Tag Archives: Google Calendar

Self-diagnose ICS-related issues with improved Google Calendar audit logs

When changes are made within Google Calendar, it’s important that the available audit logs in the Admin console have the information you need to understand what happened. We have made it easier to do that for changes originating from a third-party system (such as Microsoft Exchange or IBM Notes). In these instances, the third-party system sends the user an email with an attached ICS file.

To help you better investigate situations like these, we’ve added new information to the audit logs, including:

  • The address of the email sender
  • The ID of the message that you can use in Gmail audit logs for further investigation
  • The third-party system that sent the message (for example, "Microsoft Exchange Server 2013"), and
  • The email recipient.
To see all third-party-originated changes, filter activities by selecting “Gmail ICS Parser” in the API Kind field.

Below is an example of an audit log for an event invitation from Microsoft Exchange user john@exchange.altostrat.com sent to Google Calendar user jane@altostrat.com:

  • Activity Name: Event created
  • Activity Description: john@exchange.altostrat.com created a new event Weekly Team Meeting
  • User: john@exchange.altostrat.com
  • Calendar Id: jane@altostrat.com
  • Event Title: Weekly Team Meeting
  • Event Id: _60q30c1g60o30e1i60o4ac1g60rj8gpl88rj2c1h84s34h9...
  • API Kind: Gmail ICS Parser
  • User Agent: Microsoft Exchange Server 2013
  • Recipient Email: jane@altostrat.com
  • Message Id: < 001a11474d047be4c80553f59b74 altostrat.com="">
  • Date: May 22 7:53 AM
With this information, you’ll be able to investigate the change yourself, without having to rely on G Suite Support looking into it for you.

View these reports in the Admin console under Reports > Calendar.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Full rollout (1–3 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
Admins only

Action:
Admin action suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Calendar audit log

Event details now supported by Calendar Interop

Last summer, we announced improvements to Google Calendar Interop for Microsoft Exchange. We simplified the setup process, introduced detailed logs in Admin console, and made free/busy lookups available on mobile as well as web.

To continue enhancing the coexistence of these two systems, we’re rolling out the support for event details in availability lookups. Now, G Suite admins can opt in to sharing event details when users use Calendar's Find a Time or Outlook's Scheduling Assistant. Event details include:


  • Event title
  • Event location
  • Guest’s response status




We have also improved our authentication mechanism recently, paving the way to a simplified Calendar Interop setup in the future. To be able to use the event details feature, you will likely have to regenerate Exchange credentials using the credential generation tool and update your availability address space as explained in steps 3 through 5 here.

For more information on how to enable these new interop features, check out this Help Center article

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Full rollout (1–3 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
Admins and all end users

Action:
Admin action suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: How Calendar Interop works


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Coming soon: automatic room suggestions in Google Calendar

We just announced some new G Suite products and features to help your organization collaborate more effectively and efficiently. As part of that announcement, we introduced automatic room suggestions in Google Calendar, which will be launching to all G Suite editions in the coming months. Below are some admin-specific details about automatic room suggestions to help you get started.

This tool will automatically suggest rooms optimized for each attendee based on their building and floor location, previous booking history, audio/video equipment needs and room capacity requirements. To unlock this feature, admins will have to add detailed meeting room information into Calendar. G Suite administrators can use this resource to learn more about inputting their organization’s room information into Calendar.

Closer to the launch, there will be more information on how to enable this feature, such as adding main user work locations to user profiles. Keep an eye on the G Suite Updates blog for more information.

Launch Details
Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Impact:
Admins only

Action:
Admin action suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: How updating resources affects display, search, and browse
The Keyword: New ways to help teams work faster and smarter with G Suite
G Suite Updates: Time for a refresh: meet the new Google Calendar for web


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New Google Calendar web UI to begin automatically upgrading users on January 8th, 2018

In October 2017, we announced a new user interface (UI) for Google Calendar on the web. As a reminder, admins have several options for how their users will transition to this new UI.

On January 8th for Rapid Release domains (and January 15th for Scheduled Release domains), we’ll begin auto-upgrading users whose domains are set to the automatic (default) rollout option.

