By Lorne Kligerman, Product Manager
We’re excited to announce the beta release of managed SSL certificates at no charge for applications built on Google App Engine. This service automatically encrypts server-to-client communication — an essential part of safeguarding sensitive information over the web. Manually managing SSL certificates to ensure a secure connection is a time consuming process, and GCP makes it easy for customers by providing SSL systematically at no additional charge. Managed SSL certificates are offered in addition to HTTPS connections provided on appspot.com.
Here at Google, we believe encrypted communications should be used everywhere. For example, in 2014, the Search team announced that the use of HTTPS would positively impact page rankings. Fast forward to 2017 and Google is a Certificate Authority, establishing HTTPS as the default behavior for App Engine, even across custom domains.
Now, when you build apps on App Engine, SSL is on by default — you no longer need to worry about it or spend time managing it. We’ve made using HTTPS simple: map a domain to your app, prove ownership, and App Engine automatically provisions an SSL certificate and renews it whenever necessary, at no additional cost. Purchasing and generating certificates, dealing with and securing keys, managing your SSL cipher suites and worrying about renewal dates — those are all a thing of the past.
“Anyone who has ever had to replace an expiring SSL certificate for a production resource knows how stressful and error-prone it can be. That’s why we’re so excited about managed SSL certificates in App Engine. Not only is it simple to add encryption to our custom domains programmatically, the renewal process is fully automated as well. For our engineers that means less operational risk.”
— James Baldassari, Engineer, mabl
To get started with App Engine managed SSL certificates, simply head to the Cloud Console and add a new domain. Once the domain is mapped and your DNS records are up to date, you’ll see the SSL certificate appear in the domains list. And that’s it. Managed certificates is now the default behavior — no further steps are required!
To switch from using your own SSL certificate on an existing domain, select the desired domain, then click on the “Enable managed security” button. In just minutes, a certificate will be in place and serving client requests.
You can also use the gcloud CLI to make this change:
$ gcloud beta app domain-mappings update DOMAIN --certificate-management 'AUTOMATIC'
Rest assured that your existing certificate will remain in place and communication will continue as securely as before until the new certificate is ready and swapped in.
For more details on the full set of commands, head to the full documentation here.
We’re also excited to announce the general availability of the App Engine Admin API to manage your custom domains and SSL certificates. The addition of this API enables more automation so that you can easily scale and configure your app according to the needs of your business. Check out the full documentation and API definition.
If you have any questions or concerns, or if something is not working as you’d expect, you can post in the Google App Engine forum, log a public issue, or get in touch on the App Engine slack channel (#app-engine).