Integrate G Suite with OpenLDAP

By Rajat Bhargava Posted January 7, 2020

OpenLDAP and G Suite

There are over 5 million businesses paying to use G Suite™ (formerly Google Apps™ for Work). Many of these organizations want to shift their entire organization to the cloud. While G Suite enables IT organizations to get rid of Microsoft® Exchange as their email provider, it also provides cost-effective productivity applications.

With the G Suite model, one challenge that IT admin are facing centers on what they should do with directory services. Not surprisingly, many IT organizations are interested in a solution that will allow them to integrate G Suite with OpenLDAP™.

G Suite and OpenLDAP Integration Can Be Tough

LDAP is one of the most important authentication protocols. Originally authored by our advisor Tim Howes and his colleagues, the LDAP protocol is the centerpiece of the open source solution, OpenLDAP.

Our Interview with Tim Howes

As a popular directory service, many organizations would like to integrate their OpenLDAP instance with their G Suite implementation. To enable the integration, IT admins need to implement Google Cloud™ Directory Sync (GCDS) to make it work.

Of course, it is a one-way integration given Google’s approach to directory services meaning you can export your data into G Suite. However, this sync does not let you export your data from Google or passwords from G Suite. The integration requires an additional server and is fairly brittle. As a result, it is not widely used by IT admins.

There’s an Easier Way

jumpcloud g suite integration

A different and more popular approach to integrating G Suite with OpenLDAP exists. The approach is called Directory-as-a-Service®. It creates a cloud-hosted directory service that does not require another server, IT management, or babysitting.

The process works as follows: IT organizations leverage Directory-as-a-Service as their core user directory. Users and credentials stored within the identity provider are then synced with G Suite. A new user can be created in the central, authoritative user management platform, which subsequently updates G Suite. A user deleted in Directory-as-a-Service is also suspended in G Suite.

Robust and Flexible Functionality

While the integration with G Suite and Directory-as-a-Service provides the same function as with OpenLDAP through GCDS, it offers a lot more too. Not only is DaaS far more resilient, it’s also API-driven from the JumpCloud® service. IT organizations get a complete hosted directory service instead of a self-managed, on-prem LDAP implementation.

With Directory-as-a-Service, G Suite organizations can federate their G Suite identities to their Windows®, macOS®, and Linux® systems, AWS® servers, WiFi authentication, and LDAP-based applications hosted on-prem, among others. The seamless integration is easy for end users because they have one set of secure credentials. And IT has central control over the identity management infrastructure.

Smoothly Integrate G Suite with OpenLDAP

If you would like to learn more about how to integrate G Suite with OpenLDAP, drop us a note. Our Directory-as-a-Service platform can solve this for you without the need to have your own OpenLDAP server or GCDS. Your first 10 users are free forever when you sign up for a free account, so give it a try today.

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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