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Google Apps Rapid Release vs. Scheduled Release Options

BetterCloud Monitor

July 9, 2012

3 minute read

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This post is part of Google Apps Admin Awareness Month, our month-long series where we spotlight a different tip for Google Apps administrators every day in July. Have a tip to share with your peers or have you always wondered how to do something in Google Apps? Let us know on Twitter @bettercloud.

What are the Rapid Release and Scheduled Release options for Google Apps?
Google Apps released over 100 updates last year alone. The rapid pace at which Google adds new features and updates existing functionality is extremely fast, and depending on your company’s culture, you may wish to closely examine updates before they are released to your entire domain.

Fortunately, as a Google Apps administrator, you can decide how and when your users receive Google Apps feature updates. Access to new features can be scheduled through two tracks: Rapid Release and Scheduled Release. Through the Rapid Release track, users in your Google Apps domain will have immediate access to all new features, sometimes even before Google publicly announces the feature. Google pushes updates out to schedule release clients at least one week after rapid release domains. They evaluate all current rapid release features every Tuesday, and announce which features they feel are ready for all customers. On the following Tuesday, Scheduled Release customers will get those features. So it’s always at least one week behind the Rapid Release track, and usually more.

Control Panel Release Options
Google also gives you the option of choosing when new features are added to the Google Apps Control Panel (here’s our Gooru guide if you’re new to the Control Panel). The Next Generation Control Panel gives admins immediate access to all new user and admin (API, Control Panel tools etc.) features once Google releases them. However, the Next Generation Control Panel only performs in English. The Current Control Panel is available in multiple languages but will only release new features once they are adapted to the domain’s primary language. The length of time between a Next Generation release versus a Current Control Panel release varies according to each feature.

How to Enable Rapid or Scheduled Release Options?
To change your users’ feature release schedule from Scheduled Release to Rapid Release, visit Domain settings in your Control Panel and scroll down to the New User Features option, located under the General tab.

Enabling Control Panel Release Options
Similarly, to switch your Control Panel between Current to Next Generation, visit Domain settings in your Control Panel and scroll down to the New Admin Control Panel Features option, located under the General tab. With a simple click, you can choose which option works best for you.

Choosing Between Rapid and Scheduled Release Options
With changes consistently happening in Google, it is important that you and your Google Apps users have a unified understanding of what tools are available and how to best utilize them. By setting your Admin Control Panel to Next Generation, you are constantly informed and given access to the latest releases, allowing you to continuously develop your domain to fit your organization’s needs. For user settings, Google recommends using the Scheduled Release track. This gives both administrators and users time to prepare for upcoming changes and learn how to apply them to your domain.

You can check the release calendar to view what Google has planned for the upcoming weeks.

About Google Apps Admin Awareness Month

At BetterCloud, we’ve seen first hand the impact Google Apps can have on a business: extreme cost cutting, streamlined management processes, enhanced collaboration and mobility and much more.

During our time as an independent software provider focused 100% on the Google Apps platform, we’ve interacted with thousands of organizations using Google Apps and realized that so many helpful features of the platform go unused by administrators.

This July, we’re devoting the BetterCloud blog to educating Google Apps administrators on the wide array of tips, tricks and features available in the platform. These features not only add crucial functionality, but save you time and effort!