About Cloud Endpoints

Endpoints is a distributed API management system. It provides an API console, hosting, logging, monitoring, and other features to help you create, share, maintain, and secure your APIs. This page provides an overview of Cloud Endpoints for gRPC. For information on other types of API frameworks supported by Endpoints, see All Endpoints docs.

Endpoints uses the distributed Extensible Service Proxy (ESP) to provide low latency and high performance for serving even the most demanding APIs. ESP is a service proxy based on NGINX, so you can be confident that it scales as needed to handle simultaneous requests to your API. ESP runs in its own Docker container for better isolation and scalability and is distributed in the Container Registry. You can use it with App Engine flexible, Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), Compute Engine or Kubernetes.

Endpoints architecture

Endpoints uses Service Infrastructure to manage APIs and report logs and metrics. Most Google Cloud APIs use this same infrastructure. You can manage and monitor your APIs on the Endpoints Services page in the Google Cloud Console.

Hosting an API

Endpoints is optimized for the Docker container environment. You can host your API anywhere Docker is supported so long as it has internet access to Google Cloud.

However, Endpoints provides an optimized workflow to run your APIs on the following:

  • Compute Engine
  • GKE
  • App Engine flexible environment, which includes built-in ESP.

Developing a gRPC API with Endpoints

  1. Define a gRPC API service using protocol buffers and implement it in any gRPC-supported language.

  2. Write your gRPC API service configuration for Endpoints.

  3. Generate the runtime API configuration for your API and deploy it to Service Management.

  4. Deploy your API server.

You can find out more about using gRPC with Endpoints in Endpoints for gRPC APIs and the relevant Tutorials.

Controlling API access

Endpoints lets you configure your API to require an API key for any call and validates the API key. You can also use the Google Cloud Console to share your API with other developers so they can enable your API and generate API keys to call it.

Authenticating API users

For most API calls, there is a user on the other end of each call. While API keys indicate which app is making a call to your API, the authentication process determines which user is using that app.

Note that your API server still needs to decide what the authenticated user can do with your API. For more information, see the Google Cloud Auth guide.

What's next

  • Get familiar with the deployment steps and see Endpoints features in action by doing the Quickstart for Endpoints, which uses scripts to deploy a sample API to a App Engine flexible backend.

  • Learn more about using Endpoints by walking through one of the Tutorials.