Directory API: Organizational Units

Manage organizational units

A G Suite account's organizational tree is composed of organizational units which let you manage your users in a logical and hierarchical structure. This is similar to the functionality found at the Admin console's 'Organizations and users' tab. For more information, see the administration help center:

  • There is only one organization tree to a G Suite account. When this account is initially configured, it has an organizational unit at the account-level. This is the organization associated with the primary domain. For more information about the primary domain, see the API limits information.
  • An organizational unit's pathname is unique. The organizational unit's name may not be unique within the organization hierarchy but it's name is unique amongst it's sibling organizational units. And an organizational unit's name is case insensitive.
  • An organizational unit inherits policies from the organizational hierarchy. Any organizational unit can block this chain of parental inheritance. And the precedence of one policy over another is determined by the nearest organizational unit. Meaning a lower organizational unit's policies can take precedence over the policies of the higher parental units.
  • An organizational unit can be moved up or down a hierarchical tree. And, the organization's associated users can be moved individually or in a batch when populating a new organization or moving a subset of users from one organizational unit to another.
  • The data kept in organizational unit properties can be constantly changing. When making a request, properties returned for an entity are guaranteed to be consistent at the time the entity was retrieved.That is, you will not see "partial" updates. If a retrieval operation returns more than one entity, there is no consistency guarantee across entities.This is especially true when a response spans multiple pages in pagination.

Create an organizational unit

To create an organizational unit, use the following POST request and include the authorization described in Authorize requests.

If you are an administrator creating an organizational unit, use my_customer.

POST https://www.googleapis.com/admin/directory/v1/customer/my_customer/orgunits

If you are reseller creating an organizational unit for a resold customer, use customerId. To retrieve the customerId, use the Retrieve a user operation.

POST https://www.googleapis.com/admin/directory/v1/customer/customerId/orgunits

To understand your account's organization structure, see the administration help center. For request and response properties, see the API Reference.

JSON request

The following JSON reseller example shows a sample request body that creates the sales_support organizational unit. The name and parentOrgUnitPath are required:

POST https://www.googleapis.com/admin/directory/v1/customer/C03az79cb/orgunits
{
    "name": "sales_support",
    "description": "The sales support team",
    "parentOrgUnitPath": "/corp/support",
    "blockInheritance": false
}

JSON response

A successful response returns an HTTP 201 status code. Along with the status code, the response returns the properties for the new group:

{
    "kind": "directory#orgUnit",
    "name": "sales_support",
    "description": "The sales support team",
    "orgUnitPath": "/corp/support/sales_support",
    "parentOrgUnitPath": "/corp/support",
    "blockInheritance": false
  }

Update an organizational unit

To update an organizational unit, use the following PUT request and include the authorization described in Authorize requests. For the request and response properties, see the API Reference:

If you are an administrator updating an organizational unit, use my_customer.

 PUT https://www.googleapis.com/admin/directory/v1/customer/my_customer/orgunits/orgUnitPath

If you are a reseller updating an organizational unit for a resold customer, use customerId. To get the customerId, use the Retrieve a user operation.

PUT https://www.googleapis.com/admin/directory/v1/customer/customerId/orgunits/orgUnitPath

JSON request

In the example below, the organizational unit description has been updated:

PUT https://www.googleapis.com/admin/directory/v1/customer/my_customer/orgunits/corp/support/sales_support
{
    "description": "The BEST sales support team"
}

Notes for an update request:

  • You only need to submit the updated information in your request. You do not need to enter all of the group's properties in the request.
  • If a user was not assigned to a specific organizational unit when the user account was created, the account is in the top-level organizational unit.
  • You can move an organizational unit to another part of your account's organization structure by setting the parentOrgUnitPath property in the request. It is important to note, that moving an organizational unit can change the services and settings for the users in the organizational unit being moved.

JSON response

A successful response returns an HTTP 201 status code. Along with the status code, the response returns the properties for the updated organizational unit.

{
    "kind": "directory#orgUnit",
    "name": "sales_support",
    "description": "The BEST sales support team",
    "orgUnitPath": "/corp/support/sales_support",
    "parentOrgUnitPath": "/corp/support",
    "blockInheritance": false
}

If a user was not assigned to a specific organizational unit when the user account was created, the account is in the top-level organizational unit. A user's organizational unit determines which G Suite services the user has access to. If the user is moved to a new organization, the user's access changes. For more information about organization structures, see the administration help center. For more infomation about moving a user to a different organization, see Update a user.

