The Node.js Runtime

Cloud Functions supports the following Node.js runtimes:

  • Node.js 10
  • Node.js 12
  • Node.js 14 (public preview)

For instructions on how to prepare your local machine for Node.js development, see Setting Up a Node.js Development Environment.

To get started with Node.js on Cloud Functions, see the Quickstart.

Selecting the runtime

You can select the desired Node.js runtime for your function during deployment.

gcloud

If you are using the gcloud command-line tool, you can specify the runtime by using the --runtime parameter. For example:

gcloud functions deploy NAME --runtime nodejs12 --trigger-http

For more arguments that you can specify when you are deploying, see Deploy using the gcloud tool.

Console

If you are using the Cloud Console, you can select the runtime when you create and deploy a function. See the Cloud Console quickstart for detailed instructions.

Execution environment

The execution environment includes the runtime, the operating system, packages, and a library that invokes your function.

The Node.js runtimes use an execution environment based on Ubuntu 18.04. See Cloud Functions Execution Environment for more information.

The library that invokes your function is the Node Functions Framework.

Source code structure

In order for Cloud Functions to find your function's definition, each runtime has certain structuring requirements for your source code. See Writing Cloud Functions for more information.

Specifying dependencies

You can specify dependencies for your functions by listing them in a package.json file. For more information, see Specifying dependencies in Node.js.

Environment variables

The Node.js 10+ runtimes automatically set fewer environment variables than previous runtimes supported by Cloud Functions. For details, see Using Environment Variables.

Using middleware to handle HTTP requests

Node.js HTTP Cloud Functions provide request and response objects that are compatible with ExpressJS to make consuming HTTP requests simple. Cloud Functions automatically reads the request body, so you will always receive the body of a request independent of the content type. This means that HTTP requests should be considered to have been fully read by the time your code is executed. The nesting of ExpressJS apps should be used with this caveat—specifically, middleware that expects the body of a request to be unread might not behave as expected.

Node.js 14 (public preview)

Node.js 14 (public preview) introduces some new features and concepts. Highlights:

  • Optional chaining. Optional chaining looks like this: {"hello": null}?.hello?.neat. It allows safe access to deep keys on objects that may not exist.
  • Nullish coalescing. This introduces ?? which is safer than using || for assignment (as it only evaluates to false for null or undefined).

You can learn more about Node.js 14 features here.