File sharing Stories January 25, 2016

Google Apps users get enhanced Google Drive file sharing options

Google today detailed some improvements it’s making for Apps users when it comes to file sharing with Google Drive and managing permissions for various users. The new functionality comes in the form of new “Access Checker” features within the Apps Admin console that will allow admins to select one of three options for file sharing with users:

If an admin allows external, public file sharing (i.e. they’ve checked the box next to Allow users in XYZ domain to publish files on the web or make them visible to the world as public or unlisted files), that admin will now be able to say which of the following three options their users will have when sharing files in the scenarios described above:

  • Option 1: Recipients only, their domain, or public (no Google account required)
  • Option 2: Recipients only or their domain
  • Option 3: Recipients only

For admins that allow public file sharing already, the “recipients only, their domain, or public” will be selected by default. Otherwise, the “recipients only or their domain” option will be on by default. Admins can access the new settings once they’ve rolled out under Admin console > Apps > Google Apps > Settings for Drive > Sharing settings. 

Google goes into more detail about the new options in its full blog post here for those that are interested.

Admins can expect to see the new feature rolling out in the next few days.

File sharing Stories July 20, 2015

Google’s productivity apps receive minor updates for paid and unpaid users

Google’s productivity apps have received two small updates today, one specifically for paid customers of Google Apps, the enterprise-grade version of Google’s online productivity suite for those who want to use Google products with their own domain, and the other for all users of the products. Let’s take a look.

First off, a couple products which tend to fall under the “Docs” brand have received a new UI button (pictured above) for all users which makes it clearer want kind of access you have to a document you’re viewing, and easier to request greater access. If you’re viewing a spreadsheet and have only been granted the ability to view it but not edit or add comments, for example, you’ll see a blue button which says “View only.” Clicking the downward facing arrow reveals the option to request greater access, in this case the ability to edit. Viewers with the ability to comment will see a similar button in the color green. The blue “View only” button will appear across Docs, Slides, Sheets, and Drawings, while the “Comment only” button will only appear across Slides, Sheets, and Drawings.

The second minor change up on the block is specifically for Apps administrators, and alerts company employees to when a document they’ve shared with someone cannot be viewed by that person for one reason or another. Oftentimes to prevent sensitive information from getting into the wrong hands, Google Apps administrators will restrict their employees from sharing files with any user of Google’s apps other than those on the same domain (i.e. tom@corpemail.com). This is what it may look like if you attempt to share a document with someone outside your corporation and sharing outside your own domain is disabled:

More information on both updates is available on the Google Apps Updates blog, here for the new Docs UI buttons, and here for the new invalid sharing settings alerts.

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