Manage the global Directory
Initially, your Google Apps global Directory includes each user's name and email addresses. You can also add information like phone numbers, a physical address, and employee information. And you can add external contacts or calendar resources by using programming tools or Marketplace apps.
After you turn on your global Directory, here's how to manage its contents.
About the global DirectoryWho appears in the global Directory
Shared: When you enable your global Directory, the following contacts can appear in each user's Contact Manager and when typing addresses in services.
- Users you add to your account.
- Calendar resources such as rooms. Requires advanced setup
- External contacts such as outside partners or consultants. Requires advanced setup
Not shared: The following contacts aren't shared with other users in the global Directory:
- Personal contacts that users add themselves.
- Suspended or deleted users.
- Users you hide from the global Directory.
When you enable your global Directory, contact information appears in the following places:
- Contact Manager: Users can open their Contact Manager to browse a directory of contacts. They can also search quickly for a contact. For details, see The Google Apps Contact Manager.
- When typing addresses: Start typing in any service's address field to open a list of matching names from the global Directory. This works when sending mail, inviting people to calendar events, and more. For details, see Typing addresses in Google Apps.
- Admin console: Each user's contact information appears in their user profiles in the Admin console.
Manage global Directory contentUpdate user profiles
Here's how to update a user's profile data that's shared in your global Directory:
|User profile data||How to update|
Tip: Control whether email alias addresses appear in user profiles by setting sharing settings.
If your users frequently contact people outside your Google Apps account, you can add their contact information to your global Directory, too. External contacts are people who don't have accounts in your organization, such as consultants or partners. You have two options for adding external contacts to your global Directory:
- Developer API: If you're comfortable working with technical tools, you can add external contacts programmatically using the Domain Shared Contacts API.
- Marketplace apps: To work with a friendly interface that doesn't require programming, explore the Google Apps Marketplace for products that let you add external contacts. Note that Google doesn't provide support for 3rd party software from the Marketplace. Go to the Marketplace now.
Note that you need to enable contact sharing for external contacts to appear in your global Directory.
You can add more contact fields or integrate contacts with other systems using apps from the Google Apps Marketplace. Note that Google doesn't provide support for 3rd party software from the Marketplace.
Administrators who are comfortable working with more technical tools can manage contact information using the following developer APIs:
- Add and modify user data with the Directory API
Use these APIs to add and control data for any user in your account. Add, modify, and delete users and groups, alias addresses, and more.
- Add external contacts with the Domain Shared Contacts API
Use these APIs to add, edit, and delete shared external contacts that you'd like to appear in your global Google Apps Directory. Examples include consultants and partners. You must enable contact sharing for external contacts to appear in your Directory.
- Manage users' personal contact data with the Google Contacts Data API
This API lets client applications view, create, and update a user's personal contacts list. Your application can also query for contacts that match particular criteria. This API can be used by either an administrator or a user.
- Add calendar resources such as rooms with the Calendar resources API
You can sync user data from your LDAP server, such as Microsoft Active Directory or Lotus Notes, with Google Apps Directory Sync (GADS). All information on your LDAP server is updated, including Internal users, groups, and users outside of your domains. GADS is a one-way syncing tool; an LDAP server can't be aligned with a Google Apps account. Note that GADS is not an API, but it does assume a level of comfort with technical tools.
Best practicesLimit the number of external contacts
Each external contact counts against your account's 50,000 contact limit. If you have a large organization, try to only add external contacts that most of your users need.
If only a few users need a particular external contact, ask those users to add the contact to their personal contacts. Or create a Google group that includes the internal users and the external contacts they keep in touch with.
Make it easy for users to contact groups of people they work with by creating Google Groups. Users can email the entire group or invite them all to a meeting, using a single group address. Messages sent to a group can be viewed later by group members, in a group archive. And group addresses autocomplete when users type in address fields.
Learn more about Google Groups.