Google App Engine Gets Background Threading, More Console Features

Google continues to march forward with its monthly release cycle for the Google App Engine API. With Google I/O coming up, the team clearly has its priorities clear in introducing features and changes that should help them get the message across to developers that the App Engine Platform is in good hands. The latest release, App Engine 1.6.4 comes less than a month from the earlier one and is probably one of the most feature packed release in recent times.

One of the key runtime changes in the new release is that of Background Threads support. Both the Java and Python runtimes will now allow developers to launch threads when running their backend processes. While this is an experimental feature, it surely is a platform feature that developers had been expecting for a while. This release also introduces the ability to use threads for frontend requests in Java.

Next come a series of changes that are classified under System wide changes. In the Admin console now, you can now view Datastore Index Stats and view Memcache statistic via a Memcache Viewer. Google Cloud Storage is increasingly being integrated as a first class citizen. Blobs can now be served directly from Google Cloud Storage in addition to Blobstore and your datastore can now be backed up in Google Cloud.

This release also sees datastore Framework changes. The NDB API for Python has graduated to a fully supported feature. On the Java side, the DataNucleus plugin has undergone a major overhaul with 40 bug fixes and support for JPA 2 and JDO 3.

App Engine supports the Go language runtime as an experimental feature in addition to its Java and Python runtimes. But the last few releases have been particularly silent on new features in the Go runtime. Did this runtime actually see any traction?

For App Engine 1.6.4 Release Notes, refer to the Python and Java sections respectively.