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Google Mail lists based on Active Directory groups

Posted on 2016-10-09
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Last Modified: 2016-10-10
We are working on moving our staff to gmail. We have google apps for education.  We run the google apps directory sync to create accounts. I would like to be able to create google mail groups based on active directory groups. Does anyone have experience with this?
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Question by:Roccat
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Author Comment

by:Roccat
ID: 41836091
This video looks like it might be part of the solution to the question.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_d35unurBiU

Would the group this creates be available as an email group?
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Koen Van Wielink earned 500 total points
ID: 41836466
This is indeed exactly what you need to do. While in the AD you would have a distinction between distribution and security groups, this is not relevant to Google Apps. What we did in my previous organization was to create a separate structure in the AD called Google Groups in which we created all the email groups that we required. You can still use nested structures if you like. For example if you have a school with 3 locations, you can create a distribution group for each location, and then create a higher level group for the whole school in which you just add the 3 location distribution groups. GADS will recognize this as well and create the overall group by adding the location groups as members.
Once the groups are added you can use them as regular email addresses. Emails sent to these groups are delivered to all the member's inboxes.
One drawback is that GADS has limited functionality regarding the setting of all the group options that are available in Google. We used Groups for Business (not sure if that's available in the education edition) which had a lot of configuration options available, but most had to be set manually once the groups were created by GADS if you didn't want to stick to the default. One in particular was the option to have the group listed in the Groups directory, which was not turned on. We had to set that indicator for several hundred email groups. We resorted to GAM, an open-source command line admin tool, to speed up this process. The tool can be found here: https://github.com/jay0lee/GAM/wiki

GADS can be a bit quirky so make sure you test everything thoroughly before deploying. Also keep in mind that it only syncs one-way, so changes in the AD will overwrite changes you have made in Google after the sync (at least those that are configurable in GADS).
Hope this helps.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Roccat
ID: 41836951
Thank you!
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