API Concepts

One of the ways Google offers Google product services to users is through service distribution channels such as the authorized G Suite resellers. When working with the API, it is important to understand the conceptual relationships of resellers to customers, payment plans, product SKUs, and licenses.


A reseller buys user licenses from Google and resells these licenses to Google customers. A reseller can manage customer subscriptions directly, or, if customizing multiple services, a reseller can work with a service integrator to manage customers.

  • In the case of an annual commitment plan, a reseller purchases a set amount of licenses from Google for one year. Customers can create up to the license count, but resellers are billed for the number of licenses ordered. If customers need additional licenses, resellers can utilize the subscriptions.changeSeats call to raise the number of licenses ordered.
  • For a flexible plan, every time a customer creates a new user, the reseller is charged by Google for this license. The price, specifications, and maximum number of licenses for all of this buying and selling of Google product licenses are described in the reseller's contract with Google.

Along with managing user licenses, the reseller, either directly or partnered with a service integrator, provides customers a broad range of additional services such as training, promotions, advertising, pricing, deployment customizations, levels of support including troubleshooting, and maintenance.

User and a license

A Google account's user is a consumer of Google services. For each product SKU, the user is assigned a license giving the user access to the service, such as Google Calendar. When a user license is assigned to a user, it becomes an active license. The distinction between a license and an active license assigned to a user is an important API concept when determining a customer's total users. The total number of users is the total of active licenses.


A Google customer begins with a G Suite account. When the customer's subscriptions are managed by a reseller, the reseller orders a G Suite SKU for this account. The customer's account hosts the users. In the API, a reseller customer is a primary API resource. A customer is described by a primary domain name, an alternate email and a physical address. Depending on the products available to a customer, a reseller creates a customer subscription for each available product SKU.


A plan defines a reseller's billing terms with Google. This version of the API supports the G Suite monthly post-pay system which has several available payment plans:

  • ANNUAL_MONTHLY_PAY — Annual commitment with monthly payments (more info)
  • ANNUAL_YEARLY_PAY — Annual commitment with one yearly payment (more info)
  • FLEXIBLE — Non-commitment plan with monthly payments (more info)
  • TRIAL — Free trial plan
    • Trial length is variable up to 30 days max
    • Gmail daily sending limit set to 500 messages per user
  • FREE — Free plan only for Cloud Identity Free Edition subscriptions


A subscription manages the relationship of a Google customer's payment plan with a product's SKU, user licenses, 30-day free trial status, and renewal options. A primary role of a reseller is to manage the Google customer's subscriptions: In the API, a subscription is a primary API resource. It defines the settings for a payment plan, licenses, 30-day free trial, renewal, and a reseller's purchase order. A customer can have more than one subscription. A subscription is created by the reseller for each product SKU assigned to a customer. Each subscription has a unique identifier, a subscriptionId. Since a subscriptionId changes when the subscription changes, do not use a subscriptionId value as a key for persistent data. This key could break if the subscription changes. Products and product SKUs A product is a commercial offering of a specialized set of Google service and application features. A product can have customized versions of terms, pricing, etc. Each of these product versions is identified by a product SKU. In this version, the Reseller API offers a subscription for each SKU in the G Suite, Google Vault, and Google Drive products.

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G Suite Reseller API
G Suite Reseller API
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