How to troubleshoot common problems

We have collected some of the problems that our users have experienced in the past.

Make also sure to join the  Shared Groups community.

We can then inform you about software updates or if we experience any issues with the underlying infrastructure.

Contacts not propagating

First of all you should make sure that the system is working properly.

To do so we recommend to put a new test contact into one of your shared groups.

The contact should then be distributed to all subscribers of the shared group on the next sync cycle.

You can monitor the sync by logging in to the Shared Groups app and switching to the Admin tab. You will find the Logs that should show on the next sync run that the new contact is getting distributed to the subscribers.

Incorrect number of contacts

If the number of contacts in each account is not matching properly, this can be caused by one of the following issues:

License expired!

Please make sure that every user has a valid license if you are using the public edition. If you are sharing your contacts with five people, you will need a license for all of them.

Security tokens invalid!

Please make sure that every subscriber has a valid security token.

Login to your Shared Groups application and show the members of the shared groups.

If a member shows up with a red icon this indicates that the security token is invalid.

To get a new valid token the affected user has to login to the Shared Groups application once again and grant access to the contacts data.

Click on the red icon to send out an email to the affected member with instructions how to renew the token.

Perform this step for each member with an invalid token.

App Engine quota exceeded

All shared contacts have to be copied from our application to all members of a shared address book. If you shared 5000 contacts with 10 subscribers the app has to perform at least 50000 copy operations! Google App Engine free quota limits get exceeded if you perform more than about 10000 copies per day. Please login to Google App Engine to check the quota. In our example you should add only two subscribers per day - or to enable billing and increase the available quota.

Google servers down!

We are running on Google's infrastructure and we are using the public Google API to synchronize the contacts. Unfortunately the services provided by Google via API are not very robust and cause problems from time to time. Please have a look at the logs to narrow down the root cause.

Public and Enterprise Edition

If you are using Enterprise Edition please make sure that no user is also using the Public Edition. Using both versions at the same time and sharing the same contacts with both apps will lead to unexpected results.

Vanishing contacts

Most likely one of the member of the address book deleted the contact by accident. The user interface of the Google contact manager is a little bit misleading when it comes to contact deletion. Have a look at our FAQ for further information

Contacts are missing

Shared contacts will not appear immediately. You'll have to wait until the application fully synced your contacts. Depending on the sync frequency and the number of shared contacts this may take several hours. If contacts are missing even after the sync has been finished, please perform the appropriate troubleshooting-action:

Check if the number of contacts in your GMail group is matching the number of contacts displayed in the Shared Groups application. If the number is correct and contacts are missing in a single account, please click on the green icon of this subscriber. This will force a fresh sync for this user when the next sync is running. The missing contacts should appear after the next sync is complete.

If the number is not correct or some of the shared contacts are missing in several accounts, please perform the following steps:

  • Login to an account holding all of the shared contacts.
  • Select all shared contacts in the group that has not been fully synced.
  • Add these contacts to a new group called tmp and keep them in the shared group.
  • Remove these contact from the tmp group that you've just added them to.
  • This will give them a new timestamp and will force a fresh sync.
  • Wait for the next sync to complete and check if the contacts appear in all users accounts.

All is messed up!

If the number of contacts differ in all of your accounts and the steps above are too time consuming to cure your setup, it may be the easiest way to start from scratch.

In this case, please perform the following steps:

  • Login to the Shared Groups application with the owner of the shared groups.
  • Select all shared groups, click on Remove and choose "Keep groups" when performing the deletion.
  • This will trigger a deletion of all data in your app. This will take some minutes for very small system up to some hours if you have many contacts/subscribers. Please wait for some hours after deleting the Shared Groups to be on the safe side.
  • Login to your "master" account and make sure that this accounts holds the correct number of contacts in each group. Clean up duplicates etc.
  • Login to all other accounts and remove all shared contacts using the Google Apps contact manager.
  • You should now have a single account holding the correct number of contacts and no shared contacts in all other accounts.
  • Login to the Shared Groups app, share the existing groups and add the subscribers once again.

Unable to share groups

If you have set the management option to "admin only", you can only create or manage address books if you are detected as an administrator.

This requires that your administrator account is added as a developer to the Google App Engine application that you've used for the shared contacts installation.

Questions and Feedback

If you have any comments on this page, feel free to add suggestions right to the Google document that we are using to generate this page.

Last Updated: 5/22/19