Google Previews App Engine Platform for Web Applications
Google last night launched a preview of its App Engine web application hosting service.App Engine provides a back-end platform, including a distributed Web server, database and storage, to run apps written with Google's SDK. As Google's App Engine Blog puts it, the service "gives you access to the same building blocks that Google uses for its own applications."
The preview period granted 10,000 developers a free account with 500mb of storage and enough processing power and bandwidth for about 5 million page views per month, according to Google. Not surprisingly, those accounts appear to have all been snapped up. But developers can still download the SDK and work on a non-hosted application.
For now, applications have to be written in the Python language. When it fully launches, Google says it will still offer free accounts with the same limitations as now, and that larger, more popular apps can purchase more resources. Applications can authenticate users with a Google account log-in.
"I believe that App Engine will make launching a startup easier than ever," said Matt Cutts, head of Google's Web spam team, in a blog post. "At this point, you could build up a pretty killer startup incorporating technologies as simple as Gmail or as powerful as App Engine."
At some point, when Google App Engine has been more thoroughly tested, usage beyond these limits will require a fee.
Amazon Web Services can be used separately, whereas Google App Engine is more of an integrated platform.
Other more or less comparable Web app platforms include Salesforce.com's Force.com, Bungee Labs' BungeeConnect, and Xcerion's icloud.