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Google App Engine announced  (View post)

Colin Colehour [PersonRank 10]

Tuesday, April 8, 2008
11 years ago16,141 views

<< Today we’re announcing a preview release of Google App Engine, an application-hosting tool that developers can use to build scalable web apps on top of Google’s infrastructure. The goal is to make it easier for web developers to build and scale applications, instead of focusing on system administration and maintenance.

Leveraging Google App Engine, developers can:

   * Write code once and deploy. Provisioning and configuring multiple machines for web serving and data storage can be expensive and time consuming. Google App Engine makes it easier to deploy web applications by dynamically providing computing resources as they are needed. Developers write the code, and Google App Engine takes care of the rest.
   * Absorb spikes in traffic. When a web app surges in popularity, the sudden increase in traffic can be overwhelming for applications of all sizes, from startups to large companies that find themselves rearchitecting their databases and entire systems several times a year. With automatic replication and load balancing, Google App Engine makes it easier to scale from one user to one million by taking advantage of Bigtable and other components of Google’s scalable infrastructure.
   * Easily integrate with other Google services. It’s unnecessary and inefficient for developers to write components like authentication and e-mail from scratch for each new application. Developers using Google App Engine can make use of built-in components and Google’s broader library of APIs that provide plug-and-play functionality for simple but important features.
>>

techcrunch.com/2008/04/07/goog ...

Website for Google App Engine will be found here once officially launched: code.google.com/appengine/

Jrome [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

Live coverage: qik.com/scobleizer (lagging)

Jrome [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

The gallery is live: appgallery.appspot.com/
You (will) have to sign in your Google account to use those apps.

Colin Colehour [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

App Engine site is up:


farm3.static.flickr.com/2280/2 ...

Colin Colehour [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Screenshot of the App Gallery:


farm3.static.flickr.com/2085/2 ...

Colin Colehour [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

From the What is Google App Engine page:

<< What Is Google App Engine?

Google App Engine lets you run your web applications on Google's infrastructure. App Engine applications are easy to build, easy to maintain, and easy to scale as your traffic and data storage needs grow. With App Engine, there are no servers to maintain: You just upload your application, and it's ready to serve your users.

You can serve your app using a free domain name on the appspot.com domain, or use Google Apps to serve it from your own domain. You can share your application with the world, or limit access to members of your organization.

App Engine costs nothing to get started. Sign up for a free account, and you can develop and publish your application for the world to see, at no charge and with no obligation. A free account can use up to 500MB of persistent storage and enough CPU and bandwidth for about 5 million page views a month.

During the preview release of Google App Engine, only free accounts are available. In the near future, you will be able to purchase additional computing resources. >>

code.google.com/appengine/docs ...

Jérôme Flipo [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I'm on the waiting list...

Jérôme Flipo [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Here's the official App Engine Blog: googleappengine.blogspot.com

Colin Colehour [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Officially announced on the main Google blog:
googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/0 ...

Rohit Srivastwa [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

How fast did those FIRST 10,000 developers signed up ??

Colin Colehour [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Yeah, it seem that those 10,000 signed up before the product was even published live to the Google servers. I signed up just a few minutes after I noticed it live and got the thanks but we're full message.

Jérôme Flipo [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I've also been added to the waiting list... but I've received an email inviting me to create an app. You will all get an email very soon.

Mysterius [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

This all sounds so exciting I almost signed up before I asked myself what in the world I would do with an account.

Colin Colehour [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Your right Jérôme Flipo, I just got the email saying I can begin creating applications.

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Codename : "ah"
Tony spotted it a while ago :)

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

TOMHTML, codename "ah" is also used for Google Mashup Editor. I see "ah" (AKA Prometheus) has been re-enabled in Google Apps again though.

Luca [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

seems that google apps are under "slashdot effect".. dot.appspot.com/ give me a "403 Over Quota" error

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

It seems all blogspot blogs are down. Because of App Engine?

[put at-character here]Tony : to services sharing the same codename? It looks weird, isn't it?

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I guess so but since they're probably built on similar architecture, it kinda makes sense. It looks like all Google App Engine apps use the same service code for the login too:

e.g. HuddleChat:
https:// www.google.com/accounts/ServiceLogin?
service=ah&continue=http:// www.huddlechat.com/_ah/login%3Fcontinue%3Dhttp:// www.huddlechat.com/&ltmpl=gm&ahname=HuddleChat& sig=88b52ea0b864fb6c1591eaf0c3048e88

So perhaps Google Mashup Editors is built using Google App Engine...?

