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

Ryan Richins
  • Agilix team member
  • Updated:

Google integration options

Buzz enables two types of integration with Google:

  • Automatic integration with Google Drive (Learn more): Most Buzz domains are automatically integrated with Google Drive, allowing users to use Google Drive documents in Buzz as long as they have a Google account. This integration does not include collaborative tools.
  • G Suite integration (covered in this article): This integration requires more setup, requires users to have a Gmail address attached to their Buzz account, and enables collaborative tools.

G Suite integration

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 Buzz and search for that document to attach. Now they can create and submit all within Buzz.
  • PDF snapshots of Google Drive submissions. When a student submits an activity as a Google Doc, Buzz 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, Buzz 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 setup

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:

Create a service account

1. Create a project

Any Google Cloud Platform resources that you allocate and use must belong to a project. You can think of a project as the organizing entity for what you're building. A project is made up of the settings, permissions, and other metadata that describe your applications. Learn more about projects.

If you already have a project that you want to use, you can skip to Step 2. Enable the Google Drive API.

To create a project:

  1. Go to the Google Developers Console ( and sign in as a super administrator.
  2. Click Create project. If you haven't used the Developers Console before, agree to the Google Cloud Platform Terms of Service. Then, click Create a project.
  1. Enter a project name.
  2. Edit the Project ID if you want.
  3. Select the desired Organization and Location from the appropriate dropdown menus.
  4. Click Create.

2. Enable the Google Drive API

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

  1. Go to the API dashboard ( and select the project you created or selected in Step 1.
  2. Click Enable APIs and Services in the Dashboard.
  1. Search for Google Drive API and select it from the results.
  1. Click Enable.

3. Create a service account for the project

In order for Buzz 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 Buzz with G Suite).
  4. Click Create.
  1. 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.
  1. Open the Actions menu and click Edit.
  1. Check the Enable Domain-wide Delegation box and enter a name in the Product name for the consent screen field (user whatever is most useful; only the system admin managing this integration will see this name).
  2. Click Save.
  1. You can click the View Client ID link to review the service account you have just created. Copy the Client ID value. You will need this in Step 4.

4. Enable API client access for the service account

Once Google Drive API is enable, you need to give Buzz access to 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.

  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.
  1. In Security, select Advanced settings and 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 Step 3, or you can find it in the Service accounts page.
  2. In the One or More API Scopes field, enter “”
  3. Click Authorize.

Enable G Suite integration on Buzz

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

  1. Open the side menu in Domain > Details.  
  2. Select Domain settings in the more menu in the toolbar.
  1. Check Enable G Suite service account box on the G Suite service account card.
  2. Choose the Google Drive folder name (this is The top-most Drive folder where Buzz stores documents).
  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 Buzz 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, Buzz reports an error.
  • If the Google Drive cannot correctly grant permissions, Buzz 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, Buzz attaches a TXT file to the activity in the PDF's place, alerting you of the issue.

Comments (9)

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Thomas Collette
  • Agilix team member

Love the G-Suite integration!  It's incredible! 

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Samantha Forster

Hello - We are testing out the G-Suite Integration on testing domain, and I continually get this error in Buzz.  I followed the tutorial above, and don't see where this error would occur.  Thanks!

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Brian Williams
  • Agilix team member

Hello Samantha!

This likely isn't caused by the G-Suite integration, but rather is due to the domain still using the Google Drive integration within the domain. An admin will need to remove the custom Google Drive integration (this is not the same as the G-Suite integration) from the domain settings.   

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Shaun Creighton

I'm not quite seeing where the PDF snapshots are showing up when students submit a Google Doc ...

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Brian Williams
  • Agilix team member

Hey Shaun!

Is this question related to what is being addressed through a ticket submitted to Agilix Support?

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Shaun Creighton

Actually, the ticket was just about an account not even being able to create its own Google Doc from a Document Template. I did get that figured out (thanks to Derek's help!) but I'm still not sure where the PDF snapshots mentioned in this article are supposed to show up or how the teacher (or student) is supposed to access them. It seemed like clarification on that might be helpful to those who read this article, which is why I posted the comment here instead of submitting a ticker. Any help would be great. Thanks!

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Brian Williams
  • Agilix team member

Glad to hear that worked out for you!

When you chose the name of the Google Drive folder (outlined under section Enable G-Suite integration in this document), that will be the folder that Buzz stores documents (snapshots) within the G-Suite integration and is accessible after the user logs into their account that is associated with the G-Suite integration. 


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Shaun Creighton

Very weird ... I'm not seeing any PDF snapshots in that folder. The folder we have in our settings is called Buzz LMS - Chandler USD.



When I open that folder in Google Drive, there is a subfolder that is named based on the course:

When I open that folder, I just see the native Google Docs ... no PDF snapshots.

The good news is that when I go in the gradebook, open the assignment in the grade editor, click on Submission History and then click on the link to the previous version of the assignment, I do see an option to open the PDF snapshot (that option wasn't appearing when I originally submitted this comment).


The bad news is that when I click on that snapshot, it doesn't reflect the version of the assignment that Tracy submitted originally ... it reflects a change that she made at a later time. I know there has to be some sort of lag from the time the assignment is submitted to the time the snapshot is created and then displayed ... is there an estimate on that lag time?

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Brian Williams
  • Agilix team member

I see now. Thank you for your visual example. I need to clarify my last statement from what you have shared. 

The PDF snapshot applies to the submission within an activity that is using the dropbox feature. If a student submits the assignment using a Google Doc file as an attached URL, Buzz will create a PDF file snapshot of the file and attached it to the assignment as part of the submission. 

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