Google Updates Cloud Firestore NoSQL Database Beta for GCP

Google’s new Cloud Firestore NoSQL database technology now supports two modes, a native mode and a Datastore mode, the company says.

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Google's Cloud Firestore NoSQL database for mobile, web, and server application development is now available in native mode for customers of Google's Cloud Platform (GCP). 

The company Aug. 8 announced new management and administration tools that enterprises can use to add Cloud Firestore to their GCP projects. The move significantly broadens the availability of Cloud Firestore, which up to now has only been available in native mode to developers using Google's Firebase mobile application development platform. 

The new tools are part of several updates to Cloud Firestore that Google announced this week. 

Cloud Firestore is both the latest version and a major rebranding of Google Cloud Datastore, a NoSQL database-as-a-service that Google has been offering for several years. Google has described Cloud Firestore—launched last October—as a cloud document database that combines the best elements of Cloud Datastore with a set of new features built for scalability, performance and ease of application development. 

Google has said Cloud Firestore is fully backward compatible with Cloud Datastore but several features in it including a new data model, support for real-time updates and an offline mode, are not. To accommodate users of both the older and new database technologies Cloud Firestore now runs in two modes—a native mode and a Datastore mode. 

Cloud Firestore in native mode is now available in the GCP console and includes support for real-time updates and online and offline synchronization features said Todd Kerpelman, a Google developer advocate in a separate blog August 8. 

Organizations using Firestore in the Datastore model will see some substantial improvements in database performance and availability. But they will not get all of the features of Cloud Firestore such as real-time updates and offline support, Kerpelman said. 

When Cloud Firestore becomes generally available all organizations that are currently using the older Cloud Datastore will be automatically moved to Cloud Firestore in Datastore mode, he noted. 

"This upgrade will require no code changes and will be completed with no scheduled downtime," said Google product manager Dan McGrath in the separate blog announcing the updates. 

Another upgrade that Google announced this week is the ability for Cloud Firestore users to import and export Firestore data. The feature makes it easier for organizations to migrate their data to other database if they want to and also to perform tasks such as data backup or to make copies of the data for use in other development projects, McGrath said. Google engineers are also working on making it easier for organizations to deploy and test security rules for applications using Cloud Firestore. 

Google has started adding new locations for hosting Cloud Firestore data for organizations using the new technology. Among the first of the new locations are Frankfurt, Germany and South Carolina. Google will add another five new locations in the Americas that will host Firestore data and at least another five across Europe and Asia, according to McGrath.

Jaikumar Vijayan

Jaikumar Vijayan

Vijayan is an award-winning independent journalist and tech content creation specialist covering data security and privacy, business intelligence, big data and data analytics.