Above 19 comments were made in the forum before this was blogged,

Tue Abrahamsen [PersonRank 7]

11 years ago #

This is an awesome initiative. At work we use Lotus Notes, in which a lot of our work is done in custom made Notes databases. If a company is already using Google Apps, this is a great way of developing in-house tools rapidly.

Perhaps now is a good time for me to learn python? :) I already got access to AppEngine.

scio [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

I'm with Mysterius on this one, sounds like a great idea and I almost signed up. Then I remembered that I don't make webapps. Stupid temptation to sign up for everything Google :-P

jf [PersonRank 5]

11 years ago #

has anyone got an app invite yet?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Jf, not me. Guess a couple of hours were enough for the 10,000 first invites to be snapped up, or, as others have figured, perhaps they were gone before this was publicly released :)

mbegin [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I logged into my Google Apps Control Panel this morning (before hearing about this App Engine), and saw the "Add more services" link – so I clicked on it...

Then I saw this "App Engine" service and came here to read more about it.

Is anyone else seeing this in their Google Apps Control Panel?


img143.imageshack.us/img143/21 ...

mbegin [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Here's what it looks like when I enter an App ID...


img143.imageshack.us/img143/86 ...

mbegin [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

And here it is added to the main Dashboard page...


img339.imageshack.us/img339/31 ...

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

> Is anyone else seeing this in their Google Apps Control Panel?

Yep. I'm seeing this too. To be honest, I assumed I had to enter an App-ID that I was emailed (kind of like an invitation key) so I hadn't gone any further.

adelph.us [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

This seems so very much like dark days of the Microsoft OS monopoly. Who can forget the memories of; stifled competition, and price fixing. In this case Google does the arm twisting AND knuckle cracking by dropping the pricing of a service to free. Goolge is using the advantage of massive scale built on the backs of consumers and media to choke the life out of them and any competitor.

Do we now face a world where all apps are run on the google platform and coded to their specifications. Have we forgotten what happened to Borland, Netscape, and Novel.

Make no bones about it; Google is trying to be the next OS at any cost. If they go on this path unchallenged we will see the snuffing out of a vibrant industry that was once the home of rebels that believed in the possibilities and the freedom of choice.

It is also clear that Google is the biggest danger to Open Source software that we have ever seen.
Where is the cloud/OS for those of us that want a choice and don't think its a good idea for one company to own the very life of the internet.

We at adelph.us will be launching an alternative

"You take the blue pill and the story ends. You wake in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe."

"You take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. Remember – all I am offering is the truth, nothing more."

from the Matrix written by Andy Wachowski & Larry Wachowski

jf [PersonRank 5]

11 years ago #

they've put up a new page

code.google.com/appengine/docs ...
no content yet , but it refers to a "bulk data uploader"

jf [PersonRank 5]

11 years ago #

code.google.com/appengine/arti ...

screenshots have a window decoration that is the Ubuntu "Human" theme...

Ianf [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Philipp: "[...] A Google layer in-between HTTP and the end user, with the potential to tax activity on that layer with micro-payments [...]"

I don't know about taxes, but, as for potential for charging via micro-payments, all I can say is "about time, matey " and "bring it on!"

Incidentially, Daring Fireball site/John Gruber sez "If you're looking for comprehensive coverage of Google App Engine, there's no better place to start" than @Techmeme Coverage of Google App Engine [ daringfireball.net/linked/2008 ...]

and also opines on an early-days-yet sample App Engine demo:

Looking through the "gallery" of demo apps built with Google App Engine, the only one that seems more than half-baked is HuddleChat, written by 3 Google employees [but] HuddleChat is just a feature-for-feature clone of 37signals's Campfire. [...]
daringfireball.net/linked/2008 ...

J. McNair [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

So, I guess this is step 47 of the Google World Domination plan: encourage developers to build full applications on top of Google's (impressive) infrastructure.

While they stole the idea from Amazon, I'm glad they are letting everyone else play. I wonder if this would be a better way to learn Google's many APIs? Since they are live web applications, I can test with real users anywhere and anytime. Well, time to get on the waiting list I guess.

One step closer to www.internet.goog

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

1. Guy signs up
2.Forms company around free hosting by google (for the minute its free, you know)
3. Google buys start up
4. Makes money by integrating it and using context-based ads

Josue R. [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Just got my invite and got in but I think the GUI will need some work. Will have time later to develop something.

