Google adds enterprise-friendly features to App Engine

The company has added support for apps that have high memory-processing overheads, and outlined plans to make the platform more appropriate for enterprise adoption in the future

Google has released version 1.5 of its cloud-based App Engine developer platform, while outlining upcoming changes to the service that are designed to make it more attractive to enterprise customers.

App Engine 1.5 includes new features such as support for applications requiring long-running and high-memory processes via 'Backends'. Previously, applications had been running on short, dynamic instances that scale up and down in response to application requests, Google said on the App Engine Blog on Tuesday.

The release also introduces pull queues, which allow developers to select tasks from a queue as the application is ready to process them, rather than relying on task queues to push them at a pre-configured rate. Google also introduced a Rest API which allows external services to do the same thing.

Google also made other API changes, such as restricting the Mail API to "improve reliability and reputation" of the service.

Alongside the new and updated features, Google also said it will be launching an experimental runtime with the Go programming language.

"Go is an open-source, statically typed, compiled language with a dynamic and lightweight feel. It's also an interesting new option for App Engine because Go apps will be compiled to native code, making Go a good choice for more CPU-intensive tasks," the Google App Engine team wrote.

Google added that it will soon enable deployment of Go apps in the App Engine infrastructure.

Preview status

The Google App Engine has been available as a preview since 2008 and has more than 100,000 active developers using the service each month. However, it will leave preview status in the second half of 2011 and add "enterprise-grade features that allow us to support many more business application scenarios", Google said.

The company added that graduating App Engine from preview status will underline Google's commitment to the product. When App Engine moves out of preview, Google will establish a "deprecation policy whereby we will support prior versions of product APIs for a guaranteed amount of time, allowing applications written to prior API specifications to continue to function", the company said.

Google also said the full release will come with a 99.95-percent Service Level Agreement (SLA), operational and developer support and a new Terms of Service agreement. It will bring with it offline billing and a new pricing structure for App Engine that provides more transparency for usage-calculated billing.

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