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Google Cloud Pub/Sub vs Push Technology

This Google Cloud Pub/Sub vs Push Technology comparison was created based on reviews from developers and our best attempts to perform analysis by looking at documentation and other publicly available resources.

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Google Cloud Pub/Sub

Push Technology

Getting started and developer experience

Time to "hello world"

Reviewed by 3+ independent developers

Ratings were given based on the average amount of time it takes to sign up to a new account and publish the first message.

4 / 5

5 = <30 min
4 = 30 min - 1 h
3 = 1-2 h
2 = 2-4 h
1 = 4+ h

View code example
4 / 5

5 = <30 min
4 = 30 min - 1 h
3 = 1-2 h
2 = 2-4 h
1 = 4+ h

View code example

Demos / Tutorials

A selection of online demos and tutorials so you can test and see the code in action.

Explore Ably's tutorials for our pub/sub messaging platform

Documentation

Reviewed by 3+ independent developers

Explore Ably's documentation for our pub/sub messaging platform
4.33 / 5

Getting started guides5 / 5

Information architecture and developer journey4 / 5

API reference documentation4 / 5

Readability, design and navigation4 / 5

Quality of code5 / 5

Breadth and quality of tutorials4 / 5

“The docs are neatly organized, with the information split and presented in a logical and largely easily digestible manner. Code snippets are clean, commented, embedded often throughout the documentation, and provided in 8 different languages. A nice thing is that you can trigger actions in the Cloud Console directly from the docs. Getting started guides are to the point and very clear. The same thing can be said about the tutorials, although there’s a limited number of them. The API reference contains a lot of info, which is good. However, you stumble upon the occasional broken link, and the way the information is presented (page layout, writing style, structure) varies greatly across languages”.

3.50 / 5

Getting started guides4 / 5

Information architecture and developer journey3 / 5

API reference documentation4 / 5

Readability, design and navigation3 / 5

Quality of code4 / 5

Breadth and quality of tutorials3 / 5

“Push Technology documentation for its Diffusion product consists of several components. First, we have a quick start guide, which is pretty decent. It’s structured to provide step-by-step guidance on how to set up Diffusion and use the APIs and the SDKs. The screen is split so that you can look at documentation and code snippets in parallel - a nice touch. Then, there’s an online manual, which is significantly more detailed, with code snippets throughout. Unfortunately, there aren’t any details in the guide about the quality of service or how to architect for scalability. There’s a detailed API reference for each SDK and comprehensive release notes. The design could be improved, as it’s a bit dry, and so could the navigation experience - some links return 404, and the various sections of the documentation aren’t cross-linked. There are just a few demos available, with no source code and only several tutorials.“

Dashboard or dev console

Reviewed by 3+ independent developers

Sign up for free and explore Ably's pub/sub messaging platform
4 / 5

Ease of use3 / 5

Stats and reports4 / 5

Functionality5 / 5

“The Google Cloud Platform allows you to create and manage your pub/sub pipeline down to the smallest details. The features are rich, but you will need to use the docs to figure out what everything means. The UI is simple to navigate, but it’s also very text-intensive and cluttered - a bit discouraging if it’s the first time you are using Pub/Sub. What’s really nice is that you can transition from the Google Cloud Platform UI to the cloud shell terminal, which allows you to manage and develop your apps directly from the browser.”

4.67 / 5

Ease of use4 / 5

Stats and reports5 / 5

Functionality5 / 5

“The Service Dashboard is feature-rich, and it allows you to easily create, manage, and remove resources, configure settings, and view detailed stats, such as the number of messages, the CPU load, or the topic count. There’s also a nice section in the Dashboard that allows you to test your pipeline. The user experience is mostly intuitive, and the functionality is explained well (there are many tooltips throughout). However, the UI design could perhaps benefit from a refresh, as it’s a bit outdated.“

SDKs

Note: Only official SDKs were taken into account.

