Login to Aeries as an Administrator and navigate to the Google Apps Integration form (School Info | Configurations | Google Apps Integration).  Please note that while the navigation is currently under School Info, these settings are in fact for the district and need only be set once.  You will see five tabs:

  • Directory Sync Settings - pertain to how you want your student accounts formatted and how you want Aeries to interact with Google for directory synchronization.
  • Google Classroom – configuration options for Google Classroom.
  • Organizational Unit Structure - describes how your students will be organized inside of Google. This tab is only applicable to directory sync.
  • Google Service Account Settings - should only need to be configured once and then can be left alone.
  • Maintenance Functions – contains several functions for maintaining the Google integration

Note: Directory Sync is recommended but is not necessarily required to be used to integrate with Google Classroom.

The Google Service Account Settings should be configured first.

Google Service Account Settings

This is where you will copy information from the Google API Console.

  • API Integration ID – This is the project name you entered in an earlier step (e.g., "Aeries Integration"). The Integration ID should be used instead of the Application name.
  • User to Impersonate – This is the Aeries Service account you created in an earlier step (e.g., "AeriesService@yourdomain.org")
  • Student Domain – This is the domain (NOT the organizational unit) your students will belong to and will serve as part of their Google account’s address (i.e., everything after the “@” symbol in the student's Google account)
  • Teacher Domain – This is the domain (NOT the organization unit) your teachers belong to. This may or may not be the same as the Student Domain depending on your Google configuration. Some districts like to separate their students and employees into separate domains.  This is the place to tell Aeries that domain.
  • Service Account Client ID – This is the Client ID that belongs to the Service Account and should be visible in the open Google API Console tab (from an earlier step)
  • Service Account Email Address - This is the email address that was generated when you created the Service Account and should be visible in the open Google API Console tab (from an earlier step)
  • JSON Private Key File Name  – The credentials for the Google Service Account now accept the newer .json type credential to allow for further enhancements in the future, this can be downloaded from your Google Cloud Console API credentials area.  It should be placed in the AppSettings folder for every Aeries instance (e.g., Admin, Teacher, Student and Parent Portal) on your web server  and the AeriesReporting\Service folder of your Aeries Reporting Server. It has Legacy support for the P12 files.

Directory Sync Settings

  • Synchronize all students nightly – This will add accounts for students who do not currently have a Google account associated with their Aeries account, or suspend accounts which are associated, but are no longer active in Aeries.
  • Populate External Student IDs nightly - This will create a two way link between Student's and their Google accounts and ensure that if an account is available these links exist via a nightly process.  This process will create the ESI in Aeries and update the External ID in Google, however it will not create accounts. If you are using the Synchronize all students nightly option, this is not needed. This options should be used if a 3d party app or script is managing the accounts.
  • Time to Sync - Time of Day to run the Syncing process.
  • Show Google Account options on Student Demographics Page - This will add a button near the Student Email field on the Student Demographics page. Only users with update permissions to the External Student IDs table will see the button. Users will be able to manually link and un-link students with existing Google accounts. The option is also available to Exclude a Student from Sync and to Disable/Enable their Account.  (See below for details). Note: this option will be ON by default.  
  • Automatically sync student accounts when added via Aeries SIS Web - This will asynchronously sync the new student to your Google domain whenever a student is added via Aeries SIS Web Version.  Due to the Age/Grade range restrictions possible, if a Student is added without a Birthdate they will not be automatically synced. 

Note: If this option is not checked, the Student cannot be added to Google Classroom until the Nightly Sync process is run and the Google account created.  If the Automatically add students to Google Classroom when scheduled in Aeries is selected, that process may fail for New Students as they will not have a Google Account created yet.

  • Automatically populate External Student IDs when Students are added via Aeries SIS Web - This will create a two-way link between Students and their Google accounts and ensure that if an account is available these links exist when Students are added via Aeries SIS Web Version.
  • Automatically Cache Accounts in Database. This will process Google Accounts into a cached table (DistrictCache) in the database once an hour. This will enable the cached data to be accessible immediately when app pools recycle and avoid delays in the Sync services.
  • Override Existing Student Emails (STU.SEM) with Pattern – Determines if the nightly process should override any existing values in the student email field that do not match the pattern and replace those values with the student’s current or newly create Google account.
  • Student Root Org Unit – The top level Organizational Unit students will be added to.  This is critical as you can act on all student accounts from within the Google Admin Console by nesting them under one org unit.

  • Student User Name Pattern- This is the pattern that will be applied to all student accounts in Google. Possible elements are [first-name], [last-name], [permanent-id] etc. These pattern elements can be modified with LEFT and RIGHT string functions to allow you to form a custom string with whole data or parts of each data element to build the pattern your students will have for their accounts.

