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Google App Engine – A Quick Introduction

Google App Engine is the most popular and powerful cloud based Service. It is a widely used platform. Thousands of company around the world today uses Google App Engine to develop and host their web applications.

It is very difficult to find an article for beginner to Google App Engine. So TechGearz is planning for a series of post on Google App Engine, stating this post. Target audience for this article are people who are interested in knowing about Google App Engine, Cloud Computing and especially for web developers who have great ideas and want to host their application online with some minimum budget or with no cost to start with.

What is cloud Computing?

Cloud Computing has many definition on internet. In a very simple term, Cloud computing is an on-demand business method, where you are allowed to use high end services whenever you required and pay only for the unit of time you have used that  service. Cloud computing is divided into three parts basically, IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service, PaaS – Platform as a Service and SaaS – Software as a Service.

Company those provide IaaS – Amazon Web Service,  RackSpace, Microsoft (Windows Azure), IBM.
Company those provide PaaS – Google( Google App Engine), Microsoft (Windows Azure Platform), force.com, Colayer, Wolfpaas, OrangeScape, IBM.
Company those provide SaaS – Goolge (Google Apps-Gmail, Google Docs, etc), IBM (Lotus Live Suite), SalesForce etc.

CaaS – communication as a service is a new term in the market. This is a cloud computing service which offer different communication software like IBM sametime and Lotus Communication as a service hosted on a third party infrastructure.

Why to go for Cloud Computing?
Advantage of using Cloud computing by any business is that they can concentrate on their core business and be free about the IT infrastructure required to run their business. Users will be getting all upgraded versions of software’s/services without extra pay and they would be paying only for the time frame they are using that particular service. You can learn more about cloud computing here.

What is Google App Engine?
Google App Engine is a PaaS provided by Google, where you can host your application on Google’s infrastructure. Google App Engine is customized for fast performance and application can be developed on two popular platforms majorly, Java and Python. You can also build application using Rudy which can use JVM engine for running the application and HTML, XML and JavaScript based applications.

You also have access to Java and Python based API to access the Google’s user authentication framework and user data. i.e. Anyone can develop an application which can use googles authentication for signing and diffent plugins which will help in storing and integrating you data with other Google Service like google docs and gmail etc.

Do I need to pay for using this service?
Most of you must not be aware that anyone with Gmail account can host an application on Google app engine. It is absolutely free to get started i.e. any one can use 500 MB of disk space and 5 million page views per month on Google app engine absolutely free. You can also configure you own domain or you can use Google’s “appspot“ sub-domain for free.

If you application is going above the 500 MB space and CPU utilization you will be charged for per /GB according to Google’s App engine rate. If you enable the billing scheme for this service, your free usage limit will be raised and you only pay for the resource you use above the free level.

It is very simple to getting started with Google App Engine. In coming post we would see how to use python and Java APIs to develop application and configuring Google App Engine.

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