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The Google Apps Marketplace

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Think of the Google Apps Marketplace as a web-based “app store” for businesses currently operating on or planning to switch to Google Apps. The third-party applications found within the Marketplace extend the functionality of Google Apps for both IT administrators and end-users. You can access the Marketplace from inside your inbox. Just go to the “Find more services” link under the “More” tab at the top of your screen.

What Are You Looking For?

As with most Google services, navigation in the Marketplace is done by search. To start, you can search for the action item you are looking for or you can check out the application categories found on the left hand side of the Marketplace homepage. Checking out the ‘top installs’ is also a great way to find the app you’re looking for.

Identifying the Right App

Checking out the reviews section of an app is a great way to see if you are going to get what is advertised by the provider. Not all apps are created equal, and the third-party nature of these offerings means you’ll be working to evaluate software that is not supported by Google. If you encounter problems or have questions about a product in the Marketplace, you will be getting support from the company that produces the software, and not Google itself.

App Evaluation

Most of the apps in the Google Apps Marketplace offer a trial, usually based on an amount of time (i.e. a 30-day trial) or a set number of users on a domain (a 2-user trial for example). These limits can sometimes hamper the user’s ability to test the full functionality of a product, but providers will often negotiate trial terms. Reach out to app providers to see if trial adjustments can be made.

Installation

Setting up an app from the Marketplace is easy. Log into your Google Apps domain account, then find the app you want to install. Then click the “Add it now” button found on the right hand side of the application’s Marketplace page. You will be walked through a series of steps to complete the installation. As with any software product (cloud or otherwise), you will need to accept the terms of the installation. After completing the required steps, you should be good to go. You’ll be able to access the installed application from the “More” tab in your Google Apps domain.

Though the Google Apps Marketplace does not get the same exposure enjoyed by other app stores, the simple fact is applications in the Marketplace vastly extend the capability of Google Apps. Enhancing native-installed Google software with a nimble Software-as-a-Service product is ultimately good for employee productivity and satisfaction and therefore the bottom line.

Visit the Marketplace here.