Can't wait to see what spammers, porn industry and other tech companies will come up with Google App Engine. They love to abuse free services.

macbeach [PersonRank 6]

11 years ago #

From here:

code.google.com/appengine/docs ...

I was about to cut-and paste the info there but I see now that someone already has, anyway:

Which makes it pretty clear that (as with so many other things) the service will be free for entry-level use, but not for large production level projects. I think many a small business could do just fine on 500M of storage.

I'm constantly puzzled by comments like this by adelph.us:

"This seems so very much like dark days of the Microsoft OS monopoly. Who can forget the memories of; stifled competition, and price fixing. In this case Google does the arm twisting AND knuckle cracking by dropping the pricing of a service to free."

I can hardly see any resemblance. Of course Google, or any company for that matter can turn evil at any time, but why criticize them for what they *might* do when we still have a convicted monopolist on the loose? Who would you sooner trust to be an ongoing repository of online applications: Google, Amazon, or Microsoft? I'm quite sure they will all be players, and there will be many more, such as your company perhaps. But I think we have to judge these companies on what they *do*, not what they *might do*, and when they do "evil" not be so forgiving when instead changing their evil ways, they simply become less competent at them (as Microsoft has done).

Peter Melnikov [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

Google rocks. Very nice move! The rush started not only in USA but caught the attention worldwide. Here at MoveYourWeb (based in Eastern Europe – offshore outsourcing destination) we are working on several demo applications already and should ship in 1-3 days.

Tim Broder [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

Waiting for an invite

alek [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Also waiting for an invite ...

Haochi [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Google has been developing this for several years.
>> If you've talked to me about work during the *last couple years*, I've probably downplayed it, resorted to generalities, or just changed the subject. No longer! We've finally taken the wraps off our project, Google App Engine. <<
~ Googler Ryan Barrett: snarfed.org/space/2008-04-07_g ...

Jérôme Flipo [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

You should test that huddlechat.appspot.com/room?ro ...
It's awesome.

Jérôme Flipo [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

A HuddleChat room opened for each Google event would be cool: it completes perfectly this forum and would avoid all those 1-line comment and reiterations (there are transcripts and files uploading for screenshots).

I plan to use Huddle for every class project... I'm pretty sure millions of Google account will be created in the next weeks!

Andy Wong [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Red pill or blue pill, both choices can be good choices. At least you have choices. Microsoft won't be out, just more side-lined.

Jérôme Flipo [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

wow!!! openid-provider.appspot.com/

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

> A HuddleChat room opened for each Google event would
> be cool: it completes perfectly this forum and would avoid
> all those 1-line comment and reiterations

Jérôme, I once created a visual chat room for this blog at blogoscoped.com/chat/ . In fact that is the first application that came to my mind when I pondered what to do with the Google App Engine, because I thought it would be nice to offer the creation of such chat rooms "on the fly" for webmasters/ for your own blog, but the current implementation using MySQL would create too much requests on this server.

George R [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Why didn't they release this on April 1?

Jérôme Flipo [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

*sigh* HuddleChat is now down because some bloggers complaint that it was too similar to campfire (signal37). But comments on those posts were quite pro-Google: they all advocate that it was good for competition (and that it would oblige signal37 to improve their apps), and insist that HuddleChat is only a sample to show how appengine works. I agree with those comments, but above all, I really like this application and want it back!

Anyway, @philipp I didn't know about the Blogoscoped chat... funny!

Mysterius [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Aww, no Huddlechat?

Feedback from developers? Like this?
twitter.com/sh/statuses/785076 ...

What did they threaten to do? Boycott App Engine? Raise a stink?

If they can't take even this much competition...

Mysterius [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

[put at-character here]Jérôme Flipo: This is a 3rd-party service, right?
openid-provider.appspot.com/

It looks interesting, but I'm not ready to give them my Google account info until I know it's safe. Has anyone tried it or heard about it?

Ianf [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

That was fast.... Google disowns the much-too-much-copycat GAE sample app [ [Up] blogoscoped.com/forum/128431.h ...], for which
they previously registered original domain 'n all.

[put at-character here]Jérôme Flipo – obviously, there must've been more to it than mere complaints in the "dev. community"....

Found @ huddlechat.com


huddlechat.com/static/appengin ...



Hi, a couple of our colleagues wrote Huddle Chat in their spare time as a sample application for other developers to demonstrate the power and flexibility of Google App Engine[^1]. We've heard some complaints from the developer community about it and because of that we've decided to take it down. If you'd like to see more sample applications written on Google App Engine please check out our documentation[^2] and our App Gallery[^3].
Thanks,
The Google App Engine Team

[1] [2] code.google.com/appengine
[3] appgallery.appspot.com

Josue R. [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Well i'll be damned, i didn't know Blogoscoped had a chat.

