using Google Apps without moving email server

There are 2 other ways to use Google Apps without having to move your email server. I think. I’ll use my domain name ( as the example:

(1) First, setup Google Apps with the domain name (, for a Google Apps Standard Edition. After verifying domain ownership, then you’ll be able to login to the Google Apps Control Panel. Under Dashboard > Service settings, you can click on the “Email” link, and click on “Disable service”.[cf]

Then, each person on the domain would register for a Google Apps username, at a URL like . And then, these Google Apps would be associated with, e.g.

(2) The other way is to create a new Google Account with an “” email address. On the page , click on “Create an account now” on the right sidebar at bottom.

I’m not sure what the difference is between (1) and (2) above, since I can’t figure it out from the online help at Google Apps. Either of the options above will enable us to use Google Apps like calendar and docs, without affecting the current email setup at all.

Can anyone explain what the difference is between the two above ways for using Google Apps with a domain and without having to interrupt the domained email server? And, would the #1 setup above affect some of the email notifications that Google Apps sends out for doc sharing or calendar invites?

Aside: here’s 3 links to blog posts that give step-by-step instructions for hosting your email and using Google Apps with your domain:,, and — in other words, this is the normal way to use Google Apps.

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18 Responses

  1. Jason Powell says:

    We have a Google Apps account for our domain working along side our Exchange server with no issues. In fact I can get my GCC email from either Exchange or gapps 🙂
    It’s called dual-delivery setup and it’s very easy to do.

    Hope that helps,

  2. Larry Baxter says:

    Method one uses the service “Google Apps for Domains” and gives you a lot of benefits such as the ability to create groups, automatically allow visibility of calendars for everyone in the domain, and/or or have visibility of individual calendar entries based on whether the user is part of the domain.

    Method two doesn’t use “Google Apps” at all – rather it uses several applications with a normal Google email account. It’s far less flexible/powerful, although it avoids the setup of the Google Apps service (which isn’t that bad). Google Apps for Domains really is separate from regular gmail accounts.

    Jason Powell’s post (and knowledge of Google Apps) are right on target. The link he has for dual-delivery setup works extremely well. That’s something you would want to lookup if you were not planning to use the mail feature, as I’m not completely sure of the effect of that on calendar invites. I setup Google Apps for our church and love it, though we’re using it for mail as well. (Many users simply forward their mail elsewhere, which is easy to setup)

  3. Brent Mitchell says:

    As Larry alluded to I would say the difference/benefit of method one is the collaboration and administrative control that it gives for the users in the domain. If your concern is only for one user I see no reason for setting up Apps for your domain if you already have e-mail hosting taken care of.

  4. djchuang says:

    @Jason, @Larry: great insights & tips! I’ll look into dual delivery, although it didn’t seem obvious to me b/c our email server is plain ol’ POP3/SMTP and not Exchange nor Lotus Notes.

    I’m leaning towards method #1 above, since we are looking for the collaborative features, and would like to keep email uninterrupted.

  5. Ken Liu says:

    If you are setting this up for an organization or small group then it makes sense to use Google Apps for Domains. There are some additional features in calendar and docs that work on a domain level, like default sharing of calendars and documents for users on the same domain.

    There is also a non-profit version of Google Apps for Domains that is a similar offering to the educational version – more/cheaper storage, I think.

    In addition, Premium users get access to APIs that free users don’t get access to.

    Google seems to roll out new features on the regular services before Google Apps – for example some of the newer features in Gmail were available on account before they showed up in my Google Apps account.

    I don’t think you have to use dual delivery; I think all you have to do is just not point your domain CNAME record for mail to Google’s servers, so all incoming mail will keep going to your current mail server. Not sure about email originating from Google like calendar alerts, though. They’ll probably work.

  6. Abelardo says:

    I think method one allow business enjoy all of Google Apps features, wich are more than Google accounts only, for example, Google Sites can use custom URL’s only in Google apps.