May 18, 2024

Go (aka Golang) got here to life at Google in 2009. It was designed by a couple of large names:

  • Robert Griesemer, who had a big hand within the growth of the Java Digital Machine.
  • Rob Pike, who holds the U.S. patent for windowing UI methods in addition to helped construct the Plan 9 working system at Bell Labs. (In reality, the mascots for Plan 9 and for Golang are remarkably comparable as a result of Pike’s spouse, Renée French, is a famend illustrator.)
  • Ken Thompson, who designed and applied just a little factor referred to as Unix.

On this article, we’ll reveal how easy it’s to construct a RESTful internet service in Go. Then, we’ll reveal how you can deploy this utility with Heroku. However earlier than we embark on this journey, let’s discuss briefly about why you may need to use Go.

Why Go?

To construct an online service in 2024, why would you select Go over one other language, like Python or TypeScript? Go’s largest benefit over these two languages is pace. Go is a compiled-to-machine-code language. It’s not interpreted like Python, Ruby, or JavaScript. It’s not even compiled to bytecode and run in a digital machine like Java. Plenty of benchmarks present Go to be 40x or 50x sooner than purposes written in interpreted languages. In terms of pace, Go purposes carry out equally to these written in Rust or C++.

Go has a easy syntax, usually with just one explicit approach of doing one thing. That is interesting to many builders, particularly any who’ve ever been in a growth group setting, the place squabbles over varied methods of doing issues eat up treasured time. This simplicity drives conformity in a codebase and presents much less perplexity when studying the code. (Imagine it or not, most builders spend extra of their time studying code reasonably than writing it.)

Go is a younger language, so it comes full of trendy options out of the nursery. You get computerized rubbish assortment like in Java or Python. You get built-in linters, formatters, and unit testing. You get a wealthy community stack in the usual library. And maybe most helpful to community programmers: You get an easy-to-use multi-threading toolkit referred to as Goroutines.

Sure, there are some the explanation why not everyone seems to be scorching on Go. One widespread grievance revolves round error dealing with in Go. Capabilities in Go can return a number of values, one in all which is an error code. This hearkens again to the times of C—earlier than exceptions—and feels admittedly archaic. It’s simple to overlook to test error codes for each operate. It’s additionally tedious to percolate errors from down within the depths—whenever you awaken a balrog deep inside your utility—as much as someplace manageable. you’ve performed that.

Alright, the Go cheerleading is finished. Let’s get to constructing.

Constructing a Easy RESTful Internet Service in Go

We’ll construct a small API service that gives some textual content operations that purposes generally want, resembling:

  • Encode a given string utilizing a primary Caesar Cipher
  • Decide if a string is a palindrome
  • (Maybe most significantly) SpongeBob-encode a zinging retort.  

For those who’d reasonably skip forward to the completed code for this utility, you will discover it on this GitHub repo. We’re not going to undergo important.go line by line, however we’ll discuss in regards to the necessary bits.

line by line

Let’s begin with the primary operate, the bootstrapping code of the service:

func important() 
	http.HandleFunc("/is-palindrome", palindromeHandler)
	http.HandleFunc("/rot13", rot13Handler)
	http.HandleFunc("/spongebob", spongebobHandler)
	http.HandleFunc("/well being", healthHandler)

	appPort := ":" + os.Getenv("PORT")
	if appPort == ":" 
		appPort = ":8080"
	err := http.ListenAndServe(appPort, nil)
	if err != nil 

As we talked about, one in all Go’s highly effective options is the expressive internet/http customary library. You don’t want any third-party dependencies to rapidly get a primary RESTful service up and working. With http.HandleFunc, you may simply outline your routes and assign handlers to the requests which are routed to these URIs.

The http.ListenAndServe methodology kicks off the server, binding it to the port you specify. After we deploy to Heroku, Heroku will handle setting the PORT var in the environment. For our native deployment, we default to 8080.

