Pub/Sub is an asynchronous messaging service that decouples services that produce events from services that process events.
You can use Pub/Sub as messaging-oriented middleware or event ingestion and delivery for streaming analytics pipelines.
Pub/Sub offers durable message storage and real-time message delivery with high availability and consistent performance at scale. Pub/Sub servers run in all Google Cloud regions around the world.
- Topic: A named resource to which messages are sent by publishers.
- Subscription: A named resource representing the stream of messages from a single, specific topic, to be delivered to the subscribing application. For more details about subscriptions and message delivery semantics, see the Subscriber Guide.
- Message: The combination of data and (optional) attributes that a publisher sends to a topic and is eventually delivered to subscribers.
- Message attribute: A key-value pair that a publisher can define for a message. For example, key
encould be added to messages to mark them as readable by an English-speaking subscriber.
A publisher application creates and sends messages to a topic. Subscriber applications create a subscription to a topic to receive messages from it. Communication can be one-to-many (fan-out), many-to-one (fan-in), and many-to-many, as the following diagram shows.
Pub/Sub message flow
The following diagram is an overview of the components in the Pub/Sub system and how messages flow between them:
- A publisher application creates a topic in the Pub/Sub service and sends messages to the topic. A message contains a payload and optional attributes that describe the payload content.
- The service ensures that published messages are retained on behalf of subscriptions. A published message is retained for a subscription until it is acknowledged by any subscriber consuming messages from that subscription.
- Pub/Sub forwards messages from a topic to all of its subscriptions, individually.
- A subscriber receives messages either by Pub/Sub pushing them to the subscriber's chosen endpoint, or by the subscriber pulling them from the service.
- The subscriber sends an acknowledgement to the Pub/Sub service for each received message.
- The service removes acknowledged messages from the subscription's message queue.
Publisher and subscriber endpoints
Publishers can be any application that can make HTTPS requests to pubsub.googleapis.com: an App Engine app, a web service hosted on Google Compute Engine or any other third-party network, an app installed on a desktop or mobile device, or even a browser.
Pull subscribers can also be any application that can make HTTPS requests to pubsub.googleapis.com.
Push subscribers must be Webhook endpoints that can accept POST requests over HTTPS.
Common use cases
- Balancing workloads in network clusters. For example, a large queue of tasks can be efficiently distributed among multiple workers, such as Google Compute Engine instances.
- Implementing asynchronous workflows. For example, an order processing application can place an order on a topic, from which it can be processed by one or more workers.
- Distributing event notifications. For example, a service that accepts user signups can send notifications whenever a new user registers, and downstream services can subscribe to receive notifications of the event.
- Refreshing distributed caches. For example, an application can publish invalidation events to update the IDs of objects that have changed.
- Logging to multiple systems. For example, a Google Compute Engine instance can write logs to the monitoring system, to a database for later querying, and so on.
- Data streaming from various processes or devices. For example, a residential sensor can stream data to backend servers hosted in the cloud.
- Reliability improvement. For example, a single-zone Compute Engine service can operate in additional zones by subscribing to a common topic, to recover from failures in a zone or region.
The following diagram shows how Pub/Sub can integrate many components of Google Cloud.
Try it for yourself
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