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    Going Google (apps), Part 2: Move your docs




    TOP STORY

    Going Google (apps), Part 2: Move your docs


    By Woody Leonhard

    In Part 1 of this series on Google apps, I covered the relatively simple process of moving all your mail to Gmail.

    Part 2 covers why and how you move Microsoft Office documents to the cloud and to Google apps.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/top-story/going-google-apps-part-2-move-your-docs/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. #2
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    Great article Woody. I never understood the difference between Apps and apps until now (and I'm an Authorized Reseller)! Here are a few comments that may be useful to your readers: When you convert documents to Google format, they no longer count towards your free 5GB. Also, when you install Google Drive on your computer, you can just copy over your my documents folder if you wish. Your folder structure will be duplicated online. If your wife wants Google Apps for Business, I will set her up professionally free of charge (except for licenses). Keep up the good work. When you get to the part about Google+, I volunteer to demonstrate Google Hangouts on Air with you.

    Best,
    Douglas Baumwall
    Google Apps Certified Deployment Specialist

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    I think Woody is missing a key point in this article aabout moving from Office to Gmail / Android environment. He says -

    "Moreover, all that information — mail, contacts, calendar — is now easily accessed on a variety of mobile devices. That's not just my Windows machines, but also my Galaxy smartphone, iPad, Mac, and even my wife's iPhone. When a new message comes in, my phone buzzes; there's no hassle and no technological "glue" required. As a long-time (in fact, original) Outlook user, I'm not used to things just working — the change is breathtaking."

    I use Outlook 2010 on my laptop and it is connected to an Office 365 online account. I also have a rarely used hotmail / live account connected. BOTH such MS accounts are viewable on my Android smartphone and tablet. Not only that but the Office 365 sync is via a MS Exchange connector on Samsung/android and it is flawless for email, contacts, calendar etc. That means that my Android devices are all in sync, and across different platforms.

    Put another way, there is an implicit suggestion by Woody that to get great sync on an android device it is better, or even necessary, to move across to Gmail / dcos, but it's not!

    I do have a Gmail account also, and I did sync it with another spare android phone, and the Office / android sync was great. For me there is no practical difference, and I get to keep all my 100% compatibility with MS documents from clients and suppliers by staying with MS rather than their formats being messed up by Google Docs, something I have had a lot of unfortunate experience with!

    That is something that SMBs really need to be careful about in considering a move to Google Docs or other non-MS doc system, the claimed compatibility levels with MS are never true in my experience, and I think Woody needs to flag that problem much more.

    Another issue for SMBs, which was also important for me, is that fundamentally can we trust an advertising company with confidential business data? As much as I can trust anything in the cloud, my trust levels are higher with MS since they are software vendor from day 1, not an ad company harvesting and selling client data...all in my opinion and experience and of course others will have their own and disagree with me. That's my 2c worth.
    Last edited by cavehomme; 2013-04-25 at 08:12.

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    It's true that Office 365 is a Microsoft cloud solution that duplicates some of Google Apps features. If you carefully compare the two solutions, you will see they are quite different. I create all my new documents in Google Drive, so there is no issue with formatting. It's true, years ago I had some problems when migrating some complex documents and spreadsheets, and some of those issues may still remain, however this type of problem has been greatly reduced as Google has addressed these concerns over the years.

    If you don't trust Google and would like to learn more about the security available to Google Apps users, here are links to two interesting videos:

    http://easygapps.com/learn/is-my-data-safe.html

    http://easygapps.com/learn/google-security.html

    Quote Originally Posted by cavehomme View Post
    I think Woody is missing a key point in this article aabout moving from Office to Gmail / Android environment. He says -

    "Moreover, all that information — mail, contacts, calendar — is now easily accessed on a variety of mobile devices. That's not just my Windows machines, but also my Galaxy smartphone, iPad, Mac, and even my wife's iPhone. When a new message comes in, my phone buzzes; there's no hassle and no technological "glue" required. As a long-time (in fact, original) Outlook user, I'm not used to things just working — the change is breathtaking."

