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Google opens App Engine to all, details pricing

Come one, come all

By Heather Havenstein
May 27, 2008 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - On the eve of its first-ever developer conference, Google Inc. threw open the doors for its Google App Engine to all takers Tuesday and unveiled pricing details for the cloud-based development environment.

Google's App Engine, which the company first announced in April, provides hosted dynamic Web serving, persistent storage, automatic scaling, a local development environment, and authentication and load balancing aimed at making it easier for developers to build Web applications.

Google has pushed it as a way for developers to take advantage of the search giant's own infrastructure to build, test and run their own applications.

More than 150,000 developers have joined the waiting list for the Google App Engine since then, and on Wednesday it will be available to any developer without waiting, the company said.

Developers have been pressing Google about the pricing of Google App Engine, and the company provided answers on that front as well. The product is free to get started, and in the current preview release, applications will continue to be restricted to the free quota of up to 500MB storage and enough CPU and bandwidth for about 5 million page views per month, Google said.

Later this year -- once that preview period has ended -- developers will pay:

  • 10 cents to 12 cents per CPU core-hour
  • 15 cents to 18 cents per GB-month of storage
  • 11 cents to 13 cents per GB outgoing bandwidth
  • 9 cents to 11 cents per GB incoming bandwidth

Google also announced that it will be adding new developer APIs for the Google App Engine in the coming weeks. A new image-manipulation API will allow developers to scale, rotate and crop images on the server, and a new memcache API is aimed at making page rendering faster for developers through a high-performance caching layer.

The announcement is part of Google's ongoing effort to court developers, culminating in the Google I/O developer conference getting under way tomorrow in San Francisco. Google expects about 2,900 developers to attend.

"The Web is really the de facto platform for application developers," noted Tom Stocky, Google's director of product management for developer products, in an interview about the conference. "We think this in many ways represents an inflection point for Web developers. The Web has brought a new level of interoperability for apps. Developers can choose between APIs and bring a new level of utility to end users."

Google also announced Tuesday that its Google Web Toolkit Release Candidate 1.5 will be available later this week and will include Java 5 language support to help developers build AJAX applications without having to worry about common barriers like browser capability. This next release includes a compiler for producing faster code and a growing set of libraries for building AJAX applications, Google said.

Read more about App Development in Computerworld's App Development Topic Center.

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