Introduction to Cloud Asset Inventory

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Cloud Asset Inventory provides inventory services based on a time series database. This database keeps a five-week history of Google Cloud asset metadata. Cloud Asset Inventory allows you to:

  • Search asset metadata by using a custom query language
  • Export all asset metadata at a certain timestamp or export event change history during a specific timeframe
  • Monitor asset changes by subscribing to real-time notifications
  • Analyze IAM policy to find out who has access to what


Search assets

The Cloud Asset Inventory search service allows you to search asset metadata within a project, folder, or organization using a custom query language.

See Search Resources Guide and Search IAM Policies Guide for more information.

Export asset history and metadata

The Cloud Asset Inventory export service allows you to export all the asset metadata at a given timestamp to a Cloud Storage file or a BigQuery table. You can also export the event change history of multiple assets during a given timeframe. The exported event change history shows you all the create, delete, and update events for the specified assets over time.

See Exporting assets to BigQuery, Exporting assets to Cloud Storage, and Viewing asset history for more information.

Monitoring asset changes

You can use Cloud Asset Inventory to monitor resource and policy changes you're subscribed to through real-time notifications. By creating and subscribing to an asset feed, you'll receive immediate updates about any changes for the desired asset names or asset types.

See Monitoring asset changes for more information.

Analyze assets

The Cloud Asset Inventory analysis service allows you to analyze IAM policies within a project, folder, or organization.

See Analyzing IAM policies, Writing results to Cloud Storage, and Writing results to BigQuery for more information.

The Recommender service allows you to view insights generated from your assets.

Key concepts

Content types

You need to specify the content type of the APIs output, the detailed metadata.

  • CONTENT_TYPE_UNSPECIFIED: no metadata will be output.
  • RESOURCE: the resource's metadata
  • IAM_POLICY: the IAM policy metadata binding to the resource
  • ORG_POLICY: the organization policy metadata set on an asset
  • ACCESS_POLICY: the Access Context Manager policy set on an asset
  • OS_INVENTORY: the runtime OS inventory information
  • RELATIONSHIP: the related resources

For content type other than RESOURCE, the input asset_type or asset_name should be the asset type or asset name the policy binding to, not the policy themselves.

Content type ORG_POLICY outputs legacy organization policy v1. For organization policy v2, please try content type RESOURCE with resource type


An asset refers to a Google Cloud resource or policy. Cloud Asset Inventory supports three main asset content types:

  • Resource: Metadata of a Google Cloud resource. Examples include:
    • Compute Engine virtual machines (VMs)
    • Cloud Storage buckets
    • App Engine instances
  • Policies: Metadata of one of the following policies set on a Google Cloud resource. Examples include:
    • IAM policies
    • Organization policies
    • Access Context Manager policies
  • Runtime information: Metadata of a runtime information set on a Google Cloud resource. For example, OS inventory management.

See Supported asset types for more information.

Asset snapshot

An asset snapshot is the set of available assets under a Resource Manager project, folder, or organization at a specific timestamp.

Asset history

For a given asset, asset history includes all metadata create, delete, and update events between timestamp T1 and T2. See Viewing asset history for more information.


Cloud Asset Inventory keeps a five-week history of Google Cloud asset metadata. This includes all asset creation, update, and deletion history in the five weeks. If an asset was created five weeks ago but wasn't updated or deleted in the past five weeks, Cloud Asset Inventory keeps its most recent status.

Next steps