Google Application Engine (GAE) is a cloud computing platform for developing and hosting web applications in Google-managed data centers.

Frameworks

Google App Engine was written to be language independent, however it currently supports Google-friendly languages such as Python, Java, and JVM languages, as well as Go.

GAE supports most of the Python related frameworks (Python web frameworks) as well as Google-written webapp framework and some others.

Massive Scalability and Pricing

The App Engine provides application scaling for computing platforms. I consider this to be its best feature because of ever increasing data processing demands. It automatically allocates both memory and power resources to meet the growing load, bandwidth or CPU demands.

Each Google Application Engine application can use a certain amount of computing resources for free, as defined by a set of quotas. With a low bandwidth for your application on the Google AppEngine platform, the cost is zero or close to zero. If your application grows to a point where it serves millions of requests a month, at that point you will probably generate enough money to afford the increased cloud framework demands. It’s free to start – very convenient for startups. The full GAE pricing info is available here.

High Replication Datastore configuration

Since the beginning of 2011 Google Application Engine provides High Replication Datastore configuration under which to run applications in addition to the default Master/Slave configuration. This High Replication Datastore of the App Engine is for those developers who want the highest possible level of availability for their data and applications. Such an application in data centers configuration was made possible through writing increased latency and some changes in consistency guarantees in the API. The High Replication Datastore provides a high-level, 99.95% uptime Service Level Agreement. However for low cost or non-critical applications, one can use the initial Master/Slave App Engine configuration.

Developers’ Guide and downloads

The Developers’ Guides for both Python and Java can be found here. The SDK and AppEngine downloads can be found here. I started my first application with GAE within 5 minutes using the video as a guide.

GAE advantages over other application cloud hostings


Google Application Engine’s noticeable advantage over AWS or Azure is that you are charged for only the time your application is handling requests (with minimum charged time span being 15 min). Compared to the competitors, GAE’s fees for application availability to handle requests are of lower degree. So if the traffic is low (like with a startup project or something similar), application owners do not have to pay much for it.

Summary

Google Application Engine is a good cloud framework supporting JAVA and Python (Google’s favorite :-) ) web development languages. It’s a nice base for launching low bandwidth projects with no money upfront. The huge advantage of the Application Engine is the automatic resource scalability so that the application can grow. The projects are allowed to consume resources up to a limit quota for free; the additional resources are nonetheless chargeable.