Google App Engine has generated a lot of buzz among Developers in the last few months. When it announced changes to its pricing, developers did not take to it kindly and coupled with the fact that various other cloud PaaS offerings have emerged, it was imperative for Google to address it with not just changes but also new releases, packed with features that developers will appreciate.
The App Engine team did just that. Since those stormy days, they calmed things down by first announcing the adjusting the price changes. This involved giving developers more time, increasing the number of free instance hours and making a push towards Python 2.7, where the concurrent requests would help bring lower the price of running your application. The team then delivered two incremental releases of the App Engine that addressed some of the bugs and brought about enhancements.
It stepped up the gas recently by announcing some major features in the App Engine platform that is sure to stabilize its position among PaaS vendors.
Some of the features include:
- Experimental Support for Python 2.7 runtime. This is crucial and the concurrent requests support in Python 2.7 is being touted as a possible solution to reduce your application costs.
- You can now sign up for a Premier Account for $500/month. This account comes with a 99.95% uptime SLA, premium technical support, unlimited apps, no minimum monthly fees and a monthly billing via invoice.
- Increase in several rate limits. Frontend request deadline has been extended from 30 seconds to 60 seconds now and URLFetch deadline from 10 seconds to 60 seconds. Number of files that you can upload with your application has been bumped up to 10,000 with a max. Size of 32MB.
The team has outdone itself with some big ticket features. They have announced Limited Preview features and Trusted Tester Programs for the following:
- Full Text Search. This has been one of the most requested features, especially since Google is the King of Search.
- Cloud SQL Preview. You can now power your App Engine application with a SQL database in the cloud. It is a MySQL environment with JDBC API for Java apps and DB-API support for Python applications.
- Conversion API. This allows for converting files from Text to PDF.
In addition to the above Preview programs, two significant APIs from Google recently have graduated from labs. They are the Google Storage API and the Prediction API. The Prediction API seems very promising and could give rise to intelligent data mining in App Engine applications.
The App Engine team has been doing a commendable job in regular releases and with Premier Accounts, SQL Preview, Cloud Storage and support for new language runtimes, the platform has emerged feature rich and is waiting for developers to take note and give its new features a spin.