Categories: Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook :

problems with Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook

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problems with Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook GatorPilotMark 2/6/10 6:01 AM
I will start off by saying that Jeroen, from Google tech support, was very helpful.  Having said that, the Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook product is not good.  In fact, it is very bad!  If this is supposed to be a replacement for Microsoft Exchange Server then Google has a very long way to go in order to match the functionality of Microsoft Exchange Server.  My INITIAL complaints about Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook are as follows:

•        There is no phone tech support.  The Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook web site specifically says there is 24/7 phone support since I am a Premier customer (paying $50/year for my account).  I searched all over the Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook web site for a phone number to call and couldn’t find anything.  That shows that their dedication to customer service is really low on the totem pole.  I finally found the phone number on an online forum but had to speak to people outside the USA and, even though they speak English, there was definitely a language barrier.
•        Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook creates a whole new profile in Outlook and, accordingly, a whole new x.pst file for your data.  This makes no sense to me at all.  Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook should use the customer’s existing x.pst file so that all data resides in one x.pst file on your computer.
•        Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook truncated the notes within my Contacts on the Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook side.  At some random cut-off point of my “Notes” the data on the Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook side, everything else is truncated out of the data.  The Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook data is what syncs with the Google Android phone so that data never made it to my phone.  My notes within each contact are very important to me and I need them on my phone.
•        Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook does not appear to map each Outlook data field to a specific and corresponding data field in Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook.  Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook should match every field that Outlook uses (including the corresponding Outlook field “description”) and make sure the data sync maintains data integrity.  If this is supposed to also replace Lotus Notes, Gold Mine, etc. then Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook also needs to match all the fields in each of these programs and make them available in Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook.
•        Most of the time accessing the data within the Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook web interface is extremely slow.  I was accessing my data from several different computers and on several different high-speed data connections (including a T1 line) and it seemed to take forever to refresh the web views.

I can’t really speak anymore about the product because as soon as I saw all those problems I decided Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook, in its current form, was not the solution for me.

Once I synced to my new Verizon Google Android phone there were more problems as follows:

•        The calendar did not sync to my phone.  Reading the online help links and forums, it sounds like I had to point my personal gmail account (the gmail account that you must have in order to activate the phone) calendar to my Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook calendar in order to perform the sync.  If that is the case then it is completely ridiculous.  How does that make sense – you need both a gmail account and a Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook account in order to sync your calendar – it seems totally redundant.
•        On the Google Android phone, all my contacts were sorted by first name – they were not sorted as I had specified within Outlook.  In addition, I noticed that all my doctors (with “Dr.” as their contact salutation) were sorted in the “D’s”.  This is very funky and doesn’t make sense to me.  I would go as far as to say it is ridiculous – everything should be sorted the same way it is in Outlook.  That is the purpose of specifying how you want each contact “filed as” within Outlook.

Needless to say, I returned the new Verizon Google Android phone.  Long story short, Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook needs a lot of work to be a true replacement for Microsoft Exchange Server.  The online instructions are not very specific and sometimes they are contradictory and very convoluted.  If Google really wants to pull customers away from Microsoft Exchange Server then this should be a seamless integration for even least tech savvy people.
Re: problems with Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook hanchiumd 2/8/10 2:38 AM
I found you can get phone support if you log into your administrator account and then click on support or help.  You need to enter a special ID which they give you.  The problem is that google's idea of 24/7 support seems to be to have someone from a foreign country (I think India) take down your information and then as far as I can tell never call you back (It has been about 2 weeks now).
I am wondering if when you use google apps sync if you actually see your contacts in gmail.  I am finding that the contacts seem to be invisible under the contact tab (if you can call it a tab) that I find underneath the gmail folders on the left side of the gmail screen.  Even though the contacts are invisible they somehow seem to be syncing with my iPhone.  Attempts to get the contacts to be visible through itunes google contact sync did not work either.
Have you tried companion link.  It is a paid solution, but I am wondering if it actually works.
http://www.companionlink.com/downloads/download.php
Re: problems with Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook GatorPilotMark 2/8/10 3:51 AM
I did look at Companion Link after all the problems I had with Google Apps Sync.  After reading through their web site, it looks like they are just reselling Google Apps Sync and branding it with the Companion Link name.  So, I believe it will have the same problems as Google Apps Sync.  That is my impression.
Re: problems with Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook Wb1234 2/8/10 9:26 AM
GatorPilotMark, I would definitely try CompanionLink, first because it's a free 14 day trial, and second because it never has had anything to do with Google Apps Sync.

