Google App Engine Adds .NET Support As It Races to Be The PaaS of Choice

Python? Check. Ruby? Check. Java? No problem. Node.js? Got it. PHP? Roger that. ASP.NET Core? No sweat.  Wait? ASP.NET too? 

Although cloud-based platforms-as-a-service (yes, we know that's a bit redundant) have been around for a while, total and complete language agnosticism has not necessarily been one of their strengths. Most such PaaS typically get started by supporting one or two languages and then look to expand from there. But one latecomer -- Google App Engine -- has gone from being a latecomer to having as good or better language support than the other PaaS on the market. By comparison for example, Heroku (a part of Salesforce.com) supports Python, Ruby, Java, Node.js (server-side JavaScript), PHP, Go, Scala (and Play), and Clojure.  

In addition to its current general availability (GA) of support for Python, Ruby, Node. js, PHP, Java, and Go, Google announced via blog yesterday that it is adding support for PHP and ASP.NET core (both of which are currently in beta). The ASP.NET offering in particular is a stake in the ground given how successful Microsoft has been with it's Azure cloud services. Microsoft went from being nowhere in the cloud market to being 2nd-ranked behind Amazon because of how Azure is viewed as a natural migration target for Windows shops looking to move to the cloud. One of the main reasons to move to a PaaS like Google App Engine, Heroku, or Azure is because of how much easier it is to scale those apps should the need arise.

With self-managed platforms (either on-premises or IaaS-style in the cloud), scaling your infrastructure to support an app that's suddenly in need of more horsepower is much more involved. By adding support for ASP.NET, Google is clearly looking to capture the great many businesses and developers may have previously viewed the PaaS side of Microsoft Azure as their only reputable option, but who are also looking at alternative PaaS providers with a reputation for scale (not that Azure can't scale too!).

According to Google Cloud product manager Justin Beckwith, "With this release, we also announced beta support for ASP.NET Core on App Engine. This is a great choice for developers building Web applications with C# and .NET Core who want to enjoy the benefits of running on App Engine."  Beckwith also announced the availability of a .NET SDK that will help Windows developers to unlock the underlying capababilities of Google App Engine with their .NET code. To make it super easy for Microsoft developers, Google also announced a Visual Studio plug-in so .NET apps can be deployed directly to App Engine from within the Microsoft-based integrated development environment (IDE). Google has similar integrations available for the Eclipse and IntelliJ IDEs. 

David Berlind is the editor-in-chief of ProgrammableWeb.com. You can reach him at david.berlind@programmableweb.com. Connect to David on Twitter at @dberlind or on LinkedIn, put him in a Google+ circle, or friend him on Facebook.

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