Google App Engine

New web app platform from Google: “Google App Engine enables you to build web applications on the same scalable systems that power Google applications.” In part this is a competitor to Amazon services like S3 and SimpleDB, but at first glance it seems more cohesive and more focused — Google is offering to host your entire web app, not just the storage. It lets you use Google Checkout for commerce and Google Accounts for user accounts.

“Additional runtime environments and languages may be supported in the future”, but for now it’s entirely Python-based, and includes support for Django. The “SDK” is a Python staging server that you can run on Mac OS X, Windows, or Linux. Google App Engine is currently in “preview release” and new sign-ups are limited, but when it ships it’s going to offer fairly generous limits for free accounts. A new app shouldn’t cost a penny to host until it’s somewhat popular.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008