For one thing, CompanionLink has been synchronizing Google Apps since the day Google Apps got launched.  So it's a much older and more mature product.

For another thing; CompanionLink provides telephone technical support, free, from a US based call center for their product.  Just go to our web page for the phone numbers for sales or support as needed.

To be clear, CompanionLink synchronizes Outlook data to Google Apps and Google Calendar/Contacts data, but only insofar as Google supports the data.  CompanionLink does not make Google into Outlook.  CompanionLink cannot send fields that don't exist in Google, because there's no place to send them too.  CompanionLink doesn't change the way Google Contacts and Google Calendar works.  In addition, CompanionLink Synchronization to Google will not make your Phone work like Outlook.  CompanionLink does not make Notes fields longer, or add fields, or add features that don't already exist on your phone.

But aside from those provisos, if you want a clean sync to Google Apps, give CompanionLink a try!

BTW - CompanionLink has direct links to many phones, like Android phones, that are not limited by Google's lack of fields. CompanionLink can synchronize Last name, First to Android phones, Tasks and Memos, as long as you use our direct USB sync rather than going through Google's website.  CompanionLink is soon to introduce phone functionality that is much closer to Outlook, and will continue to find ways to funnel data through Google Apps for people who choose to use that option to sync.

Wayland Bruns, CTO
CompanionLink Software, Inc.
http://www.companionlink.com
Re: problems with Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook GatorPilotMark 2/8/10 10:07 AM
Thanks – I appreciate your post.  However, the sync to Google Apps was not the problem.  My sync, using the Outlook tool provided by Google Apps, worked fine.  I get the feeling you didn’t read my entire post.  If you read my entire post, my major complaint is that there are major problems with how Google Apps handles the data once they receive it.  I looked at the Companion Link web site.  No offense but, assuming the Google Apps Outlook sync tool works correctly, I don’t understand the value of the Companion Link service.  It seems like Companion Link is charging for a service that is already handled correctly by the Google Apps Outlook sync tool.  Please let me know if I am missing something about the benefits of Companion Link.  I made my post in the hopes that the Google Apps Sync development team would fix the problems associated with how Google Apps Sync handles data once they receive it from the user.
Re: problems with Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook Wb1234 2/8/10 10:33 AM
Your welcome.  Understood that your initial post is Google Apps.  I was addressing your dismissal about CompanionLink as "reselling" something created by Google.  That's not what we are doing.

It is clear to me, that CompanionLink address many of your stated issues.  We offer telephone technical support.  We do NOT create a new profile in Outlook, but use the existing one(s) you have (CompanionLink Professional can do multiple profiles). We do not truncate notes.  We do have field mapping.

We can't answer for browser speed; that is a function of web hosted "cloud" based organizers of which CompanionLink is NOT.

Next time you buy a phone, I look forward to assisting you in getting the most out of an Outlook Sync to it.  CompanionLink works with all the Android, iPhone, Palm webOS and every other smartphone, both directly or through Google.  It is specifically designed to maximize Outlook usage on them.  

Thanks for your input.  It continues to clarify exactly how people need their data, which is a task we take very seriously.
Re: problems with Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook GatorPilotMark 2/8/10 10:47 AM
Then I am lost on how your service works.  Maybe re-selling isn’t the correct term but, as far as I can tell, my data will still reside on the Google Apps servers.  As I understand it, your service performs the sync from my Outlook profile up to Google Apps.  The data is still stored on the Google Apps servers, not on Companion Link servers.  Once Google Apps receives it then the data is handled the same way as if I used the Google Apps sync tool.  Is that correct?  If that is true then I don’t understand how you are able to prevent my “Outlook Notes” from being truncated and how you are able to map the individual Outlook fields differently from how Google Apps already maps them.  The 24/7 Companion Link phone support is helpful but if the data is screwed-up by Google Apps then what is the point?  What am I not understanding about how Companion Link works?  Thanks again.
Re: problems with Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook TehBaer 6/29/10 2:26 PM
AFAIK, CompanionLink, and DejaOffice are working hard to come up with better solutions for migrating, syncing, storing, and displaying your information. The online info about their products tends to be confusing to the uninitiated, but they're likely wondering whether to spend their efforts on dev or marketing...

