Google Launches App Engine 1.5, Post Preview Support at Google I/O

At its Google I/O conference, Google announces version 1.5 of Google App Engine and discusses its plans to graduate the platform out of preview status to enterprise-grade quality.

Google has announced a new version of its Google App Engine public cloud platform and also preannounced plans to move the service into enterprise-grade production mode in the latter half of 2011.

At its Google I/O 2011 developer conference in San Francisco, Google announced App Engine 1.5.0, which delivers new features such as Backends, improvements to Task Queues and support for the Google Go programming language, among other new things. Google also said App Engine will graduate out of its current Preview status in the second half of 2011.

In a May 10 blog post, Greg D'Alesandre, senior product manager for Google App Engine, said since Google launched the cloud platform in 2008 it has grown significantly. Google App Engine provides the ability to develop and host applications on Google's infrastructure. More than 100,000 developers use App Engine every month to deliver apps that dynamically scale with usage without the need to manage hardware or software. App Engine now hosts more than 200,000 active apps that serve over 1.5 billion site views daily.

D'Alesandre said with Backends -- for both Python and Java -- App Engine can now support applications classes of applications such as report generation apps and custom search engines to be hosted on the platform. And improvements to Task Queues allow for applications to control how tasks are executed and easily share the work using the new REST-based APIs. "This API access expands App Engine's compatibility with other on-premise and cloud services, furthering our commitment to an open development platform," D'Alesandre said.

Moreover, with the experimental runtime for the Go Programming Language, Google is making an App Engine SDK for Go available for download. "And we will soon enable deployment of Go apps into the App Engine infrastructure," D'Alesandre said.

Go is an open source, statically typed, compiled language with a dynamic and lightweight feel. "It's also an interesting new option for App Engine because Go apps will be compiled to native code, making Go a good choice for more CPU-intensive tasks," D'Alesandre said. "As of today, the If you're interested in starting early, sign up to be first through the door when we open it up to early testers. If you'd like to learn more, read it about it on the Go Blog."

Meanwhile, when App Engine graduates from preview status, Google will add additional enterprise-grade features that allow the platform to support many more business application scenarios. "Graduation from preview status also indicates a longer term commitment by Google to the product and provides a deprecation policy whereby we will support prior versions of product APIs for a guaranteed amount of time, allowing applications written to prior API specifications to continue to function," D'Alesandre said.

D'Alesandre also said:

"We're announcing these features and pricing changes in advance so that our customers have time to review them. Adding business features will help App Engine meet a broader set of needs and the new, more transparent pricing model will help customers better align their App Engine investment with their business goals. Learn more about these changes on the App Engine blog."