It is not recommended to change this pattern once you have begun synchronizing students to Google.

Examples for student John Smith, #1234, DOB: 1/2/2001, grad year 2019

First letter of first name, first 4 letters of last name, last 3 of student ID

  • Student Password Pattern – Like the student user name pattern, but just for the password. Use a pattern that will ensure all passwords will be at least 8 characters long.
  • Force New Students to Change Password on First Login to Google Apps – Newly created students will be forced to change their password.
  • Match New Student PWA Passwords (Student Portal) to Password Pattern - Any newly added students that have PWA accounts (Student Portal) will have that password match their Google account password. - NOT RECOMMENDED
  • Suspend Accounts for inactive students- When this option is turned on, students who become inactive in Aeries will have their Google accounts suspended. This option is on by default.
    • Requirements for Google to suspend an account:

          ‘Suspend Accounts for Inactive Students’ is enabled

          The student falls within the Valid Age and Grade to Sync values

          Has a current Google ESI record

          The ESI record is not excluded with an ESI status value

          Student has an inactive status tag but is not Pre-Enrolled

          Is in the Student Root OU or an OU within that OU

          Student Must have a First and Last Name (These cannot be _) and have an ID > 0

  • Manage the Location of Existing Student Accounts in the Google OU structure - When this option is turned on, existing students will be moved from one org unit to another in Google based on information in Aeries (e.g., school code or grade level) and the chosen org unit structure. This option is on by default.
  • Suspend accounts that are no longer linked to a student record – This option will suspend any Google account nested under the student root org unit that was previously linked to a student in Aeries but for which there is currently no Student Data (STU) record in Aeries.

  • Suspend accounts outside the age/grade ranges -  This option will suspend any Google account nested under the student root org unit if the student in Aeries is outside a specified grade range and/or age range
  • Sync students in grades – Only students in the specified grade range will be synced to Google.
  • Sync students who are between these ages – Only students in the specified age range will be synced to Google.
  • Schools to Synchronize – The set of schools that will be included in the directory sync process.

Note on passwords: The Aeries Google integration only controls the Google password during the initial creation of the account. There is no current functionality to reset student google passwords through Aeries either individually or in bulk. There are outside tools such as GAM or Gopher for Users, but Aeries does not provide support for these products.

Google Account Options on Student Demographics Page

When the option to Show Google Account options on Student Demographics Page is turned on, users with update permission to External Student IDs will see a button with the Google icon next to the Student Email field.

Click the button to display Google Account Options for this student. This feature allows districts to correct the Google account to which a student ID is linked in case an incorrect link was initially made. This situation can occur when Aeries is integrated with a G Suite for Education domain that is already up and running, and the Student Email in Aeries does not match the existing Google Account, or in scenarios where a username pattern is selected that leaves room for ambiguity (such as students with the same name).

The current Student Email (STU.SEM) will display in the text box. Changing this value will NOT update STU.SEM; it will only update the Google account to which this student is linked. Click the Link button to link this student ID to the selected Google account. If the student was previously linked to a different Google account, that link will be removed.

If the student is already linked to a Google account, that account will display next to the Un-Link button. Click the Un-Link button to remove the link between this student ID and the Google account.

The Exclude option will exclude the student from the nightly sync.  If you wish to disable a Students' Account and not have it re-enabled by the nightly process, check Exclude and the Disable Account option will appear.  You may also re-enable the Account but keep the Student excluded from the nightly sync.  Simply checking Exclude will exclude the Student from the sync.

Connection Confirmation

You have now entered all the data elements necessary to connect to Google.  Click the Save button at the top or bottom of the page, and the Configuration Status message should display a green check mark next to Google Directory Sync. If not, it will tell you what the error message is from Google and be red. If you completed the steps to connect to Google Classroom, there should be a second green check mark. Otherwise, there will be an error message in red.

Google Classroom

Enabling Google Classroom will allow your teachers to import assignment scores from Google directly to their gradebook (Scores by Assignment page). It will also allow them to create a Google Classroom class with students already joined, or to link to an existing Google Classroom class from the Class Summary widget on the Teacher Portal home page. This feature is available for all school types. For schools with a Master Schedule, teachers link Google Classroom classes to the sections in the Master Schedule. For elementary schools with no Master Schedule, teachers link Google Classroom classes to their Aeries Gradebooks.

