Google is trying to make it easier for Apps customers to find and deploy third-party applications from the Marketplace store it launched a few years ago.
The company has started to surface some of those third-party applications on the Google Apps administration console, from where customers can, for the first time, browse the catalog and install the products.
“These applications all offer the latest OAuth 2.0 security, single sign-on (SSO), and integration with Google services. Admins can now see reviews from verified users of the applications to help select the best app to meet their needs,” wrote Apoorv Saxena, product manager, Google Apps for Business, in a blog post.
Until now, suite customers have had to go to the separate Google Apps Marketplace site to sift through the store’s inventory of third-party apps.
Currently, about 20 out of the thousands of applications in the Marketplace can be accessed via the Apps admin console, but the goal is to increase that number.
“We will be adding more third-party apps from the Apps Marketplace to the admin console over time,” a Google spokesman said via email.
Google launched the Apps Marketplace for the suite in March 2010. From the start, it was meant to be more than an e-commerce storefront. The Apps Marketplace has a set of APIs for third-party developers to integrate their cloud applications with Google Apps in a variety of ways, including single sign-on and fused user interface navigation.
Via the Marketplace, Google intends to foster and provide an ecosystem of complementary third-party applications for Apps, a cloud suite for companies of all sizes that offers email, calendaring, productivity software, storage, and other capabilities.