Google Apps replicates the ActiveDirectory though a gui.
AD integration is all done through a gui, then a scheduled task runs overnight.
only maintenance has been removing old accounts (by tweaking the gui once in a while)
The single sign on difficulty will depend on how you want to do it. With Moodle it is as simple as installing the module, and it all worked first time.
having said all that. the difficulty (as always) is getting staff ready for a new way of working. Google apps isn't just about email !
edit: one other major setup task was setting up the calendars. The calendaring is much better than our old exchange 2003 setup, but it did require a bit of thinking about.
in the end we set up different accounts for each diary type and then gave users edit rights over them.
Thanks guys, so not much to separate the two then - until you look at the "office" apps, when live@edu wins on account of familiarity I suppose. Do you just use them for email, or do you also use the apps?
Google Apps Marketplace
At the time we choose google it was because the office apps were further ahead than Microsoft, google pioneered much of that work.
Of course google and @edu both have integration with MSOffice.
Some of the selling points for us were the google groups, Picasa integration for *all* those photos (scheduled this year), domain wide google video, postini, google sites and just the sheer speed at which new features are integrated.
I've been reading up on these, and there really isn't much between them - the key swing point I can find is that Google would allow me in to users' mailboxes, which from a safeguarding point-of-view must be near-essential.
My one concern on that is that Google's site doesn't actually say about this, it was cybernerd who confirmed it was possible; this makes me wonder if MS can also do it, but (like Google) they don't say so. Can someone on Live@edu confirm whether it is or isn't possible to view users' mailboxes...
Yes. The admin can run a powershell command to give themselves permissions to open one or more mailboxes, and then they can open them via the normal GUI (open other mailbox).Quote:
Can someone on Live@edu confirm whether it is or isn't possible to view users' mailboxes...
 add-MailboxPermission -Identity NaughtyStudent -User admin -AccessRights fullaccess
Thanks PiqueABoo - I was kind of hoping you wouldn't say that, as it would have made my decision for me, now I need to try and choose again!
It is a very close call, we chose Live@Edu here as students didn't like the GMail conversation view (which has just been given the option to disable now!) and also we teaching predominantly MS Office so Live@Edu sits better with that product portfolio.
We're in the slightly odd position of creating Live accounts before they're on our AD (thousands of part time students changing daily isn't the easiest to manage!) so we're using a custom SSIS \ SQL script in conjunction with PowerShell to provision, so far so good :)
As for Moodle integration the Live one works and gives you instant access to calendar etc but the Google one has a better authentication system imo as Moodle sets of Google Apps for authentication rather than the other way around with the Live plugin. Basically it means that if you want Live@Edu with Moodle all your accounts have to sign in with their Live@Edu account whereas as far as I understand it you can keep your existing authentication system with Google Apps (although if anyone has the Live plugin working with ldap accounts on Moodle I'd be very interested to see it!)
One quick qu for RabbieBurns, have you found any way to sync initial user passwords i.e. you can set the students password via AD and it will work on Live without being changed? As it stands that's been the reason I haven't bothered with ILM \ PCNS as we don't want students to have to change their password on first logon but yet still have Live accounts that will work with the set password.
No. You'd very likely need a few lines of PS to enumerate mailboxes that belong to students and point that command at each one...Quote:
so can one amend the powershell to do this for all students in one command?
.. that I'm not interested in making because I don't want access to everyone's mailboxes, just individual mailboxes when a very good reason for doing that arises.
thanks, I expect if I bothered to learn any PS I could just point it at a csv file with the mailbox names in
I have a ps script I use to iterate through a csv file for something different, all it would take is replacing 1 line.. Ill dig it out next week for you.
Is there any way to integrate live@edu with sharepoint 2010 as a single sign on?
Also when people moved over from exchange, what did they do? I imagine I would use exmerge to archive the mailboxes to .pst files then reattach manually for people who wanted to keep their old emails in the full outlook client?