Explore Ably's 25+ SDKs for our pub/sub messaging platform

8 SDKs

Including:

  • Java

  • Node.js

  • C#

7 SDKs

Including:

  • JavaScript

  • Android

  • .NET

API structure

Reviewed by 3+ independent developers

4.50 / 5

API consistency across SDKs4 / 5

Well structured5 / 5

Intuitive5 / 5

Simple4 / 5

“The APIs are structured well and are generally consistent across SDKs. The comprehensive API reference documentation, together with the tens of code samples, help you figure out how Pub/Sub APIs work. Client libraries provide idiomatic code, which makes the APIs simple and intuitive to use most of the time.”

3.25 / 5

API consistency across SDKs3 / 5

Well structured4 / 5

Intuitive3 / 5

Simple3 / 5

“Diffusion APIs are consistent across SDKs in the sense that operations are performed in the same order. However, the APIs are quite complex - there are tens of classes and methods, with some different naming conventions across some of the SDKs, such as JavaScript, Java, or C, which is counter-intuitive. The API references are structured and presented differently, which is not great; at least they are detailed and thorough. There are examples for all SDKs on GitHub, which is useful.”

Google Cloud Pub/Sub

Push Technology

"Hello world" code example
//PUBLISH
// Imports the Google Cloud client library
const {PubSub} = require('@google-cloud/pubsub');

// Creates a client; cache this for further use
const pubSubClient = new PubSub();

async function publishMessage() {
  // Publishes the message as a string, e.g. "Hello, world!" or JSON.stringify(someObject)
  const dataBuffer = Buffer.from(data);

  try {
    const messageId = await pubSubClient.topic(topicName).publish(dataBuffer);
    console.log(`Message ${messageId} published.`);
  } catch (error) {
    console.error(`Received error while publishing: ${error.message}`);
    process.exitCode = 1;
  }
}

publishMessage();

//RECEIVE
// Creates a client; cache this for further use
const pubSubClient = new PubSub();

function listenForMessages() {
  // References an existing subscription
  const subscription = pubSubClient.subscription(subscriptionName);

  // Create an event handler to handle messages
  let messageCount = 0;
  const messageHandler = message => {
    console.log(`Received message ${message.id}:`);
    console.log(`\tData: ${message.data}`);
    console.log(`\tAttributes: ${message.attributes}`);
    messageCount += 1;

    // "Ack" (acknowledge receipt of) the message
    message.ack();
  };

  // Listen for new messages until timeout is hit
  subscription.on('message', messageHandler);

  setTimeout(() => {
    subscription.removeListener('message', messageHandler);
    console.log(`${messageCount} message(s) received.`);
  }, timeout * 1000);
}

listenForMessages();
// Publish
session.topics.add('my-topic',diffusion.topics.TopicType.JSON);
var value = { foo : 'bar' };
var result = session.topicUpdate.set('my-topic', diffusion.datatypes.json(), value);

// Subscribe
session.addStream('my-topic', diffusion.datatypes.json()).on('value', function(topic, specification, newValue, oldValue) {
  console.log(`New value for ${path}: ${newValue.get()}`);
  session.select('my-topic');
});

Google Cloud Pub/Sub

Push Technology

Realtime features

Pub/Sub messaging

Pub/Sub is a design pattern that lets any number of publishers (producers) push messages to channels (also known as topics). Multiple subscribers (consumers) can subscribe to a channel to consume published messages.

Explore Ably's pub/sub messaging implementation

Message queues

A message queue is a form of asynchronous service-to-service communication. Messages are stored on a queue until they are processed. Note that each message is only consumed by one subscriber (consumer).

Explore Ably's message queues implementation

Presence

Presence enables you to track the online and offline status of devices and end-users in real time and to store their state. Essential for chat apps and multiplayer games.

Explore Ably's presence implementation

Message history

Message history provides a means to retrieve previously published messages. For this to be possible, message data must be stored (persisted) somewhere.

