Making dynamic groups more powerful with custom user attributes and OrgUnit queries

What’s changing 

Google Groups are a convenient way for Workspaces users to collaborate and a powerful tool for admins to apply consistent security and access policies to sets of users or devices. Dynamic groups further enhance this functionality by allowing group membership to be automatically updated based on parameters such as location, department, or job title. 

Today we are further extending the functionality of dynamic groups in two important ways: 
  • First, dynamic groups can now be defined by querying custom user attributes. This functionality is available as an open beta (no sign up required). 
  • Second, dynamic groups can also be defined based on users’ membership in Organizational Units (OUs). This feature is now generally available. 

Who’s impacted 

Admins only 

Why you’d use it 

Dynamic groups can be used for email distribution lists, access control, group based policy, and more. Compared to regular Google Groups they have the added benefit that memberships are automatically kept up-to-date. Automating membership management increases security, reduces errors, and alleviates user frustration while minimizing the burden on admins. 

These new features expand the utility of dynamic groups for organizations that take advantage of custom user attributes and organizational units. They can further tailor dynamic groups to meet the specific needs of their organization. For example these organizations could now: 
  • Create a dynamic group for all users of a subsidiary (an organizational unit) based in a particular city or state. 
  • Create a dynamic group with all users with a custom attribute of a “job_skill” or “speciality”. 

Getting started 

  • Admins: To take advantage of this new dynamic group functionality, you will need to have already defined custom user fields or organizational units
    • Once this is in place you can test membership queries and then create / update dynamic groups to take advantage of them. 
      • To query a customer attribute “EmployeeNumber” (based on this sample schema): user.custom_schemas.employmentData.EmployeeNumber == '123456789' 
      • To query all direct members of an organizational unit: user.org_unit_id==orgUnitId('03ph8a2z1enx4lx') 
      • To query all direct and indirect members of an organizational unit: user.org_units.exists(org_unit, org_unit.org_unit_id==orgUnitId('03ph8a2z1khexns')) 
  • End users: Not available to end users. 

Rollout pace 

  • Custom user attribute queries are available now for all users in open beta (no sign up required) 
  • Organizational unit based dynamic group queries are now generally available for all users. 


  • Available to Google Workspace Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, and Education Plus customers 
  • Not available to Google Workspace Essentials, Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Education Fundamentals, Frontline, and Nonprofits, as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers