AppsCare | Upgrading to GADS: What you need to know - AppsCare
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13 Apr Upgrading to GADS: What you need to know

With Google Apps Directory Sync (GADS), you can automatically add, modify, and delete users, groups, and non employee contacts to synchronise the data in your Google Apps domain with your Active Directory (AD).

For those already using GADS, Google recently announced some changes to improve security and the way people login to the tool. The new GADS version moves authentication from a stored login credential to an OAuth token. This means that a single use authentication token unique to GADS will be assigned. 

If you’re currently using GADS, any management tasks performed in AD, such as creating or renaming users, changing email addresses or contact information, and adding aliases will no longer propagate to Google. It is vital that you upgrade your GADS installation to the latest version now to ensure continued functionality. Any GADS installations older than version 4.0.3 will stop synchronising after April 20, 2015, due to deprecated APIs.

Below, we have listed directions of how to upgrade GADS along with taking a backup of your data.

1.) Log into your local GADS server

This must be with the user account that initially installed GADS. If the user is unknown, it can be identified by locating the GADS sync scheduled task and identifying the owner of the task.

2.) Open the Configuration Manager

This can be found under Start > All Programs > Google Apps Directory Sync > Configuration Manager.

3.) Locate your active configuration file

Open the Task Scheduler on the GADS server, and look for a task referencing GADS. Within this task’s actions will be command to launch “sync-cmd.exe”. Within the downloads of this command will be an XML file. This is your active configuration file.

4.) Backup the existing configuration file

It’s essential to take a backup of the data on your current configuration, as the irreversible changes will be put in place during the upgrade process. To take a backup, locate the config file on your computer, and make a copy of it – this will be your backup. We recommend changing the ‘.xml’ file extension to ‘.backup’ so that you can differentiate between the two, and safe this file somewhere secure, perhaps along with any other backups you keep.

5.) Download the update installer

On the GADS Server, open a web browser, and go to Select the appropriate version for your server type, and begin the download.

6.) Log in to Google using the GADS Account

Identify the user GADS has been using to synchronise, and log in as this person. This is usually the user who is performing the majority of the ‘User Creation’ actions.  You will then need to log into your primary web browser on the GADS server using that user’s credentials.

7.) Run the update installer

Launch the installer application you’ve downloaded in step 5. During installation, make sure it installs over of the existing installation of GADS by pointing the installer at the same directory as your current GADS installation.

8.) Launch the new Configuration Manager

Once the installation is completed, head back to the Start menu, and launch the new ‘Configuration Manager’ application in Start > All Programs > Google Apps Directory Sync.

9.) Load and update the config file

Go to File > Open, and open the file we identified in step 3. Upon opening your config, the software will let you know that it’s from an old version, and needs to be updated. This is accomplished by simply saving the active file (File Menu > Save).

10.) Re-authenticate the config file

On the left column click ‘Google Apps Configuration’. From here, click ‘Authorise Now’ and follow the process.

Once you login, you’ll need to accept the authorisation, and copy the verification code that you’re presented with and paste it back into the configuration manager, then click validate.


11.) Save the config file

With the authentication handled, you’ll need to save the file. Simply do another File > Save.

12.) Validate the config

Click on the ‘Sync’ tab on the left hand column. You’ll now see a ‘Validation results’ section that will list each section of the GADS configuration. In the right column, you should be met with all blue check marks indicating that all sections validate properly. If there are any warnings, you’ll have to rectify them before you can move forward.

13.) Perform a sync simulation

Finally, make sure everything updated correctly, so run a sync simulation to verify the next time GADS runs it won’t suspend users inappropriately. To run the simulation, just click ‘Simulate Sync’. The Application will gather information from Google Apps and AD, and provide you with a list of changes that it intends to make. As long as the changes are in line with your expectations, you’re good to go.

Claire Stead
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