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Google quietly rolled out GitHub competitor, did you notice?

Google is gigantic, so when they launch a competitive product in the market, they have a shot at overtaking the smaller guy, but can they really replace GitHub?

google cloud platform

google cloud platform

Google takes on Github

According to VentureBeat, Google is hot on the heels of Github, but doesn’t seem to want anyone to know it yet.

Google hasn’t made an official announcement, but earlier this year they started offering free beta access to Cloud Source Repositories, a new service for storing and editing code on the ever-evolving Google Cloud Platform.

It will be tricky to overtake GitHub

Even with the Google name and full assortment of coding geniuses, it will be an effort for Google to overtake GitHub. GitHub is extremely popular when it comes to its code repository, and is one of the most used services for developers. It looks as though Google has already considered this, however, as they are offering the ability to be a “remote” source for repositories hosted on GitHub and elsewhere.

This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, considering Google canceled their “Google Code” service earlier this year. Google even cited the rising popularity of GitHub and Bitbucket as the main reasons behind their shutdown. Google seems to have regrouped, now, and are looking to become an all-in-one destination for testing and distributing new app builds, joining the ranks of Azure and CodeCommit.

Small storage compared to GitHub

The beta launch of Cloud Source Repositories offers a free 500 MB of project storage, which is pretty small compared GitHub’s policy.

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On GitHub, if you exceed 1GB, you might receive an email from Support asking you to reduce the size; compared with Google, that quite a bit of wiggle room. Of course, these size limitations may only pertain to the beta launch. Google has the power to extend the size restrictions significantly.

Google’s project is pretty limited so far

The Google dashboard will also link up to Google Cloud Debugger which will allow users to inspect Java applications running on Google Compute Engine and App Engine without stopping them or slowing them down, according to the tech giant.

There are a few things to keep in mind though, regarding the limitations of Google’s Cloud Source Repository:

While information can by synced to the Cloud from GitHub or Bitbucket, “Cloud Source Repositories are intended to store only the source code for your application and not user or personal data. Do not store any Core App Engine End User Data in a Cloud Source Repository. To use a hosted Git repository with a Cloud Source Repository, you must first open an account with GitHub or Bitbucket (independent companies separate from Google). If you push source code to a Cloud Source Repository, Google will make a copy of this data which will be hosted in the United States.” This is from Google’s Privacy Policy.

Is it worth it to move from GitHub?

At this early stage, it still needs a bit of work, in my opinion, to make moving from GitHub worth it. GitHub is great at what is does and I think it will be difficult for Google to dominate this particular area of technology, without a few more features to make it worth a developers time to make the switch.


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Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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