  • Synchronize all classrooms nightly- This will populate existing Google Classroom classes with the current roster of students during a nightly process.
  • Sync Options:
    • Import Assignments from Google Nightly - This will import all Google Classroom assignments for all Gradebooks with an associated Google Classroom. (see Auto Import of Google Assignments)
    • Import Assignments Already Marked as Grading Completed - This will include assignments which are set to 'Grading Completed' in the Nightly Imports process. The 'Import Assignments from Google' button on the Teachers' Gradebook Dashboard will also use this setting.
    • Days Past Due Date To Include - This will limit the Nightly process to only those assignments X days past the Assignment Due Date rather than all assignments every night. This may be a number from 0 to 21. If 0, then ALL assignments will be imported. This should improve performance of the Nightly Process. The 'Import Assignments from Google' button on the Teachers' Gradebook Dashboard will also use this setting.
    • Import Assignment Scores from Google Nightly - This will import all Google Classroom assignment scores for all Gradebooks with an associated Google Classroom. This can be used independent of the Import Assignments from Google Nightly to just import scores and not new assignments.
    • Time to Sync - Set the Time of Day for the Synchronize process to run. 
  • Automatically add students to Google Classroom when scheduled in Aeries - This will asynchronously add new students into Google Classroom classes whenever they are scheduled into a section (MST) that has a Gradebook with a linked Google Classroom or into a Gradebook (Elementary w/o MST) that has a Google Classroom linked. 

NOTE: If the Option 'Automatically sync student accounts when added via Aeries SIS Web' is not selected on the Directory Settings page, the Add may fail for New Students, as the Student will not have a Google account yet. After the Nightly Sync process runs, the Student can be added to Google Classroom

  • Improve Performance – This should only be checked if your District is using Directory Sync or if you regularly run the Populate External Student IDs function from the Maintenance Functions tab. With this option on, Aeries will rely on the External Student IDs (ESI) table to identify students’ Google accounts and will not search the Google domain to find student accounts. This results in fewer Google API calls and faster performance of the Google Classroom integration.
  • Schools to Enable Google Classroom – The set of schools for which Google Classroom integration is enabled. Only teachers in the selected schools will be able to use any of the Google Classroom features within Aeries, including the import to Gradebook.

Note: Aeries will not remove students from a Google Classroom class if they are dropped from the class in Aeries. Aeries will only add students. This way no student work or submitted grades are lost in case the student is removed erroneously or if the student returns to the same class at a later date.

Other Steps:

  1. First, review/enable permissions for your teachers to use Google Classroom. Follow this link to learn how to set up those permissions https://support.google.com/edu/classroom/answer/6071551?hl=en.
  2. Next, make sure that teachers who want to use Google Classroom have their Google email address stored in Aeries. They will then be able to create new Google Classroom classes or link to existing ones, and automatically join their students to those classes directly from the Class Summary within Aeries.  Teachers can also import scores from Google Classroom into the Aeries Gradebook.

IMPORTANT NOTE: For students to be added automatically when a Google Classroom class is created, the students must also have valid Google accounts known to Aeries, whether stored in the ESI table or in the student email address field (STU.SEM).

Staff must have their Google email address populated in the Email Address field (UGN.EM), or the Google Account field (SSO.GEM). This is set on the Security Users form.

Aeries will try to use the regular Email Address to locate their Google account. If their Google account is different from their regular email address, then the Google Account field must be populated with the Google account name.

If your District is not using Directory Sync options, but wishes to use Google Classroom for your teachers, STU.SEM must be populated with the student’s Google email address.


Organization Unit Structure

This section is where you will decide the nested structure for your Organization Units in Google. As students sync from Aeries to Google, Org Units will automatically be created based on the chosen structure if they do not exist. Aeries does NOT delete Org Units. If you decide on a structure, and then decide to change it in the future, you should manually remove any unused org units via the Admin Console. Students will be added to whatever the current directory structure is.

Up to three levels can be added underneath the Student Root Org Unit.  Each level can be configured to use a certain placeholder element, which will dynamically be replaced with values from the Aeries database during the sync process.  The available placeholder elements are defined as follows.

[class-of] - Uses the text "Class of " along with the student's expected graduation year based on their current grade level and 12th grade graduation.  E.g., "Class of 2025".  For students with a grade level greater than 12, the org unit will be named "Class of Unknown".

[grade-level] - Uses the description of the student's current grade level.  The description comes from the Define Student Grade Levels form.  E.g., "Transitional Kindergarten" or "Ninth Grade"

[school-name] - Uses the school name (LOC.NM).  E.g., "Screaming Eagle High School"

[school-number] - Uses the school code (LOC.CD).  E.g., "994"

[students-of-school-name] - Uses the text "Students of " along with the school name (LOC.NM).  E.g., "Students of Screaming Eagle High School"

[school-category] - Uses the description of the School Category (LOC.CT).  E.g., "Elementary School" or "High School"