There is a widely held belief that technology progress in the enterprise is slow and methodical, that adoption cycles are long, and that experimentation is inappropriate. Here at Google we believe that experimentation is a good thing - even in the enterprise space. Some of our best ideas have emerged from experiments, products like Google Maps and snazzy new Gmail Labs features like Calendar and Docs gadgets, as well as Google Suggest and the collection of enterprise search labs.
Today we're extending that innovation and announcing Labs for Google Apps, a set of experimental features available free to businesses and schools using Google Apps. The first set, available now, are derived from tools Google uses internally and can be installed easily from the Google Solutions Marketplace by Google Apps domain administrators. Once installed (see walkthrough), users on your domain will be able to log in and access these features alongside existing applications like Gmail and Sites, and your domain administrators can configure them using the standard Google Apps control panel.
The new experimental features are:
- Google Moderator: Take Q&A to a whole new level -- manage feedback from the smallest video conference to the largest all-hands company meeting. Learn more
- Google Code Reviews: Collaborate with others to catch bugs in software changes before you check them in. Learn more
- Google Short Links: Create easy-to-remember links for both your internal and external web pages Learn more
These new Google Labs tools are built on Google App Engine, the same scalable, efficient, and reliable infrastructure publicly available to developers. Read more about Labs features and App Engine. We're also planning on opening up the Labs for Google Apps platform to third party developers, so that new and existing vendors can build apps for the million-plus businesses using Google Apps today. Going forward, we'll also be adding more of our own Labs applications for your teams to experiment with and benefit from.
Check out the new features and let us know what you think!