We’ve decided to dedicate a section of our blog to discuss “How Tos with Google Docs.” In this section, we’ll cover tips, tricks, and short tutorials on frequently asked questions about Google Docs.
Who should read this?
Google Apps domain administrators and those who have already implemented Google Apps in their organization or are considering and evaluating this solution.
We hope that you find this a helpful resource…
In this very first chapter I would like to start with transferring ownership of Google Docs.
First, what does this mean and why is this feature important?
Transferring document ownership from one user to another can be used in a number of use cases. Most commonly, Google Apps admins will want to transfer ownership of Google Docs when an employee is terminated. When you delete a user, all the documents owned by that user are deleted unless you transfer the ownership of these documents to a different user.
There are several ways to transfer ownership of Google Docs
1. Users can transfer ownership of individual documents to another user themselves using the native Google Docs interface
Good for: Transferring ownership of a very small number of documents.
Challenges: Using this functionality becomes a manual task that is performed individually with each document. This method of transferring ownership also does not support the employee termination case. Unless they’re leaving on really good terms.
Using the Google transfer ownership feature
This feature was recently released by Google and is available for domain administrators via the Google Administrator Control Panel in the “advanced tools” section called “Document ownership transfer” (at the bottom of the page)
Good for: Simple document ownership changes performed by domain administrators only. The original owner of the document will still be able to access the documents, as he/she will be provided edit access to the transferred documents.
Challenge: Google’s “document ownership transfer” feature provides no audit trail for this operation, creating a challenge for organizations that must adhere to compliance regulations or internal auditing rules.
Another issue with this feature is that ownership transfer is only available for the domain administrators, whereas in most companies (especially mid size and larger) account terminations are performed by help-desk personnel who are not domain administrators.
Using Google Document List API
Good for: Large organizations who want to build their own customized solution with very specific and unique needs
Challenge: Creating your own app requires development and testing resources, making it a costly option that is most likely not applicable for most organizations
Using CloudLock to transfer data ownership of Google Docs.
Good for: Companies that don’t like the other two options. CloudLock adds:
- Interactive Mode – CloudLock’s transfer ownership functionality provides a visual wizard that guides you through advanced data migration options
- Audit Trail – CloudLock logs which files where migrated, when, by and to whom, and whether the original owner still has access rights; a feature that is mandatory for companies using Google Apps in a regulated environment
- Control Access Rights of the Original Owner – In some cases, companies want to transfer ownership of a user’s documents, but want the original owner to retain access. With CloudLock, transferring ownership has granular access options for the original user
- Support for Help-Desk – Helpdesk users can perform this function via CloudLock without being domain administrators.
Challenge: None… but you’ll have to check it out yourself to see that I’m not biased
This is how you do transfer ownership of Google Docs with CloudLock:
Step #1 – Specify the user you’d like to transfer documents from and the designated user to assume ownership of the documents
Step #2 – Indicate the collection into which the documents will be deposited and specify the access rights
Step #3 – Get the full audit trail and status report for the transferred documents and folders
If you have specific area of interest you would like us to write about in future “how to” posts, please let us know in the comments section.
CloudLock Collaboration Security
See how CloudLock Collaboration Security can help your organization manage sharing policies based on content patterns, keywords and metadata. 7 day free trials are available on the Google Apps Marketplace.
CloudLock Apps Firewall
See how CloudLock Apps Firewall can detect potential risk created when 3rd party apps are authorized by employees and apply mitigating controls.