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Google opens cloudy cannery to let you cram code into containers

'Cloud Container Builder' offers 120 minutes of container creation, for any platform

By Richard Chirgwin, 7 Mar 2017

Google's found another way to wrap developers more closely into its warm embrace: a cloudy software build environment it reckons should be free for most users.

The new "Cloud Container Builder" has reached general availability status after a year running Google App Engine's gcloud app deploy operation.

Described as a “stand-alone tool for building container images regardless of deployment environment”, Cloud Container Builder's sweetener is 120 minutes a day of free build time. If you need more, it'll set you back US$0.0034 per minute.

The Chocolate Factory reckons this means “most users” can move builds to the cloud free, and get rid of the overhead of managing their own build servers.

Specs of Cloud Container Builder include:

  • A REST API and a gcloud command line interface;
  • Two additions to the Google Cloud console, so users can track their build history, and create build triggers.

“Build triggers lets you set up automated CI/CD workflows that start new builds on source code changes. Triggers work with Cloud Source Repository, Github, and Bitbucket on pushes to your repository based on branch or tag”, its blog note says.

Not everybody wants Docker, so Mountain View also supports open source builders for “languages and tasks like npm, git, go and the gcloud command line interface”, and DockerHub images like “Maven, Gradle and Bazel work out of the box.”

Australian developer Justin Clacherty told Vulture South it's important to work out how something like Cloud Builder can work across multiple providers, at scale, to protect yourself if (to pick an example completely at random) AWS goes down.

The usual caveats about Docker still apply as well, he noted: if you don't know what's in an image, don't use it – it's far better to stick to trusted sources only. ®

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