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Google has unveiled a new API that maps out costs for cloud services. An improvement on the existing Billing Catalog API, the new option with outlining prices should take more account of the specific situation of the company in question. Pricing API is available in public preview form to any customer.

Product Manager of Google Cloud Shruthi Nambi explains that every organization wants to optimize costs, but it is difficult to see what one is spending on cloud costs. In addition, it is also not easy to estimate future trends. Therefore, Pricing API can factor in the price of a SKU based on account-specific discounts and past average usage. Conversion from foreign currencies can also be handled automatically with the API.

Why a new API?

There was already a way to view cloud costs with Billing Catalog API. However, it was not focused on individual organizations: it always came up with the same price per product, even if it differed greatly from the negotiated price a company might have managed. Pricing API offers even more details anyway, such as SKU-to-SKU group mapping instead of just SKU-to-service mapping. It is also possible to divide SKUs even further with taxonomy based on location and product type.

Combined with usage metrics, this API can be useful to explain unexpected spikes in cost reports. According to Nambi, Pricing API is basically meant to build applications on it that compare different SKUs based on varied parameters, such as price, to regulate usage and costs. Setting a budget will ultimately be the most obvious option, with hopefully a more realistic view of actual costs than before.

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