Google App Engine

I’ve finally gotten around to messing around with the Google App Engine over the weekend. It allows you to run web applications on Google’s infrastructure for free as long as you don’t go over roughly 5 million page views in a month. If your app has the good problem of going over that traffic then you’re billed by usage.

Currently only Python and Java are the supported languages. I’ve been interested in dabbling with Python a bit more than I have, and building an app on this platform has given the excuse I need to try it out.

Getting started is fairly easy. Sign up for an account at the Google App Engine site. Then download the SDK for your OS. Leopard already has Python 2.5 installed, so I didn’t have to install or upgrade that.

There’s an amazing getting started guide available for building a simple Python app. It’s one of the better tutorials I’ve done in a while, even if you’re not proficient with Python it’s easy to follow along.

Using the datastore to work with data vs. a relational database seemed strange at first, but it’s very easy to work with. The GQL can be very similar to working with SQL.

I’ve got a couple of ideas I’ll like to try building, and this seems like a great platform to build on.