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Is Google App Engine Ready For Drupal?

When Google released PHP on Google App Engine (GAE) in October 2013, CI&T decided it was a great opportunity to test Google Cloud Platform  for Enterprise Drupal applications. The combination of Drupal and GAE could have the potential to be a game changer in the content management toolkit by accelerating the adoption and maintenance of Drupal applications while integrating with other parts of the Google ecosystem. A great deal of value can be quickly delivered to existing Google Apps Customers, for example.

Therefore a test was conducted with features frequently requested, especially in the digital marketing arena, including consumer-facing websites, portals for sales reps, doctors and healthcare professionals.

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During the experiments it was determined that components from Drupal,  GAE, GCE and Google Apps could be synergically valuable in several scenarios, like:

  • Google Drive and Drupal Workflow – Google Docs and Drupal Content/Files Workflow/authoring with automatic publishing of approved documents, leveraging Drupal custom workflows and auditing/logging capabilities;
  • GAE Task Queue – to replace scheduled cron tasks with GAE Task Queue, and then execute background work (export data from a Drupal user table, campaign/contest registration, etc.) and leverage GAE interface for management, debugging and logging;
  • Flexible and extensible stack with an integrated GCE approachThe usage of GCE as a complementary component of the solution allows better flexibility to add more features and integration, as well as increased automation for the site management;

… if it is, can it be used for enterprise class applications?


Enterprises could reap multiple benefits by moving their Drupal sites to Google App Engine/Google Cloud Platform. Here are the key features and benefits, higher value first:

  • Auto-scale: By far, the number one benefit. This is particularly critical for Drupal digital marketing/campaign web sites, where unexpected traffic can easily break ill-prepared hosting setups.
  • Worry-free infrastructure: No need to remove/add servers, configuration or load balance management.
  • Integration with Google Apps: The potential to power the integration with Google products family in a number of use cases, is a big plus.
  • Potential cost savings: taking into account the fact that you pay only for the resources you use, this is a great advantage. This is especially true when moving from an IaaS or traditional hosting model, where resources are needed to maintain the infrastructure portfolio.
  • Enterprise to Enterprise: GCP/App Engine are based on Google’s infrastructure, which also host Google Products. That means all the features and measures related to Google Products (such as security requirements) will also apply to your Drupal Site.

This is an excerpt from the  Ci&T’s research output. To access the full report, click here