Tutorial HTTP Endpoints with GCP Function (2nd Gen) and Go

Cloud Functions provide a lightweight execution environment for code in various languages. They are the serverless compute solutions in Google Cloud Platform (GCP) that is similar to AWS Lambda functions in AWS.

There are two different versions of Cloud Functions available: 1st Gen and 2nd Gen. 2nd Gen is recommended for all new projects.

In this tutorial, we are developing a very simple Hello World application that renders and serves the following web page:

Sample page rendered by the function

You can open the page here: https://hello-http-v2-ndzxp34coq-uc.a.run.app/.

The source code is provided on GitHub: mxro / gcp-serverless-http-example.

The function code is developed using Go.

Part 1: Project Setup

First, ensure that you have Go installed. If not, find instructions here: Go - Download and Install

Then we set up a simple Go project:

go mod init example.com/cfv2

Part 2: Define Function Source Code

Create a new file hello.go and paste the following content:

// Sends a simple message to the client
package hello_v2

import (


func init() {
    functions.HTTP("hello-http-v2", HelloHTTPV2)

var htmlTemplate = `<html>
    <title>Hello from Go (v2)</title>
        <p>Hello there!</p>
        <p>The time on the server is {{ .Date }}</p>

// HelloHTTP is an HTTP Cloud Function with a request parameter.
func HelloHTTPV2(w http.ResponseWriter, r *http.Request) {
    var my_template *template.Template = template.New("hello")
    dt := time.Now()
    render_data := struct {
        Date string
        Date: dt.Local().Format("02-01-2006 15:04:05"),
    my_template.Execute(w, render_data)

We are using the Functions Framework for Go. Key is the init() function that registers the handler function for the API:

func init() {
    functions.HTTP("hello-http-v2", HelloHTTPV2)

Note the name we define for our function "hello-http-v2".

All handler functions defined using the framework need to provide the following method signature:

func HelloHTTPV2(w http.ResponseWriter, r *http.Request) { }

Since we are just rendering some content and sending it back to the client, we won't need to access the request.

Instead, we write a rendered template to the ResponseWriter:

    my_template.Execute(w, render_data)

Ensure that all our dependencies are accounted for by running:

go mod tidy

This should create a go.sum file with locked down dependency versions and also update go.mod. For reference, go.mod should now have the following contents:

module example.com/cfv2

go 1.19

require github.com/GoogleCloudPlatform/functions-framework-go v1.6.1

require (
    github.com/cloudevents/sdk-go/v2 v2.6.1 // indirect
    github.com/google/uuid v1.1.2 // indirect
    github.com/json-iterator/go v1.1.10 // indirect
    github.com/modern-go/concurrent v0.0.0-20180228061459-e0a39a4cb421 // indirect
    github.com/modern-go/reflect2 v0.0.0-20180701023420-4b7aa43c6742 // indirect
    go.uber.org/atomic v1.4.0 // indirect
    go.uber.org/multierr v1.1.0 // indirect
    go.uber.org/zap v1.10.0 // indirect

The versions of dependencies may be different in your project.

Part 3: Deploy Function

In order to deploy our function, we need the gcloud CLI.

If you don't have the gcloud CLI installed, find instructions to install it here: Install the gcloud CLI.

Once the gcloud CLI is installed, we need to login and select the GCP project we want to use:

gcloud init
gcloud config set project [PROJECT ID]

If you don't have a project set up, see the following to create a project: Google Cloud - Creating and Managing Projects.

Once everything is set up, you can deploy your function with the following command:

    gcloud functions deploy hello-http-v2 --gen2 --runtime=go119 --source=functionsv2/hello --entry-point=hello-http-v2 --region=us-central1 --trigger-http  --allow-unauthenticated 

After the deployment is complete, run the following command to obtain the public HTTP endpoint:

gcloud functions describe hello-http-v2

This will provide an output like the following:

  build: xxx
  entryPoint: hello-http-v2
  runtime: go119
      bucket: xxx
      object: hello-http-v2/function-source.zip
      bucket: xxx
      generation: 'xxx'
      object: hello-http-v2/function-source.zip
environment: GEN_2
  deployment-tool: cli-gcloud
name: projects/go-serverless-http-example/locations/us-central1/functions/hello-http-v2
  allTrafficOnLatestRevision: true
  availableCpu: '0.1666'
  availableMemory: 256M
  ingressSettings: ALLOW_ALL
  maxInstanceCount: 100
  maxInstanceRequestConcurrency: 1
  revision: hello-http-v2-00005-zaj
  service: projects/go-serverless-http-example/locations/us-central1/services/hello-http-v2
  serviceAccountEmail: xxx
  timeoutSeconds: 60
  uri: https://hello-http-v2-ndzxp34coq-uc.a.run.app
state: ACTIVE
updateTime: '2023-01-28T01:37:25.903696730Z'

Take note here of the uri property towards the end. This is the public endpoint you can open in your browser to test the page.


Part 4: Test function

No project is complete without some unit testing. Thankfully, this is very easy to set up in Go using the httptest package.

Add another file to your project called hello_test.go and provide the following contents:

package hello_v2

import (

func TestHelloHTTP(t *testing.T) {
    req := httptest.NewRequest("GET", "/", nil)
    req.Header.Add("Content-Type", "text/html")

    rr := httptest.NewRecorder()
    HelloHTTPV2(rr, req)

    if got := rr.Body.String(); !strings.Contains(got, "Hello there!") {
        t.Errorf("HelloHTTPV2() = %q, want %q", got, "Hello There")

We are simply calling the handler function defined in hello.go and ensure the correct response is provided.

You can run this test with the following command:

go test

If everything worked successfully, you should receive an output as follows:

$ go test
ok      example.com/cfv2  0.348s


It is very easy to create a public API endpoint using Cloud Functions. The result is returned very fast. Even when a cold start is required, the response should be rendered in under 200 ms. This compares quite well to serverless API performance on AWS.

Unfortunately, the API we created is not suitable for anything but the most basic prototyping. For a real API, we will likely want to use our own domain. This appears to be quite complicated in GCP. We will need a Load Balancer, a serverless NEG and an API Gateway among some other components. See Getting started with HTTP(S) Load Balancing for API Gateway and HTTP(S) Load Balancing for API Gateway.

Categories: devopsgo