Google Shared Drive File Integration with Simpplr


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In this article, we’ll cover key features, setup options, and security permissions you’ll need for the Google Shared Drive file storage integration to work properly. We will also provide step-by-step instructions for End users, Site managers, and App managers.

 

Note:

This article focuses on the Shared Drive integration. For the My Drive only integration explanation, check out this article

Table of Contents

 

Integration path

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  1. Review the integration features below and decide specifications needed for your organization.
  2. Define the Drive structure your organization wants to use in connecting the integration. 
  3. App managers connect the integration at the application level. 
  4. Site owners connect their integration profile to their Simpplr profile.
  5. Site owners connect to the integration at the Site level and select which folders to share. 
  6. Content teams add the correct files to their target folders, and connect them to Simpplr content. 
  7. End users connect their integration to their Simpplr profile.
  8. Now the files will be available for site members to access.

Integration features

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  1. Connect your Google Drive folder(s) to a Simpplr site to make files searchable by site members.
  2. Attach files from your Drive directly to your Simpplr content.
  3. Upload and download files to Google Drive from your intranet interface.
  4. Add folders to Google Drive from your intranet interface.
  5. Manage which folders are visible and available via your intranet while maintaining your robust file structure on Google Drive.
  6. Engage with files: Download, like, favorite, share, preview, and create new versions of files.

Need to know

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  1. As of the Gorgonio release, organizations will be able to integrate Google Shared Drive on top of our My Drive integration, promoting more knowledge sharing and collaboration. This Google Drive extension will allow App managers to pick and choose which Google Drive components (My Drive and/or Shared Drive) they want to enable on the app level. Once enabled, Shared Drive content will be discoverable in Global Search, and Site managers can link a Shared Drive to a site.
  2. The Google Drive integration pushes access permissions based on Site membership from your intranet to Google Drive via Google Groups. E.g. You have a public site with a mandatory global audience, making all users members of that site. When Site managers are added to the site, they will be automatically given Edit access to the applicable Google Drive Folders. When new members are added to the site, they will automatically receive Read access to the same folders.
  3. When Google Drive is enabled on your intranet, and you set up file access based on Simpplr permissions (as opposed to Google permissions), an all-company group will be created in the Google Drive’s service account.
  4. When a user connects their Google Drive account to their user profile on the intranet, they will be added to the all-company group and will gain access to Google Drive folders currently connected to any sites of which they are members. Only connected folders will be indexed for search via Simpplr.
  5. When Google Drive is enabled on your intranet, an application root folder will be created in the Google Drive service account and is used to define search parameters.
  6. Even though site members can access the folders once connected to a site (if set up with Simpplr permissions as opposed to Google Drive permissions), those folders will not appear in their Google Drive. If a user wants to navigate to the folder structure, they will need the URL of that folder to get to it.
  7. Roles:
      • Google Suite Super Administrator or Group Administrator - Simpplr will need to use the Admin's account to do the initial connection for the entire application.
      • Site owner - This is the overall person responsible for the site, and the role that can enable connection to external files in the Manage site menu. Can connect Google Drive Folders.
      • Site managers - Once the Site owner enables Google Drive connection, Site managers can add additional folder structures and connect files from those folders to content.
      • Content managers/End users - Content managers can only access Google Drive content once the connection has been set up by the Site managers/owner. Once connected, they can attach files directly from the Google Drive to content on their site.

Security overview

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My Drive and Shared Drives

When connecting the Google Drive account, App managers choose to connect with Simpplr:

  • both Shared Drives and My Drive content (default)
  • only My Drive content

Access permissions

The permissions you can choose depend on whether you enabled content from Shared Drives and My Drive, or only My Drive. Shared Drive permissions in Simpplr essentially 'piggyback' off existing Google permissions set up by the Google admin account. Therefore, if a user doesn't have access to a drive, folder or file in Google, they won't have access in Simpplr, regardless of their site membership or Simpplr permissions. They must be given access in Google first.  Shared_drive_vs_My_drive.gif

Shared Drives and My Drive

If Shared Drives and My Drive are enabled, you must determine how Simpplr users can interact with Google Drive files they don’t have access to. Choose whether or not users without file access are shown an ‘Open in Google Drive’ prompt. Giving users this prompt may allow them to request file access directly in Google Drive. Remember, when connecting shared drives, permissions are handled in Simpplr based on the Google Drive permissions, not Simpplr permissions.

Note that only one Shared drive can be linked to a site at any time.

My Drive only

If only My Drive is enabled, choose whether Simpplr permissions or Google Drive permissions are used to determine a user’s access to My Drive files in Simpplr. 

  • Simpplr permissions give all users access to My Drive files linked to all public sites and any private or unlisted sites they’re members of.
  • Google Drive permissions determine user access based on their file permissions in Google Drive. 

For more information on My Drive only setups, click here.

 

Changing site ownership

If a site’s owner or manager leaves your company, the site’s files will be unchanged. Ownership of the files in the account will need to be given to another user (by the Site owner or Google Admin), as long as that user is connected to the same account. The new Site owner will be given the root folder in their storage account, including the sub-folders contained in the root folder. If the new owner isn’t connected to the same file storage software, the original owner will receive a warning. They must choose another user, or the new designated owner must connect their account to the file storage software.

