We've revamped and enhanced our integration with Google Drive and launched a new product for Google Apps customers - "Egnyte for Google Apps". If you are a new customer, you can sign up from the Google Apps Marketplace.
Google Docs lets you create content directly from a browser and edit files simultaneously with other collaborators. If you're like us, you probably use both Google Docs stored in Google Drive and other file types like Office documents, images, and CAD drawings which you keep in your Egnyte account. By integrating Egnyte with Google Drive, our goal is to provide a solution that combines the benefits of both applications.
View All Your Files in One Place
Before this integration, you would have had to check two places to retrieve files for a single project: your Google account and your Egnyte account. Now you can create a new Google Doc or reference an existing one in an Egnyte folder, allowing access to all your files from a single place.
Share Google Docs Using Links
Google requires the recipient of a shared file link to have a Gmail account to access the file which causes friction when sharing with external users like customers. Egnyte now allows you to send a link to a PDF version of Google Docs you've added to Egnyte. Your recipient doesn’t need a Gmail account.
Access Google Docs on Local Storage
Since Egnyte lets you sync folders to your desktop (using Desktop Sync) or on local storage such as NAS devices (using Storage Sync), any Google Docs within Egnyte folders will now be visible in your local directory. When you open these files, you’ll be able to edit them in a browser (for now, you’ll still need to have Google Drive installed on your PC or Mac to complete the edit action).
Call us crazy, but we think its cool to “take Google Drive hybrid” even though Google intended Google Docs to reside in the cloud. Accessing your Google Docs on local storage like a Netapp or EMC NAS lets you maintain a single view of files relating to a project.
Before we start discussing the Google Drive integration in depth, please keep these things in mind:
- The Egnyte - Google Drive integration is available for free to all users on all plans. However the account administrator has to enable this integration from the Apps page of the account.
- The Google Docs that you keep in Egnyte are really just references to the files that live in your Google account, so they take up very little storage space. If you have 500 MB of files in your Google Drive account, you don’t have to worry about those files taking up space in your Egnyte account.
- With the introduction of this new Google Drive integration, we are retiring our older Google Docs integration which was only available in the classic interface. This new integration offers many improvements over the old integration.
- It lets you keep your Google Docs with the other files in your Egnyte folders. The old integration did not allow you to mix and match files in a single folder.
- You can send a public link to a PDF version of the Google Doc.
- Egnyte Sync will allow you to access and edit your Google Docs from local storage.
Turning On the Google Drive Integration
This feature is available to all users on all plans, but you have to turn it on first.
Account administrators must enable this feature for their domains by navigating to Apps & Add-Ons> Add-Ons & Integrations > Google Drive. Hover the mouse onto Google Drive and click the settings wrench there to select the option 'Allowed for users'. Make sure you click the Save button at the bottom of the screen. This will allow the user to add this add-on from the add-ons page.
Once you have enabled the feature at a domain-level, your users will be able to add the Egnyte for Google Drive app from Apps & Add-Ons> Add-Ons & Integrations > Add.
After you Add the Google Drive to your account the following screen will appear to configure the Google Drive. Please click Continue to move to the next screen.
Each user will need to give Egnyte permission to access the contents of their Google Drive account. Click Continue on the dialog titled “Your Permission is Required” and then enter your Google account’s credentials in the following pop-up.
If you are already logged-in to your Google account at the time of set-up, you’ll see this screen. Choose Allow Access and you will have connected your Google account to Egnyte!
Adding Google Docs to Egnyte
Now you can start using the integration. Navigate to a folder where you want to add a Google documents, and click the Upload button that appears on the top left of the menu bar. Select the Import from Google Drive option. This lets you import a Google Doc into an Egnyte folder.
Pick documents from the pop-up that appear next; use the check-boxes to import multiple Google Docs at once. You can also use the search box to search for documents. Note that only the following Google document types will show in the file picker: Document, Spreadsheet, Presentation, and Drawing. Any other file types stored in your Google Drive account will not appear because they cannot be imported into Egnyte.
After you click Select, the Google Docs will appear alongside the files already in the folder.
You can also create a brand new Google Doc directly from Egnyte. Start in the folder where you want the document to appear, and select New Google Document/Spreadsheet/Slides/Drawing as depicted below.
Give your new document a name and pick its document type before selecting Continue.
Working with Google Docs in Your Account
Selecting a Google Doc that is already in your Egnyte account gives you the ability to do all of these things.
- Preview the document.
- Delete the document (deletes the document from your Egnyte account but not from your Google account).
- Edit the document (simply click on the file name, this will open the document within Google Drive in a separate window).
- Download a PDF version of the document.
- Move, copy, or rename the document (it will only be renamed within Egnyte, not your Google account).
- Share a public link to a PDF version of the document (This is a great way to share your document with somebody who does not have a Google account).
You won’t see the file version indicator next to the Google Docs since we leave any version tracking on Google Docs to Google. Similarly, we don’t allow you to add notes to Google Docs since we figure you’d rather do this using the commenting feature built into Google Drive.
You can use Desktop Sync, Map Drive or Storage Sync for Netgear/Vmware to access the files you store in Egnyte from your desktop with Finder or Windows Explorer. Once you set up the Google Drive integration, you’ll notice that your Google Drive files appear with extensions like “.gdoc” and “.gsheet” alongside your other documents.
Once you install Google Drive's sync client, you'll be able to open a Google document from your desktop without having to navigate to Egnyte or Google Drive's web interface first. Note that unless you are using Google Chrome and have enabled offline access to your Drive files, you will still need to have an Internet connection since the documents are opened from Google.
Managing your Google Account
If you decide that you no longer want to use the Egnyte for Google Drive app, or you want to integrate your Egnyte account with a different Google account than the one you initially used, navigate to the Add-Ons> Add-Ons & Integrations > Google Drive. Click the bin icon to remove the Google Drive integration.
Alternately, you can change the Google account that you integrate with Egnyte by clicking the settings wrench. Be careful when you change Google accounts: if the second account does not have access to the documents you added to Egnyte with the first, you will not be able to access them from Egnyte. Any public links you have sent to the documents will not function anymore, either. For this reason, we recommend that you change your Google account seldomly, if at all.