Category Archives: Google Apps

How I Miss Google’s Login To Multiple App Domains Simultaneously

Over the last few years, I ended up with multiple domains all registered with Google Apps. One of the things that I was amused with Google Apps was their ability to allow me to sign-in simultaneously to more than one account. I could sign in to the regular gmail account and one or more of my domain related mail accounts hosted by Google Apps. But something happened a few months back and now I can only sign-in to one account at a time. I don’t know what prompted them to take away this feature. Around the time this started, they also used to show some intermediate page about business account vs personal account and I don’t really understand what they are trying to say, sort of. It probably could have been presented much better.

If you are a web developer, you would know that typically cookies are used to support session and typically one flow is supported per session. There are very few RIA frameworks that can support multiple flows in the same session. They do this by using different flowids and then tracking the backend model at the flow level rather than session level. Infact, J2EE specification only has 4 scopes : request, page, session and application. Flow scope is not something easy to implement and only a few frameworks support them.

So, obviously I was quite excited by the fact that Google supported the ability to login to multiple Google Apps accounts at the same time all accessed via their domain. But that’s gone now and don’t know if it would ever come back.

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Not Receiving Evite Invitations

A few days back a friend called and said “Hae I sent you an evite for my son’s first birthday and you haven’t looked at it”. I said, “no, I haven’t received any email”. Then I gave him another email and asked him to send it to it and while he was on the phone, I got the invite and I accepted it.

A few days later, I was asking another friend about throwing a baby shower party for his wife. He was like “we just had it over the weekend, this other friend sent you an evite”. And I was like, no I didn’t receive any evite and told him what happened earlier. Anyway, I separately went to meet my friend and his wife before they had their baby.

Now, 3rd time is a charm (or in this case, also annoying). I just got a call from another friend and “Hae I sent you an evite for our son’s 2nd yr birthday and you haven’t seen it yet”. I was like, “did you send the evites to my this account? Instead, can you send me to this other account?”. He sent it and immediately accepted for a party that’s just around the corner.

That’s when I thought enough is enough. I need to research about what’s going on? I searched on Gmail help and there are a few more people complaining the same. While all those other postings were related to regular gmail account. Mine is for an account on my own domain registered with Google Apps. So, I almost replied to one of the forum posts with all the info and just before submitting I thought of also giving info on the last time I did receive an evite. So, I searched for evite and then the mystery has been solved (almost).

A few months back, we organized a party for my son. My wife has her own gmail id but I also gave her an account on my domain. So, for organizing this party, she used her email on my domain so that even my friends would readily know who was organizing the party. So, as part of that, she added my email id to her account so that I could also access and look at who has accepted and who has not so that I could follow up if needed. When an email is added, evite actually sends a confirmation email and I just accepted it without much thinking.

So far everything is good. It’s not a fault of Gmail or Google Apps or Evite (almost). But read on to know what has happened.

As my wife doesn’t use her email on my domain at all, she has not logged into it for a long time. So today when we logged into that account, all the 3 evites that I missed are there! So, when we logged on to evite using her id, we saw both emails and her email is the primary. There lies the clue. What’s happening is, evite seems to be assuming irrespective of whichever email the evite is sent, it’s good to send it to the primary email. This is good if all the emails on the account belong to the same person. Otherwise, it would end up like what happened to me.

So, what’s the solution? To login using the primary email and then delete the other emails for which one wants to receive evites directly (I am hoping that after that everything would work fine, I don’t know yet). Now, I just have one problem. When I tried to remove the email, I am getting

“We’re doing a little site maintenance,
but we’ll be back shortly. Try again in a few minutes.

Thanks for your patience!”

I am hoping this is only a temporary issue for them and I can get my separate identity asap.

Update: I am able to delete the email from the old evite (the default one), not from new.evite.com where I get the above error. Not sure how long it would take them to fix this issue so that I don’t miss out future evites.

Update 2: My changes on evite.com reflected on new.evite.com. The email has been removed. Hopefully I will start seeing evites to my email account.

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Filed under Bug, Evites, Gmail, Google Apps

Gmail is down for me and Twitter (and not Google) confirms it

My gmail account of one of the Google Apps domain is down for the last few hours. The funny thing is, it gives “Show Detailed Technical Info” and when I expand it, it just says

” Hide Detailed Technical Info
Numeric Code: 21″

How the heck should I know what Numeric Code 21 is supposed to mean?

