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App Engine update brings parity to Java, Python tools

Google has updated its App Engine platform, adding extra Python and Java development tools.The platform — which allows developers to build web apps that can be deployed across Google's infrastructure — first launched in 2008, but did not include support for the Java runtime until 2009.
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Written by Ben Woods, Senior reporter on

Google has updated its App Engine platform, adding extra Python and Java development tools.

The platform — which allows developers to build web apps that can be deployed across Google's infrastructure — first launched in 2008, but did not include support for the Java runtime until 2009.

Google App Engine (GAE) 1.4.3 "brings our Java and Python runtimes even closer to parity," the company said on its blog on Wednesday.

GAE 1.4.3 adds a test library that Google said speeds up app testing and removes the need to rely on external services for testing. It also introduces an experimental Python Prospective Search API, which allows an application to register a large set of queries that are simultaneously matched against datastore entities; effectively allowing developers to create a system similar to Google Alerts.

For the GAE Java SDK, Google has added support for Java Remote and Deferred APIs. The former provides support for working on an app's datastore from a local machine and the latter allows users to more easily write and execute ad-hoc tasks, Google said. The Python library already supported these APIs.

The release also adds a new Files API for both Python and Java that allows users to more easily read and write data using Blobstore.

"This API can be used to generate reports, export data, or do anything that your heart desires that requires large, binary objects," the company said.

Google also gave a sneak peak at one of the updates due in the next version of App Engine so that developers have time to prepare.

"When 1.4.4 is released, we plan on including a change that allows both the person who uploaded the code to download it, as well as the owner(s) of the project as listed in the Admin Console," Google said. "In preparation for this, be sure to properly assign roles to all developers on your App Engine application in the Admin Console."

It added that, alternatively, developers could permanently disable the code download feature for any application.

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