The Google AppEngine team has been one of the most consistent teams over 2012. They had monthly releases and with Christmas just around the corner, they delivered on the final release of the year. The latest release 1.7.4 is significant in the fact that several APIs that were experimental in nature till now have been upgraded to General Availability (GA) Status.
Earlier this year, A/B testing made its debut in AppEngine via the Traffic Splitting feature. This feature is now upgraded to GA along with Task Queue statistics, Background Threads and Logs Reader API, which lets you programmatically access your logs. The Conversion API, which was marked as decommissioned has been removed in this release.
Both Java and Python support has seen some additions. Support for Maven now exists through both Maven archetypes and a Maven plugin for Java has been added along with full source code to help debug your applications. Various JSP improvements have been done to improve the compilation process time and packaging. Python sees the interpreter being upgraded to 2.7.3. WebOb 1.2.3 and Matplotlib v1.1.1 are now available in the Python runtime.
In terms of infrastucture, Google is expanding European Union datacenter support. The AppEngine team will be taking a break for the holidays and the monthly releases will continue from February. We think they deserve it.