Add or Edit a Google Drive for Work Source

With a Google account with administrator credentials, members of the Administrators and Content Managers built-in groups can add the content of users’ Google Drive to a Coveo Cloud organization. In a Coveo-powered search interface, the source content is accessible to either everyone or specific users as determined by source permissions (see Content Security). By default, a Google Drive for Work source starts a refresh every day to index Google Drive file changes (additions, modifications, or deletions).

When you create the source, you authorize the Coveo Cloud organization to read your Google account using OAuth 2.0, a protocol that authorizes access without giving your password.

Source Features Summary

Features Supported Additional information
Google Drive for Work version Latest cloud version Following available Google Drive for Work releases
Searchable content types1 Files, folders, comments and replies2, and user profiles
Content update Refresh  
Content security options Determined by source permissions  
Source creator  

Note 1: By default the Google Drive for Work source includes files of the My Drive folder for each user. Shared items are included with the associated permissions, so that who ever is authorized to see the items can find them in Coveo search results.

Note 2: The comments and replies are included in the coveo.comments and coveo.comments.authors metadata of their parent item rather than as separate items. This way, users can search for the content of a comment or reply and find the parent item.


Before configuring your source, you must ensure that your Google Drive instance is ready to work with Coveo Cloud.

Authorize Your Coveo Cloud organization to Access the Google Drive of Your Users

  1. Create a Google API Console project (see Authorizing the Coveo Connector to Access Your Google Drive).

  2. Modify security parameters in your Google Apps account (see Authorizing the Coveo Connector to Access Your Google Apps for Work).

Add or Edit a Google Drive for Work Source

  1. Ensure that your Google Drive for Work server instance meets the source requirements (see Requirements).

  2. If not already in the Add/Edit a Google Drive for Work Source panel, access the panel:

    • To add a source, in the main menu, under Content, select Sources > Add Source button > Google Drive > Google Drive for Work.


    • To edit a source, in the main menu, under Content, select Sources > source row > Edit in the Action bar.

  3. In the Configuration tab, enter appropriate values for the available parameters:

    • Source name

      A descriptive name for your source under 255 characters (not already in use for another source in this organization).


    • Google Apps domain

      The Google Drive domain that you want to index.

    • Google Apps administrator account email

      The email of a Google Apps administrator account in the format.

      The email does NOT end in

    • Google Service account email

      The Google service account email address previously obtained (see Authorizing the Coveo Connector to Access Your Google Drive).

    • Private key file

      Click Choose File, and select the private key file that you created before (see Authorizing the Coveo Connector to Access Your Google Drive).

    • Users to include

      The email of users whose Google Drive content you want to include, separated by a semicolon. By default, the Google Drive content of all your domain users is included.

      When you want users to be included as separate items, add the IndexUsers hidden parameter and set it to true in the parameters section of the source JSON configuration (see Source JSON Modification Examples). The default value is false.

    • Character optical recognition (OCR)

      Check this box if you want Coveo Cloud to extract text from image files or PDF files containing images (see Enable Optical Character Recognition). OCR-extracted text is processed as item data, meaning that it’s fully searchable and will appear in the item Quick View (see Search Result Quick View).

      Since the OCR feature is available at an extra charge, you must first contact Coveo Sales to add this feature to your organization license. You can then enable it for your source.

    • Index

      When adding a source, if you have more than one logical (non-Elasticsearch) index in your organization, select the index in which the retrieved content will be stored (see Leverage Many Coveo Indexes). If your organization only has one index, this drop-down menu isn’t visible and you have no decision to make.

      • To add a source storing content in an index different than default, you need the View access level on the Logical Index domain (see Privilege Management and Logical Indexes Domain).

      • Once the source is added, you can’t switch to a different index.

    • Trashed items

      Select this option check box when you want to include the items in the chosen Google Drive for Work trash.

    • Custom properties

      Select this option check box when you want to include custom properties that Google applications or your custom applications added on items.

      Including custom properties significantly increases communication traffic between the source and the Google Drive. This, in turn, significantly increases crawling time.

  4. In the Content Security tab, select who will be able to access the source items through a Coveo-powered search interface. For details on this parameter, see Content Security.

    If you opt for the Determined by source permissions option, ensure to review the Link Sharing and the “Determined by Source Permissions” Content Security Option section, which explains how the selected link sharing option determines who can access the corresponding file through a Coveo-powered search interface.

  5. In the Access tab, determine whether each group and API key can view or edit the source configuration (see Understanding Resource Access):

    1. In the Access Level column, select View or Edit for each available group.

    2. On the left-hand side of the tab, if available, click Groups or API Keys to switch lists.

    If you remove the Edit access level from all the groups of which you’re a member, you won’t able to edit the source again after saving. Only administrators and members of other groups that have Edit access on this resource will be able to do so. To keep your ability to edit this resource, you must grant the Edit access level to at least one of your groups.

  6. Optionally, consider editing or adding mappings (see Adding and Managing Source Mappings).

    You can only manage mapping rules once you build the source (see Refresh, Rescan, or Rebuild Sources).

  7. Complete your source addition or edition:

    • Click Add Source/Save when you want to save your source configuration changes without starting a build/rebuild, such as when you know you want to do other changes soon.

      On the Sources page, you must click Start initial build or Start required rebuild in the source Status column to add the source content or make your changes effective, respectively.


    • Click Add and Build Source/Save and Rebuild Source when you’re done editing the source and want to make changes effective.

      Back on the Sources page, you can review the progress of your Google Drive for Work source addition or modification (see Adding and Managing Sources).

    Once the source is built or rebuilt, you can review its content in the Content Browser (see Inspect Items With the Content Browser).

When you select the Determined by source permissions content security option, the Google Drive items that authenticated end users can see in a Coveo-powered search interface are the items that they’re allowed to access within Google Drive for Work.

When sharing a file, Google Drive for Work users have the following options, which also determine who can find the item in their search results.

Link sharing option Impact on item
On - Public on the web
On - Anyone with the link
On - [account name]
All end users can find the item in their search results
On - Anyone at [account name] with the link
Off - Specific people
Only end users with which the item has been shared can find it in their search results

What’s Next?

Review your source update schedule and optionally change it so that it better fits your needs (see Edit a Source Schedule). By default, your content is refreshed every day.

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