Retrieve an organizational unit

To retrieve an organizational unit, use the following GET request and include the authorization described in Authorize requests. The orgUnitPath query string is the full path for this organizational unit. For the request and response properties, see the API Reference:

If you are an administrator retrieving an organizational unit, use my_customer.

GET https://www.googleapis.com/admin/directory/v1/customer/my_customer/orgunits/orgUnitPath

If you are a reseller retrieving an organizational unit for a resold customer, use the customerId. To get the customerId use the Retrieve a user operation.

GET https://www.googleapis.com/admin/directory/v1/customer/customerId/orgunits/orgUnitPath

JSON response

In the example below, the 'frontline sales' organizational unit is retrieved. Note the 'frontline+sales' HTTP encoding in the request's URI:

GET https://www.googleapis.com/admin/directory/v1/customer/my_customer/orgunits/corp/sales/frontline+sales

A successful response returns an HTTP 200 status code. Along with the status code, the response returns the organizational unit's settings:

{
    "kind": "directory#orgUnit",
    "name": "frontline sales",
    "description": "The frontline sales team",
    "orgUnitPath": "/corp/sales/frontline sales",
    "parentOrgUnitPath": "/corp/sales",
    "blockInheritance": false
}

Retrieve all or children organizational units

To retrieve all sub-organizational units under an organizational unit or to retrieve the immediate children sub-organizational units under an organizational unit, use the following GET request and include the authorization described in Authorize requests. For the request and response properties, see the API Reference.

If you are an account administrator retrieving all sub-organizational units, use my_customer. For readability, this example uses line returns:

GET https://www.googleapis.com/admin/directory/v1/customer/my_customer
/orgunits?orgUnitPath=full org unit path&type=all or children

If you are a reseller retrieving organizational units for a resold customer, use the customerId. To get the customerId use the Retrieve a user operation:

GET https://www.googleapis.com/admin/directory/v1/customer/customerId
/orgunits?orgUnitPath=full org unit path&type=all or children

The get query string either returns all sub-organizational units under the orgUnitPath, or it returns the immediate children of the orgUnitPath. The default is type=children.

JSON response

For example, this request returns all organizational units starting at the /corp organizational unit:

GET https://www.googleapis.com/admin/directory/v1/customer/my_customer/orgunits?orgUnitPath=/corp&type=all

A successful response returns an HTTP 200 status code. Along with the status code, the response returns the account's organizational units:

{
"kind": "directory#orgUnits",
    "organizationUnits": [
     {
    "kind": "directory#orgUnit",
    "name": "sales",
    "description": "The corporate sales team",
    "orgUnitPath": "/corp/sales",
    "parentOrgUnitPath": "/corp",
    "blockInheritance": false
     },
     {
    "kind": "directory#orgUnit",
    "name": "frontline sales",
    "description": "The frontline sales team",
    "orgUnitPath": "/corp/sales/frontline sales",
    "parentOrgUnitPath": "/corp/sales",
    "blockInheritance": false
     },
     {
    "kind": "directory#orgUnit",
    "name": "support",
    "description": "The corporate support team",
    "orgUnitPath": "/corp/support",
    "parentOrgUnitPath": "/corp",
    "blockInheritance": false
     },
     {
    "kind": "directory#orgUnit",
    "name": "sales_support",
    "description": "The BEST support team",
    "orgUnitPath": "/corp/support/sales_support",
    "parentOrgUnitPath": "/corp/support",
    "blockInheritance": false
     }
  ]
  }

Delete an organizational unit

To delete an organizational unit, use the following DELETE request and include the authorization described in Authorize requests. To retrieve the customerId, use the Retrieve a user operation. For the request and response properties, see the API Reference:

If you are an account administrator deleting an organizational unit, use my_customer.

DELETE https://www.googleapis.com/admin/directory/v1/customer/my_customer/orgunits/orgUnitPath

If you are a reseller deleting an organizational unit for a resold customer, use the customerId. To get the customerId use the Retrieve a user operation.

DELETE https://www.googleapis.com/admin/directory/v1/customer/customerId/orgunits/orgUnitPath
For example, this reseller administrator's DELETE request deletes the 'backend_tests' organizational unit:
DELETE https://www.googleapis.com/admin/directory/v1/customer/C03az79cb/orgunits/corp/sales/backend_tests

A successful response returns an HTTP 200 status code.

You can only delete organizational units that do not have any child organizational units or any users assigned to them. You need to reassign users to other organizational units and remove any child organizational units before deleting.

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