So, just to be sure the problem is not just for me, but a general outage, I searched, well, on Google for “gmail down”. The first link is a sponsored link from Google itself and it read

“Gmail Down?
http://www.Google.com/AppsStatus Visit the Google Apps Dashboard to View the Latest Service Status Info”

As I am used to not clicking the link but directly copy paste the URL, when I tried to access “www.Google.com/AppsStatus”, it gave a 404 error. Then I clicked the link which actually took me to http://www.google.com/appsstatus . So the actual url and the display url of this ad are not the same.

Anyway, on the dashboard, it said there was an issue with GMail on 7/28 but today it’s fine. But that’s not true. I am as of this writing not able to access my account.

So I went to the king of the real time search engine, twitter, and typed the same phrase “gmail down” and there you go lots of users already saying the same thing.

Hasn’t Google already integrated Twitter searches into its main search page? Not sure what triggers this twitter search results region, but certainly not the one I wanted :).

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Filed under Gmail, Google Apps, Tweets Search Engine, Twitter

JavaMail, GMail, POP3 vs IMAP

I have been experimenting with JavaMail api to fetch Google Apps Email as part of a product idea. Initially, I used POP3 protocol and tried to get the Inbox and that worked just fine. Then I wanted to get the remaining Folders. Well, Google Apps EMail (which is based on their GMail software), organizes by Labels and doesn’t use folders (except may be the Inbox, I don’t know all the details). When I used POP3, the only folder that I managed to get is the INBOX folder. Then I switched to using IMAP and interestingly, it returned not just INBOX bot also the the rest are the labels that I defined. The remaining such as “Drafts”, “Sent Mail” etc provided by default by Google were not present. However, there was a special folder called “[Gmail]” which contains the standard default folders. When debugging was enabled, it indicated that the “[Gmail]” folder had something like

* LIST (\Noselect \HasChildren) “/” “[Gmail]”

while rest of them had
* LIST (\HasNoChildren) “/” “[Gmail]”

Interestingly, with POP3, even the “[Gmail]” is not present. Not sure if this is related to Google’s implementation of the protocol or some limitations in POP3 vs IMAP.

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Filed under Gmail, Google Apps, JavaMail

Google Apps – eNom or GoDaddy?

I have signed up for several domains through Google Apps. And so far I have always used eNom. I don’t remember what made me pick eNom over Godaddy the very first time, but subsequently I always used eNom because I didn’t wanted to learn yet another Advanced DNS settings user interface.

But when I registered a new domain today I thought I would give GoDaddy a try just for the heck of it. That decision turned out to be a wrong one. Here is why.

Many hosting solutions these days provide unlimited domain hosting with the appropriate plan. The unlimited domain hosting will allow adding as many domains as one wants using the same account. Of course, the overall physical limits such as bandwidth, harddisk etc remain the same but these days even those are practically unlimited. So, the one resource that would become a bottleneck eventually, if you happen to turn many of those addon domains to be successful, is the CPU.

Anyway, my primary domain is hosted on a specific server of the hosting provider. Over time, this server domain will remain the same but the IP address can change. Not often, but it did happen once in the last 2yrs. Prior to this happened, I always used to specify the IP address and create the A record in the DNS settings. But one fine day, my website stopped working and it was because of the change in the IP address. From then on, I removed all the A records and created a wild CNAME record. This would allow my top level domain name to point to subdomain name of the server that hosts my website. Something like

@ xyz.hostingprovider’sdomain.com CNAME

From then on, I never had any problems. One drawback with this approach is that resolving my domain name to the physical address requires additional lookup.

Anyway, it turns out that GoDaddy doesn’t support wildcard CNAMEs. So, I had to leave a single A record with the server’s ip address.

Next time I have to pick a domain registrar with Google Apps, you know whom I would go with.

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Google Apps & Privacy

I use Google Apps for many websites. One of the reasons is that for just $10 a year, I can register the domain with privacy protection and also get a nice email application. Recently I have chosen not to renew one of the websites. So, the domain expired. Then, to my dismay I found my information when I searched for the expired domain in one of the whois directories.

What’s not clear to me is, if this is a standard practice where the privacy information is no longer protected once the domain is expired or if it is something specific to the terms & conditions between Google and eNom. Whatever be the case, I think it is inappropriate to not protect the privacy just because the domain has expired.

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Filed under Google Apps, Privacy