Catchalls, On Behalf of and Google Apps

December 8th, 2009 at 9:22 AM  No Comments
As most of you know for quite some time I have been looking for a way to consolidate multiple email accounts in one nice interface.  I run a small business and have many email accounts that go directly to me.  It would be nice if I were able to log into one web based email service and be able to read/respond the emails from these accounts in one centralized location.  Every service I tried there was a downfall of some kind.  I really liked Google’s email solutions but they had one draw back; the on behalf of annoyance that has bugged many Google mail users since they started to allow users to send email from a different email address.

I got an early Christmas present in July when someone pointed me to this blog post on Google Apps blog.  FINALLY they have setup a work around for the “on behalf of” problem.  I immediately started to go through in my head how this was all going to work.  I did a Google Search on setting up Google Apps to see what other users were doing and I found an article about a completely different approach to managing emails.  Users are setting up a domain on Google Apps and setting their main email as the catchall for the domain.  Brilliant!  Now, when I sign up on a website I use and can have my filters automatically tag the emails coming in.  Also, if the website sells my information or gets hacked and I start getting spam I can blackhole the email account and decrease the amount of spam I receive on a daily basis to almost nothing.

Catchalls have been around for sometime and I am surprised over time other users haven’t figured out the benefits of using a catchall email account with a domain like I have setup in this situation.  This is a great setup for any user or a small business who wants to look like more than a one man shop.

Android road warrior has phone, ISO connectivity

November 23rd, 2009 at 9:42 AM  2 Comments

junefabricsAs I stated in my previous post, I have left the world of BlackBerry and Microsoft Exchange behind and transitioned my e-mail, calendar, contacts, and mobile platform to Google Apps and Android. Doing so was no small decision, as my “day job” requires that I have access to all of these items and that they work in unison with each other, my desktop, my laptop, and that I have access to my data anywhere at any time.

I own an IT consulting firm, and as you can imagine, that means that I am not always in the office, and don’t always have connectivity available. With my BlackBerry, it was as simple as loading the Sprint SmartView software on my laptop (similar applications are provided by most carriers) and using my BlackBerry’s data connection. However, SmartView doesn’t work with the Samsung Moment, and Sprint has made the (poor) decision to do away with tethering or “Phone-As-Modem” options on their Simply Everything plans which are required plans for their smartphones. I speculate that their reason for doing away with tethering is an effort to drive customers to the increasing number of mobile broadband devices that they carry, including the new Novatel MiFi 2200 router, but I’ll save that gripe for another post.


Google Apps Directory Sync tool now supports suspending users

September 8th, 2009 at 8:34 AM  2 Comments

Google Apps SmallAccording to the Google Apps Official Blog they have released version 1.6.7 of their Directory Sync tool.   This tool allows Administrators to link up Active Directory (or other LDAP servers) to their Google Apps enviroment.

In older versions of the Google Apps Directory Sync the tool will provision new users/groups and sync LDAP directory information. With this new update it will automatically suspend Google accounts if the account is suspended inside the LDAP directory.  The Google Apps Directory Sync tool is a one way sync.  It only reads information from the directory to replace information inside of Google Apps, it will not sync back to the LDAP directory.