Existing customer asks about Google Apps

I’ve got a site hosted here and recently added another domain pointing to my account. Just to experiment I was going to set it up with Google Apps but I’m very confused by exactly what this implies. I’ve read the wiki page (http://wiki.dreamhost.com/Google_Apps) but I still don’t get it. I’m a developer and I use the Google APIs and eat Google for lunch, but the relationship between DH and BigG is confusing.

I’m not sure these are the right questions but if I can get these answers and do something with the new domain then I’ll update the wiki with my experience:

  1. Why link a DH account to Google Apps? Tools for building web pages?
  2. What is DH doing if Google is providing apps or even hosting HTTP/email accounts?
  3. Is Google GMail and better or worse than DH servers? (SMTP, POP3, and IMAP)
  4. Is there any hint with mail sent from myextradomain.com that mail is going through GMail? I have some colleagues that once in a while get their mail bounced back to me and I tease them about getting a “real” email server. By the way, we don’t use DH email now, we’ve been using everyone.net for a few years with absolutely Zero headaches, having come from a non-DH provider that gave me anxiety pains with every service.
  5. How transparent is www.mydomain.com from googlesubdomains.mydomain.com? Can we customize the app UI to match our themes?
  6. Is it any easier to use Google API tools from a DH server than from any other host, OS, etc?

What am I not asking that I should? Again, I just don’t get it. Sorry - and thanks!

  1. Google is cool and people may have a want or need to use Google Hosting. Since DH registers and hosts domains, it’s easy for DH to tweak DNS to point to Google Apps.

  2. DH is providing your DNS.

  3. Better and worse email is subjective. Gmail is pretty slick, but you lose some privacy. DH doesn’t mine your data in order to serve you ads.

  4. There are always hints in the headers as to where your mail really comes from. Even if your mail is hosted here.

  5. I’ve not had luck with any transparency in Google Apps. In fact, when I go to mail.mydomain.com, the URL switches over to Google. I haven’t seriously dived in with hosted Google Apps, nor have I heard much from people who have.

  6. I don’t use Google APIs, so I don’t know. I suspect it’s pretty darned easy to do it here since DH offers pretty extensive shell access.

  7. You could ask if there’s existing software that mimics Google Apps.


Google Apps in DH terms is more about using existing Google Applications like Calendar, Mail, Documents, and Start Page in conjunction with your existing DH site that is hosted either on DH or on Google.

Applications like Calendar is meant to give you and your website maintainers (or whomever you want to give access to) a place to schedule events or to let your visitors know what you’re up to.

For instance, on a music artist’s website, the Calendar function could be used to schedule out music release dates and concert dates.

For a company’s website that’s dedicated to its employees, the Calendar can be used to display and organize company-specific and company-viewable-only events.

In relation to this, the Google Docs application can allow for easy filesharing between employees at the company’s employee website.

The applications can be accessed through subdomains - calendar.website.com for example - or the URL and location can be changed through both DH’s control panel and Google Apps control panel.

It’s a CNAME redirect, so calendar.website.com == google’s url for the calendar as Google is hosting the application, I believe, but I think it might be possible to cloak the google address with the calendar.website.com.

As for using Gmail:

Here’s what my detailed email header looks like when I send out email using Gmail.

date Tue, Jul 8, 2008 at 7:41 PM
subject Test email

I’m sure if you use an email client like Thunderbird, other information is made available, but when using the web based email client, that’s what the detailed header shows.

I’m sure I’ve missed some questions, but I hope I’ve answered a few and didn’t confuse you any further.