Google App Engine: Developer Freedom or Sharecropping?

 
 
By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2008-04-14 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Google App Engine wows some, worries others.

The Google App Engine is drawing a wellspring of developer interest and support less than a week after its announcement.

But others believe that developers using the App Engine will become trapped in a closed environment. 

Among the converts, Appcelerator, a player in the open source RIA (rich Internet applications) space, on April 11 announced that it had updated its platform to allow applications built using Appcelerator to be seamlessly deployed to the new Google App Engine.

Used together, the offerings give developers a fast route to developing, deploying, managing and scaling their applications, officials at Appcelerator said.

Google App Engine enables developers to run their Web applications on Google's infrastructure. Applications run in a secure sandbox environment.

"You can serve your app using a free domain name on the appspot.com domain, or use Google Apps to serve it from your own domain," according to a Google Web page describing the Mountain View, Calif., company's cloud computing offering for developers. "You can share your application with the world, or limit access to members of your organization."

The Google App Engine features dynamic Web serving, persistent storage, automatic scaling and load balancing, APIs for authenticating users and sending e-mail using Google Accounts, and a "fully featured local development environment that simulates Google App Engine on your computer," Google said.

Moreover, Google App Engine applications are implemented using the Python programming language. The runtime environment includes the full Python language and most of the Python standard library. Other programming languages are being considered for future releases, the company said.

And the App Engine SDK (software development kit) includes a Web server application that emulates all of the App Engine services on your local computer, Google officials said.



 
 
 
 
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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