Using Google Apps on iGoogle

I love Google Apps, the sevice which hosts email, calendaring, online docs and chat for your own domain name free of charge at Google. Sure there are some disadvantages and I still don’t like working in the Google Docs word processor too much but the email and calendaring are great. I also love the iGoogle service where you can customize a homepage with RSS feeds and include a Gmail and Google Docs module.

The problem is that internal communication at Google between these projects is pretty much non-existant, at least it appears that way. iGoogle integrates wonderfully with the consumer Gmail and Google Docs service but not at all with the hosted Google Apps service which is becoming even more popular as companies, particularly universities and colleges, around the world start to adopt it. One of my customers was particularly annoyed that documents created with their hosted app couldn’t show up on their iGoogle page and asked me to find a solution. After much frustrations the best solution I could come up with is a series of hacked together iGoogle apps which replicate as much of the functionality as possible from the official Gmail, Calendar and Google Docs iGoogle apps.

1) Google Docs for hosted domains iGoogle gadget

2) Google Mail for hosted domains iGoogle gadget

3) Google Talk for hosted domains iGoogle gadget

4) Google Calendar for hosted domains iGoogle gadget

5) Google Tasks for hosted domains iGoogle gadget

Of course, this is really just a workaround and doesn’t do as nice a job of integration as the regular apps do. In related news the Google account authorization is a mess because of this as well. For example, you can log into the iGoogle site (and other Google services) using a non-gmail address which is linked to a regular gmail account but this is confusing if you also have a hosted apps mail account on that domain. A mess all around. Google…if you’re listening you really need to make some improvements to how your hosted apps service integrates with the rest of your services and sites!


  1. I agree. I’d be very happy if there was somehow I could merge my Gmail/iGoogle identity with my primary Google Apps identity. And Speaking of not sharing, why is it apparently impossible to easily share/sync/swap contacts between different Gmail and Google Apps accounts?