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Inside Google Cloud

Delivering API stability with Google Enterprise APIs

July 26, 2021
Kripa Krishnan

Vice President, Google Cloud and Technical Infrastructure

John Jester

Vice President, Customer Experience, Google Cloud

Developing and running transformative applications in the cloud requires innovative technology, infrastructure, and services. It also requires a foundation of trust and stability, so organizations have the confidence to make long-term investments on our platform. At Google Cloud, we’ve been implementing programs to enhance your trust in our platform; for example, we introduced Mission Critical Services, a consultative offering for customers with top-tier Premium Support, and simplified launch stages, for greater predictability of our product roadmap. 

Today, we’re taking it one step further by introducing designated Google Enterprise APIs, a label applied to the vast majority of APIs across Google Cloud, Google Workspace, and Google Maps Platform (not inclusive of our consumer APIs). Built for higher stability, Google Enterprise APIs are governed by new tenets, a stringent set of requirements about how and when we make changes to them. 

We recognize that a number of our customers’ business-critical systems depend on our enterprise APIs, and organizations need those APIs to be stable so that their systems will continue to work as expected and not trigger unanticipated development work. At a high level, the tenets can be summarized as follows:

  • The burden is on us: Our working principle is that no feature may be removed (or changed in a way that is not backwards compatible) for as long as customers are actively using it. If a deprecation or breaking change is inevitable, then the burden is on us to make the migration as effortless as possible. The only exception to this rule is if there are critical security, legal, or intellectual property issues caused by the feature.

  • Support the customer: Customers will receive a minimum of one year’s notice of an impending change, during which time the feature will continue to operate without issue. Customers will have access to tools, docs, and other materials to migrate to newer versions with equivalent functionality and performance. We will also work with customers to help them reduce their usage to as close to zero as possible. 

  • Ensure strong governance: To make sure we follow these tenets, any change we introduce to an API is reviewed by a centralized board of product and engineering leads and follows a rigorous product lifecycle evaluation.

We take the decision to wind down any product very seriously. We developed these tenets internally to strike a balance between innovation and stability. We've been piloting these tenets for the past several months to substantially improve customer experience with the dependability of our enterprise products. 

These tenets apply to all APIs marked “Google Enterprise API” (listed in the API Library and Google Cloud Marketplace) from Google Cloud, including Google Workspace and Google Maps Platform. This label distinguishes them from other Google APIs such as those supplied by teams outside Google Cloud. If you use other Google APIs, please refer to the documentation of those APIs to understand their stability and feature attributes.  

Click here to learn more about our commitment to API stability.

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