moving google apps domains to … google apps … is painful

After having recently moved google apps accounts from the domain schipul.com with an alias for our tendenci.com emails, to reverse it to be tendenci.com with aliases from the schipul.com domain, I wanted to help you avoid some pain.

First – there is no easy way to do this. There is a planning doc from google apps, but google apps and google analytics aren’t even on the same page. (Trust me, we got so frustrated that we finally conferenced google in with google and listened to two highly intelligent people contradict each other. #sigh).

I don’t intend this post to be a “how to migrate your google apps domain to a new one” but I can at least hopefully help you on a few particular items. Consider this a “stuff to look out for” post with the usual YMMV caveat.

  1. There is no “switch” to change primary google apps domains.
  2. As of January 2014, the only way to do it is to DELETE your primary domain and wait for google to “fully delete it” (whatever that means) and add it back to your new google apps domain. Probably best to keep a primary that isn’t on google.
  3. Analytics is tied into a gmail, either gmail.com or google apps account. Given you probably don’t want to lose analytics and PPC for 1 to 5 days, move this one a week ahead of time at least. How? Get this.
    —– to change google analytics master accounts you have to update each one individually. Really fun for an agency with a few hundred accounts under management. Thus DO THIS FIRST. If I could do it again I’d go with agencynamehere@gmail.com and move everything over there instead of waiting out even the removal of an alias from the primary.
  4. You have to remove the alias domain fully before you can add it as a new google apps domain. This includes removing it as an alias from deleted accounts, which requires restoring the account, removing the alias, deleting the old account again which resets the “up to a week to delete” clock for the deleted account. /~slams head on desk~/
  5. Removing the alias domain is hard. Searching for the alias won’t show everything. you basically have to check every group, user, resource (shared calendars) etc to see if they have it as an alias. And they probably do because you set it to automatically add that alias to all resources in the domain like google prompts you to do.

First make a backup. More on that below. AFTER backing up the accounts, even if it doesn’t get docs and calendars etc, migrate. Well, sort of.

For us, we used backupify to move our google app accounts content
https://www.backupify.com/free-tools/migrator-google-apps

Side note I also used Backupify to backup my facebook pages before requesting a merge and that was also delayed. However, I believe Backupify rocks, but gmail and facebook don’t make it easy. I couldn’t find a better solution than backupify so they get a tip of the hat from me.

Back to backupify and google apps – it does NOT move the domain or create a new app account, it just moves “most” and “some” and “tries really hard” to move the data. Works fine for the young guns but if you have 15+years of emails it won’t move it all no matter how long you wait.

Out of sequence, but see the next post on backing up your google app emails for deleted accounts or your larger accounts as backupify can’t migrate those. You have to backup and restore. Or backup and don’t restore. A great chance to start over. See next post.