Google Releases New Google Cloud Endpoints for Mobile Developers

The Google Cloud Endpoints update offers improvements for mobile developers to connect their apps to users.

Google has released its latest Google Cloud Endpoints project for general availability, which aims to make it easier for mobile developers to tie their apps into Google's APIs.

For mobile developers, Endpoints provides a simple way to develop a shared Web back end and also provides critical infrastructures, such as OAuth 2.0 authentication, eliminating a great deal of work that would otherwise be needed, according to Google.

"As a mobile application developer, some projects demand building your own backend, while others can move faster with a ready-made solution," wrote Tzachi Ben-Ayoun, a Google product manager, in a Nov. 11 post on the Google Cloud Platform Blog. "Two updates we are making to Google Cloud Platform help you with either scenario. To help you build your own backend, Google Cloud Endpoints has now moved to General Availability. If you are interested in a ready-made solution, the new version of the Mobile Backend Starter is now available with support for large media files in addition to updated iOS and Android clients."

Google Cloud Endpoints helps mobile developers in a multiplatform, multiclient and multiscreen world by providing a connecting point on the back end, wrote Ben-Ayoun. "It's often important to think about building APIs first and using a shared backend to connect to client applications later. At Google, we have a history of providing APIs for products such as Maps, Translate and Gmail, which have led to the creation of new applications that are used by millions of users."

That's where Google Cloud Endpoints comes in, by providing developers with a simple way to create, expose and consume APIs served from App Engine, wrote Ben-Ayoun. Using Endpoints, developers will have help with the scaling, authentication and tooling that are all required.

Google Cloud Endpoints consists of tools, libraries and capabilities that allow developers to generate APIs and client libraries from an App Engine application, referred to as an API back end, to simplify client access to data from other applications, according to a Google Endpoints FAQ. "Endpoints makes it easier to create a web backend for web clients and mobile clients such as Android or Apple's iOS."

Because the API back end is an App Engine app, the mobile developer can use all of the services and features available in App Engine, such as Datastore, Google Cloud Storage, Mail, Url Fetch, Task Queues and others, wrote Ben-Ayoun."And finally, by using App Engine for the backend, developers are freed from system admin work, load balancing, scaling, and server maintenance."

All of this could be done without using Google Cloud Endpoints, wrote Ben-Ayoun. "However, using Endpoints makes this process easier because it frees you from having to write wrappers to handle communication with App Engine. The client libraries generated by Endpoints allow you to simply make direct API calls."

The API back end is an App Engine app that performs business logic and other functions for Android and iOS clients, as well as JavaScript Web clients, wrote Ben-Ayoun. "The functionality of the backend is made available to clients through Endpoints, which exposes an API that clients can call," he said.

Holger Mueller, principal analyst for Constellation Research, told eWEEK that the new Google Cloud Endpoints offering is a boon for mobile developers because it will make their coding lives easier.

"If you build a mobile app and you don't know where it's going to be used, the problem is latency," said Mueller. "If you go to the Amazon cloud, you have to think of where you deploy. The endpoint is where the mobile device gets into your hosted cloud host. Provisioning that to the different endpoints is a huge pain."