Jérôme Flipo [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

[put at-character here]Mysterius As far as I know, 3rd-party service can only get your email adress via Google App Engine. Nor your password, neither your personal information:

<<Google is not affiliated with the contents of XXor its owners. If you sign in, Google will share your email address with XX, but not your password or any other personal information.

XXmay use your email address to personalize your experience on their website. >>

About HuddleChat: I think (and TC too) that they've wanted to avoid any bad buzz for this release (I doubt it's a question of copyrights/license...).

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

I second that, here is the App Engine user object that only exposes email and nickname, so signing in *should* be safe, but I'm not completely sure:
code.google.com/appengine/docs ...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

The HuddleChat took 3-4 weeks (perhaps spare time, not quite sure) for the Google employees to implement, according to chat transactions from the channel I saw yesterday. I wonder why specifically they took it down, and whether they will bring it back in a revised, more original version. As it was "just" a sample app it seems no harm was done, though as Google is so big these days perhaps any feeling they rip of work of others is quickly escalated?

Edit: I removed the word "today" in the introductory sentence to the post ("... news for web developers today"). Apparently the blog announced this on Monday US time, which might have been Tuesday German time but anyway, with all the time zones the "today" could be misleading.

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

[put at-character here]Mysterius : I have tried the OpenID application yesterday and today. It fails twice. Google App Engine isn't reliable enought, or at least the examples provided.

/pd [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

this huddlechat thing is doing more bad then good for google right now.. its creating a blazing trail across the channels..!!

Marcin Sochacki (Wanted) [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

OMG, Yahoo cloned 37signal's Campfire chat too:


irchelp.org/irchelp/misc/webch ...



They even copied the right hand side user listing. Bastards ;-)

Eugenius [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

I saw this comment in your post:

"Looking back to other now semi-canceled efforts, like the Google SOAP Search API, this is also interesting in terms of pondering the longevity of this service."

And thought to myself that maybe I am the only one who noticed the near silent re-launch of ths "SOAP API".

code.google.com/apis/ajaxsearc ...
code.google.com/apis/ajaxfeeds ...
code.google.com/apis/ajaxlangu ...

I'm wondering if Google opened up this channel so that App Engine developers would have Python access to it's search, translation, and feed-cache products?

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

That's not a SOAP API, it's a JSON API. Good find!

Peter B. [PersonRank 1]

11 years ago #

Philipp: Regarding chatrooms for websites, I think YouTalk (you-talk.appspot.com), another app in the app gallery, is designed to enable webmasters to embed chatrooms powered by YouTalk in an iframe.

J. McNair [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Overall, I'm happy they quietly bowed out of the Huddlechat/Campfire fiasco. Let 37signals be happy until Google releases Huddlechat 2 that's BETTER than Campfire. They're should be enjoying the free advertising.

Unfortunately, Huddlechat was the best demonstration of Appengine's power and flexibility. It was developed quickly, nice to look at and immediately useful for the average person. That it's a nearly complete clone of a respected web app is even better.

Google is smartly implementing an old idea: universal hosted applications. They and others are making developing for the web as easy and CHEAP as developing for Windows, MacOS or Linux. Developers don't NEED to go through the whole startup process and risk tons of money when they can just try an idea on Google's platform. If an app is successful, then the developers can decide to start a company and move off of Google's platform (or get bought). If not, no one has lost much money. There are good articles explaining how to use Amazon's EC2 and S3 for this, but Google just made it simple, safe and sandboxed – as long as you use their tools, languages of choice and SDK.

[put at-character here]Eugenius
Hmm, looks like Google was always willing to provide a web-wide search API, they just waited to settle on a format.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Marcin, I think MIRC also copied that layout many years ago ;)

Mysterius [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

[put at-character here]Jérôme Flipo: Thanks, I should have read more clearly.

[put at-character here]Philipp Lenssen: Thanks for the confirmation.

[put at-character here]TOMHTML: Yes, I tried the OpenID it provided on Blogspot and it does seem to be buggy at the moment. According to the Google developer behind this, he'll look at it when he has free time:
snarfed.org/space/2008-04-07_g ...

(This is in regards to this app: openid-provider.appspot.com/)

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

"Google's App Engine: Aiming At Facebook, Not Amazon"
alleyinsider.com/2008/4/google ...