Their USB sync product along with their DejaOffice suite might be a good fit for @GatorPilotMark, as it seems to bypass Google, with all of the inherent limitations that you listed. Check this thread for an explanation:
http://androidforums.com/showthread.php?p=291186%20http://fornow.wordpress.com/2009/01/08/palm-to-open-source/
Re: problems with Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook HanC 9/14/10 7:36 AM
Syncing with Outlook has been a big issue with me too.  I've seen many threads and many different programs suggested.  First, I found that contacts that I thought were not showing up in gmail actually were there.  The problem is that if you have a large number of contacts it takes a while to load and some browsers (like Internet Exploerer) will hang and never load.  I solved the problem simply by switching browsers.

I did notice the truncation and it would be nice to get an official word from Google on that.  I thought it was my iPhone, but I don't think that is the case.  I suspect that the truncation occurs after a certain number of characters.  

I also noticed that records seemed to disappear with Google Apps Sync.  This was the scariest part for me as I couldn't determine what records would get killed and why.  

My solution which you might not like was try to go without Outlook and just sync directly to the phone.  This worked reasonably well, but I still needed to fix the truncated notes.  I haven't quite gotten around to it.

I read the reviews of the various sync programs and yes they all use the Google Apps server.  I think you want to have a remote server hold your date, you just want to get the data in the format you like.  It takes time, but I went in and simply corrected the entries that are wrong until I got what I wanted.  Now I am trying Gsyncit.  It seemed that gsyncit got better reviews than companion link and I can't really tell you which program is better.  Gsyncit seems to be a single person, companion link strikes me as a real company.  

With 5K records it is taking a long time to sync, but I will let you know if it works.

Your other issue about syncing the calendar sounds crazy.  I can sync gmail calendars to my iPhone with no problem.  It took me a while to realize that I had to actually type in m.google.com on my iphone to get to the screen that tells me which calendars to sync.  I did not find that to be very clear in the various posts.  When it works properly you get a screen that lets you select the calendars that should sync.   You don't need Outlook at all.  I assume it is a similar process for an Android phone.  If not that is as you point out just plain stupid.
Re: problems with Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook HanC 9/14/10 7:46 AM
I should also say that the Google tech support has been modestly better than I originally posted.  I have now on occasion actually gotten someone that has tried to help.  Usually, however, they take a problem ticket and then I frequently never hear back.  I do believe that if you are vigilante that you can call back with the same problem and if you are annoying enough you will likely get a response.  

I am as you are happy to pay for a solution if there is one.  Alternatively it would be very helpful if Google actually created an interface that provided all the same functionality as Outlook plus more.  It's not bad, but key things that are missing include:

1. Priority messaging (I think they fixed this, but guess what I am a paying customer and on my paid account it doesn't work)
2. Return receipt (this is a great feature on Outlook, but is missing on Gmail)
3. Reliable reply set-up ( I am still getting people especially in the government who can't seem to reply properly to accept meeting invites from Gmail
4. Easier contact search.  When you put in a name to send to it finds the most recent ones.  If you have a new contact it's weird but I can't seem to find it even when I use the nifty search tool.  I literally have to open up the contact and cut and past the email address (that takes way too long)
5. Fonts.  Outlook lets you personalize your message with your preferred fonts.  Google does not
6. Message threads.  This needs to be handled a little better.  I am having a hard time figuring out which message is which.  It is nice however that a thread is created.  
7. Aliases.  In other domain controllers it is easy to setup aliases to forward email to different addresses.  For gmail it is confusing as hell.  You literally have to accept the mail and then create a filter to forward it to the addresses it needs to go to and then delete it from your inbox.  That is a real pain.
8. Contact interface.  Gmail does not have clear demarcated separate fields for certain things like suffixes, city, state etc.  As a result of this they get run together if you enter it in the way you normally would.  It would be helpful as Apple does to be able to put this into separate spaces.
Re: problems with Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook hansolo415 9/19/10 9:35 PM
I tried gsycit and found that for the number of contacts I couldn't get it to work..  Gsyncit will allow you to get a full refund within 5 days and although it's run by a single person he does respond and really tried to help.  I just didn't have the time to keep at it.