    I use Outlook 2010 on my laptop and it is connected to an Office 365 online account. I also have a rarely used hotmail / live account connected. BOTH such MS accounts are viewable on my Android smartphone and tablet. Not only that but the Office 365 sync is via a MS Exchange connector on Samsung/android and it is flawless for email, contacts, calendar etc. That means that my Android devices are all in sync, and across different platforms.

    Put another way, there is an implicit suggestion by Woody that to get great sync on an android device it is better, or even necessary, to move across to Gmail / dcos, but it's not!

    I do have a Gmail account also, and I did sync it with another spare android phone, and the Office / android sync was great. For me there is no practical difference, and I get to keep all my 100% compatibility with MS documents from clients and suppliers by staying with MS rather than their formats being messed up by Google Docs, something I have had a lot of unfortunate experience with!

    That is something that SMBs really need to be careful about in considering a move to Google Docs or other non-MS doc system, the claimed compatibility levels with MS are never true in my experience, and I think Woody needs to flag that problem much more.

    Another issue for SMBs, which was also important for me, is that fundamentally can we trust an advertising company with confidential business data? As much as I can trust anything in the cloud, my trust levels are higher with MS since they are software vendor from day 1, not an ad company harvesting and selling client data...all in my opinion and experience and of course others will have their own and disagree with me. That's my 2c worth.

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    Gdrive update on Android - much improved real time editing

    I agree with Woody's viewpoint on the benefits of Google apps over MS... even his statement that it was "breathtaking" to see Google apps just work without hassle! Of course this will depend greatly on the complexity of documents and so YMMV...

    But my comment is that there was a serious problem of real time updates to Google spreadsheets on Android mobile devices until Gdrive was updated a few months ago. Editing spreadsheets in Android Chrome (at least Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich) was extremely cumbersome when I wanted to update costs to my home budget sheet. But the Gdrive update made quick updates to spreadsheets much faster... sheets load much faster and edits are much more intuitive. Gdrive editing has some limits if formatting changes are needed... for these, I go back to my PC. But now with Gdrive, I can pop into my home budget spreadsheet and enter that restaurant expense (or whatever) in seconds on my phone or tablet. This is no small benefit.

    Now if the Android Gdrive editor for spreadsheets gets more features for formatting, ... well all the better.

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    One of the big differences between Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps for Business is that Google Apps for Business is 100% web based. Since everything is integrated into the Browser (or available via an Android or iOS app), it's a much simpler and much less expensive solution. Aside from the life changing Google Hangout, one of my favorite recently announced apps is Google Keep, which is only available for Android 4.2 and higher. It's a really convenient way of getting data into Google Drive.

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    Not so fast

    I think that anyone who is considering Google needs to read this first:

    One recent Thursday morning, I logged into my email and made an alarming discovery. Instead of opening my inbox, Google directed me to a notice:
    “Account has been disabled. … In most cases, accounts are disabled if we believe you have violated either the Google Terms of Service, product-specific Terms of Service … or product-specific policies. … It might be possible to regain access to your account.”


    http://www.slate.com/articles/techno...er_jcr:content[/I]

    I don't keep anything in the cloud that isn't also on my computer. I also use a desktop mail program, just in case one of my mail providers decides to cut me off. I don't believe that Google will ever cut me off, but the guy in the story probably felt the same way. Better safe than sorry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rhondalea View Post
    I think that anyone who is considering Google needs to read this first:

    One recent Thursday morning, I logged into my email and made an alarming discovery. Instead of opening my inbox, Google directed me to a notice:
    “Account has been disabled. … In most cases, accounts are disabled if we believe you have violated either the Google Terms of Service, product-specific Terms of Service … or product-specific policies. … It might be possible to regain access to your account.”


    http://www.slate.com/articles/techno...er_jcr:content[/I]

    I don't keep anything in the cloud that isn't also on my computer. I also use a desktop mail program, just in case one of my mail providers decides to cut me off. I don't believe that Google will ever cut me off, but the guy in the story probably felt the same way. Better safe than sorry.
    You beat me to it, rhondalea! I read that article a few days ago - never trust the "cloud"!

