Google’s App Engine

Google has launched App Engine – a service allowing web developers to test out their applications on Google’s infrastructure.

By using Google technology developers will be able to see how their applications fare ‘under heavy load and with large amounts of data’, says a post on the new blog for the service.

“The goal is to make it easy to get started with a new web app, and then make it easy to scale when that app reaches the point where it’s receiving significant traffic and has millions of users,” writes Paul McDonald, product manager.

There are certain restrictions on the applications, namely: maximum of 500MB of storage, 200M megacycles of CPU per day and 10GB bandwidth per day. The tool will remain free when used within these parameters and, as it’s developed, users will be able to purchase extra resources.

Donald says most applications are expected to be able to serve approximately 5 million pageviews per month.

The App Engine is at the ‘preview’ stage – meaning only the first 10,000 subscribers can play with it for now. The list is already full:

Google App subscription page

According to Darren Waters on the BBC’s blog there were no more places within 24 hours. Waters points to the launch as a signal of where Google is headed as a company:

“There’s no doubt that hosted services, from web applications to programs we associate mainly with desktop computing, are the future… more interesting will be what Google says it will be able to do with the applications and resultant data that it will host on our behalf, on the behalf of developers and companies.

“Google could help drive standards not just for the web as we understand it today, but for each and every device that is being connected to the net now and in the coming years…”

TechCrunch has already used the service to build an application and says it took four hours from sign-up to deployment – its speed and simplicity being the main attraction to developers. However, questions will need to be asked about the scaling process, writes Henry Work.

While making it quick and easy is undoubtedly a positive for developers, Thomas Claburn at InformationWeek urges caution:

“[D]evelopers looking to travel the path of least resistance should pay close attention to the risks of depending on someone else and to the limitations imposed by terms-of-service contracts. We’re talking about outsourcing your infrastructure, after all.”

Is this Google offering developers a helping hand or offering to buy them up?

Leave a Reply