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Pub/Sub triggers

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Google Cloud's Pub/Sub is a globally distributed message bus that automatically scales as you need it. You can create a function that handles Pub/Sub events by using pubsub.

Trigger a pub/sub function

You can trigger a function whenever a new Pub/Sub message is sent to a specific topic. You must specify the Pub/Sub topic name that you want to trigger your function, and set the event within the onMessagePublished() event handler:

exports.hellopubsub = onMessagePublished("topic-name", (event) => {
  // ...

Access the pub/sub message payload

The payload for the Pub/Sub message is accessible from the Message object returned to your function. For messages with JSON in the Pub/Sub message body, the Firebase SDK for Cloud Functions has a helper property to decode the message. For example, here is a message published with a simple JSON payload:

gcloud pubsub topics publish topic-name --message '{"name":"Xenia"}'

You can access a JSON data payload like this via the json property:

  // Get the `name` attribute of the PubSub message JSON body.
  let name = null;
  try {
    name =;
  } catch (e) {
    logger.error("PubSub message was not JSON", e);

Other, non-JSON payloads are contained in the Pub/Sub message as base64 encoded strings in the message object. To read a message like the following, you must decode the base64 encoded string as shown:

gcloud pubsub topics publish topic-name --message 'MyMessage'

// Decode the PubSub Message body.
const message =;
const messageBody = ?
      Buffer.from(, "base64").toString() :

Access message attributes

Pub/Sub message can be sent with data attributes set in the publish command. For example, you could publish a message with a name attribute:

gcloud pubsub topics publish topic-name --attribute name=Xenia

You can read such attributes from Message.attributes:

// Get the `name` attribute of the message.
const name =;