Saturday, April 12, 2008

Google App Engine

Google has begun a new venture to try to speed the adoption of advanced Web 2.0 applications by individuals and businesses.  Called Google App Engine, the platform deals with all your hosting needs right off the bat - Google supplies the database, the physical server, the webservers; everything you need to start up a new webapp.
And google isn't skimping with the resources either - for free, you get 500 mb's of database storage and enough resources for 5 million pageloads a month.  This is clearly a good strategy because, other than development time, you're not taking a risk on a flop in terms of money.  Just start off on the free plan, and upgrade when your userbase exceeds the free resources - by that time, if you can't afford it, your business model is not just flawed, its wrong.  
The Application Framework is python based, but google even went further in incorporating Django, a MVC framework for Java with rapid development at it's heart.  They've even built a database connector for django, and really solidified that offering rather than slapping it on as an afterthought.
My take on all this, I was never really interested in learning Django.  The last project I worked on, I was looking at either picking up Ruby on Rails or Django, and Ruby on Rails seemed much stronger a platform, and I never regretted picking Rails over Django.  But now I'm looking at Google's offering and I'm thinking about getting into Django.  Ruby on Rails is great, but one of the biggest pains is the hosting aspect.  Rails is a memory hog, and you end up learning a lot when you try to host an app in a reliable manner.  Now, not only is Django easier, but Google is making hosting as easy as uploading and sitting back.  Whenever you let a developer worry just about their code, and not about the whole infastructure, you're leading the way towards a great formula - and Google may have just pushed out a great 1.0 product.


avarner said...

Seems like the next step in Google Apps For Your Domain. The editors picks are pretty unique too XD

friarminor said...

Until GAE serves up Rails, you may want to check out Morph eXchange.

It runs on top of the AWS so it basically is cloud compute too.