In this phase, users will still have the option to opt out of the new UI until February 28th, 2018, when all users will be fully upgraded.

Please note, any individual users who had manually opted out of the new web UI previously will not be upgraded until February 5th for Rapid Release and February 12th for Scheduled Release.

Additionally, while this opt-out phase does not impact domains whose admins have selected a manual rollout, users in these domains will still be upgraded to the new UI on February 28th, 2018, with no option to opt out.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to Rapid Release, with Scheduled Release coming on January 15th

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Gradual rollout (up to 15 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Control access to the new Calendar (admin-facing)
Help Center: Learn what's new in Google Calendar (user-facing)
G Suite Updates blog: Time for a refresh: meet the new Google Calendar for web


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Update Google Calendar resources using the Calendar Resource APIs

We recently introduced the new Google Calendar experience on the web, including the ability to add more structured data about your buildings and resources. We’re now making it easier to add and edit that information with updates to the existing Calendar Resources API, as well as adding two new APIs: Buildings and Features.

G Suite admins can also use these APIs to keep resource and building information in Google Calendar up to date and in sync with other systems used for facility management.

For more information on the Calendar Resources APIs, check out the API documentation and Help Center links below.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Full rollout (1–3 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
Admins only

Action:
Admin action suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Create buildings, features, and resources
The Keyword: Time for a refresh: meet the new Google Calendar for web
G Suite Updates: Introducing the new Calendar Resource API
G Suite Admin SDK > Directory API: Resources.calendars
G Suite Admin SDK > Directory API: Resources.features
G Suite Admin SDK > Directory API: Resources.buildings

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Shutting down classic Google Calendar Interop tool on February 28, 2018

In July 2017, we announced the release of the new version of the Calendar Interop tool, which allows for better coexistence between G Suite and Microsoft Exchange, including Office 365, environments. 

This new version of Calendar Interop provides the following benefits:

  • Real-time availability lookups between G Suite and Microsoft Exchange and Office 365 within the same organization on both mobile and web.
  • A new interoperability troubleshooting tool that allows administrators to understand the status of the setup with one click.
  • Use Google Calendar Find A Time on the web, Android, and iOS to find the best meeting time for all attendees.
  • Interoperability-related logs in the reporting section in Admin console so that admins can track interoperability-related successes and failures for each user.
As we continue to provide more features for the new Calendar Interop tool, we will be shutting down the classic version of Calendar Interop on February 28, 2018. Organizations that have previously configured the classic version of the Calendar Interop tool must switch to the new version of Calendar Interop by this date. If not, their existing Calendar Interop functionality will stop working and their users will not be able to look up availability information for any users within their Exchange deployment.

To make this switch easier, we have prepared the following detailed instructions in the Help Center: Move from the classic tool to new Calendar Interop.

With the transition to the new Calendar Interop tool, you and your users will experience a better coexistence across G Suite and Microsoft Exchange and Office 365 environments.

Launch Details
Impact:
All end users

Action:
Admin action suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Move from the classic tool to new Calendar Interop
G Suite Updates: Improvements to Google Calendar Interop for Microsoft Exchange, with real time data, logging, and simpler setup

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Easily copy Hangouts Meet conference information across your Google Calendar events

There are many reasons you might want to schedule multiple Calendar events with the same Hangouts Meet conference details. For example:

  • Setting up separate events for an interview to preserve candidate and interviewer privacy.
  • Creating separate events—one to book a room, another to invite speakers, and a third for other guests.
  • Running several back-to-back meetings and you’d rather not have to leave and join video conferences every half hour.
In all of these scenarios you want to be sure all participants join the same conference even if they are on different Calendar events.



To simplify this process, we are making it easy to copy and paste Hangouts Meet conferences across events.

To change an event’s conference details:

  1. Open the event in edit mode
  2. Click “VIEW DETAILS”
  3. Click the pencil icon to edit
  4. Paste the code (or full URL) of another Hangouts Meet conference
Note that this experience is only available in the new Calendar for web.

Launch Details
Release track: 
Launching to Rapid Release, with Scheduled Release coming on December 12th, 2017

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Full rollout (1–3 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI

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Time for a refresh: meet the new Google Calendar for web

(Cross-posted from The Keyword)

Check your schedule. Starting today, a fresh look and new features are coming to Google Calendar on the web to help you manage your time more efficiently and get more done.

