The day Google Groups decided to remove Bitergia subscription to all groups

Are you subscribed to any Google group and thinking about migrating your mail server to Google Suite? Then don’t miss this post, it can save you from an embarrassing moment.

Some days ago, one of our customers complained about abnormal low activity in the Google Groups we were monitoring. The latest data item we had in our data sets was produced the same day we migrated our email server to Google Suite. We’ve been in the job of monitoring mailing lists for many years and learnt that these kind of coincidences are rare. We started to blame the Bitergian who migrated the mail server … that was me!

After hitting a couple of times the table with my head, after thinking about the many many times I thought this could happen, I started to review the log of the migration and the procedure and no error was found. What was happening?

How do we track Google groups at GrimoireLab?

The way we use data from Google groups to build analytics is quite simple: we ask our customers to subscribe the mail address of our bot, this message is sent to the account and we redirect it to another server where we process this message to create mboxes. Those mbox files feed Perceval and the data item enters the GrimoireLab databases.

A couple of hours later, we discovered we were not just losing messages for the Google groups of the customer who complained but all messages sent to any group we were monitoring. Again, what a strange coincidence! The same day we changed our mail server, our platform stopped receiving messages from all Google groups that we were tracking. This is not everything, the issue was not related to the message delivery but to the subscription itself, our account had been removed from each one of the Google groups.

Yep, if you migrate your email server to G-suite, your subscription to Google groups may be removed.

To be honest this was hard to believe so we asked the Google support team and they confirmed this behavior. If you change your email server, your subscription to a Google group can be removed without any notification.

If you happen to be here because you suffered the same incident, there is a tool that will be helpful. The tool is named Google Group Crawler, which helps with building an mbox from a Google group.

About GrimoireLab and Bitergia Analytics

Bitergia Analytics builds on the 100% free, open source software tool GrimoireLab, which analyzes more that 30 different data sources, and is the culmination of a decade-long effort to build advanced software development analytics tools. It is part of CHAOSS, one of the projects from the Linux Foundation

If you want to learn more about Grimoire lab and Bitergia Analytics, visit our website here!

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