Sync Google Apps With LDAP the Easy Way

By Greg Keller Posted April 2, 2015

Sync Google Apps with LDAP
sync google apps with ldap

Since launching in 2006, the Google Apps suite (now known as G Suite) has taken off like a rocket ship. Over 5 million businesses now use Google Apps for Work. Reportedly, Google is on a greater than $3b run rate. That’s pretty incredible for a service that was started just for consumers and not for businesses. Google Apps has become a “go-to” cloud service for a majority of startups and for many mid- to large-sized businesses as well.

The Limitations of Google Apps for Business

As organizations grow with Google Apps, they start needing a central, authoritative directory to manage their matrix of users, applications, devices, and networks. Google Apps is only a portion of their greater IT infrastructure, and IT admins know that they need to control access to all of those resources.

Unfortunately, Google Apps doesn’t extend to devices and on-premises applications. Organizations that have more technical applications and those that leverage Infrastructure-as-a-Service often end up having multiple directories, or managing with LDAP which is often used to manage users, devices, and applications. Google Apps has its own directory for the Google Apps users and accounts.

If you have a number of SaaS-based applications you might also have a Single Sign-on (SSO) solution. Managing users in all of these different places ends up becoming a huge problem for IT admins – one that Google has no interest in solving.

Sync Google Apps with LDAP through Cloud Directory Services

Directory-as-a-Service solutions centralize your ability to manage users and the resources your users need to access. Specifically, your Google Apps users can be managed from your cloud-based directory. As you add new users or terminate existing users, those changes are automatically relayed to Google Apps.

At long last, IT admins have one location to manage all users across all applications. The Directory-as-a-Service® solution also allows the management of user access and systems such as laptops, desktops, and servers. Those devices don’t need to be on-premises, but rather can be in the cloud. They no longer need to be connected to a domain to be managed.

Directory-as-a-Service solutions can also federate identities to SSO solutions. A SaaS-based directory is able to serve as the central hub for your user identities, federating them to the various services that you use.

Specifically with Google Apps, a Directory-as-a-Service solution emits its identities via LDAP. The Google Apps Directory Sync (now Google Cloud Directory Sync) picks up those identities and syncs them with Google Apps. Again, all changes are replicated out to Google Apps on a continuous basis. An alternate way that a DaaS solution can replicate to Google Apps is through the Google Apps APIs. With the API driven model, user events are immediately propagated through to Google Apps.

Users leverage their single identity across their devices and for their Google Apps logins. If an organization is interested in SSO access to Google Apps, that can also be done via the DaaS end user portal.

Sync Google Apps with LDAP and Your Directory the Easy Way

If you have Google Apps and want to centralize your control over your users, then you need to sync Google Apps with LDAP and your directory. If you want to make that super easy, leverage a cloud-based directory solution such as Jumpcloud. If you would like to try out our Google Apps sync function for yourself, sign-up for a free account. Your first 10 users are free forever. Alternatively, if you have any questions about syncing Google Apps with LDAP, feel free to contact us.

Greg Keller

Greg is JumpCloud's Chief Product Officer, overseeing the product management team, product vision and go-to-market execution for the company's Directory-as-a-Service offering. The SaaS-based platform re-imagines Active Directory and LDAP for the cloud era, securely connecting and managing employees, their devices and IT applications.

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