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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Google App Engine With Java

The Google App Engine allows developers to create websites on Google’s server infrastructure. So far, only Python was supported as programming language, but Google now announced support for Java as well (this was foreshadowed by TechCrunch last month). Google in their announcement post also mentions that the App Engine now supports Cron jobs – i.e. scheduled events running for your app –, though I’m not sure how new that is.

My friend and I had been setting up one of our sites using the App Engine (we have our own domain and front-end but the front-end communicates with the App Engine back-end via Json). Our experiences in the past months were very mixed. It’s a nice framework to develop in, if you don’t mind getting your head around the pros and cons of accessing data with the scalable datastore approach I guess, but the outages were quite heavy. For several weeks, the scheduled maintenance downtime alerts (as well as the alerts related to non-scheduled problems) kept piling up, so this wouldn’t have been a realistic option for a hugely important site. Even for our smaller fun project, it caused headaches... imagine you’re being linked from a newsletter or a popular website or so and then there’s a one-hour downtime. On the other hand, the App Engine is of course also completely free for starters, until you want to buy into additional quota.

[Thanks Manoj, KMB and Steffi. Via Google blog and App Engine blog.]


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