back to article App Engine: Google's deepest secrets as a service

Google will never open source its back end. You'll never run the Google File System or Google MapReduce or Google BigTable on your own servers. Except on the rarest of occasions, the company won't even discuss the famously distributed software that underpins its sweeping collection of web services. But if you like, you can …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Yeah, ta

    "...It eliminates entire classes of job descriptions, from sys admin to DBA."

    Yeah, thanks for that. First it's outsourcing, now I'm being replaced by a google API. Now I know how the automotive factory worker felt like.

    Maybe I can take up a Crofter lifestyle in the Outer Hebrides.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I have an ex-colleague who is doing just that.

      He also plans to invest his money in gold and bury it somewhere on the property.

  2. Marvin the Martian
    Paris Hilton

    What a strange logo!

    An airplane that's all engine & wings but has no cargo whatsoever? Can the Strategy Boutique analyst please expound on this?

    1. Raumkraut

      It's called AppEngine

      Google supply the engine, the developer supplies the rest of the plane.

      They're not wings you see but, uhh, structural connection struts, yeah.

    2. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: What a strange logo!

      You mean like this:

      Yup, there really is nothing new under the sun....

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a strange logo!

      Heard at Google: "This new engine thing is cool - it has wings and everything! No, don't switch it on... shit! We'll never get that back now!"

  3. Stu 18

    but what really concerns me

    Rewriting applications is not necessarily a stumbling block for me, more the issue of potentially loosing control of the data.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Oh yes, yes , yeeees!

    Orgasmic noises heard at Google HQ as more idiots provide data to their privacy invading scanners..

    Get real - anything you keep in that sort of volume has IP rights associated with it. Let's hope Google Terms of Service do not apply, otherwise you're screwed (read them, specifically item 11).

  5. ttuk
    Thumb Up

    for hobbyist use.. I like it.. mostly..

    Funnily enough I've just started developing an app using app engine.

    I do a bit of python coding at work, and have worked on simple small company intranets in pylons, but to be fair it was a fair few months ago and I spend most of my time developing in excel

    I came up with an idea for a simple web application that I'd find useful (and probably a fair few other people) a while ago and wondered about coding it up myself in my spare time, it'll add a little to my CV at least and be useful and interesting too.

    Then I wondered about hosting... Any webhost that would let me setup server side code generally seemed to require a $$ a month commitment, which considering I was doing this as a project for my own amusement in my spare time, I wasn't too keen on... especially as I wasn't sure if it would all work in the first place anyway.

    Then I heard about app engine.. free, runs python..

    So far I've only developed locally on the dev server, I haven't uploaded yet.. Thoughts..

    They say you can run whatever framework you like on there (Django, pylons cherrypy etc) but it seems far from trivial to get it setup, plus certain restrictions in gae break features of the framework. So I've stuck to the simple framework they have. My app isn't too complex for the most part so it's fine..

    But.. some of the restrictions and so on do take a bit of getting your head round... there's no session management to speak of builtin so you have to rethink the way you might normally do things to get it to work.. It's easy if you expect users to login to their google accounts.. but if your app doesn't use google services then that's not massively helpful..

    Documentation and tutorials are pretty good..

    Of course I don't know how well this would suit a proper business.. Also not sure what I will do if I start to hit the free limits in terms of bandwidtth / cpu and google require cash of me to pay for it... I guess this is the point, they will help me setup adsense on there or something to fund the cost..

    Basically they got me with the free model.. I have a server setup, that will run the code I want sat there waiting for me, for free.. Of course if what I do is succesful then google may well end up getting me to upgrade to the paid version...

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: for hobbyist use.. I like it.. mostly..

      "Any webhost that would let me setup server side code generally seemed to require a $$ a month commitment, which considering I was doing this as a project for my own amusement in my spare time, I wasn't too keen on... especially as I wasn't sure if it would all work in the first place anyway."

      There are some pretty reasonable hosts that don't cost too much - not exactly $5 a month, and certainly not free, but you often get what you pay for, anyway - that are also well-managed and Python- and open source-friendly. In other words, not some rotting sideline to some juice-extracting corporate hosting business where they throw dated versions of open source stuff on some old version of FreeBSD and give you FTP-only access and indifference when you ask them anything, but at the same time not some kind of "you're on your own, jump out of the plane now!" VPS hosting where you're supposed to get up to speed on service hardening and rogue traffic blocking as soon as they flip the switch.

      It's worth taking a look at what your chosen community recommends, certainly. You may not get good general purpose hosting for free, but a bit of money spent on hosting can be a good investment if it showcases your development efforts.

      1. ttuk



        I did see there where some decent looking hosts for around $10 a month.

        I would not have been comfortable on a vps since I don't know much about server admin at all.. would no doubt have been a security nightmare.

        The thing I like about the google system is it'l pretty much all setup and ready to go.. You spend say 30 mins reading some of the intro docs and then you can get write on with implementing your app..

        You run one script to upload.. and bang! It's live.. minimal faffing... Lets you concentrate on the app development and not server admin stuff. It's also free! And the admin tools are pretty good also

        The only slight annoyance I had last night is that the runtime python environment is 2.5.. My linux distro, like pretty much everyone else is 2.6... I did try installing 2.5 on my system alongside 2.6 but it didn't seem to work.. some problem with one of the modules that I couldn't figure out..

        So when I uploaded I had to make a few small changes to syntax.. Also one of the 3rd party libs I used, used a datatype that was only available in 2.6 so I had to do a bit of googling to find 2.5 compatible source code for it to drop in.. I'm just being careful now as I do new things to check when features where implemented to the language

        So far.. all good

  6. TomDM
    IT Angle

    Good article

    Good article.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

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