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Educational Software Thread, Microsoft live@edu Vs Google Apps for Education. in Technical; Am I correct in thinking that only Google Apps provides a free & easy to set up Active Directory Synchronization?...
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    Am I correct in thinking that only Google Apps provides a free & easy to set up Active Directory Synchronization?

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by memo512 View Post
    Am I correct in thinking that only Google Apps provides a free & easy to set up Active Directory Synchronization?
    The Microsoft solution was 50 quid or something (Identitly Lifecycle Manager)

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    Quote Originally Posted by enjay View Post
    Configuration of users is fairly straightforward, and from what I've seen of PowerShell, a lot easier. The biggest downside I've found in Google Mail is that I have no view into people's mailboxes (other than a slight cludge which involves changing their password, logging in and then waiting for the AD Synchronisation to reset their password again).
    An administrator can export the mail in a mailbox (and previous mailbox states) and also setup monitoring on certain users. The easiest way is to use GAM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by memo512 View Post
    Am I correct in thinking that only Google Apps provides a free & easy to set up Active Directory Synchronization?
    It is free, and it is easier than ILM. It's not perfect though.

    Quote Originally Posted by RabbieBurns View Post
    The Microsoft solution was 50 quid or something (Identitly Lifecycle Manager)
    ILM pretty much requires a dedicated server (certainly it is strongly recommended if not actually required). GADS requires a tiny amount of resources and has a very light install footprint. You can run it on pretty much any server you have without it interfering with the existing operation.

    The only real caveat with GADS is that if you want to sync passwords, you have to install a third-party component on each of your DCs to capture the passwords and store a hash of them ready to send to the Google Apps system. Why Google don't provide this themselves is beyond me, and the one that works most reliably (sha1hexfltr) doesn't keep the password hash very secure, so I implemented a workaround to move them to a confidential attribute in AD to be on the safe side. I still regard this as less demanding than setting up and running ILM.

    In both cases (ILM and GADS), users will need to change their password before it starts syncing to Google Apps/Live@Edu. Neither can sync passwords that were set before they were installed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryTechnician View Post


    The only real caveat with GADS is that if you want to sync passwords, you have to install a third-party component on each of your DCs to capture the passwords and store a hash of them ready to send to the Google Apps system. Why Google don't provide this themselves is beyond me, and the one that works most reliably (sha1hexfltr) doesn't keep the password hash very secure, so I implemented a workaround to move them to a confidential attribute in AD to be on the safe side. I still regard this as less demanding than setting up and running ILM.

    In both cases (ILM and GADS), users will need to change their password before it starts syncing to Google Apps/Live@Edu. Neither can sync passwords that were set before they were installed.
    We found that password synchronisation is only necessary if staff students need to access picasa (not picasaweb) or log in via smartphones, for general web use we use a single sign on mechanism that authenticates google via active directory, which is technically a better method than capturing passwords.
    SSO via active directory can be achieved through a SAML based moodle plugin or something like simplesamlphp, shibboleth, oAuth, or a commercial solution. Some provide a password update facility to get active directory passwords directly into google. Were currently using SSOEasy SAML 2.0 and SAML 1.1 SSO Products - SSO Easy for this, but like i say; it's only really needed for picasa and smartphones, not general web use SSO covers the rest.

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