We’ve always been an advocate of the Directory within an IT system. Our lineage goes back decades to the days of X.500, LDAP, and Novell eDirectory. As cloud adoption continues to rise, we are seeing more and more vendors, including Google, introducing their own directory service, based within “The Cloud”.

Many organisations don’t realise the power of the Directory. With Google providing a “Directory-as-a-Service”, your identity is stored directly within the Google public cloud. From here you can then leverage standard protocols such as LDAP, RADIUS, and SAML to link your Google identities to applications, both on-premise and in the cloud, as well as networks, file servers, and more, regardless of provider or location. Simply put, you can secure all your on-premise and cloud-based application with one single account. No need for multiple usernames or passwords, just your Google Workspace account secured with 2 step authentication is all you need.

In addition to security, the Google directory also provides shared external contacts. These contacts are not standard Google Workspace accounts but can be used by users in your organisation to collaborate with external users who they may need to communicate frequently with, such as clients, consultants or partners. Profile information from users added as shared external contacts can be located by users within your organisation from any Google services, such as when they enter an address within Gmail.

Previously Google limited shared external contacts to 50,000 and 20MB of storage, which was fine for most organisations, however many larger customers needed more. With today’s announcement, Google has extended this limit to 200,000 contacts and 40MB of storage which should satisfy everyone.

There is still a downside unfortunately, Google only provides access to shared external contacts via the Domain Shared Contacts API. So if you’re looking for a simple way to add and maintain profile information within Google shared external contacts you’re going to need to write a directory tool using these API. But on a positive note, that’s one of the reasons why we created Patronum – The Google Workspace Manager. With Patronum you can create, edit and search your entire Google Directory for both internal and external users.

If you want to learn more about how Patronum can help you better manager your Google Workspace then schedule a demo with a member of the team.