First, I'd like to say that my latest experience with google enterprise support is better.  Basically they answer the phone and setup a case and some tech gets back to you by email.  Over all they have been pretty good with the exception of handling the transition from a google apps account and google regular account to just a google apps account.   The trick is to look for the email and respond and keep after them.

Second, I am finding that Google Apps Sync works better then when I tried it earlier in the year.  I believe once your database is up and you have it fixed that it maintains it well.  Previously I ran into problems when a large database timed out and deleted records when I resynced.  

It is possible to find the records that have been truncated simply by doing a search for the word truncate.  You can then import the full notes section with a copy and paste and you are done.  Tech support advised me that once the contact is uploaded it won't get truncated.  Truncation occurs at 16K, which isn't a whole lot.  I found only a few contacts were truncated.
Re: problems with Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook scottybarr1980 11/9/10 1:58 AM
Well I am a UK based PC tech in a small repair shop and I have just set this up for a customer against my better judgement and well it just does not function.  It functions first sync and there after if you send an email it works but if you are waiting for an email well then forget it, just dissapears somewhere in cyberspace.  All I can say is that it is too intimitent and just non functional.  Oh and another thing, I have been a gmail user for a few years now and in the past 6 months I have had nothing but problems with them, my mail just goes somewhere but not where it is meant to be going and also they make me change passwords every month or so saying that there is suspicious activity in my account and when I ask why this is they have commented saying that it has been accessed from too many locations, somehow I thought this was the point of webmail.  I am really bored of having to change my password now and it has done it yet again today so I am going to look for an alternative and slowly let everyone know that it has changed.
Re: problems with Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook ezpzdude 12/5/10 11:27 AM
Question - does anyone have a suggestion on why I have differing number of contacts in my Premier Edition and Outlook.  
on my email, i have:

My Contacts: 4118
All Contacts: 4214
Outlook Contacts: 5325

thoughts or suggestions - My assumption in addition to synchronizing btwn Outlook and Gmail, was that I was maintaining a back up of my Outlook contacts - but now I am not so sure.

Thank you!
Re: problems with Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook Advisor Mark 12/6/10 1:01 PM
ezpzdude - Couple of possible reasons:
1 - Contacts didn't have time to sync up yet - was sync marked as done? Does it change if you wait a couple hours with Outlook open?
2 - Some contacts is Outlook are not under the root calendar folders (or its subfolders) - i.e. for whatever reason they are under a mail folder or something along those lines. If that is the case, just move them to the mail Contacts folder in Outlook.
3 - Some contacts failed to translate and upload. If this is the case, I would need trace files to figure out what is happening - usually the simplest way to do that would be to go through support.
Re: problems with Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook ezpzdude 12/6/10 3:55 PM
thank you Mark -

1 - Contacts didn't have time to sync up yet - was sync marked as done? Does it change if you wait a couple hours with Outlook open?

Answer: NO

2 - Some contacts is Outlook are not under the root calendar folders (or its subfolders) - i.e. for whatever reason they are under a mail folder or something along those lines. If that is the case, just move them to the mail Contacts folder in Outlook.

Answer: All Contacts are in the MAIN OUTLOOK CONTACT folder - though I do have subfolders, none have been included in my sync

3 - Some contacts failed to translate and upload. If this is the case, I would need trace files to figure out what is happening - usually the simplest way to do that would be to go through support.

Answer: Not sure how to generate Trace files, but since I am Premier customer, can you please tell me how to go through support?  Thank you for your assistance!
Re: problems with Google Apps Sync For Microsoft Outlook Advisor Mark 12/8/10 3:17 PM
Trace files will be in your machine already. The control panel (c-panel) in the domain administrator account has the phone number and codes to contact support.