Josue R. [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

Think about it, how innovative can one really get with a simple chat app (design or just code). There really isn't many things you can do to reinvent the wheel. All chats need the required fields to be a chat application.

So what, you are telling me that Google <employees> are "suppose" to reinvent "campfire" chat model? Thats ridiculous and nonsense.

Geeze people (to the complainers) its only a sample and you should be at least proud to be admired and lead by example.

Here's a little advice for Google and other companies, when releasing a sample web app (that is similar to your competitor or no-competitor site) and were inspired by another source... RELEASE THE CODE! Make it open-source and let the people do what they will with it. (And maybe give credit to your inspirational source/author).

(i might be wrong about open-source with the above suggestion, but it makes sense to me.... you're welcome to correct me)

Ianf [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #


static.niallkennedy.com/blog/i ...



Nice-o summary of GAE's strengths and (current beta release's) limitations from a pro Python developer's point of view including this enchanting diagram of what (pre-GAE) tiered app-delivery systems it is capable of replacing. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF SUMMARY: early days yet.

niallkennedy.com/blog/2008/04/ ...

[put at-character here]Josue R.
A sample app that simply apes[*] third-party functionality, is not a sample, but an implementation of idea piracy. It is also indicative of these three Googlers/ HuddleChat authors' lack of creativity, never mind originality, not to have come up with at least some functional refinements of said app-genre; and, finally, of temporary mother-ship's inability to gauge the adverse public reaction, ergo potential damage, to the project itself (remedied soon enough).

Frankly, if GAE *is* all that it claims to be, then why not create instead a brand-new/ unique/ sample Killer App™ for it right from the start? ;-))

[*] apt word! and the poetry not bad that either ;-))

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

FYI – It looks like they're sending out more invites now. I just got two...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

"We expect to be able to expand the number of developers in the next few weeks." (From the GAE group.)
Got mine yesterday with thanks to a certain helpful soul :)

> Frankly, if GAE *is* all that it claims to be, then why not
> create instead a brand-new/ unique/ sample Killer App™ for it
> right from the start?

Perhaps there was some engineer pride at work here at Google. "Look, using this cool technology we can clone an existing full-featured app over a couple of weekends!" But not crediting the app may be perceived as arrogance, and the fact itself that Google is so smart to clone a full-featured app in their spare time may raise some envy, perhaps. On the other hand, I also clearly see that there's only a very limited number of ways to do a chat. Even this one which is different to the "MIRC" style chat – blogoscoped.com/chat/ – is also reminiscient of previous tools like Worlds Away, which in turn was reminscient of comic book speech bubbles style.

On that note, I wonder why mothership Google had their developers work on this in their spare time. Why not pay the employees if they come up with an app clearly used for a Google tool, if mothership has the money? It's not like Google is a 5 person startup working on a tiny budget?

Ianf [PersonRank 10]

11 years ago #

[put at-character here]Philipp: "why mothership had her crew work on this in their off-duty time"

Cleary, GAE *is* a BIG THING, if not the nascent 2000 lbs. gorilla of webapps.... that's not under discussion. Google must've known that in advancee, so their decision not to underwrite concurrent development of some Earth-shattering demo/ sample Killer App™ for it (think Visicalc on a Mac][, if you can think that far), is indeed puzzling. Don't ask me what that could be unless you're prepared to reimburse me for me freeverse brainstorming ;-))

[put at-character here]Philipp: "there's only a very limited number of ways to do a chat"

This one I'll supply for free. That is correct ONLY IF your chosen chat metaphor is basically a sequential TTY window, perhaps enhanced with some richtext and color attributes. Once you leave the constraints of that model, however, there are plenty other novel, unexplored, perhaps even killer-appy™ approaches. Or, as they're collectively known around Googleplex, "roads not taken.";-))

By analogy: iPhone comes with industry-unique visual AND non-sequential voicemail, which required AT&T to modify its existing backend structures. I read that so strongly did Apple believe in that and other iPhony concepts, that they were prepared to enter the quagmire of wireless providing, becoming a bona fide, if virtual, network themselves[*] SHOULD they be forced to do that in the wake of stranded negotiations with existing major US providers.

So a chat app should be doable in many a different uncopywronged way....

[*] vouched by patents applied for the concept.

Gordon Harrison [PersonRank 0]

11 years ago #

Thanks for all the posts. I've really learned a lot here.
What do you guys think of this site? I could sure use input.

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

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