Follow the steps below to change the Site owner:

  1. Know which Site owner is leaving and decide who the new Site owner should be. 
  2. When deactivating the previous Site owner's account, have the Google Workspace admin transfer the folders to the new Site owner's account within Google. This is a standard option when deactivating Google accounts. There may be some cleanup required as the admin needs to transfer their entire Drive, not just one folder. This Google article will instruct you on how to transfer file ownership.
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  3. Reconnect the integration at the site level using the new Site owner's account. Click here for setup at the site level instructions.

 

Connect Google Drive as an End user on Simpplr

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As a Simpplr Standard user/Content manager, once your Application manager has set up the connection with Simpplr, you will be able to attach, share, and edit files you have access to in Google Drive, all from within your Simpplr intranet. First you must enable Google Drive on your profile. To do so:

  1.  Navigate to your user profile image and click Profile & settings. Once your profile is open, click Profile & settings.
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  2. Click External apps, then next to Google Drive, click Sign in with Google. You will be asked to allow the permissions from Google. Click Allow. Your Google account is now connected with your Simpplr interface.
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  3. Now when you create content and want to attach files, you'll be given the option to include files from your Google Drive account.
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Connect Google Drive as a Site owner in Simpplr

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As a Site owner, it is up to you to enable Google Drive functionality at the site level. To link folders to a site where Google Drive has been integrated, you must select Google Drive as the site’s file storage. To do so:

  1. From your Simpplr site, go to Manage site > Setup > External files.
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  2. From the dropdown list, choose Google Drive. Note you can only select one file storage option per site.

Note:

All Site owners and managers can link folders to a site, as long as they and the site are connected to Google Drive.

 

To link Google Drive folders to your site:

  1. Navigate to Files from your site landing page.
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  2. Select the Google Drive files folder.
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  3. Select Link Google Drive Folder. If you can’t see this option, it is likely because:
    • You need to create a new Google Drive folder first, or
    • You are not the Site owner or manager.

Note

You can also Create New Google Drive Folder. Doing so will create a new folder directly in Google Drive. If you create a new folder inside another folder, the permissions will be inherited from the parent folder. However, you can only create a folder inside another folder if the parent folder is linked. 
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  • Select the folder you wish to link to the Simpplr site from Shared Drives (if enabled) or My Drive.
    google_integration_13.png

Note

You can also unlink folders. Any folders unlinked are removed from the Site root folder. The permissions for the folder are removed from the Site group.

 

Connect Google Drive as an App manager in Simpplr

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App managers can integrate Google Drive with their Simpplr intranet. Until Google Drive is integrated with Simpplr, your Site owners and Content managers will not be able to access My Drive and/or Shared Drives. To integrate Google Drive with Simpplr:

  1. Go to Manage > Manage application.
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  2. Go to the Integrations tab and select File management.

Select Google Drive, then Sign in with Google. Simpplr will request access to your Google Drive admin account. Select Allow.


Note:

By clicking Allow, you are giving Simpplr access to:
  • See, edit and delete all your files
  • View and manage the provisioning of groups on your domain
  • View and edit events on all your calendars
  • See, edit, share, and permanently delete all the calendars you. can access using Google Calendar

4. Choose to enable sharing from shared drives and My Drive, or enable sharing from My Drive (see My Drive and Shared drives).

Google is now integrated with your Simpplr intranet.
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5. Choose your org’s access permissions (see Access permissions).

6. Click Save. Google Drive is now integrated with Simpplr.

 

Linking Google Drive to sites

Once Google Shared Drives and/or My Drive is enabled, users can link Google Drive files and folders to sites, making them available for users to discover within Simpplr as well as sharing content on the site.

  • Users can only link a single drive to a site.
  • Users can still link multiple folders from My Drive.

How to fix the Authorization Error if the Google Workspace account won't connect

Users have reported receiving the following Google authorization error when attempting to connect at the Application level:

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To fix this issue:

  1. Log in to the Google Admin console.

  2. From the Home page, go to Security API controls.

  3. Under App access control, click MANAGE THIRD-PARTY APP ACCESS.

  4. Find the “Simpplr for Google Workspace” app in the list.

  5. Check the box for “Simpplr for Google Workspace” app and click Change access.

  6. If the value is “Blocked” you will get above error. It should be changed to “Limited”

  7. Click CHANGE.

  8. Navigate back to the Google Admin login from Simpplr and try connecting again.

Google Drive file search

Global search

Once Google Drive is connected, users that have connected their Simpplr profile to Google Drive can search Google Drive content directly in Simpplr. 

  • If content from Shared Drives is enabled:
    • Shared Drive content will be discoverable on Global Search, based on the user's Google Drive permissions.
  • If content from My Drive is enabled
    • and Simpplr permissions are used:
      •  then users will be able to access content linked to sites they're members of.
    • and Google Drive permissions are used:
      • then users will be able to access content that was linked to sites they're members of, based on their permission set in Google Drive.

Site search 

Searching for Google Drive files in site search will only return files from the Shared Drive or My Drive linked to the site.

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