Explore Ably's message history implementation

Limited 

Normally, acknowledged messages are inaccessible to subscribers of a given subscription. 

You can use the seek feature, which allows you to alter the acknowledgement state of messages in bulk. For example, you can use Seek to replay previously acknowledged messages.

You can also make use of snapshots to replay unacknowledged messages.

Connection state recovery (stream resume)

In the case of unreliable network conditions, clients may suddenly disconnect.Connection state recovery ensures that when they reconnect, the data stream resumes exactly where it left off.

Explore Ably' s connection state recovery implementation

Limited

Push Technology operates a recovery buffer of sent messages but if a message has been lost or is no longer in the recovery buffer the server will abort the reconnection.

Guaranteed message ordering

Ordering ensures that messages are delivered to consumers in the same order that producers publish them.

Explore Ably' s guaranteed message ordering implementation

Limited

Google Pub/Sub only ensures ordering if messages have the same ordering key and are published to the same region.

Exactly-once semantics

Exactly-once is a system-wide data integrity guarantee that ensures each message is delivered to consumers exactly-once.

Explore Ably' s idempotent publishing implementation

Message delta compression

Message delta compression enables you to only send the changes from the previous message to subscribers each time there’s an update, instead of the entire message. Useful for use cases where there is a significant degree of similarity between successive messages.

Explore Ably' s message delta compression implementation

Native push notifications

Native push notifications can be used to deliver messages even when clients are offline. Useful for geolocation updates or news alerts.

Explore Ably's push notifications implementation

Webhooks

Webhooks provide a mechanism to get messages and other types of events (such as clients entering or leaving channels) pushed to your servers over HTTP.

Explore Ably's webhooks implementation

Serverless functions

A serverless function is essentially an isolated, single-purpose piece of code that is only executed when it’ triggered by an event. For example, you can use serverless functions to send a welcome message to clients when they become present on chat channels.

Note that serverless functions are usually fully managed by cloud vendors.

Explore Ably's serverless functions implementation

Limited

Can only trigger serverless functions on Google Cloud Functions. Does not support other platforms, such as AWS Lambda or Microsoft Azure Functions.

Built-in integrations

Which popular services & systems are Google Cloud Pub/Sub and Push Technology integrated with?

Explore Ably's library of integrations

Webhooks

  • Custom
  • IFTTT
  • Zapier

Serverless functions

  • AWS Lambda
  • Cloudflare Workers
  • Google Cloud Functions
  • Microsoft Azure Functions

Streaming

  • Apache Kafka
  • Apache Pulsar
  • Amazon Kinesis
  • Amazon SQS
  • RabbitMQ
  • AMQP

Webhooks

  • Custom
  • IFTTT
  • Zapier

Serverless functions

  • AWS Lambda
  • Cloudflare Workers
  • Google Cloud Functions
  • Microsoft Azure Functions

Streaming

  • Apache Kafka
  • Apache Pulsar
  • Amazon Kinesis
  • Amazon SQS
  • RabbitMQ
  • AMQP

Known limits and constraints

Find out practical limits, such as the maximum message size, or the maximum number of concurrent connections.

Explore the practical limits of the Ably pub/sub messaging platform

Publisher throughput 

50 MB/s (small regions)

200 MB/s (large regions)

Maximum message size

10 MB

Maximum number of topics

10.000 topics/project

Maximum number of concurrent connections

6.000 (small regions)

24.000 (large regions)

Publisher throughput 

Unknown

Maximum message size 

Unknown 

Maximum number of topics

Unlimited (only applies to Enterprise customers).

Maximum number of connections

Unknown

Supported development platforms, languages, open protocols and cloud models

Development platforms & operating systems

Which popular development platforms and operating systems do Google Cloud Pub/Sub and Push Technology support via official SDKs?

