How to create, deploy and update NodeJs project on Google App Engine.

How to create, deploy and update NodeJs project on Google App Engine

From this article, I am going to discuss how to create, deploy and update a NodeJs project on Google App Engine. There are five sections that describe the process.

  1. Install Google Cloud SDK

If you already installed Google Cloud SDK and have created the Google Cloud project skip the first two sections.

1. Install Google Cloud SDK

Follow the link below to install the Google Cloud SDK on your computer.

After successful installation;

  1. Open the terminal

I will not go into more detail on this as it is an easy process.

2. Create Google Cloud Project and Enable App Engine

First, you need to create a Google Cloud Project and activate the App Engine. Follow the steps below to create a Google Cloud Project.

  1. Open this link using a browser.

2. Enter a project name and create a project by clicking the Create button.

Create New Google Cloud Project

3. After creating a Google Cloud Project we need to enable the App Engine. Follow the below link to enable the App Engine.

4. Select a region to serve the app and click next.

Select a region

4. After enabling App Engine you can see the below screen.

App Engine Enabled

You have now successfully created a Google Cloud Project and enabled the App Engine.

You can find the project ID by clicking on the project name and it is important to remember the project ID for the deployment process.

Google Cloud Project Id

3. Write Simple NodeJs application

You need to have NodeJs 10 or the latest version installed on your computer to create a web service that can run on the App Engine. It is better to have the NodeJs LTS version on your computer. You can find it here

This is the minimum file structure of a simple NodeJs application that can be deployed on the App Engine.


Follow the steps below to create a sample NodeJs application.

  1. Create a folder named my-node-project
* Keep the default package name and version by pressing enter.
* Add some small description, here I gave it as simple node project
* Change entry point to app.js
* Test command, git repository, key words, author and license keep as default by pressing enter.
initialize nodejs project

3. Then run npm install express command to add the express dependencies.

4. Create the app.js file and add the following code

5. Add start script to the package.json

"scripts": {
"start": "node app.js"

Final package.json file.

6. Run npm start command to run the project locally.

7. Go to http://localhost:8080 URL to check if the code works correctly.

8. The last step is to add app.yaml configuration file to configure your project runtime environment on the App Engine.

If you are using the Node.js LTS version your app.yaml file needs to be like the following

Or follow the link below to find the NodeJs standard configurations

4. Deploy NodeJs project to App Engine

You must have the Google Cloud SDK installed on your computer to deploy the App Engine project.

Open the terminal in your project folder and type the following command to deploy the project.

gcloud app deploy --project [project_id]

ex-: gcloud app deploy --project my-node-project123

It will take few minutes to deploy the project on the server. After successful deployment, you can find the URL for the project that appears on the terminal. Run the following command to open the deployed project using a browser after the successful deployment.

gcloud app browse --project=[project_id]

ex-: gcloud app browse --project=my-node-project

5 . Update and re-deploy project

In fact, it is similar to deployment. Once you have modified the code, all you need to do is run the gcloud deploy --project [project_id] command.

Here is the full code of the project

Thanks to Thushara Sampath for helping me write a better article by proofreading.

Thanks for reading.

Computer Science and Engineering Undergraduate at University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka