App Engine: Qwik Start - PHP

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App Engine: Qwik Start - PHP

30 minutes 1 Credit


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App Engine allows developers to focus on doing what they do best—write code. The App Engine standard environment is based on container instances running on Google's infrastructure. Containers are preconfigured with one of several available runtimes, and each runtime also includes libraries that support App Engine Standard APIs. For many applications, the standard environment runtimes and libraries might be all you need.

The App Engine standard environment makes it easy to build and deploy an application that runs reliably even under heavy load and with large amounts of data. It includes the following features:

  • Persistent storage with queries, sorting, and transactions.
  • Automatic scaling and load balancing.
  • Asynchronous task queues for performing work outside the scope of a request.
  • Scheduled tasks for triggering events at specified times or regular intervals.
  • Integration with other Google Cloud services and APIs.

Applications run in a secure, sandboxed environment, allowing App Engine standard environment to distribute requests across multiple servers, and scaling servers to meet traffic demands. Your application runs within its own secure, reliable environment that is independent of the hardware, operating system, or physical location of the server.

This hands-on lab shows you how to create a small App Engine application that displays a short message.

What you'll do

  • Download an application
  • Test the application
  • Deploy the application

Setup and requirements

Before you click the Start Lab button

Read these instructions. Labs are timed and you cannot pause them. The timer, which starts when you click Start Lab, shows how long Google Cloud resources will be made available to you.

This hands-on lab lets you do the lab activities yourself in a real cloud environment, not in a simulation or demo environment. It does so by giving you new, temporary credentials that you use to sign in and access Google Cloud for the duration of the lab.

To complete this lab, you need:

  • Access to a standard internet browser (Chrome browser recommended).
Note: Use an Incognito or private browser window to run this lab. This prevents any conflicts between your personal account and the Student account, which may cause extra charges incurred to your personal account.
  • Time to complete the lab---remember, once you start, you cannot pause a lab.
Note: If you already have your own personal Google Cloud account or project, do not use it for this lab to avoid extra charges to your account.

How to start your lab and sign in to the Google Cloud Console

  1. Click the Start Lab button. If you need to pay for the lab, a pop-up opens for you to select your payment method. On the left is the Lab Details panel with the following:

    • The Open Google Console button
    • Time remaining
    • The temporary credentials that you must use for this lab
    • Other information, if needed, to step through this lab
  2. Click Open Google Console. The lab spins up resources, and then opens another tab that shows the Sign in page.

    Tip: Arrange the tabs in separate windows, side-by-side.

    Note: If you see the Choose an account dialog, click Use Another Account.
  3. If necessary, copy the Username from the Lab Details panel and paste it into the Sign in dialog. Click Next.

  4. Copy the Password from the Lab Details panel and paste it into the Welcome dialog. Click Next.

    Important: You must use the credentials from the left panel. Do not use your Google Cloud Skills Boost credentials. Note: Using your own Google Cloud account for this lab may incur extra charges.
  5. Click through the subsequent pages:

    • Accept the terms and conditions.
    • Do not add recovery options or two-factor authentication (because this is a temporary account).
    • Do not sign up for free trials.

After a few moments, the Cloud Console opens in this tab.

Note: You can view the menu with a list of Google Cloud Products and Services by clicking the Navigation menu at the top-left. Navigation menu icon

Activate Cloud Shell

Cloud Shell is a virtual machine that is loaded with development tools. It offers a persistent 5GB home directory and runs on the Google Cloud. Cloud Shell provides command-line access to your Google Cloud resources.

  1. Click Activate Cloud Shell Activate Cloud Shell icon at the top of the Google Cloud console.

When you are connected, you are already authenticated, and the project is set to your PROJECT_ID. The output contains a line that declares the PROJECT_ID for this session:

Your Cloud Platform project in this session is set to YOUR_PROJECT_ID

gcloud is the command-line tool for Google Cloud. It comes pre-installed on Cloud Shell and supports tab-completion.

  1. (Optional) You can list the active account name with this command:
gcloud auth list
  1. Click Authorize.

  2. Your output should now look like this:


ACTIVE: * ACCOUNT: To set the active account, run: $ gcloud config set account `ACCOUNT`
  1. (Optional) You can list the project ID with this command:
gcloud config list project


[core] project = <project_ID>

Example output:

[core] project = qwiklabs-gcp-44776a13dea667a6 Note: For full documentation of gcloud, in Google Cloud, refer to the gcloud CLI overview guide.

Set the region for the project

gcloud config set compute/region {{{project_0.default_region | "filled in at lab start"}}}

Task 1. Enable Google App Engine Admin API

The App Engine Admin API enables developers to provision and manage their App Engine Applications.

  1. In the left menu, click APIs & Services > Library.

The navigation path to the Library option.

  1. Type "App Engine Admin API" in search box.

  2. Click App Engine Admin API.

The search result for App Engine Admin API.

  1. Click Enable.

The Enable button highlighted in the UI.

Task 2. Download the Hello World app

A simple Hello World app for PHP has been created so you can quickly get a feel for deploying an app to Google Cloud. Follow these steps to download Hello World to your Google Cloud instance.

  1. Enter the following command to clone the Hello World sample app repository to your Google Cloud instance:
git clone


Cloning into 'php-docs-samples'... remote: Enumerating objects: 13, done. remote: Counting objects: 100% (13/13), done. remote: Compressing objects: 100% (4/4), done. remote: Total 13607 (delta 11), reused 9 (delta 9), pack-reused 13594 Receiving objects: 100% (13607/13607), 12.22 MiB | 23.45 MiB/s, done. Resolving deltas: 100% (8848/8848), done.
  1. Go to the directory that contains the sample code:
cd php-docs-samples/appengine/standard/helloworld

Task 3. Deploy your app

  1. To deploy your app to App Engine, run the following command from within the root directory of your application where the app.yaml file is located:
gcloud app deploy
  1. Enter the number that represents your region:


Services to deploy: descriptor: [/home/gcpstaging8140_student/helloworld/app.yaml] source: [/home/gcpstaging8140_student/helloworld] target project: [qwiklabs-gcp-e6160e374e92ffbf] target service: [default] target version: [20171117t091157] target url: [] Do you want to continue (Y/n)?
  1. Enter Y when prompted to confirm the deployment of service.

Sample output:

Beginning deployment of service [default]... Some files were skipped. Pass `--verbosity=info` to see which ones. You may also view the gcloud log file, found at [/tmp/tmp.YZRoP4bCoj/logs/2017.11.17/]. ╔════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╗ ╠═ Uploading 5 files to Google Cloud Storage ═╣ ╚════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╝ File upload done. Updating service [default]...done. Updating service [default]...Waiting for operation [apps/qwiklabs-gcp-e6160e374e92ffbf/operat ions/bf540c31-338f-4532-bcdc -e47768040d0c] to complete...done. Updating service [default]...done. Deployed service [default] to [] You can stream logs from the command line by running: $ gcloud app logs tail -s default To view your application in the web browser run: $ gcloud app browse

Task 4. View your application

  1. To launch your browser, enter the following command:
gcloud app browse

Sample output, your link will be different:

Did not detect your browser. Go to this link to view your app:
  1. Click on the link to view your application.

A web page displaying the text "hello world!".

Your application is deployed and you can read the short message in your browser.

Click Check my progress to verify the objective.

Deploy your app.

Task 5. Make a change

Now make a change to your sample app.

  1. Open the index.php file with the nano editor:
nano index.php
  1. Now change "hello world!" to "goodbye world!".

  2. Press CTRL + X > Y > Enter to exit and save the file.

  3. In Cloud Shell, run the following command to redeploy your application:

gcloud app deploy
  1. Enter Y when prompted to confirm the deployment of service.

Soon after you should receive the following output:

To view your application in the web browser run: $ gcloud app browse
  1. Refresh the browser tab with your App Engine deployment. You should see the following:

    A web page displaying the text "goodbye world!".

Task 6. Test your knowledge

Test your knowledge about Google cloud Platform by taking our quiz.


Finish your quest

Continue your quest with Baseline: Deploy & Develop. A quest is a series of related labs that form a learning path. Completing this quest earns you a badge to recognize your achievement. You can make your badge or badges public and link to them in your online resume or social media account. Enroll in this quest or any quest that contains this lab and get immediate completion credit. See the Google Cloud Skills Boost catalog to see all available quests.

Take your next lab

This lab is also part of a series of labs called Qwik Starts. These labs are designed to give you a little taste of the many features available with Google Cloud. Search for "Qwik Starts" in the lab catalog to find the next lab you'd like to take!

Next steps /Learn more

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Manual last updated May 12, 2023

Lab last tested April 05, 2021

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