We’re taking a lot of what you know and love from Calendar’s mobile application, like the modern color palette and sleek design, and bringing it to the web with a responsive layout that auto-adjusts to your screen size. We’ve also added more features for enterprises to help teams schedule and prepare for meetings.

Over the years, you’ve shared valuable feedback on how we can enhance Calendar to better fit your needs and we’re excited to bring new improvements. Now, it’s even easier to manage your schedule at your desk. In the new Calendar for web, you can:
  • See conference room details when booking a room. G Suite admins can now enter detailed information about their organization’s meeting rooms—so employees know where a conference room is located, how large it is, and whether it has audio/video equipment or is wheelchair accessible. Employees can simply hover over the room name in Calendar when they want to book a space, and a hovercard will pop up with details about the conference location and resources.

  • Add rich formatting and hyperlinks to your Calendar invites. Link to relevant spreadsheets, documents or presentations in your Calendar invite and open them directly from the new “Event Detail” view. This can help you create more detailed agendas and ensure all materials are in one place before your meeting starts.

  • Manage multiple calendars side by side in “Day” view. Now you can view and manage calendars in separate columns. This makes it easier for employees who manage multiple calendars, like administrative assistants, to schedule meetings on behalf of their teams. Click “Day” view and select the calendars you want to compare.


There are a number of other changes in Calendar, too. Now you can see contact information of meeting participants when you hover over their names in a Calendar invite. There’s also a new way to view and restore deleted items in one place in case you accidentally delete a meeting invite. Additionally, "Day,” "Week,” and "Month" views are now more accessible, featuring better compatibility with screen readers. For more detail on changes, check out this post.

Additional information for G Suite admins

To help you and your users transition to the new Calendar web UI, we’re offering two rollout options to choose from (see the Help Center for more information):
  • Automatic—Automatic is the default option. Starting Nov. 14, 2017, for Rapid Release domains and Nov. 28, 2017, for Scheduled Release domains, we will gradually transition your users to the new UI. The transition will take about 8 weeks (including opt-in and opt-out stages). No action is required on your part for the Automatic option.
  • Manual—Alternatively, you can choose to manually control when to move your users to the new UI in the Google Admin console. For example, though we've worked with the developers of the most popular Calendar Chrome extensions to prepare for the new UI, you might have users who depend on an extension that hasn’t been updated yet. Or you might like to check out the new UI in your test domain or organizational unit (OU).
To choose the Manual option, go to Apps > G Suite > Calendar > New Calendar. Here, you can set by organizational unit when you’d like your users to access the new version of the Calendar UI. If you choose the Manual rollout option, please plan to transition all your users to the new UI before Feb. 28, 2018. Any users who are still accessing the old Calendar UI on Feb. 28, 2018, will be transitioned to the new UI, with no ability to opt out.

We recommend sharing this guide, as well as the resources below, with your users to help them understand the new layout changes.

For more information on how to add structured data to your rooms and resources, check out the Help Center. Note that this feature will work with both the classic Calendar UI and the new Calendar UI. 


Launch Details
New Calendar web UI, rich formatting for invites, side-by-side “Day” view
Structured room and resource data
  • Rolling out gradually over the coming weeks for admins on both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release to start uploading
Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
Admins and end users

Action:
Admin action suggested/FYI

More Information
New Calendar UI
Structured room and resource data




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8 swift steps G Suite admins can take to secure business data

(Cross-posted from The Keyword)

Security doesn’t have to be complicated. With G Suite, admins can manage and help protect their users with minimal effort because we've designed our tools to be intuitive—like Vault, which helps with eDiscovery and audit needs, and data loss prevention, which helps ensure that your “‘aha”’ moments stay yours. Here are some key security controls that you can deploy with just a few clicks to get more fine-grained control of your organization's security.

