Google Apps administrators will be able later this year to add to their domains Google applications that aren't officially part of the hosted communications and collaboration suite, the company announced Thursday.
While Google Apps includes Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Sites, and other components, there are many Google applications that aren't in the suite, like the blog publishing tool Blogger, the Picasa photo organizer and the Reader syndicated feeds manager.
[ In other apps news, Microsoft is looking to provide a big boost to collaboration functionality with its Office 2010 suite. | Discover what's new in business applications with InfoWorld's Technology: Applications newsletter and Killer Apps blog. ]
"While these additional applications won't initially be covered by the core suite's support and service level agreement, this change will open up the spectrum of Google's functionality to businesses, schools and organizations using Google Apps and we'll evaluate future support options," wrote Dennis Troper, Google Apps product management director, in an official blog post.
The announcement doesn't come as a total surprise because in April of last year Dave Girouard, the president of Google's Enterprise division, posted a Twitter message indicating the company was planning to do this.
"We're working to give you access to every damn Google service with a Google Apps account -- yep every damn one of them," that Twitter post read.
To make this possible, Google will move Apps to a new infrastructure, a process it expects to complete in the fourth quarter of this year for all accounts, according to Troper.
"This will be a significant overhaul to our underlying systems and we want to make this transition as seamless as possible for customers. We'll be sharing information in advance so Google Apps admins can plan ahead which additional Google services users can access with their accounts and other aspects of this roll-out," Troper wrote.
In March of this year, Google made a big move toward fostering and simplifying the adoption and integration of third-party software within Google Apps implementations with the launch of the Google Apps Marketplace.
The Marketplace isn't only a storefront for externally built applications, but also a platform through which these applications can be technically integrated with the Apps suite through APIs (application programming interfaces) and open protocols.
That way, Apps and external applications can share a single sign-on and the applications appear in the administrators' Apps management consoles.