Sync groups from your LDAP or Active Directory server

Use Directory Sync or other Directory API tools

As a Groups administrator, you can synchronize groups using tools that use the Admin SDK’s Directory API. These tools include Google Cloud Directory Sync (GCDS) and tools you create yourself.

Note: You can also create groups in your Google Admin console and other interfaces. For details, see How and where do I create a group?

Sync using Google Cloud Directory Sync

Use GCDS to create new groups for any mailing lists on your LDAP or Microsoft Active Directory server that you want to use with your organization’s Google Workspace account. GCDS synchronizes only the actual groups and their memberships, not the group contents or settings.

GCDS provides a one-way synchronization, so you can continue to maintain your groups on your LDAP server and then synchronize them with Google Groups periodically. Learn About GCDS.

How synchronization works

Synchronization works only with groups that GCDS migrated from your LDAP server or that an administrator created directly in the Google Admin console. 

Each time you run GCDS, it:

  • Creates a group in Google Workspace for any group that exists on your LDAP server, but not in Google Workspace
  • Overwrites the members list, owner, and description in Google Workspace for groups that also exist on your LDAP server
  • Ignores the access settings for these groups
  • Deletes groups in Google Workspace that don’t also exist on your LDAP server

You can create exclusion rules in GCDS to prevent it from overwriting or deleting specific groups. For details, visit Use exclusion rules with GCDS.

If Groups for Business is turned on

Each time you run GCDS, it:

  • Ignores any group’s conversation history and settings that are available only in Google Groups
  • Doesn’t add any groups you created on your LDAP server that have the same email address as a group that a user already created
  • Adds members that exist on your LDAP server, but not in the group

For groups that users or administrators created using the Google Groups app, it doesn’t delete:

  • These groups, if they don’t exist on your LDAP server
  • Members that exist in the group, but not on your LDAP server

Sync using Directory API tools

Use the Directory API to create your own tool to synchronize mailing lists on your LDAP server with Google Workspace. This option requires programming expertise. Access the Directory API.

Default settings for synced groups

Groups that you sync to Google Groups receive the same default settings as groups that you create directly using an API.

Synced groups always start with these defaults, even if you’ve set different values for your organization’s groups in the Groups for Business sharing settings. You can, however, edit these values after the sync.

For details, visit Default settings for API groups.

Edit synced groups

You can edit groups synced using GCDS or other Directory API tools with the same tools that you use for groups you create directly using an API.

For details, visit Edit groups.

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