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    OMG!

    Woody Leonhard, my Go-To Guru since Word for Windows 1.1 (I bought and loved every version of WOPR - remember that?) has gone over the the Google Dark Side, (not to be confused with the Apple Dark Side which is similar, but much more expensive).

    Sigh.

    Your second paragraph says it all, and that's where I stopped reading the column: "high level of document compatibility and collaboration" and "run-of-the-mill document creation."

    My company of four employees makes a living with Word, Excel, Outlook and Access. None of our product could be described as "run-of-the-mill." Sure, we deal with bloatware all the time and have uttered many a curse on Redmond. But we have invested decades of training and experience in all the versions of Office and Windows and are not about to dump either one.

    Maybe Office 2013 isn't worth deploying; maybe Windows 8 isn't either (Vista sure wasn't). But we're no more likely to "Go Google" than we are to go back to WordPerfect for DOS.

    Sorry for the rant; gotta get back to reading Windows 8 All-in-One for Dummies so I can decide whether to inflict it on our Win 7 company.

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    If you decide to use free products like the consumer edition of Gmail then yes, you don't get a telephone number to call for support. If, on the other hand, you are willing to pay less than $1/week for your email, you do get a telephone number and fantastic support. I call Google all the time. If anyone ever gets locked out, I reset their password within minutes of receiving their call.

    PS: you trust the cloud every time you send an email message.

    Quote Originally Posted by Khun Roger View Post
    You beat me to it, rhondalea! I read that article a few days ago - never trust the "cloud"!

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    I'd check to see if your email account was hacked and has been used for spamming. That's a common reason for such. First step though - change to a stronger password.

    But yeah, I keep hard local copies as I don't see the web as 100% yet, especially for free accounts.

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    What I find a little curious here is how the actual files are being stored. The mentioned GSHEET is not a file format per se, it's a URL to the file. When you export files from Google, you choose the export format. What format is it in natively? Is it proprietary? And how do you back any of it up? Surely that's a key if you're going to migrate all those docs online?

  14. #13
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    Thumbs down Google Drive for PC really means for Windows - Linux is "N/A"

    I switched myself and my wife over to Linux for home use years ago when faced with the hassle and expense of upgrading from Win98 on several PC's. Win2K, then XP just did not seem worth it, although I was familiar with them from work (and just "upgraded" to a new work PC with Win7 over a year ago). With Star Office, then Open Office, and now Libre Office, we had all we needed for home use, and that includes my wife's heavy use for preparing all her first grade class work as a teacher.

    Recently I got a Samsung Chromebook (the ARM version), and she has found it useful for quick web-based access and its easy transportability between home and school. Today she wanted to use it to take minutes for a service club she belongs to, and wanted to use the minutes doc from the last meeting she had in Libre Office on her Linux desktop as a template on the Chromebook (CB) for today's meeting.

    Well, we poked around with G Drive on the web with the Chromium browser from Linux, and were stopped by the dropping of the old Google Docs ability to upload and convert MS type doc and xls files - Google Drive ever-so-helpfully pointed out that there is no "PC" version for Linux. This is progress?

    Next we tried attaching the doc file to a a Gmail email from Linux/Chromium, then opening and downloading it on the CB. It seems all that does is provide a readonly document that can only be viewed on the CB. Opening a new document with the Gdocs App on the CB, and trying to copy/paste from the downloaded one-page minutes doc was a mess (not a complex doc) with bits and pieces of lines on both sides of both margins. Since I had to get back to work, and she had to leave for the meeting, she just decided to start from scratch with a blank document, and we got a rough idea of how G Drive would handle that with going offline on the CB - i.e. its built-in G Doc app would allow simple creation and editing locally, which could be sync'ed when she came back home, and got the CB online with Google from our home network. We kluged through it, but that is a big disappointment compared to how easy it used to be to copy doc and xls files back and forth with the old Google Docs.