1. Enable Hangouts out-of-domain warnings
If your business allows employees to chat with external users on Hangouts, turn on a setting that will show warnings to your users if anyone outside of your domain tries to join a Hangout, and split existing group chats so external users can’t see previous internal conversations. This substantially reduces the risk of data leaks or falling prey to social engineering attacks. (Admin console > Apps > G Suite > Google Hangouts > Chat settings > Sharing options)


2. Disable email forwarding
Exercising this option will disable the automatic email forwarding feature for users, which in turn helps reduce the risk of data exfiltration in the event a user’s credentials are compromised. (Admin console > Apps > G Suite > Gmail > Advanced settings)



3. Enable early phishing detection
Enabling this option adds further checks on potentially suspicious emails prior to delivery. Early phishing detection utilizes a dedicated machine learning model that selectively delays messages to perform rigorous phishing analysis. Less than 0.05 percent of messages on average get delayed by a few minutes, so your users will still get their information fast. (Admin console > Apps > G Suite > Gmail > Advanced settings)


4. Examine OAuth-based access to third-party apps
OAuth apps whitelisting helps keep company data safe by letting you specifically select which third-party apps are allowed to access users’ G Suite data. Once an app is part of a whitelist, users can choose to grant authorized access to their G Suite apps data. This helps to prevent malicious apps from tricking people into accidentally granting access to corporate data. (Admin console > Security > G Suite API Permissions)


5. Check that unintended external reply warning for Gmail is turned on
Gmail can display unintended external reply warnings to users to help prevent data loss. You can enable this option to ensure that if your users try to respond to someone outside of your company domain, they’ll receive a quick warning to make sure they intended to send that email. Because Gmail has contextual intelligence, it knows if the recipient is an existing contact or someone your users interact with regularly, so it only displays relevant warnings. This option is on by default. (Admin console > Apps > G Suite > Gmail > Advanced settings)


6. Restrict external calendar
To reduce the incidence of data leaks, make sure that Google Calendar details aren’t shared outside your domain. Limiting sharing to “free” or “busy” information protects you from social engineering attacks that depend on gleaning information from meeting titles and attendees. (Admin console > Apps > G Suite > Calendar > Sharing settings)


7. Limit access to Google Groups
By setting default Google group access to private, you can limit external access to information channels that may contain confidential business information, like upcoming projects. (Admin console > Apps > G Suite > Groups for Business > Sharing settings)


8. Set Google+ access restrictions
Make the default sharing setting for Google+ restricted and disable discoverability of Google+ profiles outside your domain. Both of these actions can help you control access to critical business information. (Admin console > Apps > G Suite > Google+ > Advanced settings)





Every company has their own unique set of business requirements that need to work in rhythm with their security requirements. By evaluating and implementing some of these suggested security controls, you can make a marked difference in your company’s security posture—with just a few clicks. See this post for other security tips.


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Admin console tools to better manage Google Calendar events of former employees

Managing the ownership of a former employee’s calendar events and ensuring that calendar resources don’t remain booked by their stale events are challenging tasks for admins. When an employee leaves an organization, you can either delete their account or suspend it for a certain amount of time before deleting it.

Today, we’re introducing a new set of tools to better assist admins with managing former employees’ calendar events, which will help you streamline your company’s employee exit workflows.

When you delete a user, you can choose to transfer their future events to a new owner and optionally, release the resources that these events occupy. This ensures continuity of the scheduled events with an active employee who can continue managing them. You can change ownership of an employee’s events via the user deletion flow, by navigating to Apps > G Suite > Calendar > Manage User Data, or via the Data Transfer API.


If you choose not to transfer events upon user deletion, it is recommended that you opt in to have Calendar automatically cancel future events for all deleted employees, 21 days after the deletion. This will ensure that no unmanaged future events remain in the calendars of guests and resources. To opt in for automatic cancellation, navigate to Apps > G Suite > Calendar > Manage User Data.

At any other time (e.g. after a user’s suspension), you can manually initiate event transfer, event cancellation or resource release of future events, by navigating to Apps > G Suite > Calendar > Manage User Data.


Please note, this service is available to Super Admins and to admins who have the Data Transfer privilege.

For more information, please visit this Help Center article.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Gradual rollout (up to 15 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
Admins only

Action:
Admin action suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Manage Calendar events for suspended or deleted accounts

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