How do I integrate G Suite to enable Google Drive collaboration?

Note: This document references views and actions that are only available to Echo Administrators

This document describes how to create a Google Service Account Key so that  Echo users can easily access Google Suites (Google docs) as they participate in a course. You will need to have an Echo Admin account to complete this task. Along with Super Admin rights to Google Application.


G Suite Integration Enables

  • Easy creation of Google Drive documents in the Student app when completing a dropbox activity. Previously, if students wanted to submit an activity as a Google Doc, they had to create the document in their Google Drive, then open the activity in Echo and search for that document to attach. Now they can create and submit all within Echo.
  • PDF snapshots of Google Drive submissions. When a student submits an activity as a Google Doc, Echo creates a PDF snapshot that is available to both the student and the teacher. This way a record remains if the student makes changes to the document, or even if the Google Drive account is deactivated.
  • Automatic permissions management. Google Docs makes collaboration and inline commenting easy, as long as all members have the correct permissions. With G Suite integration, Echo automatically gives students (including students that are in the same group assignment) and teachers the correct permissions for easy collaboration. If, for any reason, permissions are not correctly granted, users will simply ask for permission using Google Drive.
  • Automatic copies of Google Drive documents when duplicating activities. Teachers can include Google Drive documents as part of activities. If a colleague wants to duplicate the activity for their own use, they can easily copy the attached Google Drive document to their Google Drive for their own use.

G Suite integration is managed by Admins at your root domain. Once it is set up, it is inherited by all subdomains.

In order to set up your G Suite integration:

  • You must create a Google service account.
  • All users must have a current G Suite email attached to their profile (only the admin can edit these emails in Echo).  
  • You must enable it in Domain Settings.

Create a service account

There are five steps to setting up your service account for G Suite:

  1. Create a project
  2. Enable the Google Drive API
  3. Create a service account for the project
  4. Enable API client access for the service account
  5. Enable G Suite integration on Echo

Google Account

You must have a Google account to accept Google's terms of service for accessing Google Drive from within Echo. As part of the standard Google security and authentication process, Google provides this account's e-mail address to each end-user before they attempt to access Google Drive in Echo.

You can use any account that has Super Admin rights in Google.  Our suggested best practice would be to create an account that is only used for authenticating access to Echo.  You will need this email address and the password for the next step.

If you use your own account for this project, you run the risk of breaking the integration if your leave and your account is disabled.

Log into Google APIs

Google has a console that allows you to configure any application, such as Echo, to access Google services through their Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Echo contains code that accesses Google Drive services, but you must enable that code to run in your Echo domain by agreeing to Google's terms of service and setting up a link between Echo and Google by creating a Google API Project.

With the account that you will be using for authentication, log in

API Dashboard

You will be presented with the following API dashboard.  Please note this is an example as your dashboard may appear differently.

1. Create a Project

  • Click on the down arrow from the upper menu bar
  • Click on the plus sign to Create Project

Create a name for your project and click Create

2. Enable Google Drive API

In order for Echo to interface with the Google Drive API, you need to enable it.

From the API dashboard select the project you created and Click on Enable API and Services in the Dashboard

Under Google Apps APIs, click on Drive API

Enable Google Drive API

Click Enable

3. Create a service account for the project

In order for Echo to manage permissions effectively, it needs access to your Google service account

  1. Open the Menu in the top-left corner of the console and click IAM & Admin >Service accounts.
  1. Click Create Service Account,.
  2. Enter a title in the Service Account Name field.
  3. Describe what the service does in the Service account description field (e.g., Integrates Echo with G Suite).
  4. Click Create.
  • You can set any optional Service account permissions you desire, then click Continue.
  1. Set up any optional user access, then click Create Key.
  2. Select JSON under Key type in the panel that appears on the right and click Create. You'll see a message that the service account JSON file has been downloaded to your computer. You will need it later, so make a note of the location and name of this file.
  3. Click Done.

Open the Actions menu and click Edit.

Check the Enable Domain-wide Delegation box and enter a name in the Product name for the consent screen field.

Click Save

You can click the View Client ID link to review the service account you have just crated. Copy the Client ID value. You will nee this in Step 4.

4. Enable API client access for the service account


Your organization may have multiple active domains within your G Suite account (e.g.,,, If so, each of these domains need the client access you set up in these steps, and you need to repeat them for each domain.


Once Google Drive API is enable, you need to give Echo access to the service account.

  1. In your G Suite domain’s Admin console (, select Security from the list of controls.
    • If you don't see Security listed, select More controls from the gray bar at the bottom of the page, then select Security from the list of controls.
    • If you can't see the controls, make sure you're signed in as an administrator for the domain.

2. In Security, select Show more > Advanced settings, and then click Manage API client access next to Authentication.

  1. In the Client Name field, enter the service account's Client ID. You should have copied this in the above step, or you can find it in the Service accounts page.
  2. In the One or More API Scopes field, enter “”
  3. Click Authorize.

5. Enable G Suite integration on Echo

Once you have a Google service account created, you can enable the G Suite integration:  

  1. From the Domain Details, select Domain Settings.
  1. Scroll to Enable G Suite service account box.
  2. Create a Google Drive folder name. (example: echogsuite)
  3. Click Edit service-account key.
  1. Copy and paste the contents from the .json file that Google provided when you set up your service account into this field.
  2. Click Done.

When users open Google Drive from Echo for the first time, they may be asked to verify the access, sign into their account, indicate which account, etc. Review the possible requests pictured here.

Users' browsers must allow Google to popup windows.

Error Messaging

  • If the Google Drive fails to create or copy documents, Echo reports an error.
  • If the Google Drive cannot correctly grant permissions, Echo does not report an error and users will simply ask for permission from the document author using Google Drive screens.
  • If Google fails to generate a PDF snapshot, Echo attaches a TXT file to the activity in the PDF's place, alerting you of the issue.
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