    It actually might all work better from her 8-inch Archos tablet with a bluetooth keyboard, and the Android GDrive app - we need to explore that option, but she would really like the all-in-one clamshell CB for this kind of work instead of dealing with a separate keyboard, and the smaller screen of the Archos (although much bigger than an Android phone, even Sammy's Note 2, it still is nowhere near as roomy as the 11.6" CB screen and its equally roomy keyboard).

    Ironic considering Android is based on a Linux kernel, although not the Desktop/App layers above that. We will find a way through the maze I suppose, but it should not have to be so hard for Linux users, especially when the old way "just worked".

    I have an outlook.com account, and found it works nicely with at least xls Office 2007 files from work (and without that cursed Ribbon!), so I might look into that more since it seems to work more like the old Google Docs in readily converting files with upload/download operations. If we can use it fully from Chromium on the Linux side, and the CB's Chrome browser, that could be simpler (oh the irony of it...).

    Any suggestions will be welcome.

    R

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    R, All our customers use either Windows or Mac, so I have no experience attempting to import documents from Libre Office running on Linux. If you are a Google Apps for Business customer you can just call Google and ask them. There is a 30 day free trial, during which you have full access to support. PS: I LOVE my Chromebook.
    Last edited by Google Apps Expert; 2013-05-03 at 20:54.

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    Thumbs down Still no Google Drive for Linux

    Thanks, but this is just a personal account. No need to contact Google help - their FAQ is explicit about not supporting Linux for uploading docs. We will work around that (attitude).

    UPDATE (Warning: long Linux-nut rant - skip if not interested in that perspective):

    Well, I hoped the workaround would be some nice Chrome app to add on for working with local files - not so much.

    First the good news: As hoped, I can upload to SkyDrive via my outlook.com account files that I can edit with Open Office (on my Linux PC, so presumably the same is true for Libre Office on wife's Linux PC). With Microsoft's Skydrive, no proprietary PC app was needed to transfer files between a Linux PC and the cloud-base SkyDrive, unlike the cloud repository of that openness paragon, Google. What's wrong with this picture?

    This worked both with an ODT file and a DocX file (in New Zealand English even - job ref screening doc for friend who moved there). Editing worked fine, although Office Web Writer did throw out a big warning pop-up about possibly losing formatting on the ODT file, but a few bolding/underlining/bulleting operations had no trouble.

    Then I could work on the docs from the CB/Chrome browser on the Skydrive site, and I could download them to the CB.

    Then the bad news: I could not get anything to run in offline mode on the CB to edit the downloaded files. The local GDocs Writer claimed the DocX file was corrupt, and had no clue what to do with the ODT file aside from suggesting I look for an app in the Chrome App Store. I found a few, but it seems most need to work with a web-based component - might as well keep it simple by working on SkyDrive with the "native" Office Web Writer. One app, RollApp, claimed to work locally on ODT, DocX, and a lot of other file types, but after installing it, and trying to open the ODT local file, it did not "step up", and the CB Files app still had no idea what to process the file with.

    So for a Linux user wanting portable file interoperability between local and cloud repositories, it seems we might as well go with MS' Skydrive, since GDrive cannot work nearly as easily as SkyDrive/Office Web tools with "native" mode files originating from Linux for a cloudy ... err, cloud-based solution. And local processing of ODT files (and DocX is suspect, too) cannot be done on a CB (with what I have found so far at least - I might see what I can do with an ARM version of Ubuntu set up for the CB that I put on a bootable SD card since it has Libre Office).

    Considering how many Google tools, and their huge server farms, are Linux-based, it is ironic that Google is becoming less open to Linux (with GDrive at least), and Microsoft is moving in the other direction.

    YMMV

    R
    Last edited by arocee; 2013-05-04 at 12:48. Reason: More findings

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