Google’s PaaS offering, App Engine, is a platform for building fully managed applications of all shapes and sizes and is hosted on Google’s massive infrastructure. With features such as elastic scalability, seamless integration with other Google products, and a vast array of simple APIs at your disposal, now is a great time to transition from old-school developer to a cloud dev/DevOps ninja. Here are 5 reasons you should be excited for the future of application development!
1. Infrastructure-less. It’s expensive for a company and time-consuming for developers to manage their own web, application, and database servers, especially when it comes time to scale out. You’re responsible for designing an infrastructure to load balance traffic, shard databases, and engineer an application to take advantage of that infrastructure. These are core components in App Engine that just work, removing the burden of being an administrator from the developer and giving devs more time to focus entirely on application development.
2. Data, data, data. Should you expect anything less from the company that single-handedly kickstarted the Big Data revolution? Name your data needs, and the Google Cloud Platform has an option that App Engine can implement with ease. Wether it’s SQL (Cloud SQL), NoSQL (Datastore), NewSQL (BigQuery), Blob (Cloud Storage) or Block (Compute Engine), you have the flexibility to choose what’s best for your application.
3. Integration. Google has a plethora of products and services easily accessible from App Engine. Need to orchestrate a data pipeline through App Engine, Cloud Storage, BigQuery, and Compute Engine? No problem. Need translation, prediction or maps capability? There’s an API for that, that and that! App Engine itself is full of built-in features such as mail, chat, memcache, push/pull task queues, schedules tasks, and OAuth (just to name a few) that you would normally have to build yourself using traditional development methods.
4. Cost-effective. The free tier is very generous and most small applications will be just that, FREE. Paid apps only pay for the resources used beyond the free tier and the pricing model is extremely affordable. The icing on the cake here is that Google charges you only for when your application is handling requests, unlike AWS/Azure where you’re getting charged for the time your application is available to handle requests, even when there’s no traffic.
5. It’s Google. They are after all, the masters of infrastructure and distributed storage. They built their cloud on top of their world-class fiber network using these mature battle-tested distributed technologies, the same ones that Google Search, YouTube, and Gmail run on. You can rest easy at night knowing your application is living with the biggest products on earth, and that Google engineers are the ones wearing the pagers when issues arise.
Google has done something with App Engine and the Google Cloud Platform that no other cloud has done yet: make developers front-and-center. They’ve always had keen foresight and seem to stay one step ahead of the world when it comes to IT, so jump on the App Engine train!
Editor’s Note: If you’re interested in learning more about Google App Engine, watch Garth’s MicroNugget. If you’re ready to jump in feet first, you can start watching Garth’s in-progress Google App Engine: Qualified Developer course.