Google Cloud Platform limitations

Hey everyone,

Recently I had a request from a customer to monitor some data and log that data for graphing. I thought, hey this sounds like a fantastic use case for the Google Cloud Platform webhook integration. I want to log this data to a Google Sheet which should be Childs play once the data is on Google Cloud. I had never used it before so I dug in.

I set my firmware up to publish 3 different events for different data that needs to be logged. Then I started working through the Google Cloud Platform tutorial. I setup the Webhooks, Topics and subscriptions and they are all working correctly(tested using the console on the Google Cloud Platform site). So far so good.

It was nearing the end of the day and I got to the end of the tutorial where it starts talking about where to go once you have all that information on the Google Cloud. Now I thought(incorrectly apparently) that once the data was on Google Cloud it would be just a hop, skip, and jump to log that data to a Google Sheet, I mean surely that’s the case right? Wrong, I then had to run my own code on my computer or another server to take the data off Google Cloud and do something with it. Am I nuts? Shouldn’t it be EXTREMELY easy to just take that data from the subscriptions on the Google Cloud and throw it right into a Google Sheet? I mean seriously? There’s no need for a third party server to do this if it’s all on Google. Am I missing something? Is this possible or do I seriously need a server script on another server OAuthed to Google to pull data from one section of Google(Google Cloud) and then put it on another section of Google(Google Sheets)?

Not exactly addressing the issue directly since that sounds more like a Google platform thing but you can try publishing and get it into Google sheets instead.

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Hi Travis,
I’m not addressing the issue either, but if you want an alternative similar to what Kenneth mentioned above, I documented it here:

I think your expectations are correct, however, the implementation seems to be different on the clouds.
When I tried something like this a year ago with AWS it was pretty complex to set up (talk a week of back and forths). I guess this is because offering something flexible in a complex environment like a cloud needs effort. That is why I think for home/simple projects, sites like Ubidots, Losant, etc as much simpler to setup and manage. They connected the stuff for you so you don’t have to.

If your customer would be happy with Ubidots, you can integrate it with webhooks as well and have it up and running in a couple of hours.

I documented one way of doing it there and there:


Good luck!
Gustavo.

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The big cloud platforms are IMHO way too complicated for small teams (1 or 2) of developers to work with, to get a fully functional system up and running you need to be familiar with too many aspects of their platform & technologies like databases, tables and other storage methods, and then if you are trying to build something interactive you also need to develop all of that yourself. Some fundamentals are pretty straight forwards but otherwise they are large and evolving platforms.
Something like Ubidots (and my there are a lot of them) logs all your data for you, gives you nice ways to display it and offer controls,basic math functions and events to interact with your device and your data. Many of them have some way to go and one can only assume many will fail on the way bu they are quite quick and easy to use. Some promote thier own libraries, I think most of these should be avoided or outright banned, in 2017 we should not be encouraging the use of insecure comms regardless of how important you think your data is.

My recent experience of Ubidots is that the platform is currently pretty unstable with frequent downtime during which I cannot login or send it webhooks.

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Thanks guys for the comments.

I know there are alternatives to using the Google Cloud Platform WebHook for sure. I was just curious about the Google Webhook since it was so predominately touted on Particle’s social media outlets. Then again I never really saw anyone use it. After this I know why. From what I’ve determined it is sort of pointless. After I came to the point in the tutorial where I was told to run a Node.js script on my computer I immediately thought well if I’m going to have to pull the events from Google and then do something with them why not just pull them directly from Particle with my own script? This makes no sense! Right? I’m just passing my data through another platform for no good reason at all. I suppose you could write an application on Google’s app engine so it all stays on the platform but that is only free for 1 year and up to 5GB.

Anyway I suppose this is turning into a rant, which was unintentional. For anyone investigating this in the future please look into the capabilities of Google Cloud Platform before you jump in head first developing. It may not be what you think it is.