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An overview of App Engine

Region ID

The REGION_ID is an abbreviated code that Google assigns based on the region you select when you create your app. The code does not correspond to a country or province, even though some region IDs may appear similar to commonly used country and province codes. For apps created after February 2020, REGION_ID.r is included in App Engine URLs. For existing apps created before this date, the region ID is optional in the URL.

Learn more about region IDs.

An App Engine app is made up of a single application resource that consists of one or more services. Each service can be configured to use different runtimes and to operate with different performance settings. Within each service, you deploy versions of that service. Each version then runs within one or more instances, depending on how much traffic you configured it to handle.

Components of an application

Your App Engine app is created under your Google Cloud project when you create an application resource. The App Engine application is a top-level container that includes the service, version, and instance resources that make up your app. When you create your App Engine app, all your resources are created in the region that you choose, including your app code along with a collection of settings, credentials, and your app's metadata.

Each App Engine application includes at least one service, the default service, which can hold many versions, depending on your app's billing status. For more information, see Limits below.

The following diagram illustrates the hierarchy of an App Engine app running with multiple services. In this diagram, the app has two services that contain multiple versions, and two of those versions are actively running on multiple instances:

Hierarchy graph of an app's services, versions, and instances

Other Google Cloud services, for example Datastore, are shared across your App Engine app. For more information, see Structuring web services.


Use services in App Engine to factor your large apps into logical components that can securely share App Engine features and communicate with one another. Generally, your App Engine services behave like microservices. Therefore, you can run your whole app in a single service or you can design and deploy multiple services to run as a set of microservices.

For example, an app that handles your customer requests might include separate services that each handle different tasks, such as:

  • API requests from mobile devices
  • Internal, administration-type requests
  • Backend processing such as billing pipelines and data analysis

Each service in App Engine consists of the source code from your app and the corresponding App Engine configuration files. The set of files that you deploy to a service represent a single version of that service and each time that you deploy to that service, you are creating additional versions within that same service.


Having multiple versions of your app within each service allows you to quickly switch between different versions of that app for rollbacks, testing, or other temporary events. You can route traffic to one or more specific versions of your app by migrating or splitting traffic.


The versions within your services run on one or more instances. By default, App Engine scales your app to match the load. Your apps will scale up the number of instances that are running to provide consistent performance, or scale down to minimize idle instances and reduces costs. For more information about instances, see How Instances are Managed.

In the App Engine flexible environment, instances are backed by Compute Engine resources. Some of the resources used by instances in the App Engine flexible environment, such as disk, CPU, and memory, count towards the Compute Engine API quotas of your project. For more details on how App Engine uses Compute Engine resources, see the App Engine flexible environment overview.

Application requests

Each of your app's services and each of the versions within those services must have a unique name. You can then use those unique names to target and route traffic to specific resources using URLs, for example:

Incoming user requests are routed to the services or versions that are configured to handle traffic. You can also target and route requests to specific services and versions. For more information, see Communicating Between Services.

Logging application requests

When your application handles a request, it can also write its own logging messages to stdout and stderr. For details about your app's logs, see Writing Application Logs.


There are limits to the number of services, versions, and instances (for services with manual scaling) for each application:

Description Limit
Maximum services per application 5
Maximum versions per application 5 *
Maximum instances per version with manual scaling 20

*Backend services, such as a backend service that is used by an external HTTP load balancer, can count towards your maximum versions limit.

There is also a limit to the number of characters in the URL of your application.

Description Limit
Maximum characters in Project URL for VERSION-dot-SERVICE-dot-PROJECT_ID URL 63

Not all projects have the above limits. As your use of Google Cloud Platform expands over time, your limits might increase accordingly. If you expect a notable upcoming increase in usage, you can proactively request adjustments from the App Engine Quotas page in the Google Cloud console.