add Web Content
Add Web Content

Kerika automatically figures out the URL refers to a Google Map, and shows you an embedded map on your canvas:

Example of embedded Google Map
Example of embedded Google Map

You can do the same thing with card attachments, for your Task Boards and Scrum Boards: Kerika shows a small thumbnail of the map in the list of attachments on your card:

Example of attached Google Map
Example of attached Google Map