Comparing GAE and Shared Mailbox (PACE) accounts


Introduction

This article compares two accounts available from the Division of IT (DoIT): Virginia Tech Google Auxiliary Email (GAE) account and Virginia Tech Shared Mailbox (Personal Access for Collaborative Email (PACE)) account.

Explanation

GAE and Shared Mailbox (PACE) accounts represent different ways to have access to a single email inbox or account. It is important to understand the similarities and differences between these accounts in order to decide which solution best matches your specific use case.

Service GAE  Shared Mailbox (PACE Exchange Resource Account)  Shared Mailbox (PACE Google Group) 
Description  GAE accounts are Virginia Tech Google Workspace for Education @vt.edu accounts that are linked to a specific user’s PID and are accessed via that user’s credentials. Access to the account’s Gmail mailbox can be delegated to other vt.edu Google users. This PACE account is a @vt.edu address backed by an Exchange Resource Account. Access to the account is provided by membership to the corresponding Organizational Unit (OU). This PACE account is a @vt.edu address backed by a Google Group. Access to the account is provided by membership to the corresponding Google Group.
Pros 
  • Greater control over access and use
  • Do not need a group to control membership
  • Allows access to Google Drive and other apps
  • Primary owner can be shifted to PIDs
  • Access is controlled by group membership rather than individual delegation
  • Accountability for individuals who view and respond to emails sent to the address
  • Members can send on behalf of the account
  • View the account activity via the Outlook desktop app or web browser
  • Access is controlled by group membership rather than individual delegation
  • Accountability for individuals who view and respond to emails sent to the address
  • It has all the configurable options of a Google Group
Cons
  • Primary owner must be an active Virginia Tech employee
  • Access must be managed through delegation
  • Delegates cannot access account via mobile devices
  • Delegates only have access to Inbox and Calendar, not the full range of apps provided to the owner of the account
  • Members can be students if they have provisioned themselves an Exchange Online mailbox through ADadmin
  • Membership must be managed by an OU admin
  • Limited to 50GB storage unless an A3 license is purchased at https://software.vt.edu/help
  • You cannot send email on behalf of the group
  • Does not have a calendar
Use Cases
  • Shared email accounts for departments managed by a primary point of contact
  • Service account requiring IMAP or OAuth 2 email access
  • Conference, event, or program registration and calendar
  • University Chartered Student Organization (UCSO) or a University Student Life Program (USLP)
  • Departmental email address with collaborative inbox accessed by multiple members
  • Research group, Center, or working group needing a long-term stable address
  • Departmental email address allowing email or posting to the group's members
  • Research group, center, or working group needing a long-term stable address
Who can use it?
  • Primary owner must be an active Virginia Tech employee
  • Students may be delegates
  • Faculty, staff, and students
  • Faculty, staff, and students

More Information

Virginia Tech Email Objects

GAE Service Catalog entry

GAE supporting information

PACE Service Catalog Entry

PACE supporting Information