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Demystifying GCP: Services

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Editor’s Note: This is the seventh in a series of blog posts by Google Certified Trainers Ben Finkel and Garth Schulte that will explore Google Cloud Platform.

Google Cloud Platform offers such a wide array of platform, infrastructure, storage, and data tools that it’s easy to forget that we need a network of services underneath and in-between those tools in order to leverage them to their fullest capacity.  Google Cloud Platform services provide numerous ways to connect your platform “Legos” together in a way that’s fast, scalable, and easy to use. From RESTful endpoints to localization and deployment, Google Cloud provides cutting-edge technology directly to us!

Cloud Endpoints
Cloud Endpoints is a robust suite of tools and libraries that saves you time and energy by doing the legwork of wiring up RESTful APIs for an App Engine application. Endpoints make it easy to create a web-based backend for both web and mobile clients. Client libraries to wrap calls to your endpoints are generated for you in either Java or Python, and with built-in support for OAuth 2.0 authentication, you can wire up a secure framework and eliminate a large portion of custom code you would otherwise have to maintain. On top of that, since endpoints is built on an App Engine backend you have all of the App Engine features (such as Datastore, Task Queues, etc…) available to your API by default.  Endpoints makes it fast and easy to deploy your services on the web and start building world-class applications.

Translate API
If you’re deploying to the web then you’re expecting users from all around the world to use your software. Localization (adapting your product to region specific markets) is now a huge part of any application’s success. Translate API allows you to easily translate any string of text from one language to another. By making a simple http-based REST call, you can quickly receive the translated text back to your application in a JSON-formatted object. Even better, Google’s API library wraps calls to the translate API in a variety of language-specific libraries such as .NET, Java, Python, or Node.js.

Prediction API
With modern cloud systems you’re likely gathering a large volume of data every day, but how do you put that data to good use?  Google’s Big Data tools allow you to easily work with large datasets but the neat trick is learning something from that data. Because we can’t all be data analysis specialists, the Prediction API puts Google’s machine learning software right at your fingertips. By analyzing your data according to rules you specify, you can discover valuable trends and insights about your application and business. Leveraging Google’s world-class infrastructure and algorithms, you can detect spam, or determine a language, or recommend products. Powerful development tools allow you to create your own prediction models and “train” the system with historical data. You can feed data into the Prediction API from Google BigQuery or Cloud Storage for large data set analysis or you can work directly with the API from Google App Engine libraries. The Prediction API makes data analysis a breeze for any organization, regardless of size or budget.

Cloud Logging
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, things don’t always work the way we expected. The Cloud Logging service is your best friend for maintenance and troubleshooting in the Cloud. Getting detailed information out of your Compute or App Engine VMs becomes a turnkey operation with the Logging Agent. Cloud Logging collects data not only from Google Cloud sources, but also from a variety of common applications such as Apache, Chef, Nginx, and many more. Furthermore, it streams that output right into a cloud storage solution of your choice such as BigQuery, Pub/Sub, or Cloud Storage. Analyzing and inspecting your system has never been easier.

Services may sometimes be out-shined by rich tools such as App Engine and BigQuery in the Google Cloud Platform universe, but they are equally important. Understanding how you can connect and support your cloud implementation with these awesome services will make your system that much more robust and responsive.

Want to explore GCP further? Browse our entire collection of Google Cloud training now!


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