What Google People API means for Apps that Sync Google Calendar with Outlook

In Spring 2020, Google announced that they will shut down Google Contacts v3 API in 2021. The Google Contacts API is the connection a Sync App uses to move Contact Data from Outlook to Google (Gmail) Contacts. Google released the Contacts API in 2006 and v3 around 2012, so it has had a six-year life span typical for Google data APIs.

Google Calendar and Contact Sync with Outlook

Nearly all Apps that Sync Google Calendar with Outlook Calendar include a link for Contact Sync. This sends data from Outlook Contacts to Gmail Contacts. Most people rely on Google Sync to share Contacts and Calendar from their Gmail account and smartphone.

Action Item – If you are using CompanionLink – You may be eligible for a free update for this change. Please check our Google People API Knowledgebase Page.

Microsoft Outlook lacks Google Sync Capability

Microsoft Outlook lacks a two-way sync facility for Google. You can set shared Calendars and Contact lists, but the method is arcane. More commonly, 3rd party apps like CompanionLink for Google provide an easy way of using Outlook and Google together. There are a range of products available, and they have varying capabilities. The critical thing to look for is whether real-time sync is supported. When you make a new appointment on your phone, does it come to Outlook automatically in just a few seconds? Also, are Outlook categories and calendar colors supported.

Google Contact v3 Deprecated

Google Contacts API v3 will shut down on June 15, 2021, five months away at the time of this writing. The Google People API, introduced four years ago, is replacing it. Most developers caution that the Google People API did not work well initially, so hopefully, Google has improved the API since that time.

June 2021 Update: Google has now started throwing the error. The error text is:

Contacts API is being deprecated. Migrate to People API to retain programmatic access to Google Contacts. See https://developers.google.com/people/contacts-api-migration.

Update Needed for Continued Service

Consumers need to be aware that any Google Outlook Sync product created before 2016 lacks support for the People API. Most products did not begin shifting until 2020, when Google announced the older API’s sunset date. A general rule is that if you have not installed a software update in the last four years, you should plan to get an update in 2021.

Here is a List of Google Calendar Sync Apps with status:

In general, most products will be on new revisions to support Google’s API change. If you have a purchased product, and your purchase was more than three years ago, you would be safe to assume an update is available for a reduced price from your vendor. Free and Open Source products (FOSS) will undergo revisions and continue to be a compelling choice for people who can tolerate beta software and do not need tech support.

June 2021 Update – Google has Updated Guidance

Migrate your Contacts API to People API before June 15, 2021, to ensure error-free API calls; API calls will otherwise return 100% errors by December 15, 2021.

Hello Google Cloud Developer,

We are writing to remind you of, as per our initial announcement in August 2020, the deprecation of the Google Contacts API, effective June 15, 2021. All Contacts API clients should migrate to Google People API before that date.

What do I need to know?

Starting June 15, 2021, API calls will begin returning errors at a steadily increasing rate, until the error rate reaches 100% on December 15, 2021, as outlined below:

June 15, 2021 – September 15, 2021: 1% of Google Contacts API calls will return errors
September 15, 2021 – December 15, 2021: 10% of Google Contacts API calls will return errors
December 15, 2021, and onward: 100% of Google Contacts API calls will return errors

What’s changed?

The new People API has the same functionality as the legacy Contacts API for all features, but with a new scope, resulting in the following exceptions for “Other Contacts”:Clients have read-only permissions for “Other Contacts.”
• Since sending mutate or write signals back to “Other Contacts” is not supported, your users will have to add the Other Contact as a My Contact if they wish to update its data fields.
• Only basic contact information for “Other Contacts” can be read through the API (for example, full name, email address, and phone number).

Additionally, the old Contacts scope (https://www.google.com/m8/feeds) provided access to both personal contacts and directory information.

You can learn more in the People API documentation.

Please note that the Domain Shared Contacts API is not affected by these changes.

What do I need to do?

To maintain access to Contact data, you need to migrate all Contacts API calls to People API before June 15, 2021.

With the People API, you will also need to implement new scopes, to ensure error-free API connections. In doing so, you will need to use the appropriate scope, depending on which API feature you wish to access:
• To access personal contacts – https://www.googleapis.com/auth/contacts
• To access other contacts – https://www.googleapis.com/auth/contacts.other.readonly
• To access directory information – https://www.googleapis.com/auth/directory.readonly

Your projects listed below are Contacts API clients and will begin to receive API call errors unless you migrate to People API before June 15, 2021:

If you have any questions or require assistance, please contact Google Workspace support.
Thanks for choosing Google Cloud.

The Google Developers Team

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Short Take

Google has a habit of changing their APIs every six years. If it has been a few years since you purchased or installed your Google Outlook Sync App, plan on doing it again in 2021.

What Google People API means for Apps that Sync Google Calendar with Outlook was last updated June 23rd, 2021 by Wayland Bruns
This entry was posted in CompanionLink Products, Productivity Apps by Wayland Bruns. Bookmark the permalink.

About Wayland Bruns

Wayland founded CompanionLink in 1987 as The Jorf Company, a maker of shareware 4gl products. As a leading maker of CRM Add-On products, the company started with Sync Products in 1996 for the PalmPilot. As CEO of CompanionLink, Wayland strives to balance quality customer service, products with good value, low prices, and a positive workplace..

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