Couple of months ago I wrote a post that shows how to make your Google Apps Account a Google Account so that you can use all the Google services with it. But having two different accounts and managing them has always been a pain for me personally. For instance, I have a Google Apps account for my work which is email@example.com and with this account I am able to access all the Google apps services that are currently offered: Docs, Gtalk, Email etc.
However for things like Google Reader, Blogger, Picasa, I couldn’t use my Gapps account as those services are not a part of the offered Google Apps package. So I created a separate Google Account with the same email address firstname.lastname@example.org and now I got myself – 1 Google Apps account and 1 Google Account but both has the same identifier (my email address).
It gets really confusing sometimes as you can’t be certain if you are logged in to your Regular Google account or the Google Apps account. Google Accounts also comes with Google Docs, thus now I have two different Google docs account! So when someone within my organization shares something with me, Google often messes up the permission settings as I believe it gets confused with the same user (email@example.com) having two different accounts of Google Docs.
Now good news – Gina reported that Google is addressing this issue soon as someone has found a help document that explains Google’s plan of transitioning all Google Apps user and turning their account into a full blown Google Account so that it can be used with any GOOG products and services offered.
This is absolutely brilliant and Thank you Google for making this move (finally!). I was banging my head against the wall everyday in frustration due to issues caused by multi-account conflicts (it mostly has to do with Google docs & sharing).
Now the big question is – What If you already have created a Google account for the same email address that you are using in Google Apps?
“For example, your Google Apps email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. A while back, you may have signed up for Blogger with this email address, which created a Google Account. Since we’ve moved your Google Apps account to a Google Account infrastructure to allow access to all Google products, your other Google Account will be renamed to: email@example.com. You should add the +personal extension to your email address if you’d like to sign in to your old account.”
So that means to some extent your old account will be “gone” as Google is pretty much just changing your old Google account email address to – firstname.lastname@example.org and at the same time they will give “Full Google power” to your GApps accounts so that you can access all of the Googley stuffs! I find the solution perfectly fine, in fact I was actually looking for a way to delete the account because of this whole two different Google Docs + Sharing conflicts.
But if you have a lot of data/documents in your “Google Account” then you might want to transfer them to your Google Apps account or back them up somehow. Because from what I understand, Google isn’t doing that for you during this transition.
But exporting your data out is pretty easy from Google. Especially for Google Docs, you can easily export all your files out as a big .zip file and upload them back into your Google Apps Docs account.
Update: The Official Google Blog confirms this and states that they are indeed rolling out more applications for Google App users. They have a form up for organizations who would want to become the first beta testers of this big transition. I have already signed up and I can’t wait for this!
For now, this new integration between Google Apps accounts and Google accounts is only available if you are a Trusted Tester, but Google promised that this will become publicly available in the coming months. “We intend to have all Standard, Premier and Education Edition customers moved to the new infrastructure that enables this change in the fall, and customers who would like more control over the timing of this change will be able to make the switch voluntarily during the summer.”