Let’s take a look at a handler:

func spongebobHandler(w http.ResponseWriter, r *http.Request) 
	decoder := json.NewDecoder(r.Physique)
	var t requestPayload
	err := decoder.Decode(&t)
	if err != nil 

	consequence := map[string]string
		"unique":  *t.Enter,
		"spongebob": spongebob(*t.Enter),

	w.Header().Set("Content material-Sort", "utility/json")
	err = json.NewEncoder(w).Encode(consequence)
	if err != nil 

Our handler must do the work of taking the JSON physique of the request and parsing it right into a Go struct outlined exterior of this snippet. Then, it must construct the consequence from different capabilities that rework the enter string right into a SpongeBob utterance. Once more, not one of the libraries listed here are third-party dependencies; all of them come customary with Go. You may see the prevalence of error dealing with right here by way of error codes, as working with err takes up a big a part of the code actual property. 

To run this service domestically, we merely do that:

Then, we ship a GET request to /well being:

$ curl -s http://localhost:8080/well being

We obtain a JSON response indicating the service is up and wholesome. That’s it—one file, with roughly 100 strains of precise code, and you’ve got a working Go RESTful microservice!

Deploying Your Go Service to Heroku

Working the service in your laptop computer is OK, I suppose. However you realize what can be actually cool? Working it on the internet, that’s what.

Nowadays, we’ve numerous choices for how you can host a service like this. You can construct out your individual infrastructure utilizing AWS or Azure, however that will get difficult and costly rapidly. These days, I’ve been turning increasingly more to Heroku. As a platform-as-a-service (PaaS), it’s a low-hassle, low-cost possibility that permits me to deploy purposes to the cloud rapidly.

Once I’m doing testing and growth, I exploit their Eco Dyno plan to get 1000 dyno hours per thirty days for $5. To deploy primary apps to manufacturing, I exploit their Fundamental Dyno Plan, which prices a max of $7 per thirty days.

For frameworks that Heroku helps, the method of deploying proper out of your native machine to the online is fast and painless. After establishing a Heroku account, I set up the Heroku CLI and log in from the command line.

You may create a brand new app straight via the CLI, or you need to use the online UI. I named my utility the identical as my GitHub repo: golang-text-demo. We’ll consider one thing snazzier earlier than our IPO; however for now, this can do. 

create new app

To deploy our GitHub repo to Heroku, we first want so as to add a distant repository.

$ heroku git:distant -a golang-text-demo

This creates a brand new distant location in our GitHub repo, pointing it to the Heroku utility we simply created. Now, each time we push our department to that distant (git push heroku important), it’ll kick off a flurry of exercise as Heroku will get to work.

Lastly, we add one file referred to as go.mod, which specifies our app’s construct dependencies (we don’t have any) and construct configurations for Heroku. Our file is brief and candy, merely setting the Go model we wish Heroku to make use of:

module golang-text-demo

go 1.22

After we push to our Heroku distant, Heroku initializes all of the required sources within the cloud. This may occasionally take a minute or two the primary time you deploy your app, however the outcomes seem like cached, decreasing the time in subsequent deploys.


When your app has efficiently deployed, you’ll see output that appears much like this:

app success

This provides us the URL for our deployed Heroku app. Candy! With a single git push command, we’ve deployed a Go microservice to the cloud, and it’s now accessible wherever on the earth. To work together with it, we merely subject the identical curl command we did earlier than, however we use the Heroku app URL as an alternative of localhost

The Heroku CLI additionally provides us entry to our utility’s logs. It’s virtually precisely like working with the instruments straight in your native machine. We simply run heroku logs -tail, and we see the newest log strains from Heroku and our utility proper there in our terminal window.

Earlier than we end, let’s briefly spotlight the spectacular insights that may be gained about your utility from the Heroku app dashboard. Certain, there’s the apparent stuff you care about—like how a lot your sources are costing or whether or not or not they’re functioning. However the metrics part provides you spectacular element in regards to the efficiency of your utility in close to real-time.


Any person higher do one thing about these vital errors… 


On this walkthrough, we’ve explored why Go is a good selection for constructing a contemporary, low-dependency, and environment friendly internet service. We constructed a easy API service in Go and demonstrated how you can deploy our service utilizing Heroku. As a PaaS, Heroku helps working all kinds of companies, not simply Go.

With that, you now have the instruments wanted to get began by yourself Go companies journey. Don’t wait, get Go-ing!