Explore the development platforms supported by Ably
  • Android
  • Java / JVM
  • iOS
  • macOS
  • iPadOS
  • tvOS
  • watchOS
  • Mono
  • .NET
  • Android
  • Java / JVM
  • iOS
  • macOS
  • iPadOS
  • tvOS
  • watchOS
  • Mono
  • .NET

Languages

Which popular programming languages do Google Cloud Pub/Sub and Push Technology support via offical SDKs?

Explore the programming languages supported by Ably
  • JavaScript
  • Node.js
  • TypeScript
  • Java
  • Objective-C
  • Swift
  • Go
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • Flutter
  • Clojure
  • Scala
  • JavaScript
  • Node.js
  • TypeScript
  • Java
  • Objective-C
  • Swift
  • Go
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • Flutter
  • Clojure
  • Scala

Open protocols

Which popular open protocols do Google Cloud Pub/Sub and Push Technology support?

Explore the open protocols supported by Ably
  • WebSocket
  • HTTP / REST
  • AMQP
  • MQTT
  • STOMP
  • SSE
  • Webhooks
  • WebSocket
  • HTTP / REST
  • AMQP
  • MQTT
  • STOMP
  • SSE
  • Webhooks

Cloud models

Which popular cloud models do Google Cloud Pub/Sub and Push Technology support?

  • Self-hosted
  • Cloud-managed
  • Serverless
  • Globally-distributed
  • Self-hosted
  • Cloud-managed
  • Serverless
  • Globally-distributed
Global and reliable edge service

Edge messaging network with latency-based routing

Latency-based routing ensures that clients are always routed to the nearest datacenter and point of presence.

Explore Ably's routing mechanism that mitigates network and DNS issues

Multi-region data replication (message durability)

Multi-region data replication (storage) protects against single points of failure and ensures message data durability.

Learn how Ably ensures message durability

Limited

Only available for Enterprise customers.

Uptime SLAs

Here’s what the most common SLAs amount to in terms of downtime over a calendar year:

99.999% SLA = 5m 15s downtime per year

99.99% SLA = 52m 35s downtime per year

99.95% SLA = 4h 22m 58s downtime per year

99.9% SLA = 8h 45m 56s downtime per year

99% SLA = 3d 15h 39m 29s downtime per year

Source: https://uptime.is/

99.95%

99.9%

Quality of Service

What QoS guarantees do Google Cloud Pub/Sub and Push Technology provide natively?

Explore Ably's availability and uptime guarantees for our pub/sub messaging platform
  • Multi-region data replication (storage)
  • Exactly-once semantics
  • Guaranteed message ordering
  • Connection state recovery (stream resume)
  • Multi-region data replication (storage)
  • Exactly-once semantics
  • Guaranteed message ordering
  • Connection state recovery (stream resume)
Security

API key authentication

The simplest way to authenticate. Involves using private API keys that you can usually create and edit via a dashboard. Recommended to be used server-side, as private API keys shouldn’t be shared with untrusted parties.

Explore Ably's implementation of API key authentication

Token-based authentication

Which popular token-based authentication mechanisms do Google Cloud Pub/Sub and Push Technology support?

Note that token-based authentication is usually the recommended strategy on the client-side as it provides more fine-grained access control and limits the risk of credentials being compromised.

Explore Ably's implementation of token-based authentication
  • Ephemeral tokens
  • JWTs
  • Ephemeral tokens
  • JWTs

Configurable rules and permissions

Which types of configurable rules and permissions do Google Cloud Pub/Sub and Push Technology support?

Explore Ably's configurable rules and permissions
  • API keys rules and permissions
  • Operation rules and permissions
  • Admin rights
  • API keys rules and permissions
  • Operation rules and permissions
  • Admin rights

Message encryption

Which types of message encryption do Google Cloud Pub/Sub and Push Technology support?

Explore Ably's message encryption mechanisms
  • Encrypted at rest
  • Encrypted in transit
  • Message payload encryption
  • Encrypted at rest
  • Encrypted in transit
  • Message payload encryption

Formal certifications

Which formal certifications are Google Cloud Pub/Sub and Push Technology compliant with?

