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 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).

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

Source Key Characteristics

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 operations Refresh Takes place every day by default.
Content security options Determined by source permissions  
Source creator  

Note 1: By default the Google Drive for Work source indexes files of the My Drive folder for each user. Shared items are indexed 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 indexed 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.

Authorize Your Coveo Organization to Access the Google Drive of Your Users

  1. Create a Google API Console project.

  2. Modify security parameters in your Google Apps account.

Add or Edit a Google Drive for Work Source

Once you’ve authorized your Coveo organization to access your users’ Google Drive, follow the instructions below to add or edit your Google Drive for Work source.

“Configuration” Tab

In the Add/Edit a Google Drive for Work Source panel, the Configuration tab is selected by default. It contains your source’s general and authentication information, as well as other parameters.

General Information

Source Name

Enter a name for your source.

Use a short and descriptive name, using letters, numbers, hyphens (-), and underscores (_). Avoid spaces and other special characters.

Google Apps Domain

Enter the Google Drive domain that you want to index.

Google Apps Administrator Account Email

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

Google Service Account Email

Enter the Google service account email address that you obtained when you authorized your Coveo organization to access the Google Drive of your users.

Private Key File

Click Choose File, and then select the private key file that you created when you authorized your Coveo organization to access the Gmail mailboxes of your users.

Character Optical Recognition (OCR)

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


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 Manage Privileges and Logical Indexes Domain).

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

“Users to Include” Section

By default, the Google Drive content of all your domain users is indexed. However, if you want to index the Google Drive of some specific users only, enter these users’ email address.

If you want users to be indexed as separate items, you will need to add the IndexUsers hidden parameter to the parameters section of the source JSON configuration and set it to true. The default value is false.

“Additional Content to Include” Section

Trashed Items

Check this box to index the items in the trash folder.

Custom Properties

Check this box 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 indexing time.

“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.

“Access” Tab

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


  1. Finish adding or editing your source:

    • 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, click Add Source/Save.

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


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

      Back on the Sources page, you can review the progress of your source addition or modification.

    Once the source is built or rebuilt, you can review its content in the Content Browser.

  2. Optionally, consider editing or adding mappings.

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

When you select the Determined by source permissions content security option, it lets you define a user’s account and give it rights to specific content. 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?

Adapt the source update schedule to your needs.

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