Google acted promptly after complaints about Gmail's outage and released an online dashboard for Google Apps to inform users about the general availability of Google's online services.
The release was a long planned one, according to Tessa Prescott from Google's Apps Sales Team, who said that the company made a commitment last year to increase transparency and communication with Google Apps customers in several ways.
The dashboard is a useful way to find out in real time what Google services have been working and whether there are any major issues across its most popular services including Gmail, Google Calendar, Google docs.
The service is available for both consumer services as well as those used by Organisations through Google Apps; Google move to have a more transparent status page follows the likes of Salesforce.com, Twitter and Amazon Web Services.
Google Apps Status Dashboard will provide users with details of past and current issues and what Google has done or intends to do; however, it is not available in non-English languages and doesn't provide with information about the territories concerned.
Users will also to subscribe to a RSS feed of any downtime. Google has also announced that it will be giving a fortnight of free services to those who have been affected by the downtime - that equates to roughly $4.
Quite nice to see Google returning back to its good habits and delivering a product that is both simple and elegant. GASD will be quite helpful for those that plan to hit Twitter to know whether Google is working for them or not. Now, Google only needs to make downtimes less frequent. We've already seen a number of alerts though and that can't be a good sign.