Explore Ably's security and compliance for our pub/sub messaging platform
  • SOC 2 TYPE I
  • SOC 2 Type II
  • HIPAA
  • ISO 27001
  • EU GDPR
  • SOC 2 TYPE I
  • SOC 2 Type II
  • HIPAA
  • ISO 27001
  • EU GDPR
Pricing & Support

Free package

What do the free packages offered by Google Cloud Pub/Sub and Push Technology consist of?

Explore Ably's free package for our pub/sub messaging platform

10 GB/month for ingestion or delivery of messages.

The free package includes 3 million monthly messages, 100 peak connections, unlimited topics, access to all major features and adapters, and basic support.

Pricing model

How are the Google Cloud Pub/Sub and Push Technology pricing models calculated?

Explore Ably's pricing model for our pub/sub messaging platform

Beyond the free 10 GB per month, the price is $40 per TB (tebibyte) of data usage.

Data volume is calculated based on message ingestion & delivery and message storage.

The basic pricing for the Business package starts at $49 per month.

In addition, there are charges for the number of messages -  $ 0.99 per million messages and for the number of connections - $ 0.01 per connection.

It’s unclear how pricing is calculated for the Enterprise package.

Enterprise package

What benefits do the Google Cloud Pub/Sub and Push Technology enterprise packages offer?

Explore Ably's enterprise package for our pub/sub messaging platform

There is no Google Pub/Sub - specific enterprise package.

The Enterprise package benefits include enterprise scale and performance, cross-region replication, configurable cluster size, bespoke performance tuning, bespoke packages for all sizes.

Community

Reviewed by 3+ independent developers

Explore Ably's community support channel for our pub/sub messaging platform
4.50 / 5

Presence on multiple channels4 / 5

Size and activity5 / 5

“Google Pub/Sub has a decently large community that you can engage on several different platforms, such as Slack, Stack Overflow, GitHub, Google groups. There’s even an issue tracker/feature request page. There are also some useful educational Youtube videos created by the Google team. The community is rather active, with a lot of issues being raised (and fixed) on GitHub, and with some posts on Stack Overflow attracting thousands of questions. There’s also some good quality content on Medium produced mostly by Google Developer Advocates.“

1 / 5

Presence on multiple channels1 / 5

Size and activity1 / 5

“Push Technology has a community forum, but there’s a very small number of posts and an even smaller number of followers (a maximum of 11 followers per forum category). Similarly, there are maybe 20 threads on Stack Overflow, and basically no community activity on GitHub. No presence on Gitter or Discourse. It’s essentially a non-existent community.”

Support

What types of support options and response times do Google Cloud Pub/Sub and Push Technology offer?

Explore Ably's support options for our pub/sub messaging platform

General support options

Email/ticket, chat, technical documentation, community (e.g. Slack and Stack Overflow), phone. 

Enterprise support

The enterprise support package includes 24/7 support for critical-impact issues, dedicated technical account manager, and operational health reviews. 

Response time

Four-hour P2 response time

Between 1 hour (Production package) and 15 minutes (Enterprise package) response time for P1 events

General support options

Email, web support, documentation, developer hub, phone (only for Platinum package), screenshare (Gold and Platinum packages).

Enterprise support

The Platinum package is the equivalent of enterprise support. It includes early access to beta features and a dedicated account manager.

Response time

2 hours for Platinum package

3 hour minimum for Live Events package

24 hours for Gold package

Best effort response times for the Basic package

Disclaimer: The information presented for Google Cloud Pub/Sub was last updated on 24 November 2020 and on 15 December 2020 for Push Technology. It is possible that some details may now be out of date. If you think that’s the case, please let us know so we can update them. In any case, you should not rely solely on the information presented here and must check with each provider before deciding to integrate or buy any of these two solutions.