Differences: Google Apps Directory and DaaS

Written by Rajat Bhargava on January 19, 2016

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The term directory can mean a lot of different things. When it comes to controlling your internal directory services, the terms can often be confusing. That confusion can extend to the Google Apps Directory. When comparing Google Apps Directory with JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service, there are a number of difference and you may have a number of questions.

Can I use Google Apps as my central directory service?

What about managing my users on their devices?

Is it possible to connect Google Apps users to my AWS servers?

Would I be able to authenticate via LDAP using Google Apps?

When IT admins are considering the differences between Google Apps Directory and JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service, these questions are typical. Before we dive into those questions, let’s review what each of these solutions can do.

What’s in a Directory?

Google Apps Directory

Google Apps Directory is the user store for an organization’s Google Apps users. Google has also extended the directory to provide authentication services via OAuth and SAML to other web-based applications. The Google Apps Directory is not intended to be the central user store for an organization because it cannot control and manage the broader range of IT resources that organizations need. GApps Directory began as a contact database for an organization’s users, and while it has been extended it is not widely accepted as a central source of truth for an organization. In fact, Google created Google Apps Directory Sync as a middleware solution to bridge the core directory service utilized by an organization.

JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service

JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service is designed to be the central, authoritative source of identities within an organization, the central user store. DaaS is a cloud-based service so it complements Google’s cloud-based service. JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service securely connects an organization’s users to the IT resources it needs including devices, application, and networks. It is used as a full, comprehensive directory leveraging a wide range of protocols to connect to various IT resources including LDAP, SAML, RADIUS, SSH, native device protocols, and REST. JumpCloud’s DaaS integrates seamlessly with Google Apps providing IT administrators the ability to provision, de-provision, and manage their users’ Google Apps accounts. JumpCloud provides control over all directory services in one central web-based control.

Key Differences

With respect to these essential differences, let’s go back and answer the questions posed earlier:

Can I use Google Apps as my central directory service? No, leveraging  JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service does this while integrating with GApps.

What about managing my users on their devices? Yes, JumpCloud’s DaaS solution provides full control over users and devices.

Is it possible to connect Google Apps users to my AWS servers? Yes, by leveraging DaaS as your central source of users, AWS identities will be identical to the ones used for Google Apps making it easier for your users.

Would I be able to authenticate via LDAP using Google Apps? While Google Apps doesn’t support LDAP as a protocol, you can connect your LDAP applications to users leveraging JumpCloud’s DaaS.

A Complementary Relationship

By integrating JumpCloud’s DaaS with Google Apps, your users will have one set of credentials to log in to their Google Apps account as well as their device and AWS servers – a significant advantage for you and a major convenience for your users.

If you would like to learn more about how Google Apps and JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service complement one another, drop us a note. Or, feel free to sign-up for a free account to test it for yourself.

Rajat Bhargava

Rajat Bhargava is co-founder and CEO of JumpCloud, the first Directory-as-a-Service (DaaS). JumpCloud securely connects and manages employees, their devices and IT applications. An MIT graduate with two decades of experience in industries including cloud, security, networking and IT, Rajat is an eight-time entrepreneur with five exits including two IPOs, three trade sales and three companies still private.

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